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 (APEx) 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 in 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 APEx 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
MPH Applied Practice Experience Brochure (.pdf) — FAQ information for potential preceptors and new field site organizations
- Appropriate intern projects must demonstrate at least five public health competencies selected by the student and result in at least two products (“deliverables”) useful to the field site.
Preceptor Midpoint Evaluation of Public Health Intern — Upon completion of half of the intern’s hours, the preceptor fills out this online form.
Preceptor Evaluation of Public Health Intern — Upon completion of the Applied Practice Experience, the preceptor fills out this online evaluation and discusses with the intern.
Request an MPH intern for your organization
Interim Applied Practice Experience Coordinator
- Eligibility and Information for Applied Practice Experience (.pdf) — Lists student eligibility requirements.
- Applied Practice Experience Request (.docx) — Students must complete this request and send an up-to-date resume at least three months prior to beginning of the Applied Practice Experience. Suggested resume format (.doc)
- APEx Checklist (.pdf) — Lists key dates, reporting timeline, description of final report.
- Weekly Report Template (.docx) — Summarizes activities each week; submitted every two to three weeks.
Objectives (.docx) — Due to Canvas by the second week of APEx. Must be signed by preceptor and student. Also, fill out midpoint and final evaluation of objectives.
- Setting Objectives (.pdf) — Objectives must be SMART and demonstrate at least five public health competencies (three foundational, two concentration) At least two products must be generated
- Culminating Experience Format (.pdf) — A professional quality oral presentation students deliver to faculty, preceptors, and students upon completion of Applied Practice Experience.
- Student Evaluation of Applied Practice Experience – Upon completion of the Applied Practice Experience, the student fills out this online evaluation.
- Applied Practice Experience in Action Template (.pdf) – Template to use for the the APEx in Action assignment for the website.
- Applied Practice Experience Final Report Template (.pdf)
- Dual MS-MPH students satisfy the Applied Practice Experience through the Nutrition Block Field experience (BFE and will send their BFE objectives with demonstrated competences and two products to the APEx coordinator to document the experience
Students must attend an orientation
prior to beginning APE.
Orientation is offered at least once per semester.