Dr. John Garcia smiling while advising students.

Students/Future students

An important component of the Master of Public Health program is the practicum placement. Additional information on the practicum can be found on the 'MPH student information' site in LEARN.  Organizations that have provided previous practicum placements will be listed on this site (for current students only).

About the practicum

The University of Waterloo's Master of Public Health program provides opportunities for students to gain relevant practical experience by completing a 12-16 week community-based applied practicum, working within a local public health unit, provincial and federal governmental agency, or non-governmental organization.

The practicum is a mandatory component of the MPH degree program and is initiated after all core coursework is complete.

Students work closely with the Program Director and a field supervisor from the practicum site to set up specific arrangements. With special permission from the MPH Program Director students may be able to take one final course while completing the practicum term.

The practicum is generally completed on a full-time basis (35 hours/week) over a minimum of 12 weeks, or 420 hours. Part-time practicum placements may be arranged over two terms, however, students must log a minimum of 420 hours of work over the two terms. It is possible for part-time students to complete their practicum within their current place of employment. Specific arrangements need to be discussed with the Program Director before proceeding with this type of arrangement.

The supervised public health practicum is intended to provide the student with an opportunity to apply course learning in a public health setting. The placement may involve any of the activities or functions of public health: surveillance, policy development, program evaluation, communications, etc. A contract stipulating practicum objectives, and work to be completed and evaluated to meet these objectives, must be jointly approved by the student, the student's field supervisor, and the Program Director. A written report by the student, together with a letter from the field supervisor, are used by the practicum coordinator to evaluate student performance. The practicum is graded on a credit/non-credit basis. This course is open to MPH students only.

Practicum frequently asked questions