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Community-Based Master's Project

The Community-Based Master’s Project (CBMP) comprises the culminating experience required of full-time second year Drexel MPH students and MD/MPH students. Students spend approximately 12 hours per week gaining public health practice experience at community site, working as an integral part of the organization. In preparation for developing their final paper, students are required to:

  • Identify an issue or problem of significance to the community or agency
  • Synthesize the literature
  • Develop an approach or methodology to address the issue
  • Implement and test the validity of a proposed approach or set out a detailed prescription for addressing the problem.

The completion of a CBMP project and accompanying master’s paper are required as part of the Drexel MPH degree. Students must complete and defend a master’s paper based on their CBMP experience, and present a poster session to faculty, peers and their community preceptor. Some students go on to publish their results, or gain employment at the host agency where they may become preceptors for future students.


The CBMP is designed to integrate public health academic studies with public health practice skills. CBMP projects must:
  • Address a need identified by the host organization
  • Benefit the community or a particular target population
  • Support SPH goals and objectives
  • Directly relate to a student’s academic goals, objectives, and professional interests
  • Involve appropriate SPH faculty as preceptors and advisors.

Students develop a written learning agreement in consultation with a faculty advisor and the community preceptor. Sponsoring agencies designate a qualified member of their staff to serve as the community-based preceptor for each assigned SPH student. The preceptor guides the student's experience on site, helps him/her think critically about the concrete details and meaning of activities, and facilitates interactions with agency staff and community members.

More Information

For more information about working with our MPH students, please contact Ellie Lippmann ( or complete and return the Drexel SPH Project Proposal Form.