A practicum at a public health institution provides hands-on experience, allowing students an opportunity to apply and learn new public health strategies outside the classroom. The practicum requires between 120-240 hours (3-6 credits) of practical fieldwork. Practicums afford the opportunity to develop and apply certain competencies that tend to be better developed outside of the classroom such as: development of leadership ability and group process skills, political awareness and communication skills, understanding of public and private financing mechanisms, and understanding organizational behavior.

Profile: Mariel Boyarsky

Mariel's practicum took place in Uganda with Makerere University, Health Alliance International and Atlas Coffee. She partnered with a Makerere University student to conduct a situation assessment of women’s reproductive health in Rwenzururu Kingdom, Uganda.

“My practicum experience was amazing.  I learned so much in the six weeks I spent in Uganda.  The opportunity to interview women in Uganda and hear their stories about giving birth, the difficulties and pain and trauma, was unbelievable. I also got a lot of really excellent technical experience in submitting to the IRB, writing semi-structured interview questions, interviewing , working with an interpreter, transcribing interviews, coding and analysis and writing  a final report.  One of the best things was getting to work with all the different partners involved.”


Students complete an original, independent scholarly analysis of a practice-based or research-based project. The objective of the thesis is to generate new knowledge of a public health problem with broad implications or to address a very specific public health problem in a distinct cultural setting. Students work closely with a committee of faculty members who provide advice on the design, implementation, and write up of the thesis. Students spend on average 6-9 months on their thesis.

application-pdf.png2016 & 2015 Theses.pdf

For a full listing of Global Health MPH theses follow these instructions.

  • Go to the UW Library Resources webpage.
  • From the first drop down menu select "in subject", then "is (exact)", then type in "theses global health" in the blank box.
  • Click the "search" button.

Profile: Aradhana Thapa

Aradhana returned to her home country of Nepal to complete her thesis project. She collaborated with the Nepal Health Research Council and various non-governmental, private, and public health clinics.      

Thesis title: Repeat Abortion and Use of Contraception Among Post-Abortion Women in Nepal - A Prospective Cohort Study.

"My thesis project was as challenging as it was fun to learn so many things at once; the process allowed me to grow immensely. I learned the use of statistical and epidemiological knowledge in conducting a study, managing real life situations around planning and executing data collection, report writing, and presenting my work. I was supported by a fabulous thesis committee and am grateful to my thesis chair, my friends and colleagues, and partner organizations. Most importantly, I am grateful to the bold women who let us in to their lives to try and understand their life experiences; working with them was one of the most amazing aspects of my thesis project."