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Welcome preceptors! 

If you or your organization are interested in hosting a Berkeley MPH student, we encourage you to consider one or more of the following next steps:

  • Post a 400-Hour Summer MPH Practicum: Currently recruiting for Summer 2023!
    A summer practicum experience is expected to take place sometime between mid-May and mid-August, with a commitment of at least 400 hours (e.g., full-time over 10 weeks). Postings are encouraged by February 1st each year in order to ensure your organization reaches the largest pool of eligible MPH students seeking to solidify their summer plans. Create an account and log onto our free online platform, PHLEX (“flex”), to post your practicum.
  • Post a 130-Hour Anytime MPH Practicum: Currently recruiting!
    This practicum experience can take place any time of year (e.g., fall, spring, summer) and has a commitment of at least 130 hours, typically completed part-time over multiple months. Create an account and log onto our free online platform, PHLEX: Public Health Leadership & Experience Exchange (“flex”), to post your practicum opportunity. Consider posting by Thursday, December 1st to reach the largest pool of students seeking opportunities with a January start date or beyond! (Depending on your needs, keep in mind this practicum experience can take place any time of year.)
  • Reach out to our team with any questions as you explore whether and how to host an MPH student. Consider setting up a brief Zoom meeting with us through our appointment system (via Calendly): calendly.com/publichealthcareers. We also invite you to review below for additional information or email us at publichealthcareers@berkeley.edu.
  • Share this information with colleagues and others in your network who you believe could benefit from hosting an MPH student for a practicum experience.

We look forward to your partnership.

Applied Practice: Practicum

Public health practice is an integral part of the master of public health (MPH) degree at Berkeley Public Health. Practicum experiences are the primary means through which students strengthen their practice knowledge and skills. The requirement for an approved, supervised practicum applies to all graduate students enrolled in MPH programs with a duration longer than 11 months. The RISE Office provides the academic and administrative structure for the practice component of the MPH program.

Please note: Known previously as the summer internship, our transition to the term “practicum” reflects our expanded network of students engaged in applied practice at the graduate level, many of whom will continue to pursue full-time summer experiences, while others seek to engage in projects of variable duration and time commitment. Practicum is now the term we use to refer to all such MPH student applied practice experiences.

Purpose

A practicum provides the opportunity to integrate classroom learning and practice in a public health work environment. The student contributes to a community’s resources and to the solution of public health priorities while developing practice-based skills, personal confidence, and leadership as a public health professional.

A practice experience provides an important first step to a career in the field if a student has little or no prior experience. If the student has extensive experience or advanced degrees in other fields, they have the opportunity to apply existing skills at a higher level and to develop new professional skills in public health. As a result of their practicum experience, many students also obtain part- or full-time jobs, identify opportunities for their capstone or comprehensive paper, and expand their network.

Opportunities to Host Students

Employers and community partners are invited to post practicum opportunities on our online platform, PHLEX: Public Health Leadership and Experience Exchange (‘flex’). Students review opportunities and apply through the platform, with the majority of summer practicum postings in early spring semester, while ‘anytime’ practicum postings vary throughout the year. Host organizations interview students, extend offers, and engage in communication with students to make commitments in advance of planned start dates.

Below, please find a summary of the opportunities to host a UC Berkeley MPH student for a practicum:

 Anytime MPH PracticumSummer-Only MPH Practicum
When may the experience take place?Any time of year; start and end date flexible.Between May 15 and August 19, 2023; start and end date flexible.
Where may the experience take place?Opportunities are invited from across the state, nation, and globe. While students may have more flexibility to relocate and/or work on-site for a full-time summer practicum, many students continue to seek remote opportunities, especially during the school year. We welcome host organizations to specify preferences for in-person, remote, or flexible/hybrid work on their posting.
What is the time commitment?With a minimum of 130 hours, these practicum experiences may be variable in total hours and duration. Some projects may be best suited to a shorter time period, while others over several months. For this practicum format, students often complete work independently and check in at regular intervals.Students can expect to commit 400 hours, e.g., full-time over 10 weeks.
Which students participate in this opportunity?MPH students enrolled in our On-Campus/Online Professional MPH program range from early career to mid-career professionals with diverse interests in public health. While some are trained clinicians and/or working professionals, others are earlier in their careers.
Students represent the following concentrations: Interdisciplinary, Epidemiology/Biostatistics, Health Policy & Management, Public Health Nutrition.
MPH students enrolled in our 2-year MPH programs are often early career professionals with diverse interests in public health.
Students represent the following concentrations: Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology / Biostatistics, Global Health & Environment, Health & Social Behavior, Health Policy & Management, Infectious Diseases & Vaccinology, Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health, Public Health Nutrition.
What are the expectations of preceptors?Each student is expected to have a primary point of contact–or ‘preceptor’–for the duration of their practicum. A preceptor should have expertise in the assigned project areas, experience with/interest in supervision and mentorship, and access to relevant organizational resources needed to complete the work. Preceptors are advised to provide students with clear expectations, support, and professional insights, including through regular meetings and feedback on student progress. Although a preceptor may have graduate training in public health, a public health degree is not required to precept a Berkeley MPH student.
What is the deadline to submit an opportunity?Anytime practicum opportunities are invited year-round. We recommend beginning recruitment a few months in advance (e.g., recruited over summer for a fall start date) to account for time for an application, selection, and orientation process.Summer practicum recruitment will begin in fall, with a priority posting date of February 1 to provide time for an application, selection, and orientation process. Although we encourage early postings to reach the largest pool of students, we typically continue to invite summer opportunities on a rolling basis throughout the spring semester.
What compensation or benefits are expected?As you evaluate your organization's capacity to host an MPH student, we hope you will strongly consider allocating compensation for a student in your budget in light of the previous work experiences/skills that our graduate students contribute. Particularly in our local Bay Area, we recognize the importance of compensation given the high cost of living and academic program expenses that limit students’ capacity to take on a volunteer position. We welcome all submissions and invite you to reach out to our team to discuss your specific needs! Please schedule a meeting or send us an email: publichealthcareers@berkeley.edu.
How do I submit an opportunity?We invite submissions for any professional opportunities–including, but not limited to, MPH practicum experiences–via our online platform, PHLEX, where you may submit a posting after creating an account.
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