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The Student Directed practicum is protected time in the curriculum the summer after the PY2 year (May-July) to help students explore a particular career area or develop a skill set relevant to career interests. As indicated in the name, the SDP is a chance for students to direct an experience with guidance and assistance as needed from faculty and staff here at the School. In addition to career exploration and advancement, the practicum experience should focus on enabling and developing the following characteristics and skill sets:


  • Independent knowledge acquisition, integration, and application
  • Critical thinking and creativity
  • Problem identification and solution
  • Professional development


Students have several options to participate in the SDP including:


  1. The pursuit of an existing practicum/internship experience (e.g. Johns Hopkins internship, Durham VALOR program),
  2. Participating in a school based experience (SBE)
  3. Designing a new practicum experience under pre-established guidelines, or
  4. Modifying your current work experience, if applicable (e.g. Walgreens, CVS, Duke Hospital, etc.).


Students are provided an orientation to the SDP experience during the fall semester of the PY2 year.