Public Health

The MPH curriculum requires students to complete a minimum of 200 hours of practical fieldwork experience in a public health practice setting. The practicum is intended to be a mutually beneficial experience for both the student and the organization. Students may choose to complete the practicum in another country. This can be a very rewarding and life-changing experience but will require more planning and effort.

Public Health Study Abroad Programs

Academic Advice

Public Health


Program Suggestions

You are not limited to the program options listed below. 
Explore other non-GVSU options by using the search engines listed below.

Non-GVSU Programs

Program Types


Program, Host Institution, or University Name




University College London 



Program, Host Institution, or University Name


Multiple Destinations

WHO Internships

6 or more weeks

Multiple Destinations

CFHI Public Health Programs

1-12 weeks


IPHD Public Health Internship

6 or more weeks

South Africa

ELI Public Health Volunteer/Internship

2-12 weeks

Multiple Destinations

World Endeavors

2-12 weeks

Academic Advice


  • Practicum options must meet the standards identified by the Public Health Program.
  • Practicum options will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the program.

Keep in Mind

  • Once you have decided on your program be sure to meet with your academic advisor at least 6 months prior to departing for your program.
  • The process should begin during the first semester in the program, or no later than the second semester.

Explore Other Program Options

Not finding a program on this list that meets your needs? Explore other options.

IMPORTANT: You can also complete your General Education requirements abroad. 

Browse More Programs

Global Practicum Checklist

  • Choose a country or organization.
  •  Once the organization is secured, an area of focus should be discussed and determined.
  • Begin the IRB process as soon as possible.
  • Consider funding. The Presidential Research Grant is one you can apply for. There are deadlines for each semester.
  • Begin to meet compliance requirements, being careful of expiration dates and planned practicum. There may be additional requirements for your location. It is recommended to begin this process at least 6 months before departure.
  • Begin working with the Padnos International Center. The study abroad advisor is Meaghann Myers-Smith ([email protected]). Some things you will need to do:
    • Look up GVSU’s Travel Warning Policy.
    • Begin the independent study process. This includes an application on Via TRM. This must be completed at least six weeks before your practicum.
    • Complete  faculty supervisory form and schedule a meeting with Kirsten Bartels ([email protected]).
  • Enroll with the U.S. government’s Smart Traveler program. The Smart Traveler Enrollment program (STEP) is a free service to allow US citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.


Why do a practicum abroad?

By doing a clinical rotation abroad, students can demonstrate cross-cultural competencies to future employers, broaden their understanding of the world and their field, and develop the soft skills necessary to work in an increasingly diverse and global world.

How are credits handled?

Students participating in a practicum abroad will register for PH 689 – Public Health Practicum in a Global Setting. This is a 3 credit course.

When should I do my practicum?

Students can do their practicum at any time during the program but should begin the process should begin during the first semester in the program, or no later than the second semester.

Is there a GPA requirement?

Graduate students need a 3.00 GPA in order to study abroad.

Is there a language proficiency requirement?

Language proficiency varies based on the individual placement. Students placed in a country whose official language is not English may be required to speak that language up to a particular level (i.e Basic, Advanced, Intermediate). Placements listed above do not require proficiency in a language other than English, even in countries where English is not the official language. 

How long is a typical practicum?

Students must complete at least 200 hours to fulfill their practicum requirement. Students engaging in longer programs would need to work closely with their advisers.

What are the costs of a typical practicum abroad?

Costs vary based on program. You will work with Padnos International Center to develop a budget. You may use federal financial aid to help with rotation abroad costs. 


Department Contact

Karen Niemchick, Ph.D, MHS
327 Michigan Health Hill - 545 Michigan
[email protected]

Page last modified February 23, 2024