Public Health Practice

public health practice


Public Health Practice is a concentration often preferred by professionals, such as physicians, nurses, social workers, and nutritionists, who work in public health settings. This concentration builds upon the strong foundation of the five basic MPH concentrations by allowing students the opportunity to develop greater breadth in two, three, or four of the existing concentrations. Such breadth is usually required of professionals who assume positions of leadership in public health. The campus program is available to students in joint degree programs on the campus, working professionals who return to campus to study, and medical and other health professional residents in Gainesville and Jacksonville. The online program is available to individuals who have experience in the field, or a prior degree in a health-related field.

The curriculum for the Public Health Practice MPH follows the same model as the other five concentrations. Students begin their programs with the MPH core courses required of all students. Instead of a specified set of concentration core courses, however, these students choose 2 to 3 courses from concentration core course options in 2-4 of the other concentrations. Selections include courses with problem-based methodologies to enhance students’ practice skill sets. Students complete their degrees with a 5-8 credit internship. The concentration is offered in the traditional 48-credit format or in an accelerated 42-credit format.

If you are interested in the Public Health Practice concentration, please contact Katherine Pizarro at


All students in this concentration must hold a prior health professional degree or be enrolled in a joint or concurrent graduate program. To be eligible for the accelerated option, applicants must hold a terminal degree in a health or health-related field. Eligibility for the Public Health Practice MPH is summarized below.

48 credit traditional MPH program
42 credit accelerated program
Prior professional degree (e.g., BSN, MS nutrition, MS social work) Prior terminal degree (e.g., PharmD, DVM, MD, PhD)
Joint or concurrent professional/MPH program (e.g. JD/MPH, PharmD/MPH)

Public Health Practice Curricula

A variety of curricular options may be developed. Students admitted to the Public Health Practice Concentration develop their curricula in collaboration with the Associate Director of MPH Program or the director of their joint program and the chairs of their supervisory committees by first identifying the competencies they wish to obtain and then selecting courses to achieve those competencies.

Click below to view full criteria for the 48-credit and accelerated 42-credit MPH programs.

Public Health Practice Competencies

Click here to review the competencies expected of graduates of the Public Health Practice concentration and the courses that contribute to them.

Public Health Practice Core Courses

Instead of a specified set of concentration core courses, students choose 2 to 3 courses from concentration core course options in 2-4 of the other concentrations. Selections should include at least one course in research methods along with other courses with problem-based methodologies to enhance students’ practice skill sets as well as their skills in research and writing.


All MPH students are required to complete an internship with a public health or related agency. While every internship involves different goals and activities, all of them provide numerous opportunities for students to enrich and expand on one or more of the MPH core competencies and one or more of their concentration-specific competencies. The internship is usually completed in the student’s final semester in the program, although it may be started in the penultimate semester with permission of the faculty advisor.

  • PLEASE NOTE: Students starting the program in or after Fall 2019 will have different requirements due to CEPH accreditation changes. In place of the Public Health Internship, students will complete 3-6 credits of Applied Practice Experience. APE involves internship hours and community service hours.
    • For online students: 48-credit PHP students will complete 6 credits of Applied Practice Experience. 42-credit PHP students may choose to complete 3 credits of APE instead. While APE is intended to mostly serve as an internship for online students, there are some slight differences. Please view this document for more details.

Special Project

Within each internship experience, students must complete a special project that demonstrates their ability to define an issue, apply methods appropriate to their concentration, and produce results. The special project serves as the basis for a final written report and either an oral or poster presentation. These final activities of the MPH program are intended to encourage students to understand their projects in the larger context of public health as a cross-disciplinary field and in relation to the competencies expected of all MPH graduates. Student presentations are scheduled on one or two Public Health Days near the end of fall, spring and summer semesters. DVM/MPH students typically present in the summer or fall of their senior year.

Note: DVM/MPH seniors are expected to present their MPH special projects at the CVM Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Day, typically held in March. The oral presentations given previously at Public Health Day may be presented, or students may prepare a poster. The MPH special project satisfies the research requirement for DVM/MPH students that hope to graduate with honors from the CVM; however, like other DVM students, DVM/MPH students must attain the necessary DVM GPA to qualify. The internship and the written and oral/poster presentations