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Practicum & Capstone

Practice-Based Learning includes a variety of avenues with one common goal—to immerse you in hands-on public health practice experiences outside the classroom. This is where your academic preparation meets with public health practice to enhance your overall learning process. 

Practice-based learning opportunities (volunteer, practicum, capstone, independent study etc.) will be posted on ColoradoSPH Connect. In order to apply for these opportunities, you must create a ColoradoSPH Connect account​

Master of Public Health students are required to complete a Practicum and a Capstone experience as part of the Practice-Based Learning program. The Practicum allows students to experience 120+ hours of public health field work. The Capstone is an independent project that provides a deliverable back to the host agency. Following the completion of the Capstone, students will give an oral presentation present and present a poster at the Public Health Forum​ held each semester.

COVID-19 Practice-Based Learning Updates & Requirements

Summer 2020 Practice-Based Learning Requirements


 Practicum & Capstone Information

MPH Practicum

The Colorado School of Public Health is committed to providing students with practical experience in public health settings. The MPH practicum experience is intended to support student growth, both personally and professionally while connecting and contributing to community needs. The experience is intended to provide students an opportunity to develop professional skills by leading a project in a public health setting that contributes to an unmet need of the host site. 

Students must complete the following to be eligible for the MPH Practicum course:

  • 18+ credits
  • Foundations in Public Health
  • At least 3 core courses with a B- or better
  • For those traveling abroad for practicum:

Identify Practicum Opportunities:

  • Visit  
  • Faculty advisor and Course Instructors
  • Practice-Based Learning team
  • Student Referrals
  • Community/state/national internship resources

    Students must be registered for the PUBH 6606 MPH Practicum course prior to logging any of the required hours.

    To receive a code to register for PUBH 6606:

    • Identify a host site and community preceptor
    • With your preceptor, identify a master level project to complete in a minimum of 120 hours
    • Complete the Practicum Proposal documentation packet 
    • Submit complete proposals to​
    Traveling abroad for Practicum/Capstone?

    Deadline for 2020 Summer MPH Practicum: 
    • Domestic/US experiences - proposals due June 1, 2020

    Deadline for 2020 Fall MPH Practicum:

    • Domestic/US experiences - proposals due August 17, 2020
    Deadline for 2021 Spring MPH Practicum:
    • Domestic/US experiences - proposals due January 11, 2021
    • International experiences - proposals due November 1, 2020

    Campus Contacts:
    Practicum Resources for Students:

    ​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​

    Starting Fall 2017, the MPH Capstone at the Anschutz Campus will be presented in a two-semester sequence. Please click here to learn about the new format.

    Capstone Experience

    The Capstone experience includes a Capstone project or research paper, class work that builds presentation skills and requires reflection on competencies acquired throughout the MPH program, and oral and poster presentations at the Public Health Forum.

    Goal:  The goal of the Capstone experience for MPH students is to connect all aspects of the curriculum, including seminars, lectures, course work, independent studies, projects and direct experiences to establish an understanding, appreciation and working knowledge of public health practice and, specifically, how their chosen areas of concentration enhance public health practice in Colorado, the nation and the world.

    Rationale: Students may see courses or other structured learning opportunities conducted in the confines of a specific syllabus and a short dedicated time frame as independent sessions and may store away the skill sets acquired during these structured sessions only to use them again under limited circumstances.  However, it is the intent of the MPH program that each course and skill set be presented and practiced to complement and enhance others and, consequently, not stand alone.  Individual courses are necessary to establish basic knowledge and skills in small enough bites that they can be absorbed and practiced, often in isolation.  While the practicum provides an opportunity to observe the broad spectrum of public health knowledge and skills in practice, the Capstone project provides the opportunity for the student to link the theory, philosophy and knowledge from courses with real-life observations from the practicum to develop a program, policy or other concrete product relevant to public health in the student’s area of interest and future practice. 

    To learn more about the Capstone Experience, download the Capstone Experience Guidelines.


    Sample Capstone Abstracts

    Summer 2013 

    Spring 2013

    Fall 2013​​​

    Are you interested in being a mentor for ColoradoSPH MPH students? Please see information below on the process for being an MPH Practicum or Capstone Preceptor. For more information email​

    DrPH Practicum

    The practicum is a field experience (4 credit hours, ≥ 240 contact hours) that integrates DrPH academic preparation with public health practice. Students are responsible for completion of at least one project during the practicum that is meaningful for the organization and demonstrates advanced public health practice. Advanced knowledge and skills, based on the DrPH competencies and learned in the DrPH courses, are applied at a community agency setting under the direction and guidance of an experienced community preceptor.

    Students must have completed at least one year of course work (preferably two years) prior to registering for the DrPH practicum. Students are encouraged to complete the leadership and management courses before undertaking practicum.

    Deadlines for 2020 Spring DrPH Practicum

    • Domestic/US practicum experiences – January 6, 2020

    • International experiences - November 1, 2020

    Deadlines for 2020 Summer DrPH Practicum

    • Domestic/US practicum experiences – June 1, 2020

    Campus Contacts

    • Office of Admissions & Student Affairs (​) and Academic Advisor


    Practicum Resources for Students

    • DrPH Practicum Proposal and Learning Plan FINAL 10.18.18.docxDrPH Practicum Proposal and Learning Plan (updated 10.18.18)

    • Competencies

    Office of Global Education Requirements ​​​

    Colorado School of Public Health

    13001 E. 17th Place​
    Mail Stop B119
    Aurora, CO 80045


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