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Applied Practice Experience

MPH students complete an Applied Practice Experience (similar to an internship) to apply classroom learning, develop practical skills, and demonstrate public health competency attainment.

the Applied Practice Experience (APE) is a 240-hour (minimum) work experience enabling graduate students to develop and demonstrate public health competencies while contributing to projects that benefit the organization.

The Applied Practice Experience site is selected by students based on their career and educational goals.  The Applied Practice Experience typically occurs during the last semester i order to serve as a springboard for the MPH graduates next steps.  Upon graduation, around 30% of  have become employed at their Applied Practice Experience site. Others used it as a catalyst for employment elsewhere.  A smaller number pursue further education. Within one year of graduation, our students have had a 100% job placement rate, which means they are either employed or pursuing further education. The university’s Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration provides extensive job search and career resources for students and alumni.

The Applied Practice Experience contributes an important professional preparation dimension to the MPH program. MPH candidates have the opportunity to actively integrate theory and concepts with practical experience in a variety of locations and settings. Over 200 agencies and facilities in thirty-two states have provided practice sites for the program. Graduate students have competed successfully for placements in highly visible settings, including federal agencies. The involvement of practicing health professionals in the education of MPH students is a recognized strength of the MPH program. See examples of APE in Action.

Faculty are dedicated to public health outreach and strongly believe in the value of experiential-based graduate education. Through the individualized Applied Practice Experience, students benefit by developing their skills and competencies outside the classroom setting; and the precepting agencies receive the benefits of the interns’ enthusiasm, knowledge, and expanding skills.

Applied Practice Experience Information and Forms

Applied Practice Experience Guidelines (.pdf)—A detailed list of responsibilities for the student, university, and field site

For Organizations

Request an MPH intern for your organization

Donna Davis, EdD, MPH, CPH
Applied Practice Experience Coordinator
Email:  ddavi116@utk.edu

For Students

Students must attend an orientation 
prior to beginning APE.

Orientation is offered at least once per semester.