DFE > Steps/Timeline


Michelle Hodge, MPH
Field Experience Administrator
(813) 974-6665

Brian Creel, M.Ed
Recruitment & Career Services Coordinator
(813) 974-8874

One semester before your field experience

  1. Meet with your faculty advisor during the semester prior to placement to receive permission to begin the process and to determine the type of placement of interest to you. Be prepared to discuss your career goals, areas of interest, professional strengths and weaknesses, skills you wish to develop, preference for organization or agency, geographical location, educational needs and review your resume.
  2. Review the field experience opportunities that are e-mailed to the student listserv and posted in the COPH student lounge.
  3. Review the list of previous field experience sites (http://publichealth.usf.edu/academicaffairs/fe/pdf/Former%20Sites.pdf). Narrow your selection of preferred sites and then contact the field experience manager for more information on your choices.
  4. Make a final site selection, submit a letter of interest and resume, and request an interview with the site supervisor. Be sure to identify projects that you would like to work on at that particular site in your letter of interest.
  5. Review the Association of Schools of Public Health Core Competencies for MPH students. Incorporate as many interdisciplinary and discipline-specific competencies into your field experience as possible.
  6. Take your resume and writing/work samples to the interview. Use this time to determine the scope of potential field experiences and activities available at the site. Discuss goals, objectives, possible projects and outcomes.
  7. Once the interview is complete, notify the field experience manager or your faculty advisor as to the outcome. If the field experience does not materialize, be prepared to discuss alternate sites and begin the process again.
  8. Attend the field experience orientation one semester prior to the semester in which you plan to enroll. Distance learning students are exempt, but should make other arrangements to secure the information.

2-3 months before your field experience

  1. Once you are accepted by the field site and the placement seems satisfactory, then develop a Field Experience Plan in consultation with your site supervisor and faculty advisor.
  2. If your FE involves research with human subjects, then review the IRB guidelines at http://health.usf.edu/publichealth/academicaffairs/fe/irb.html. The faculty advisor takes the lead in navigating the IRB process with the student and field supervisor.
  3. Complete the Supervised Field Experience Application. Secure signatures of approval from your faculty advisor and site supervisor. Submit the fully completed and signed document to the field experience manager. Print copies of the materials in advance, if desired.
  4. The faculty advisor determines the number of credit hours based on his/her knowledge of your prior academic and professional background in public health, as well as the College and Department guidelines for field experience.
  5. Complete the COPH Registration Worksheet (http://publichealth.usf.edu/forms.html) for the field experience class. It must be approved and signed by the faculty advisor.
  6. Submit the completed and signed COPH Registration Worksheet to academic affairs. The field experience manager will submit a copy of the Supervised Field Experience Application and Agreement form on your behalf. Academic affairs will issue a permit for registration within 24 business hours.
  7. Go to OASIS on the USF website (http://usfonline.admin.usf.edu/) to complete your registration. Because the field experience has variable credit hours (from 1 to 12), the number of credit hours on OASIS must match the number of credit hours on your Supervised Field Experience Application and Agreement form. When registering for a variable credit course, consult registration experts in academic affairs about changing the number of credits.

During your field experience

  1. The Field Placement Office must be advised of any change that might impact the field experience, including: change of address/telephone number, site supervisor, location, key assignments, etc.
  2. Submit reports to the field experience manager and faculty advisor. Failure to submit reports in a timely manner will affect your grade.
  3. The supervisor at the agency with which you are affiliated has primary supervision during the field experience. Periodic contact by your faculty advisor and the field experience manager will likely occur along with a possible site visit. The student is encouraged to assist with scheduling the site visit.
  4. Maintain a time log documenting field experience activities and submit it to the field experience manager at the conclusion of the semester. The time log must be signed by the site supervisor.

At the conclusion of your field experience

  1. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that all of the final documentation—time log, evaluations, reports, debriefing—are submitted to the field experience manager.
  2. Participate in your department’s field experience debriefing at the end of the semester. Distance learning students are exempt from attending the debriefing program, but must submit an FE summary or PowerPoint presentation.
  3. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that all of the final documentation—time log, evaluations, reports, debriefing—are submitted to the field experience manager.
  4. After all requirements have been met, the faculty advisor will assign a final grade at the end of the semester. Failure to complete all requirements in a timely fashion jeopardizes your academic credit for the field experience.