Professional Experience for Public Health Students

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What are experiential learning opportunities?

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center's (MAR-PHTC) experiential learning opportunities provide public health students a $3500 stipend while they work on a project that offers  professional experience and career connections. This Health Resources and Services Administration program helps students increase their skills while organizations achieve their goals.

MAR-PHTC adopts a collaborative team approach for its experiential learning opportunities. Together, Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, and West Virginia University School of Public Health facilitate experiential learning. We strive to create opportunities to help the future public health workforce meet the demands they will face as public health professionals.

Eligibility

Students can apply for an experiential learning opportunity if:
  • they have not previously completed a MAR-PHTC Field Placement or Collaborative Project;
  • they are enrolled part- or full-time in an accredited graduate school of public health master's or doctoral program; and
  • they are a U.S. citizen, a non-citizen U.S. national, or a foreign national who is a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (i.e., in possession of a green card). NOTE: Due to our federal funding requirements, individuals on a student visa are NOT eligible to apply.
    *All projects must take place in the United States.

Collaborative Projects: Connecting Students and Faculty

Collaborative Projects (CP) connect students and faculty to work on a research project or a community intervention identified by a governmental public health agency or other public health service entity. The student and faculty supervisor collaborate with the agency to address specific public health issues among a specified target population, and work together to develop the methodology and plan of approach.

Student requirements and deliverables include:

  • Project completion within 3–6 months of the start date
  • A scientific report or poster presentation
  • An abstract suitable for submission to a public health conference (it is not required that you submit to a conference, the intent is to practice drafting an abstract)
  • Other deliverables required by faculty mentor
  • Participation in a conference or department poster fair is encouraged for all students and required for Pitt PH students (e.g. Dean’s Day, Epi in Action, West Virginia Rural Health Association Conference)

Detailed information: Collaborative Project Handbook
Developing and Applying for a Collaborative Project
Each school facilitates Collaborative Projects for students at their respective universities. Each university develops their own processes for facilitating and promoting their Collaborative Projects. Contact your university to learn more about the process.

  • Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health: Jennifer Kolker, jak682@drexel.edu
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Dan Barnett, dbarnet4@jhu.edu
  • Pitt Public Health encourages faculty and students to work together to develop Collaborative Projects. To apply, click on the link below to complete the Collaborative Project Proposal Form.
    Collaborative Project Proposal Form
  • West Virginia University School of Public Health: Kara Forst, kara.forst@hsc.wvu.edu

Field Placements: Real World Experiences for Public Health Students and an Invaluable Resource for Organizations

Field placements (FP) embed public health students in a public or non-profit health organization, particularly ones serving underserved areas and populations, to work on public health projects. These placements provide structured experiences that allow students to apply acquired knowledge and skills in a public health practice setting.

Student requirements and deliverables include:

  • Project completion within one year of the start date (2 years for part-time students)
  • A scientific report or poster presentation
  • An abstract suitable for submission to a public health conference (it is not required that you submit to a conference, the intent is to practice drafting an abstract)
  • Other deliverables required by host organization
  • Participation in conference or department poster fair is encouraged for all students and required for Pitt PH students (e.g. Dean’s Day, Epi in Action, West Virginia Rural Health Association Conference)

Detailed information Field Placement Handbook

Students Looking for a Field Placement

1. Create your own project. Are you a Pitt Public Health student who already has a project or organization in mind? Use the Field Placement Proposal Form available at the link below.

Field Placement Proposal Form
2. Apply for an existing opportunity from these postings. MAR-PHTC Field Placements offered by community partners are also available to Drexel, JHU, Pitt Public Health, and WVU students.

Click here to complete the Student Field Placement Application

Email us at marphtc@pitt.edu to learn more. 

Organizations Looking for a Student

Does your organization need help with...

  • launching a new program;
  • delivering your health campaign to the public;
  • breathing new life into a project;
  • evaluating a specific program;
  • collecting and analyzing data;
  • planning public events; or
  • research, design, and marketing?

Complete a Field Placement Request Form to get started. Email us at marphtc@pitt.edu to learn more. 

Projects at Our Partner Schools

In addition to Pitt Public Health, Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and West Virginia University School of Public Health offer experiential learning projects through MAR-PHTC. Each academic partner has its own guidelines for facilitating Field Placements and Collaborative Projects for students at their school. Contact them to learn more.
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Networking: Exchange

Twice each academic year, MAR-PHTC presents Exchange, a virtual event that enables public health students to learn from and interact with panelists working in public health. Exchange provides both students and panelists opportunities to mutually enrich their futures within the public health workforce. Students will discover career possibilities, hone areas of interest and focus, and forge connections with others who have experience and  knowledge to share. Panelists detail their own paths taken through education, experience, and employment, resulting in their current positions.

Click here to access recording of previous Exchanges under the Careers in Public Health category.

Contact Us and Quick Links

Contact Us
Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center: marphtc@pitt.edu
Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health
: contact Jennifer Kolker at jkolker@drexel.edu
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
: contact Dr. Dan Barnett at dbarnet4@jhu.edu
West Virginia University School of Public Health
: contact Kara Forst at kara.forst@hsc.wvu.edu

Forms
Collaborative Project Proposal
Student Field Placement Application
Pitt Public Health Field Placement Proposal Student-initiated Project
Field Placement Request Form Site Supervisor-initiated Project

Handbooks

Collaborative Project Handbook

Field Placement Handbook


Informational Videos
To learn more about Experiential Learning click here to watch this one hour video, Tips for Success: Making the Most of Experiential Learning.

To learn how to make the most of your Experiential Learning opportunity click here to watch our 8-minute video, Making the Most of Your Field Placement Opportunities.

Last modified: Monday, May 20, 2024, 4:13 PM