For Preceptors

MPH Students who enrolled before 2018 need to complete a Field Experience. MPH Students who enrolled 2018 or later need to complete an Applied Practice Experience (APEx) instead of a Field Experience. For information about the APEx, see the APEx preceptor guidelines (PDF).

Help train the next generation of public health professionals as a preceptor, who are experts in their field and guide students through their field experience as a supervisor. Preceptors should have an MPH or equivalent degree.

Field experience can be paid or unpaid. The field experience hours range a minimum of 90 to 180 hours total. While field experiences are typically completed over the summer months, students complete them in fall and spring semesters as well.

Contact the Career & Professional Development Center with questions at or at 612-626-3500.

How to Establish a Field Experience with SPH

  1. Identify a project or area of need within your organization. Projects where you could use assistance, program or policy development, data gathering and analysis, or health promotion could be ideal learning opportunities for our students and help your agency with important work.
  2. Create a position description for the field experience. Identify the preceptor (supervisor), nature of the project, duration and schedule, location, and whether or not it is a paid experience. Indicate how students need to apply for the position.
  3. To post a field experience opportunity, please to go our job board. Or attach the position description as a Microsoft Word document to an email and submit to
  4. Interview applicants and select an SPH student to temporarily join your team. The student will be responsible for completing and signing the online learning agreement, which will automatically be forwarded to you, the preceptor, and the program coordinator for approval and signatures.

Preceptor Responsibilities:

  • Oversee and direct the student’s on-site experience
  • Approve the student’s learning objectives, review, and sign the online contract prior to the start of the field experience
  • Provide students with learning experiences reflective of learning objectives
  • Contact the faculty adviser if necessary
  • Complete a final evaluation of the student’s field experience performance

General Objectives for a Field Experience

  • A work experience that allows for the integration of theory and practice in an agency setting
  • Provide opportunities for personal involvement in developing, planning, executing, and evaluative activities with and for professional and nonprofessional groups and individuals
  • Gives students exposure to the political, economic, social, and organizational context within which public health activities are conducted.

“Our student was able to provide us with information about the latest nutrition education from her perspective. Her relationships with staff and clients enhanced a positive working environment.”
–Bloomington Public Health Preceptor

“Our student was intelligent, amiable, organized, and able to work independently. She constructed grants that took very little editing on my part, which had a huge impact on my time constraints.”
–Preceptor, Phillips Eye Institute-Allina Health

“Our student permanently changed the direction of our organization for the better. She created events, incentives, and promotion to motivate participants and helped us secure major accounts that promote membership sales and grow our mission as a nonprofit active-living organization.” 
–Preceptor, Nice Ride Minnesota

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