Field Studies

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All students registered in the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program in Community Health Sciences are required to complete a 400 hour field experience in an appropriate setting. Settings may include hospitals, managed care organizations, government agencies or departments, community organizations, advocacy programs or other related health setting.

The entire field experience and integrative process takes approximately a year, beginning with the field experience search process, experiencing the field placement, and ending with the associated written product.

Purpose of Field Experience

The field experience gives the student firsthand experience within a health or health-related social service agency or community program in elements of planning, program implementation, evaluation; and/or policy formulation, implementation and analysis. During the Field Placement the student will become familiar with the operation of the agency or program, its goals, policies, administrative structure, types of health professionals employed, and clientele served.

Field Studies Placement Examples

Field Studies Handbook for Students

Field Studies Testimonials

"My field studies placement at Autism Speaks was a dream come true for me and a perfect fit - my background in autism research and my experience working with families affected by autism are what drew me to public health. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to work with the public health team in the science department on the Autism Speaks Early Access to Care Initiative this summer [...]I was involved in Autism Speaks’ CBPR project in collaboration with key community stakeholders to better understand cultural and structural barriers to the access to care among the Korean American community in New York City and develop appropriate solutions. [...] As I near the end of my field studies placement at Autism Speaks this summer, I feel inspired and more prepared to tackle this task."
Marianne Chen, MPH, MSW

"I did my summer field study at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center in South Los Angeles, helping develop a transgender health program. My role primarily related to the internal readiness of St. John’s to provide the program. [...] I learned a lot about how program development plays out in the “real world,” and the challenges and gratification of working with an underserved, at-risk population. I’m appreciative of the opportunity to be a part of this program and this organization, even if only for a short time."
Joanna Ekstrom, MPH



“The Drabkin Award gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone to work with those in a developing country. It allowed me to experience the difficulty in applying coursework material in a real life situation and learn how to work with people of a different cultural background. This experience further enhanced my desire to work in the field of global health because it was very rewarding to be able to serve those who are most in need."
Alice Fung, MPH '11 

"I completed my field work at Youth+Tech+Health, better known to the sexual health community as YTH. YTH is a non-profit organization based in Oakland, CA that uses technology and new media for adolescent sexual health promotion efforts, targeting medically underserved youth communities across the United States. I was involved in several projects, ranging from social media health promotion to redesigning YTH's health resources webpage. [...] During my 11-week internship, I learned more about the intersection of public health and technology and the many avenues in which health promotion efforts are executed, adding to my excitement of pursuing a career in the public health field after completing my MPH degree in Community Health Sciences next year."
Jasmine Smith, MPH