MPH Program

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Preparing for your Field Placement

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Credit Hours - 2, 3 or 4

The credit hours for the Field Placement are variable.  All students must complete a minimum of two credit hours (80 hours of fieldwork at or for the placement site).  Students may elect a three (120 hours) or four (160 hours) credit option instead.  In special circumstances, which must be approved by the MPH Program Director, students may elect a five (200 hours) or six (240 hours) credit option.  Typically, the Field Placement occurs during one semester, but it may be spread over two or three consecutive semesters if warranted.  Once project work has started, students must complete the Field Placement in one calendar year.

Prerequisites - Coursework & CITI Certification

Students must have completed, at a minimum, the core courses and, preferably, all other coursework aside from the Capstone Project. However, due to the uniqueness of the Field Placement and opportunities that may arise, exceptions may be made. Students must submit the Early Field Placement Request Form to the Program Director in these instances, and this form is available on the Field Placement Forms page.

Students engaging in a traditional Field Placement (not a Group Field Placement through the Wisconsin Center for Public Health Education and Training or another unique opportunity) should enroll in 18279 MPH Field Placement Preparation the semester before beginning project work. The Field Placement Preparation course will facilitate the students’ planning process and will incorporate all of the students’ responsibilities through the development of a proposal. A Field Placement Proposal that has been approved by the student’s Faculty Advisor and Site Preceptor is the final product of the Field Placement Preparation course.

Students are required to maintain CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) certification in the Protection of Human Research Subjects throughout the Field Placement. The course may be accessed at, and students must register for one of the following groups.

  • Group 1 – Biomedical Investigators, Co-Investigators, and Study Coordinators
  • Group 3 – Appropriate for all IRB, DSMB, DSMC, and GCRC members and everyone involved in Both Biomedical & Social/Behavioral Research
  • Group 4 – Social/Behavioral Research PI’s, Co-PI’s, Study Coordinators

A copy of the Human Research Curriculum Completion Report should be submitted to the Program Coordinator via email at or by fax to 414-955-6529.

  • Presentation:  IRB Review Processes for MPH Students (PDF)Provides general information about IRBs and the IRB consultant review of your field placement proposals. Describes how to determine whether your project will need to go through a formal IRB review process, and explains general IRB review processes at MCW and elsewhere.


Timeline of Responsibilities 2013 - 2014 2014 - 2015

Preliminary Planning

Field Placement arrangements are ultimately the responsibility of the student and subject to approval by the MPH Program Director. Upon matriculation into the MPH Program, students will develop a plan of study. Students should immediately begin to consider Field Placement sites and the semester in which they plan to enroll in this program. During the annual evaluation conducted by the Program Director, plans regarding the Field Placement will be reviewed.

A Student Interest Form, current resume or CV, and completed Competency Self Assessment should be submitted to the Program Coordinator during the Field Placement Preparation course, approximately four months prior to beginning the Field Placement. These documents are available on the Field Placement Forms page, and students should contact the Program Coordinator to further discuss the Field Placement.

Timeline of Responsibilities 2013 - 2014 2014 - 2015
© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 09/20/2013