Unpaid Student Placements

Public Health Services accepts a limited number of students for unpaid placements or practicums required in order to graduate from their program.

Unpaid student placements are offered throughout the year in disciplines including but not limited to:

To be eligible for an unpaid student placement, you must be enrolled in a post-secondary school or academic program which requires you to complete an unpaid placement or practicum in order to graduate.

If you are not enrolled in a post-secondary school or academic program, your request will be declined.

Although students are accepted throughout the year, it is recommended you submit your requests for placements as follows:

Placement period Deadline for request
Winter term - January to April        October 31
Spring/Summer term - May to August     February 28
Fall term - September to December  June 30

Public Health Services will consider requests from either educational institutions or students.

To apply, you must complete an online application form. The application form asks questions about:

  • Your educational institution*
  • Your program and current year
  • Your interests
  • Anticipated placement start and end dates
  • Your availability
  • Who your academic coordinators are

You also need to submit a cover letter and resume.  These are not used to screen applicants; they inform your assigned preceptor about your education and work experience. This information is used to prepare for your orientation.

*A current affiliation agreement with your educational institution must be in place before accepting your request.

Here are the steps to apply for an unpaid student placement opportunity with Hamilton PHS.

1. Application – complete and submit the online application form as outlined above. 

2. Screening

Applications are accepted based on:

  • fit of requested placement
  • number of received unpaid student placement requests
  • availability of preceptors
  • program needs

3. Interview

For some unpaid placements, we will interview interested candidates to determine if the student has the knowledge, skills and abilities to complete the placement successfully.

4. Acceptance or decline of request

Public Health Services will confirm or decline the unpaid student placement request with the educational institution or student, usually within 5 business days.

Public Health Services does its best to match areas of interest to available placements. As this is not always possible, you may be placed in alternate programs that may be outside your areas of interest.

5. Confirmation letter

A couple of weeks prior to the start of a confirmed unpaid student placement, you will receive a confirmation email including the start and end date of your placement, assigned preceptor and/or manager and orientation dates.

During your time at Public Health Services, you will:

  • be assigned to a supervisor/preceptor and/or manager in one of our program areas
  • receive mandatory orientation and training to ensure you are prepared to complete your work in a safe and efficient manner
  • be provided with work projects and learning activities appropriate for your level of knowledge and experience
  • work in collaboration with your preceptor and/or manager to define your learning goals and assess your progress as per your academic requirements