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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. Additional courses are not to be taken during the field experience semester.

The field experience serves as the culmination of your studies; therefore, ALL COURSE WORK MUST BE COMPLETED BEFORE BEGINNING YOUR FIELD EXPERIENCE. Additional courses are not to be taken during the field experience semester.

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.  

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.

Here is a link to the handbook: 

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