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Public Health Fieldwork

Public Health Fieldwork placements are designed to be practical experiences that provide students with an opportunity to apply the concepts, techniques, and theories learned in the classroom to real life experiences working in the field.  Fieldwork is among the most crucial components of the Public Health curriculum and helps prepare the student for a career in Public Health.  Fieldwork placements are designed to be valuable and rewarding experiences for both the intern and the agency involved. The Department of Public Health works with over 175 community partners in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. Our fieldwork sites include community based organizations, governmental agencies, hospitals, other academic institutions, rehabilitation facilities, community health centers and corporate worksites. There are also fieldwork opportunities in international and global health. Descriptions of the undergraduate, Masters of Public Health, and international fieldwork experiences are below.

Undergraduate Fieldwork

Master of Public Health Fieldwork

International Fieldwork

 

Undergraduate Fieldwork

The Public Health internship program is designed to occur during a student’s last two semesters. During the first placement, the intern undertaking a fieldwork experience works for an agency for 200 hours (PH 3185).  For their last placement, the intern works for 400 hours (PH 4185).  All placements last for 14 weeks. The actual field placement site is determined according to both the intern’s interest and an agency’s willingness to accept responsibility for supervising a student. These experiences are intended to give the intern an opportunity to observe, learn, and participate in the various activities of health agencies.  In order to complete Internship I and II, students need to complete Professional Seminar (PH3104) and other pre-requisite coursework.
Possible duties and responsibilities of undergraduate Public Health interns include:

  • Present group/individual sessions on various health topics.
  • Plan, implement and/or evaluate health education programs.
  • Conduct research on various topics.
  • Identify community resources and develop appropriate resource files.
  • Produce appropriate educational materials with respect to literacy and cultural sensitivity.
  • Participate in regular staff meetings as well as agency/community long range planning sessions.


If you have questions, please contact Caite Wolak, Fieldwork Coordinator at caite.wolak@temple.edu.

International Fieldwork

Global fieldwork experiences are strongly encouraged. There are international opportunities for both undergraduate and MPH students both through Temple University and other academic programs. In the past, students have completed Public Health internships in Costa Rica, Ghana, Jamaica, India, and Dominican Republic. Students can find more information from the Office of Study Abroad and Overseas Campuses http://www.temple.edu/studyabroad/.
 
Students who are interested in international fieldwork experience must discuss with and receive approval from the Fieldwork Coordinator and the Global Health Coordinator a full semester before fieldwork is to begin. Students are also strongly encouraged to discuss plans to study abroad with the undergraduate advisor.
 

Masters of Public Health Fieldwork

Fieldwork is a requirement of the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the accrediting body of all U.S. schools and programs of public health, for completion of the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. The MPH culminating experience “requires a student to synthesize and integrate the knowledge acquired in coursework and other learning experiences and to apply theory and principles in a situation that approximates some aspect of professional practice”. Fieldwork I and II are taken consecutively during the last two semesters of the MPH program and are completed at the same fieldwork site.
 
There are two options for students to complete their MPH Fieldwork: an internship or a research project.

Internship

Internships are practice-based experiences that occur within a community based organization, government agency, hospital, other academic institution, rehabilitation facility, community health center or corporate worksites. The Department of Public Health maintains a large database of fieldwork opportunities which allows the student to individually select a site based on his/her interests, concentration in the MPH program and future career interests.  Students can take on various roles in a number of different programs. The student must complete at least 225 hours over the course of two semesters and their activities are defined by the goals and objectives negotiated between the student, supervisor and faculty instructor.
Examples of culminating experience projects include:

  • Developing an Electronically-Mediated Wight Control Intervention for Black Mothers: The Healthy4Baby Program
  • Nature to Nurture: A Nature Based Children’s Health Program 
  • Campus Health Initiatives: Promoting Health and Wellness Among University Students


Research Project

Research projects allow students to gain exposure and experience in conducting a research project with a qualified mentor. Students selecting the research option work with faculty at academic institutions, research centers, the health department and other various organizations. The student’s activities are defined by research questions and methods negotiated by the student, mentor and faculty advisor. Specific tasks within this experience include refinement of a research question and hypothesis, identification of a data source, conducting data analysis and reporting results in a peer-reviewed journal format.

Examples of research projects include:

  • Effects of Perceived Stress on Premature Labor and Birth
  • The Role of Masculinity in Health Preventive Behaviors
  • Are there Gender Differences in the Effects of Built Environment on Physical Activity Levels?


If you have questions, please contact Caite Wolak, Fieldwork Coordinator at caite.wolak@temple.edu.


International Fieldwork

Global fieldwork experiences are strongly encouraged. There are international opportunities for both undergraduate and MPH students both through Temple University and other academic programs. In the past, students have completed Public Health internships in Costa Rica, Ghana, Jamaica, India, and Dominican Republic. Students can find more information from the Office of Study Abroad and Overseas Campuses http://www.temple.edu/studyabroad/.
 
Students who are interested in international fieldwork experience must discuss with and receive approval from the Fieldwork Coordinator and the Global Health Coordinator a full semester before fieldwork is to begin. Students are also strongly encouraged to discuss plans to study abroad with the Associate Director of Graduate Studies during advising in the first semester of matriculation.