Professional Development and Practical Experience.

Practice-based education is what sets the BU MPH apart. We believe that practical application is the best way to prepare you for a thriving career, giving you the essential tools and experience to help solve the most pressing public health problems of our day.

Faculty throughout the school teach project-based learning courses, where students serve as consultants to public health agencies in  Boston and around the globe to conduct needs assessments, implementation and evaluation plans, health communication strategies, and much more. Outside of the classroom, you will engage in service-based learning activities, volunteer opportunities, student organizations, and attend professional association meetings and conferences.

Here are just a few of the action-oriented experiences we offer:


Hands-on field experience is critical to success in your public health career. The in-depth practicum ensures that you apply your public health skills through at least 240 hours of field work at a local, national, or international site with a public health-related organization. You can complete practicum projects at over 300 sites annually, where you make real contributions toward improving population health while gaining valuable experience and building your professional networks.

You are encouraged to explore and learn something new in your practicum, and you can complete your practicum at one of the many public health organizations in Boston or any location around the globe. You have flexibility and options to complete this requirement, and can tailor your practicum experience to meet your specific needs and goals.

Career Development

Your public health career is important to us.

The Career P.R.E.P. Program, a hallmark of the BU MPH, positions you with the techniques and professional confidence to effectively market yourself during the job search process and throughout your public health career. The program is taught by experienced career services professionals and will help you build your public health network of employers, alumni, and experts from the field.

Using career assessment tools as a foundation, sessions cover topics such as interviewing strategies, networking, and marketing and positioning yourself in the job market. The Career Development Program is delivered in a cohort model to enhance the learning experience and help you build connections across the SPH community.

Through the Career P.R.E.P. Program, you will be able to:

  • Navigate the public health job market and hiring processes
  • Market yourself based on employer needs
  • Leverage LinkedIn for your job search and professional social media etiquette
  • Understand the value of networking and specific networking procedures
  • Utilize different interview types and how to effectively position yourself
  • Engage in the negotiation process and techniques for employer conversations

MPH students with extensive public health work experience will have alternative options for completing the Career P.R.E.P. requirement.

BU MPH Integrative Learning Experience

The BU MPH Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) affords you the opportunity to synthesize foundational and certificate competencies,  integrating and applying the knowledge and skills you’ve obtained throughout the degree program.

The ILE is tied to your required functional certificate and will incorporate skills and content from the context certificate as appropriate. You will only complete one ILE, regardless of the number of certificates you pursue. If you are working to complete two functional certificates, you will meet with your faculty advisors and Career Services staff to determine which ILE option is best for your career interests.

The ILE is a required, 0-credit component of the MPH. It is student-initiated and faculty guided. You will register for the ILE in your last semester.