Programs of Study

MPH Program

Public Health Practice

Every MPH student in the school is expected to complete a field training or project-based public health practice activity following the first year of academic study in public health. The Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP) facilitates this process by providing the academic and administrative structure for this practice component of the MPH program. Students must register for 3 units of Public Health Practice Field Study (PH297 in fall) which includes an internship that is 12 weeks, full-time work experience during the summer between the 1st and 2nd year.

Based on the special needs of the student or the site, a part-time academic year placement can be arranged. To receive academic credit, students need to complete five assignments: Internship Agreement, Mid Point Update/Site Visit, Final Evaluations, Final Assignment (has 4 sections) and a meeting with a Career Services Manager at CPHP. To get more information, please visit the Center for Public Health Practice web-site at:

Infectious Disease students can fulfill the PH297 requirement by active participation in a research or field project within the School or by working in a public health agency at the local, state, national, or international level. The public health practice has no relationship to the MPH comprehensive paper, i.e. the comprehensive paper does not have to be a report of practice experience.

Students should start planning for their public health practice project at least by the beginning of the Spring term of the 1st year. Examples of a public health practice experience include research in the laboratory of a professor on campus, laboratory research at the NIH or CDC, assessment of TB programs for the City of New York, monitoring HIV in San Quentin, participation in the development of a childhood immunization program in San Diego, and performing molecular epidemiology field research in Brazil.

Students are encouraged to attend CPHP’s preparatory session and work closely with the Field Supervisor Assigned to the ID students.

Agencies where students were placed during the past three years include:

University Mayores de San Andres, La Paz, Bolivia
California Dept. of Public Health (CDPH), Richmond, Viral Diseases Research lab
• TB Control Branch
• HIV Prevention Training Center
Alcohol Research Group: Bar Study
UCSF GI Division
University of Zimbabwe
NIH Malaria Training Program, Mali
Infectious Disease Branch, Ministry of Health, Nicaragua
UCOP California Breast Cancer Research Program
SFDPH STD Prevention and Control Services
NIH, Bethesda
California Emerging Infections Program
UCSF: San Francisco General Hospital/Division of Internal Medicine
Les Cantres GHESKIO, Haiti
Thailand Ministry of Public Health
City of Berkeley Bioterrorism Preparedness
Alta Bates Medical Center, Berkeley
Contra Costa County, Alameda County and San Francisco, Departments of Public Health


Central campus