The Master of Public Health (MPH) program integrates the academic study of public
health theory with principles of public health practice in order to prevent disease,
promote healthy lifestyles, and protect the community. In accordance with national
accreditation standards, our MPH students each spend 240 contact hours in a practicum
(internship) experience. Typically, the Practicum is completed during the summer between
the first and second years of coursework, and 3 hours of course credit are earned.
Students are asked their preference of topics for their placements, and every effort
is made to match their requests with agency needs.
The Memphis and Shelby County Health Department serves as the primary location for
MPH students’ field practicum experiences. Other locations include Methodist Le Bonheur
Healthcare, MASON YMCA, and Planned Parenthood. Students have gained valuable experience
working directly with top administrators and health officers as preceptors on projects
related to HIV prevention, breastfeeding, immunization, TB control, community health
promotion, obesity prevention, environmental health, and emergency preparedness. Students
have also arranged international practicum experiences, such disaster relief in Haiti.
The practicum provides graduate students the opportunity to apply academic concepts
and models learned in the classroom to the real world of public health practice. It
also provides relevant experience that serves as a foundation for their public health
Click here for a list of Summer 2014 practicum placements.
17 MPH students were assigned to a practicum in Summer 2014. One of our community
partners sent this feedback:
"Michelle Clayton did an exceptional job with the breastfeeding hotline project. She asked the right
questions. I wish I had an opening so I could hire her on the spot."
Sandra Madubuonwu, MSN, CNS, RN
Director of Community Programs, LeBonheur Children's Hospital
In the summer of 2013, five MPH students received LIFEPATH grant awards to conduct
their Practicum at the Shelby County Health Department. Click here to meet these five MPH students.
Quotes from Community Partners:
“Mohsinah Usmani did such a wonderful job (during her MPH Practicum) capturing data and packaging
it professionally that I was able to use the data to acquire additional funding and
share her data gathering methods with other YMCA’s. It was good quality data, and
she had excellent organizational skills. What a rich experience that was!”
Cynthia Magallon Puljic
Vice President, Executive Director
“Chuck (Kolesar) has not only presented a top notch academic practicum, he has provided Haiti Medical
Missions of Memphis with a concise analysis of where we have been, where we are, and
where we need to go. He worked well with everyone in our organization including the
patients in Haiti in a very professional manner. Chuck delivers tremendous medical
care tirelessly. His efforts demonstrate that much in the real world of business,
healthcare, and the like is led by and dependent on the bright community which is
Gordon Kraus MD
Haiti Medical Missions of Memphis
“Amanda Yacko exceeded my expectations entirely. We have benefited greatly from her energizing presence,
initiative and clinical background.”
“Lauren DeSain made real, tangible contributions to our organization, and all of her were products
were very high quality. She is astute, well organized self-motivated, and an excellent
team member. We were also very appreciative of the ideas and insights she contributed
throughout her engagement with us.”
Julie E. Coffey, M.S.
Administrator, Shelby County Office of Early Childhood and Youth
"Ashley's (Jones) evaluation and presentation skills were already high when she started her practicum,
but her ability to anticipate what was needed in our specific context improved quickly
and markedly. The first evaluation tool she worked on for Sexperts went through several
drafts, but by the end of the process she was producing evaluations that were exactly
what we needed on first try. Her ability to bridge information she learned in the
classroom with what we needed at PPGMR (Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region)
was noticed on several occasions by different staff members. When she was nearing
the end of her program, we asked her to present her evaluation tools and analysis
of data we collected with them to staff that didn't know about her project. Every
staff member present (and staff who weren't present but saw her presentation materials
afterwards) was impressed with her work. I would not hesitate to have her present
to community members as a representative of PPGMR."
Elokin CaPece, MA
Director of Education
Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region