SPH Applied Practice Experience

Undergraduate Requirements

Effective through Summer 2022 required hours for internship credit has been reduced for all courses: PH 497 (124 hours); PH 650R (120 hours); PH 650/PH 750 (160 hours); PH 850 (160 hours).


  1. Majors who are only Junior or Senior standing (must be declared Major to apply)

  2. Public Health 300, 302, 307 and credit or concurrent registration in 304, 305 and 306.


  1. Students must receive approval of their internship PRIOR to starting and/or counting hours for PH 497 credit.

  2. All field sites must have a Service Learning Agreement (SLA) on file with SDSU prior to the student starting the internship. This agreement ensures that the student is covered for liability.
    • If an SLA is not on file, one will be initiated by the Field Practice Advisor. Keep in mind this can take 2-4 weeks, sometimes longer and therefore students should plan accordingly.

    A list of SLAs on file can be found on the Service Learning Agreements page.

  3. Students enrolled in PH 497 are required to complete 124 hours (approximately 9 hours/week if completed in a semester) of field experience at an approved site. This is estimated based on the average number of hours spent on any given 3-unit class that takes into account time for class time, studying and assignments

  4. Most hours will be completed in the field in a community environment which may include, but is not limited to, government agencies, community health clinics, nonprofit organizations, advocacy and policy programs, and private institutions. NOTE: research projects with SDSU faculty are more appropriate for PH 499 credit.

  5. Students in paid positions working in a public health or related role may be eligible to receive credit for hours if:
    1. employment is six months or less and duties and/or project align with the MPH Overview of Competencies.
    2. employment is more than six months and there is an agreement with supervisor to work on a public health project with duties different from regular duties

    Students must submit the Employer Verification of Internship Requirements to the Applied Practice Advisor for approval BEFORE submitting the Request for Applied Practice Approval.

  6. The internship primary duties and responsibilities must be aligned with the SDSU Bachelor of Science in Public Health Program Objectives.
    NOTE: While it is expected that most positions will include general office duties, the majority of the time (approx. 70%) should be spent assisting with designing, implementing or evaluating a public health project or program

  7. Students are required to submit the following assignments by the general due dates listed below (actual dates provided at the start of the semester):

    Prior to Starting Internship and/or Registering for Credit
    • Release of Liability
    • Internship Agreement
    Final’s week
    • Final Log of hours (incomplete grades will be given to those who do not complete the hours)
    • Final Student Evaluation
    • Final Supervisor Evaluation

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