Field Training FAQ's

When should I do my field training?

Field training should be scheduled after you have completed the majority of your required coursework—this is typically after your second semester. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for and coordinate your field training—at least two months prior to your anticipated start date is ideal.

Field training can be completed in the fall, winter, spring or summer semesters.

Who are my key field training contacts?

Faculty Advisor

You will be assigned a faculty advisor to supervise your field training experience.

Assistant Director, MPH Training

Robert Furlani, Assistant Director, MPH Training, will work with you and your faculty advisor to help you select a field training site and provide you guidance regarding your field training experience. You can contact Mr. Furlani at furlani3@buffalo.edu.

Field Training Site Supervisor

The field training site supervisor provides onsite supervision and support throughout your field training experience.

How many on site and credit hours are required for field training?

Students are required to register for one 3-credit field training experience of 120 work hours. Some students choose to do another field training experience at the same or at a different site, which can range from 1 – 6 credits (40 work hours per credit), depending on the activities.

How do I register for field training?

You should register for field training prior to the start of your field training experience. Register for course number 544 associated with the appropriate department (CHB, EEH or STA) followed by your advisor's initials. You need to register for the semester in which you will complete the training. For example, if you plan to conduct field training in the summer, then you must register for the summer semester session. You cannot register for field training credit in one semester and complete it in another semester.

Are there any special requirements for international students on F-1 visas?

An international student on an F-1 visa must obtain authorization through International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) to complete the field training component of the MPH Program. Ask your faculty advisor to submit a recommendation letter to ISSS to apply for this authorization immediately after your field training site has been finalized. View sample academic advisor recommendation letter.

What if I am a multi-award (combined degree) program student?

Students in the MPH/MSW, MPH/MBA and MPH/JD share field training across both programs. Students who perform field training in the other program area must discuss the proposed experience with their MPH faculty advisor prior to initiating the field training experience. You must also complete MPH Field Training Forms 1 through 3 in order to fulfill the field training requirement for MPH degree completion.

Multi-award students are required to complete the field training PowerPoint slide set.

Questions regarding the field training requirement for multi-award students should be directed to your faculty advisor.

Students in all other multi-award (combined degree) programs are expected to complete MPH field training.

How do I choose a field training site?

Review the list of UB-affiliated organizations and then schedule a meeting with your faculty advisor and Robert Furlani, Assistant Director, MPH Training. They can provide information regarding the sites and make a recommendation based on your interests, background and experience.

Once you and your faculty advisor have agreed on a field training site, contact Mr. Robert Furlani at furlani3@buffalo.edu. Mr. Furlani will contact the site to seek approval. As part of your field training experience, Mr. Furlani will facilitate an interview with you and representatives of the organization. The purpose of the interview will be for you to gain a better understanding of activities you will perform, identify a site supervisor and establish your field training schedule.

Can I complete field training at a non UB-affiliated site?

It is possible to complete your field training at a location that is not affiliated with UB; however, only after consultation with and approval from your faculty advisor. All field training guidelines, procedures and paperwork still apply to a non-affiliated site. You would also need to remain in close contact with your faculty advisor throughout the experience.

Can I complete my field training through the Office of Global Health Initiatives?

You may complete your field training experience through the Office of Global Health Initiatives. The mission of the Office of Global Health Initiatives is to identify, engage in and advance innovative and sustainable solutions to significant global health problems.

Can I complete field training at my current place of employment?

You may complete your field training at your current place of employment, although the experience must extend beyond your regular work duties and provide an opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge gained in the academic portion of the MPH program.

What if I complete field training over two semesters?

A student who completes field training over two semesters, even if it’s with the same organization, must complete and submit all required forms each semester (Forms 1 through 3 and a field training PowerPoint slide set).

How am I graded for my field training experience?

Based on meetings with you, your site mentor, and field training documentation, including evaluations, your faculty advisor will assign a grade of satisfactory (S), or unsatisfactory (U).

What if I can’t complete field training?

If you register for field training credit and are unable to begin or complete the training, your faculty advisor may assign an interim incomplete grade (I/U). Your faculty advisor will provide you with guidance on how to complete field training in a subsequent semester or time period.

Can I obtain a waiver for field training if I have public health experience?

Field training plays a significant role in a student’s development; therefore, waiving field training is discouraged. However, if you are a public health professional with relevant prior experience, you can request a waiver by completing the MPH Field Training Waiver Form which is located in the MyInternshipJournal system. Your faculty advisor will review the application to determine your eligibility for a waiver.

To be eligible for a waiver, your prior experience must have been:

  • A public health experience. This may include assessing, monitoring or conducting surveillance of health problems or services in a population; establishing health objectives and priorities for populations/groups; conducting research on population-based health problems; developing policies and intervention strategies to meet public health needs; participating in disease prevention and health promotion programs; or studying the natural history of disease or health-related effects in a population. Individual patient care in a hospital, clinic or physician office setting is not sufficient to be considered public health experience.
  • Relevant to your MPH concentration.
  • The experience must have addressed appropriate field training competencies for your concentration.
  • A cohesive, focused experience of appropriate quality as determined by your MPH concentration director.
  • Of sufficient duration—at least 120 hours in a single cohesive experience for a three-credit waiver, and 240 hours in one or two cohesive experiences for a six-credit waiver.
 
In addition to submitting a field training waiver form, students are required to submit a PowerPoint Slide set. The PowerPoint slide set should include slides that address your agency, public health competencies you addressed during your experience, and interprofessional teamwork experiences. You will submit this slide set to your faculty advisor through the MyInternshipJournal system.
 
Students can access examples of previously completed slide sets in the MPH Student Resources Portal.

What documentation is required for field training?

There are three electronic field training forms and a field training PowerPoint slide set that you are required to complete. The electronic forms are located in the MyInternshipJournal system. A field training PowerPoint slide set is submitted through the MyInternshipJournal system after completion of the field training experience.

  • Form 1 - MPH Field Training Description – Completed by student and then forwarded to their site supervisor for review prior to the start of the internship. Once signed by the supervisor, the form is routed to the faculty advisor for review/signature.
  • Form 2 - Evaluation of Student's Performance – Forwarded by student to their site supervisor at the conclusion of the internship. Once completed by the supervisor, the form is routed to the student and then to the faculty advisor for signatures.  
  • Form 3 - Student's Evaluation of their Field Training Experience - Completed by student at the conclusion of the internship. Once completed by the student, the form is routed to the faculty advisor for signature.

 

What should be included in my field training PowerPoint slide set?

You will create a PowerPoint slide set which includes slides that address your agency, public health competencies you addressed during your experience, and interprofessional teamwork experiences. You will submit the slide set to your faculty advisor through the MyInternshipJournal system after completion of your field training experience. You should also provide a copy of the field training slide set to your site supervisor.

Each student's faculty advisor reviews the completed slide set and assigns the grade.

Students can access the slides and learn more about the field training report in the MPH Student Resources Portal.

Why is it important to keep a journal for my field training experience?

It is strongly recommended that you maintain a daily journal to record and describe activities and events encountered during your field training experience that are relevant to field training competencies. The journal will be a valuable asset in writing your field training report.