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?



Health behavior’s MPH capstone (HBEH 746/992) is a year-long, community-led, group-based, mentored service-learning course that gives students an opportunity to apply their academic training to community-identified public health projects in partnership with local organizations. 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 (e.g., 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 staff with the time (2-4 hours/week), expertise and interest to mentor a team of 4-6 students
  • Have organizational capacity and resources to sustain support for a capstone project over the 2019-2020 academic year

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


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

  1. Read the UNC Capstone Overview and FAQ Document.
  2. Schedule a phone call or face-to-face meeting with Meg Landfried, MPH, capstone course instructor (; 919-966-0057), that will take place by January 28, 2019to 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 2019-2020.
  4. Obtain a letter of support from your organization’s leadership. The letter of support should explain how the Capstone project goal will enhance your organization’s mission; demonstrate commitment to the resources and support (including staff time) needed to carry out the project work; and outline a contingency plan if the preceptor is no longer able to carry out the roles and responsibilities of that position.
  5. Email the completed proposal form and the letter of support to Meg Landfried by February 4, 2019.



The practicum is a planned, mentored, and evaluated work experience that enables students to integrate and apply knowledge, skills, and values from their Gillings MPH training into a practical, professional public health environment in the public or private sector.

UNC Health Behavior Practicum FAQ


Health behavior students must complete a minimum of 240 practicum hours during the summer between their first and second years in the program. Practicums can be paid or unpaid opportunities and can occur in any country UNC has approved for student travel. The practicum must yield a least two products, produced by the student in the practicum setting for the practicum setting. 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 1, 2019. 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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