Dean Rimer (center) recognized award-winning community partners and health behavior students at Practicum Day in 2016.

Health behavior is committed to academic-community partnerships that simultaneously enhance learning, build capacity and improve public health. Health behavior students contribute over 23,000 hours of work to partner agencies every year.

Could your organization benefit from the knowledge, skills and energy health behavior students bring to their work?



The MPH Capstone course (HBEH 746/992) is a year-long, group-based, mentored service-learning course. Over an academic year (August-April), each team of four to six capstone students works with a partner organization and its stakeholders to produce a set of deliverables or products (eg. reports, plans, evaluations, curricula or databases) that serve one overarching goal and enhance the partner organization’s mission. Our partners define the scope of the capstone project work, thereby prioritizing their specific needs and giving students an opportunity to do applied public health work on a range of topics in a variety of settings with diverse populations.

Capstone overview and FAQ


In order to be eligible to host a capstone team, organizations must:

  • Be doing work that addresses a public health issue
  • Have the time (2-4 hours/week), expertise and interest to mentor a team of 4-6 students

We prioritize organizations whose work occurs within a one-hour drive of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and allows for meaningful engagement with intended beneficiaries.

Apply for a capstone team

To apply for a capstone team, follow the steps below:

  1. Read the UNC Capstone Overview and FAQ document.
  2. Have a phone call or meeting with Meg Landfried, MPH,  capstone course instructor (; 919-966-0057), by January 29, 2018, to discuss your ideas for a capstone project.
  3. Fill out a Capstone Project Proposal Form and save it as a Microsoft Word document using the following naming convention: Organization Name_HB Capstone Proposal 2018-2019.
  4. Obtain a letter of support from your organization’s leadership.
  5. Email the completed proposal form and the letter of support to Meg Landfried by February 5, 2018.



The health behavior practicum is an individualized, mentored, on-site work experience that bridges academic training and applied public health practice. Health behavior students must complete a minimum of 240 hours of practicum work over the summer between the first and second years in the master’s program.

UNC Health Behavior Practicum FAQ


To serve as an approved Gillings School practicum site, an agency or organization must work with public health data, do planning, and/or provide some type of public health service or policy work. Governmental, non-governmental, non-profit, industrial, for-profit settings and university-affiliated settings are all appropriate. University-affiliated settings must focus on community engagement, typically with external partners. Preceptors must have a Master of Public Health (MPH) or equivalent degree/experience. Exceptions are possible when the proposed preceptor has at least three years of work experience in the content or skill area of the practicum.

Advertise a practicum

Send a description of the practicum opportunity to Meg Landfried by  April 2, 2018. Include the following information when describing a practicum opportunity:

  •  Practicum Agency Contact Information: Address, website, and phone number for your organization
  • Practicum Description: An overview of the purpose, major activities, and desired impact of the practicum
  • Products: The tangible items that will result from the student’s work that will be used to demonstrate and allow assessment of competency attainment.
  • Skills Required: Skills that students must already have before completing the practicum (e.g., computer skills, language skills, experience with a specific task, knowledge of a particular health topic, etc.)
  • Timeline: When the student will be expected to complete the work
  • Funding: Amount of funding (hourly wage or stipend) available, if applicable
  • Application Instructions: Steps that should be taken to learn more about, or apply to, the opportunity.
  • UNC Health Behavior Practicum FAQ (Annex B includes a sample practicum opportunity description.)

Questions? Contact Meg Landfried.

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