WSSS: Practica Track

Practicum and Interdisciplinary Professional Experience / Internship

The Practicum offers an opportunity for WSSS students to work in small groups on the integrated assessment of water resources case studies. The goal of the Practicum is to expose students to the techniques and processes of integrated water resource management in order to train them as researchers and professionals. 


  • Meetings: P-track WSSS students are required to regularly attend WSSS meetings.
  • Courses: P-track WSSS students are required to complete two WSSS-approved courses.
  • Advising: Students in the P-track of the WSSS program are required to meet with one member of the WSSS Steering Committee as early as possible during the fall semesters of their first and second years in the WSSS program to discuss course selection, research direction, and key challenges and opportunities.
  • Practicum: P-track WSSS students are required to complete a practicum project. The practica are group projects that work with real-world clients to address water-related problems. Practicum projects usually occur from December-April of the student’s first year in the program. The practicum does not count as one of the two WSSS-approved courses required for P-track students.
  • Interdisciplinary Professional Experience (IPE): To foster students’ practical experience in solving water issues, P-track WSSS students are required to complete a water-focused professional experience with a public- or private-sector organization. IPEs often take the form of internships.
    • IPE must be a minimum of 150 hours.
    • An IPE Pre-Approval Form must be completed and delivered to the TIE Assistant Director of Programs prior to the start of the IPE.
    • At completion, an IPE Completion Form must be submitted to the Assistant Director of Programs.
    • Some students may satisfy this requirement through prior professional experience. These students should petition to WSSS Director for exemption of this requirement. Some existing internship programs (at UEP and in the AFE program at the School of Nutrition Science and Policy, for example) may satisfy the IPE, provided that they also meet the objectives of the IPE (and submit the required forms). This decision will be made by a member of the WSSS Steering Committee.
    • Students may secure their own IPE or seek the advice of WSSS faculty with similar interests.

In 2016, the students enrolled in the P track chose between one of two Practicum project sites: the nearby town of Somerville and the far-away Aida Camp in the West Bank, Palestine.