MPH-65 Health Management: Practicum Update

The MPH-65 Health Management program has revised the structure and timing of the required practicum (Applied Practice Experience) for students, starting with the cohort entering in January 2020.

Students will now complete their required practicum during the summer after the first semester.  This change, which is based in part on feedback from students, is being made to give students more flexibility for their field-based requirements, increased connection with peers in other MPH-65 fields of study, and to meet new accreditation requirements for the school.  Incoming students should familiarize themselves with these requirements. Depending on student interests, it can be helpful to start thinking about practicum plans in the fall prior to starting the program (see resources).


  1. Spring 1 of First Year: MPH-65 Health Management students will take the first half of their practicum course.  Some sessions of the course will include MPH-65 students in other fields of study and will incorporate a new required competency on interprofessional education. The class will provide preparation for field work as well as a case-based project with an external client.
  2. Summer: Students will complete a practicum (Applied Practice Experience) of a minimum of 200 hours. The practicum must be completed by the end of the summer prior to the fall semester.
  3. Fall of Second Year: The second part of the practice class will take place with Health Management students only, similar to the structure in other MPH-65 fields of study.

What are the reasons for these changes?

This change is being made for several reasons:

Consistency within the MPH-65: Under the current program structure, MPH-65 HM students have been required to complete a summer internship and a practicum in the second year. This meant that Health Management students had to complete many more field experience hours than students in other MPH65 fields of study. While the summer internship. While the summer internship provided excellent experience for students, this new structure will allow students to meet the degree requirement in a way consistent with other fields of study (in the summer), while providing more flexibility for each student to pursue other experiences during the second academic year, including more field work/applied work, depending on their individual interests and goals.

More opportunity for shared learning across the MPH-65: Current and past MPH65 Health Management students have requested more opportunities to integrate in their first spring semester with other MPH-65 students whose programs started in the fall. Although this is not related to the practicum itself, the new spring practicum course will provide an opportunity for HM students to get to know their MPH-65 peers.

New accreditation requirements: Like all accredited schools of public health, Harvard Chan is making some changes to its educational programs to come into compliance with new accreditation criteria. One of the new MPH criteria is that students must develop the competency to work effectively on interprofessional teams. This competency will be part of the new restructured spring practicum course.

What about the internship?

The summer internship will now be a summer practicum, as with other MPH-65 fields of study, and will have the same requirements (e.g., a minimum of 200 hours of work, submissions of applied practice experience products at the end of the summer). This means that students will now have more flexibility during their second academic year to pursue other interests, including seeking out additional field-based experiences if that suits their individual learning objectives. However, any field-based experiences during the second academic year will not meet the practicum requirement.


Please join the Practice Office for an online webinar about these changes on a date to be determined. The session will be recorded.