About The Course
Welcome Message

Welcome to the CoursePlus Web site for PHASE INTERNSHIP (550.851.01), a course offered by Extradepartmental at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Why Do We Need PHASE?

In January of 2003, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) published a report, which indicating that “approximately 42% of the current epidemiology workforce in state and territorial health departments lacks formal academic training in epidemiology and few engage in systematic research and publication activities.” CSTE issued the recommendation that states and territories needed increased epidemiology capacity with highly trained epidemiologists in greater numbers.

Additionally, in late 2002, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a report titled, “Who Will Keep the Public Healthy: Educating Public Health Professionals for the 21st Century,” which outlined that in order to appropriately train future public health professionals (and in light of the aging workforce), it was necessary on the part of schools of public health for “classroom teaching [to] be substituted to the extent feasible by hands-on ‘rotations’ with agencies and organizations of the type in which trainees are being prepared to function.” In this same report, it was also recommended that the role of a public health agency regarding the training of public health professionals include “improve[d] practice experiences for public health students through support for increased numbers and types of agencies and organizations that would serve as sites for practice rotations.”

Through PHASE, we hope to enhance the education of public health graduate students. Furthermore, by exposing students to public sector public health, we open doors to careers in local and state health departments, and thereby strengthen and add to the existing workforce.

Course Description

Public Health Applications for Student Experience (PHASE), offers students the opportunity to gain real world public health practice experience. PHASE internships require students to synthesize, integrate and apply academic theory in public health practice settings. By working on-site, students see first-hand how public health agencies function and engage in public health decision-making on a daily basis.

Additional Faculty Notes:

PHASE is a non-paid, for-credit internship program sponsored in partnership with the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DHMH), the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH), and the Mid-Atlantic Public Health Training Center (MAPHTC). It enables public health graduate students to gain insight on how a degree in public health can be applied to practice-based careers, outside academia. Internships are developed so that students synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired in course work and other learning experiences and apply theory and principles in a situation that approximates some aspect of professional practice.

The primary goal of PHASE is to provide students with 'real-world' exposures and opportunities for hands-on experiences that are otherwise missing from the academic curriculum. A secondary goal of PHASE is to expose students to the environment of a state-level public health department. By working on a project on-site, students will develop a better appreciation of how a health department functions and be presented with the opportunity to participate in vital public health decision-making.

Course Learning Objectives

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Apply academic knowledge and theory in a real world public health practice setting
  • Write a concept paper outlining the project aims, objectives, timeline, and specific deliverables
  • Perform background research and data analysis as necessary
  • Synthesize the PHASE experience and project findings in a final paper
  • Present the project at the PHASE symposium

Additional Course Objective(s):
Additional Course Objective(s):

The internship requires the completion of the following:

  • A public health practice experience or research project involving a minimum of 96 hours of effort (average of 6-8 hours/week spent at the health department) over 2-3 academic quarters.
  • A final paper of the student’s research or practical experience.
  • A 15-20 minute oral presentation of the student's research or practical experience to the Course Director, Program Manager, Health Department Preceptor, DHMH Staff, and other PHASE students.
  • Attendance at monthly PHASE meetings to discuss progress with PHASE support team (mandatory)
Course Faculty

340.751 Epid Methods I, 340.601Principles of Epidemiology, or equivalent.

Intended Audience

Appropriate for masters students but open to all degree candidates.

Grading Policy & Grading Restrictions

Grading Policy: Students are evaluated on their field placement efforts, attendance and participation in PHASE seminars, a concept paper, and a final paper and presentation

Grading Restrictions: Pass and Fail

Administrative Contact

Jennifer Le
E-mail: jle@jhsph.edu