Professional graduate program practicum

Built-in professional experience

The School of Public Health Sciences is home to three professional graduate programs, all of which have a built-in 420-hour professional practicum allowing students to gain relevant hands-on experience in their field.

Students will work closely with the Practicum Coordinator to find a practicum that will provide them with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills and to connect with future employers. Once the practicum has been secured, students will work with the practicum supervisor to complete a learning contract.

The practicum is a mandatory component of all professional graduate programs and can be taken after all core coursework is complete.

Student talking to a woman holding papers.

Professional practicum: frequently asked questions

What does the practicum process look like?

With support from the Practicum Coordinator, students are responsible for their practicum search. Practicum postings are shared each term to help initiate their search.

Students are encouraged to ask themselves the following questions as they prepare for their practicum search:

  • What are my career aspirations? 
  • How will my practicum help me develop knowledge and skills relevant to this career direction? 
  • What competencies would I like to develop through my practicum? 
  • What type of organizations am I interested in for my practicum? 
  • Do I have any connections or networks with any of these organizations? 

How do students do their practicum if they have a full-time job? Can they do their practicum with their current employer?

There are a couple of options for students who are working full time: 

  • Complete the practicum on a part-time basis over two terms 
  • Arrange a leave from their current employer and take a full-time practicum 
  • Find a practicum that can be completed remotely 
  • Complete their practicum at their current workplace* 

*Students can take a practicum at their current workplace if the practicum project is different from their everyday work (e.g. a special project). We recommend that the practicum supervisor is different than their regular manager but recognize this is not always an option. 

Are practicums paid?

Stipends or payment may be available at some practicum sites, but it is not guaranteed. Unfortunately, not all agencies are able to pay students.

Where have students completed their practicums in the past?

The following are sites at which students from each of the three professional programs have completed practicums in the past.

Master of Health Informatics

  • Canadian Institute for Health Information 
  • University Health Network 
  • Public Health Ontario 
  • Brampton Civic Hospital 

Master of Health Evaluation

  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health 
  • The eHealth Centre of Excellence
  • Registered Nurses Association of Ontario 
  • Parachute Canada 
  • SickKids Hospital 

Master of Public Health 

  • Southwestern Public Health 
  • Public Health Ontario 
  • Region of Peel Public Health 
  • Canadian Cancer Society 
  • Indigenous Services Canada 

Stories from the field

A chance connection through the social network Reddit led Megan Janeka to the placement she's doing at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. There she's working on creating a report that will summarize the latest epidemiology studies on the effects of radiation, to inform global radiation protection.

Read Megan's story

During her practicum placement at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Sara Husain contributed to three ongoing evaluations. There she realized the difference between learning about evaluation in the classroom and working in a real-world situation. Being in the workplace, she started to fully appreciate that the process of evaluation is a complex navigation of careful planning, insightful negotiations, teamwork and adaptation to dynamic situations.

Read Sara's story

Brendan Flynn standing on rooftop deck in Toronto with CN tower in background.

The practicum component of the Master's of Health Informatics program has made a big impact on Brendan Flynn. Working at TAMVOES, a health management platform, Brendan has been involved with helping launch their new app. This experiential learning component to the program was central to his decision to choosing the program.

Read Brendan's story