An integral part of the USC MPH program is the practicum, a structured and supervised professional experience with an approved agency for which students receive academic credit. As a working partnership between students and public health agencies, the practicum offers students hands-on experience in an area of public health, including county, state, federal or community-based agencies. The goal of the practicum is to further students’ practical experience while enhancing the work of public health. Through the practicum, students have the opportunity to demonstrate an integration of coursework into a real-world setting, preparing them for a professional career in public health.
Practicum Syllabus - PM 596
Eligibility and Waiver Criteria
International Practicum Opportunities
Aiming to expand students’ research and professional experience in addressing global health issues, faculty in the USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health coordinate practicum opportunities to enhance the recruitment of diverse students into global health research and practice.
Student Practicum Profile
Completed by the agency and signed by a designated staff member and the Vice Provost of Planning and Budget at USC. This form is completed prior to placing a student in a site. This form is not necessary for placements within USC.
Completed prior to student placement. This form displays an inventory of activities in which students may participate and is filed in the USC Practicum binder. Please indicate if you do not wish to be contact by students directly.
Completed by the supervisor upon completion of hours.
To be completed ONE semester BEFORE you register for 596 (aka Student Interview Form).
This form outlines policies and procedures to be followed by students completing field training. This form is to be completed by the student and requires proof of health insurance.
A List of Practicum Sites
MPH Practicum Approval Form
Frequently asked questions regarding the USC MPH Practicum.
This form provides instructions for completing the waiver request. Documentation is submitted to the Program Director and Practicum Coordinator prior to the beginning of field training hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
- You are eligible to begin your practicum once you complete four (4) MPH classes while completing your 5th course concurrently with your practicum. We strongly recommend that these five classes include four MPH Core Courses (501, 508/509, 510, 512, 529) and one Track Core Course. One of the five MPH classes may be taken concurrently with Practicum.
- You must have at least a 3.0 GPA
- Student Legal Form – sign and email it to the Practicum Coordinator along with a copy of your health insurance card once you receive confirmation that your practicum has been approved. Once these are submitted, you can officially begin your practicum!
- Creating your Practicum Portfolio site – Go to the practicum website (http://practicum.usc.edu) and click on “First Time Setup” and follow the prompts to create your portfolio site so you can log your hours using the Time Card function.
If the organization/agency you are working with is not on the Official Practicum Sites list, your supervisor will need to submit the Agency Application and Affiliation Agreement before you can start your hours.
See section above!
Go to the practicum website (http://practicum.usc.edu) and click on “First Time Setup” and follow the prompts to create your portfolio site. You will need to enter the name and email address of your supervisor, so s/he can approve your hours.
- Log-in to your portfolio site and click on “Time Card.” Enter your hours for the dates listed and submit it for approval by the submission date as seen in the Time Card.
- If you forgot to log your hours and you need to enter “old” hours for dates that you do not see in the regular Time Card, you can use the Catch-Up Time Card.
- You will need a personalized password to access the Catch-Up Time Card. Email your request for the Catch-Up Passcode to the Practicum Coordinator.
Once your MPH Practicum Approval Form has been reviewed and approved by the Practicum Director, you can request D- clearance by emailing the Practicum Coordinator directly.
- The Capstone course is the final culminating experience for all MPH students. The Capstone course is taken in the last semester and the course draws on students’ training in the five core areas of public health and their required track courses. Additionally, students will draw from an experience they have had in the field, which means students could use their practicum experience to inform their final Capstone project assignment, but it is not mandatory to use the practicum if the student has some other relevant public health experience he/she would like to use for the Capstone course.
- If the student would like to use their practicum experience for their Capstone final project, it is recommended that he/she complete the practicum hours and requirements before registering for the Capstone course. This way, the student has enough experience in the field to adequately complete the Capstone assignments, which are all related to the final project. Some examples of Capstone final projects include but are not limited to: research paper, program evaluation, community needs assessment, policy analysis, and grant proposal.