Practice Experience

At GW, public health students gain practical skills and knowledge through a variety of practice experiences. GW’s extensive network of public health settings enables students to partner with the very top Washington, D.C., national or international health organizations and learn to apply academic knowledge and theory in real-world professional practice settings. Depending on the program and department, students participate in a combination of internships, a supervised Practicum project, residency, and/or culminating experience. In every program, students gain confidence and real-world experience through their practice experiences. 

View Epidemiology and Biostatistics Past Practicum locations

MPH Epidemiology and Biostatistics students complete a Practicum and a Culminating Experience as their practice experiences, described below. MS Public Health Micriobiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases (MS PHMEID) students complete a Field/Lab experience and Final Project instead of a Practicum and Culminating Experience, and should refer to the MS PHMEID practice experience page, rather than follow the guidelines below.

Practicum

In the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the Practicum is a credit/no credit course where students engage in a Practice Activity - defined as a planned, supervised, and evaluated experience in a public health organization. The Practice Activity can be related to either primary research or public health practice and include activities such as conducting literature reviews, proposal writing, data collection and analysis. The Practice Activity enables the student to apply new skills in the context of public health, and must not be directly related to the student's day-to-day work. If the student does conduct the Practice Activity at his/her place of employment, this must be a separate activity for which the student is not remunerated.

Epidemiology and Biostatistics Skills Building Seminar

Once students identify a Practicum, they register for the Epidemiology-Biostatistics Skills Building Seminar (PubH 6261.10) - designed to help prepare them for their Culminating Experience and professional life. The seminar, covering procedures useful to epidemiologists and biostaticians, is a seven week course offered in the first half of the fall and second half of the spring semesters. It should be taken as closely as possible to the start of the Practicum activities.

Culminating Experience

The Culminating Experience (CE) integrates the knowledge and skills students acquire through their academic work and the practice activity. It is a graded course in which students identify and define a specific public health issue and formulate questions to address that issue. Students work with data obtained through primary research or from an existing dataset. The process of proposal development, data analysis, interpretation and extrapolation of the results, culminates in a written report or manuscript, and an oral presentation.

Although it is not required, some students choose to link their Practicum and Culminating Experience so that the content of the selected Practicum is linked to the planning and interpretation aspects of the CE. Students may also choose to conduct a Practicum that is independent of their CE; in this case, a separate project needs to be identified for the CE.  Students can opt to do the Practicum and CE concurrently.  If, however, they choose to do the two courses sequentially, the Practicum must come first.

Epidemiology and Biostatistics Mandatory Practicum Orientation Session Information

All Epi-Bio MPH students planning to work on their Practicum are required to attend the mandatory Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Practicum Orientation Session.

This is a requirement that must be completed prior to starting the Practicum.

The orientation session is offered at the beginning of each semester. Specific dates and time for the orientation are announced on the Epi-Bio listserv. To subscribe to the Epi-Bio listserv, please send an email to listserv@hermes.gwu.edu with the subject link “Subscribe Epi-Bio”.

Resources

Please refer to the following resources and guidelines to complete the Practicum and Culminating Experience:

Practicum/CE Forms

Please visit the Milken Institute School of Public Health' practicum web pages for more information and to access the Practicum forms listed below. Click on the highlighted CE form to view or download it.

Student Practicum/CE Forms

The following forms must be completed by students to participate in the Practicum:

The following forms must be completed by students at the midpoint and the end of the Practicum and Culminating Experience:

Site Preceptor Practicum/CE Forms

The following forms must be completed by Site Preceptors to participate in the Practicum:

The following forms must be completed or signed by Site Preceptors during the Practicum and Culminating Experience:

Student Awards and Opportunities

Links to Other Practicum Resources

Information for Students Traveling Abroad

Students who are considering traveling abroad should contact their Practicum Director regarding forms that need to be completed.

Advanced planning and preparation are necessary for international placement.

Practicum and Culminating Experience Faculty and Staff

For general questions or questions regarding this website, please contact the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Practicum Manager:

Toni Thibeaux, MPH
Practicum Manager and Co-Director
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
950 New Hampshire Ave NW 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20052
Office Telephone: 202-994-7154

To arrange a meeting with the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Practicum and Culminating Experience Co-Directors, please contact:

Toni Thibeaux, MPH
Practicum Manager and Co-Director
950 New Hampshire Avenue
504 - 5th Floor
Washington, DC
Tel: (202) 994-7154
Fax: (202) 994-0082
Email: tonithibeaux@gwu.edu
Office Hrs: by appointment

Ann Goldman, MPH
Practicum Co-Director
950 New Hampshire Avenue
520C - Floor 5
Washington, DC 20052
Tel.: (202) 994-4581
Fax (202) 994-0082
Email: annieg@gwu.edu
Office Hrs: Wed. 2-4 p.m.; by appt

Toni Thibeaux advises students with last names A - L.
Professor Goldman advises students with last names M-Z.