Experiential Learning and Professional Development
All Master in Public Health (MPH) students are required to complete a 200-hour internship experience worth three credits. Students will register for PUBH 6070 Public Health Practicum after completion of all six core courses and pre-practicum paperwork with an approved agency. The internship experience enhances students networking and job opportunities while also allowing them to grow their skills in a practical setting.
Students complete their internship experiences in a variety of locations such as local health departments, within healthcare settings, in environmental protection agencies, with non-profit and private organizations and globally.
The department provides support to students with finding the right placement for their career interests. This is done through a professional development seminar, internship fairs, networking sessions, alumni connections and established community partnerships.
Practicum Manual (PDF)
The MPH degree plans of study require a culminating project to be completed in the final semester of study. The student provides evidence of competency mastery by partnering with a public health related agency, identifying a community problem, proposing an evidence-based solution, and developing an evaluation plan. The final product is in the form of a grant proposal. Guidance for proposal development is achieved through completion of a grant-writing workshop and feedback from a faculty advisor.
Professional Development in Public Health Seminar
This is a 0-credit seminar that meets on a monthly basis each semester. The seminar is designed to meet the professional development needs of MPH students. Students are trained on networking techniques and provided career mentorship from community leaders, alumni and faculty. In addition, students review best practices for building a professional portfolio and managing the interview and negotiation phases of the career search. The seminar includes community and alumni panels as well as other events that aid in internship and job placements.
Career Support Resources
MPH Alumni: where are they now?
Purdue’s MPH alumni take on a variety of leadership positions at local, state and federal health agencies. Many more step into management roles within non-profit and private organizations and develop community outreach programs for healthcare systems, while others provide data analytics support to health insurance companies. A MPH is a highly versatile degree with transferable skills applicable in a host of non-profit, private, university, healthcare and government settings.
Here are a variety of titles and job locations of some of our MPH alumni over the past few years:
- Director of Outreach and Engagement – Mental Health America
- Director of Clinical Operations – GoodRx
- Data and Accreditation Specialist – Purdue University
- Population Health Strategist – Vital Incite
- Sanitation and Safety Specialist – Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences
- Tobacco Program Coordinator – Healthy Communities of LaPorte
- Public Health Administrator – OB Navigator
- Food Microbiologist – United States Army Public Health Command
- Prevention Specialist – Compass Health Network
- Epidemic Intelligence Service – Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Quality and Risk Coordinator – Encompass Health
- Data Coordinator – Indiana Rural Health Association
- Director of Community Education – Franciscan Health
- Epidemiologist – US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Infectious Disease Epidemiologist – Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH)
- Community Partner Specialist – Texas A&M
- Intercultural Research Specialist – CILMAR at Purdue
- Public Health Educator – Sevier County Health Department
- Naloxone Program Manager – Indiana Department of Public Health
- Partner Support Epidemiologist – Marion County Health Department
In addition to job preparation, the MPH program is designed to prepare students for additional graduate level training. Many of our students have attended medical school, dental school, genetic counseling training, nursing programs and others. The MPH program at Purdue also provides the opportunity to gain research experience under the mentorship of our prominent public health faculty. Skills developed in the research lab has prepared students to engage in further academic training through doctoral programs.
We believe that no two MPH students are alike. Our training is well-rounded and rigorous to ensure each student finds success in their chosen path.