A required component of the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, Fieldwork is a carefully planned and supervised learning experience. The Fieldwork experience connects the skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom with the pragmatic application of the practice of public health. Fieldwork can provide the student with the opportunity to acquire, develop and improve communication skills, project management skills and problem solving skills using public health methods, principles and techniques. Moreover, it promotes hands-on public health practice, the exploration of career options and generates contacts with other public health professionals.
The purpose of Fieldwork is to provide the student with an opportunity to:
• Carry out a project representative of expected work in the field;
• Demonstrate competence in research/practice/ evaluation relevant to the student's field;
• Gain exposure to an organization's environment, culture and purposes;
• Develop professional judgment and contacts; and
• Help clarify career goals.
The Fieldwork requirement supports the development of skills in basic public health concepts and assists in the demonstration of the application of these concepts through practice experience that is relevant to the students’ areas of concentration and reflects understanding of the academic principles studied in class.
Fieldwork is a 400-hour minimum placement that can be completed in one or two semesters, or be extended over one calendar year. Fieldwork students are supported and supervised at all stages by the Fieldwork Faculty Advisor, Site Preceptor and a Graduate Practicum Director. There are clearly stated degree guidelines as well as department-specific guidelines that detail roles, responsibilities and expectations for students, faculty, Site Preceptors and Graduate Practicum Directors.