Culminating Experience


Every MPH student must complete a practicum experience as a requirement for degree completion. The MPH Practicum is a planned, supervised, and evaluated practical professional experience requiring 240 hours (120 hours of which must be in-person) of participation during which the student addresses basic public health concepts and competencies.

The purpose of the Practicum is to provide opportunities for the student to execute as many of the MPH Foundational Competencies as is feasible. The MPH Foundational Competencies have been defined by the Council on Education for Public Health in an effort to standardize the foundational skills and competencies expected from public health professionals.

The experience can be done either domestically or internationally. The planning of the Practicum, its implementation, and evaluation are guided by a review of the public health competencies, which MPH students should possess upon graduation. The Practicum is composed of two elements: 1) HM 891: Introduction to the Public Health Practicum, or Pre-Practicum and 2) HM 892: The Public Health Practicum.

A student’s previous/usual professional activities do not suffice to fulfill the Practicum requirement. If the Practicum is completed at a student’s current place of employment, the project must not be part of their normal job responsibilities. The Practicum must be done during the MPH studies; previous experience cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.

Please Note: students admitted to the MPH program spring semester of 2019 or after will not take HM 891.  Updated information will be shared once finalized.

Capstone Paper

The Public Health Capstone paper is the final requirement for completion of the MPH degree and serves as the final examination replacing a thesis or oral examination. The Capstone Paper must demonstrate a synthesis of the MPH Foundational Competencies and provide evidence of the student’s ability to integrate the knowledge acquired during their course of study into a high-quality, culminating written product that aligns with the student’s educational and professional objectives. Students must complete the HM 893 Override Request form and submit to their advisor to enroll in the course.

For complete information about the Culminating Experience, please familiarize yourself with the Culminating Experience Handbook .

Master of Public Health Degree

 small degreeThank you for your interest in the online Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Michigan State University. All of the courses offered within this degree are all delivered in an online learning environment. There are no on-campus courses offered as part of the MPH degree.


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State Authorization: Distance Education Restrictions Based on Permanent Residence

Michigan State University is obligated to comply with existing state laws regarding distance education (programs/departments offering courses delivered exclusively online). State laws regarding distance education vary state-by-state, and even program-by-program within a state. The Master of Public Health offered through the College of Human Medicine’s Division of Public Health at Michigan State University requires a practicum experience that constitutes a physical presence in some states, therefore restricting enrollment in our program to residents of those states.

Prior to applying, please access the State-by-State Summary , for the most up-to-date approved and restricted states.  For more information, please visit MSU's State Authorization website .  Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Contact Us:

Online Master of
Public Health Degree Office

Capitol Theatre Building
130 East 2nd Street
Suite 202
Flint, MI 48502
(810) 600-5601
(810) 600-9171

CHM Student Resolution Advocate