A Practice Experience is a carefully planned and supervised learning experience. It connects the skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom with the pragmatic application of the practice of public health. It is a required component of the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. A practicum 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 Capstone is a required component of the MPH degree that demonstrates synthesis of foundational and concentration competencies. Students in consultation with faculty select foundational and concentration-specific competencies appropriate to the student’s educational and professional goals. The Capstone represents a culminating experience where the student produces a high-quality written product that is appropriate for the student’s educational and professional objectives.
There are three curricula that fulfill the Practicum requirements. Your enrollment date at the School of Public Health is what dictates which course you should register for.
Applied Practice Experience (APE) is a 0 credit requirement where students conduct hands-on public health practice at an organization. Students graduate with same number of credits due to the new PHCO 0513 - Public Health Essentials course. Capstone is a 3 credit course where a student works with a Rutgers SPH faculty member to produce a written report on an original public health research question.
Eligibility to Register for Applied Practice Experience: Students are expected to enroll in APE once they have completed PHCO 0502 - Principles and Methods of Epidemiology, PHCO 0504 - Introduction to Biostatistics and their Concentration specific Core course. Students are encouraged to check with their faculty advisor if it is unclear what their concentration specific Core course is. Students are also encouraged to consider when they will be registering for their Capstone course and do the APE course 1-2 semesters before they start their Capstone course. Once students complete and submit the APE contract form with all appropriate signatures, they will be registered by the Office of Practice Coordinator.
Eligibility to Register for Capstone: Students are expected to enroll in Capstone once they have successfully completed the APE. They are expected to do this near or at the end of their MPH curriculum. Students will be registered by the Graduate Practicum Director.
Students must first register for APE (0 credit) and when they have successfully completed this course they may register for Capstone (3 credits).
Practicum is comprised of six total credits and consists of three parts: Practicum I (PRAC I), a 1-credit planning phase, and Practicum IIA/IIB (PRAC IIA/IIB), a 5-credit implementation phase.
Eligibility to Register for Practicum: Full-time students are expected to start this process in the second semester of their first year. This schedule gives them the ability to graduate in two years if enrolled full-time. Part-time students can register after they have completed nine credits. Students will be registered by the Office of Practice Coordinator.
Students must first register for PRAC I (1 credit) and when they have successfully completed this planning stage they may register for PRAC IIA (2 credits). Once the deliverables for PRAC IIA have been completed, students may register for PRAC IIB (3 credits).
Fieldwork is comprised of six total credits and consists of two parts: Fieldwork I (FDWC I), a one-credit planning phase, and Fieldwork II (FDWC II), a five-credit implementation phase.
Eligibility to Register for Fieldwork: Students are eligible to register for FDWC I once they have received permission from their Academic Advisor, completed all core courses and the required courses of their concentration area while maintaining a GPA of 3.0. Students will be registered by the Office of Practice Coordinator.
Students must first register for FDWC I and when they have successfully completed this planning stage they may register for FDWC II. Students may register for as many credits of FDWC II as they choose each semester (1 –5 credits) until they effectively complete the required credits of FDWC II.
Office of Practice
Ohemaa Boahemaa & Sarah Kelly
Rutgers School of Public Health
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