Practicum FAQ

Practicum FAQ

Here are some common questions students have about the practicum. 
  • I have been searching for a practicum but am not having luck. What should I do?
  • If you are having a difficult time finding a practicum, you should schedule a time to talk to your Faculty Advisor and the Director. They can help you connect you to additional people or help brainstorm additional avenues for you to continue your search. 
  • Can I use my current job as my practicum?
  • Yes, if your current job is relevant. You will want to talk to your supervisor to make sure you can dedicate the minimum 180 hours to a project, formalize what that project is, and what deliverable(s) you will produce. You can see more information on how to talk to your supervisor about doing the practicum here.
  • Can I use a Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) position as my practicum? 
  • Yes, keep in mind we do want to see that there is off-campus engagement with at least one organization.
  • When is it acceptable to follow up on the status of an application?
  • If it has been more than 3 weeks since the job position closed, it is acceptable to follow up with the contact listed and ask the status of your application. The exception to this would be if the employer's website explicitly states to not contact them regarding your application status. 
  • I was offered an internship that is paid that I am not very excited about. I was offered a different internship that is unpaid but would be a perfect fit. What should I do?
  • This is a question that students grapple with a lot and the answer is different for each student. 

    You have to evaluate if:

    1. Do you have the capacity to accept unpaid work?
    2. Is the unpaid internship a better fit for you in terms of your interests and career objectives?

    If yes, then you might be able to make it work! If not, you might want to go with the paid internship or wait and see if you can find something else that’s a better fit.
  • Is there program funding available if I do an unpaid practicum?
  • Right now, we do not have additional funding available to pay students for unpaid practicum work. We are working to fundraise for a fund that would allow us to pay for unpaid student practicums. If your Practicum is focused on environmental justice in collaboration with a community-based organization, you may be eligible for EPM's Environmental Justice Apprenticeship Program.

    “Graduate Student Career Development Fund” offered by the ICC,  is available for students who are completing an internship that is not required for their degree. If you decide to do an unpaid internship in addition to your practicum, you might be eligible for these funds.

  • Does EPM have internship opportunities set up already?
  • EPM does have agreements with some agencies. You can see more information here.
  • When do I start to write my Practicum Proposal? 
  • You can see more information about timing and submission deadlines here.
  • Is there a template for the Proposal or Report I should follow?
  • Yes, you can access the templates for both the Practicum Proposal and Report here. You can see the grading rubrics here. 
  • Can I do more than one practicum? 
  • Yes, we encourage you to do more than one internship while you are in the program! You only need to use one experience as your practicum, and you can use any other relevant job or internship experience to receive ENV 292- Internship credits. To do that, you will need to fill out this form.
  • What if my practicum is a small part of a longer, multi-year project? 
  • If you are working on a long-term project, you will want to work with your supervisor to identify a specific part of the project that you can contribute to and complete as a deliverable. An example of this would be if you work on a substantial report as a part of a large-scale project that will take more than one year to finish. You will want to identify a specific portion of the report that you will write and that could serve as your deliverable. 
  • What should I do if my supervisor wants my deliverable to be confidential?
  • Sometimes the work and deliverable produced during their practicum need to remain confidential. In this case, the student should work with their supervisor to either (1) identify a deliverable that can be produced that would not need to be confidential or (2) provide a summary of the confidential deliverable with as much detail as possible. For more questions, students should contact the Associate Director.