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College of Public Health

Your field experience is a time to put the knowledge you've gained in your coursework into practice. More information is found in each section below.

You are about to experience a "real world" practice setting. This is a unique and superb opportunity for you, but you will only realize the full potential by putting forth your utmost initiative and effort.

Dive in, be inquisitive and make the most of this experience. Seek every opportunity to demonstrate your competence and test your skills for your future endeavors.

Checklist for completing your field internship application:

    1. Once you are academically qualified and are in your last semester of classes where you will have completed all of your public health coursework, begin the field internship process by completing the electronic application below. After your advisor has approved your application, it will be forwarded to the Field Internship Coordinator for processing and contracting with non-affiliated organizations, and must be received no later than the due date.
    2. Now, it is your responsibility to locate and secure an appropriate field experience opportunity. This is much like securing a job, and is often accompanied by an interview with the organization (but does not have to be). Be sure to check the Field Affiliate Organization Listing below to see if your desired organization is already affiliated. If not, the Field Internship Coordinator will begin the contracting process after your application is received.
    3. Make sure a valid ETSU Internship Affiliation Agreement has been fully executed by the Field Internship Coordinator with your intended field experience organization. Remember, you cannot begin your field experience until this agreement is finalized.
    4. By the due date for your field semester (November 1 for spring and March 1 for summer and fall) you must have confirmed your field site and confirmed it with the Field Placement Coordinator. To do this:
        • Email the coordinator at by the due date confirming:
            1. The organization and department;
            2. The preceptor;
            3. Your preceptor's email address.

Remember, if there is not an affiliation agreement in place by the due date, you will not be able to complete your field internship at this location.


Deadline for Submitting Your Approved Application:  

      • Second Friday in February for SUMMER and FALL semesters.
      • Second Friday in September for SPRING semesters.

Deadline for Confirmed Field Site:

      • April 1 for the following SUMMER and FALL semesters.
      • November 1 for the following SPRING semester.

The purpose of the graduate Public Health Field Experience is to provide an opportunity for you to "road test" in a practice setting, the competencies, knowledge and skills you have acquired through your public health courses. 

This integrative and practice-based learning experience is designed to better prepare you to competently enter the workforce or to pursue further education. Dive in, be inquisitive and make the most of this experience. Seek every opportunity to demonstrate your competence and test your skills for your future endeavors.

Checklist for completing your field internship application:

    1. Begin the field internship process by completing the electronic application below. After your Department Professional Advisor (DPA) and MPH Academic Advisor (MAA) have approved your application, it will be forwarded to the Field Internship Coordinator for processing and contracting with non-affiliated organizations, and must be received no later than the due date.
    2. Now, it is your responsibility to locate and secure an appropriate field experience opportunity. This is much like securing a job, and is often accompanied by an interview with the organization. Be sure to check the Field Affiliate Organization Listing below to see if your desired organization is already affiliated. If not, the Field Internship Coordinator will begin the contracting process after your application is received.
    3. Make sure a valid ETSU Internship Affiliation Agreement has been fully executed by the Field Internship Coordinator with your intended field experience organization. Remember, you cannot begin your field experience until this agreement is finalized.
    4. By the due date for your field semester (November 1 for spring and March 1 for summer and fall) you must have confirmed your field site and confirmed it with the Field Placement Coordinator. To do this:
        • Email the coordinator at by the due date confirming:
            1. The organization and department;
            2. The preceptor;
            3. Your preceptor's email address.

Remember, if there is not an affiliation agreement in place by the due date, you will not be able to complete your field internship at this location.


Deadline for Submitting Your Approved Application:  

      • Second Friday in February for SUMMER and FALL semesters.
      • Second Friday in September for SPRING semesters.

Deadline for Confirmed Field Site:

      • April 1 for the following SUMMER and FALL semesters.
      • November 1 for the following SPRING semester.

The purpose of the DrPH Applied Practice Experience (APE) is to engage in advanced public health practice with an affiliate organization external to the student’s school or program. Students are challenged to collaborate with public health and/or health services practitioners in a meaningful way so as to develop ample leadership skills and significantly contribute to the field.

Doctoral students are permitted to begin their APE after completing 12 credit hours in the DrPH program. Each student should consult with their DrPH Advisory Committee and the DrPH Coordinator when determining an appropriate APE affiliate site.

Before selecting a site, students should email to be sure that the site has an up-to-date Internship Affiliation Agreement in place with the College of Public Health. When suitable, the DrPH APE can span multiple semesters and multiple affiliate sites.

The College of Public Health at East Tennessee State University is committed to providing our students with the skills and experiences that they need to excel in the workplace.  A critical part of that training is best provided by respected regional, national and international public health and health service organizations and professionals. 

We are proud that you and your organization have chosen to work with us to provide our students with the type of real world education that can only be acquired in the workplace.  We are confident that, with your guidance, our students will receive an invaluable introduction to the practice setting, and, at the same time that our students will provide you with a valued extra set of hands to complement your work.  

You will find additional information and resources in the toolbox below designed to help you plan, administer and evaluate the public health field internship experience.

Our students consistently report that their field internship experience has been one of the most rewarding experiences of their academic career.   Our preceptors have been highly satisfied, giving our students a composite score of 4.7 out of 5.0 for a range of cross-cutting skills over the past five years.  

Guidelines for Preparing for your International Field Experience

The Public Health International Field Experience program is available to College of Public Health undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students who have met all the academic requirements to enroll in one of the Public Health Field Experience/Practicum course, have met cumulative GPA or 3.5 (graduate) or 3.0 (undergraduate), have completed the proper applications, and have at least one other student traveling to the same destination.

Eligibility Criteria
The Public Health International Field Experience program is available to College of Public Health undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students have:
  1. Met all the academic requirements to enroll in one of the Public Health Field Experience / Practicum courses.
  2. Have minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 (graduate) or 3.0 (undergraduate).
  3. Completed scholarship application must be received by the Office of Public Health
  4. Practice no later than ninety days prior to the anticipated start of the international field experience.
  5. Completed and submitted the ETSU International Education Scholarship application to the Honor’s College.
Find an International Field Experience
Step 1: Evaluate locations where you would like to do an international public health field experience.  Evaluate the associated expenses and be prepared to cover those expenses

Step 2: Using the Internet and other resources, conduct a search for organizations offering public health related international field experience opportunities in those locations.

Step 3: Contact appropriate organizations and complete their required field experience application process.

Step 4: Once selected, request written confirmation of the acceptance of an international field experience position including contact information of that

Step 5: Meet with Mikki Johnson-Maczka [Room 305 Lamb Hall - Department of Community and Behavioral Health] for further guidance. 
International Field Experience Preparation Checklist
  • Check the ETSU College of Public Health website for information regarding international field placement and related forms.
  • Check the U.S. Department of State Current Travel Warnings for your intended destination (If your destination is on the list, it will not be approved.) http://www.state.gov/travel/
  • Apply for a passport if you don’t already have one. If you have a passport, check the expiration date and make sure your name hasn’t changed (example- marriage) and that it will still be valid when you return.
  • Determine if you have to have a visa to enter your country of destination. If so, apply for it through the embassy of your country of destination.
  • Check the CDC’s list of recommended vaccinations for your destination and get them. If you have had vaccinations previously, make sure they are current. You must also have an international travel medical examination. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/
  • Apply for the available international studies scholarships through both the College of Public Health and the Honors College. http://www.etsu.edu/HONORS/ http://www.etsu.edu/cph/current/careers/default.aspx
  • Get travel insurance that includes emergency medical evacuation. See the Honor’s College for suggested companies.
  • Read up on the culture, history, and current health overview of your destination country. Be aware of cultural mores.
  • Find an international packing list and start making sure you have all you need to pack. Be alert to anticipated environmental conditions (weather, altitude, etc.)
  • Check the TSA and FAA regulations for international flights and make sure you have luggage etc. that complies. http://www.tsa.gov/ http://www.faa.gov/  
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