MPH Practicum: Information for Preceptors

In addition to the information on this page, it is important to review the Practicum Requirements and Roles, which are relevant to students, preceptors and faculty mentors.

This page provides further information and resources for preceptors.

For links to information specific to students or faculty mentors, return to the Gillings MPH Practicum main page.

Preceptor Role and Responsibilities

The preceptor is the student’s main point of contact at the practicum organization. They mentor the practicum student and supervise the practicum work. The preceptor:

  • Establishes, in collaboration with the student and the student’s faculty mentor, an appropriate and feasible scope of work, which gets documented in the student’s learning agreement, that is directly aligned with the practicum organization’s needs and provides a valuable learning experience for the student;
  • Orients the student to the health topic(s), people, policies, procedures and norms related to the practicum work;
  • Meets regularly with the student to provide guidance, support and timely, constructive feedback;
  • Communicates with the student’s practicum manager (and the student’s faculty mentor as needed) to provide feedback on the student’s performance;
  • Models professional, ethical behavior;
  • Completes an evaluation of the student and the practicum experience; and
  • Identifies a suitable replacement if unable to continue in the role of a preceptor.


Preceptor Checklist: The MPH Preceptor Checklist provides an overview of the steps that preceptors should take before, during and after a student’s practicum experience.

Preceptor Evaluation: After a student completes their practicum experience, please complete the UNC Gillings Practicum Preceptor Evaluation to provide feedback on the student’s performance and ongoing quality improvement efforts for the practicum program.

Submit an Opportunity

If you have a practicum opportunity to share with Gillings MPH students, please fill out the MPH Practicum Opportunity Submission form. Gillings practicum staff will review your submission, and, if it meets Gillings MPH practicum requirements, your opportunity will be emailed out to students and added to a practicum opportunities database that is available to Gillings students on a password-protected webpage.

There is no deadline for submitting a practicum opportunity given that across our MPH program delivery formats (residential, distance and online) we always have students looking for practica. That said, the majority of our students do their practica over the summer and have to secure a practicum by early April. For summer practica, we recommend submitting your practicum opportunity by mid-March at the latest. The earlier you submit an opportunity, the larger the applicant pool.