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Master of Public Health Program

Applied Practice Experience Guidelines

Orientation Videos:

Organization/Agency:  Students must complete their experience with a non-academic, public health practice organization.  The organization should be focused on public health, either broadly or with a particular focus related to one of our four areas of emphasis--food safety and biosecurity, infectious diseases and zoonoses, public health nutrition, or public health physical activity. Examples include local and state health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Research institutes, centers, or departments are usually not good sites for public health field experience, even though they may provide opportunities for public health research for the thesis or Master's Report options.    

Mentor/Preceptor:  There must be a mentor at the experience site who can guide the student appropriately toward applying knowledge in a public health practice setting.  The mentor must have public health training (e.g., MPH degree) and/or public health-related experience.  The mentor must be someone other than the student's major professor or supervisory committee members.

Location: There are no constraints on the location of the experience, other than it must be off-campus and be public health practice-oriented.

Hour Requirements:  There are specific minimum requirements for contact hours at the experience site, based on the student's choice from the two possible options. 

  1. Applied Practice Experience (APE):  240 clock hours at the experience site, with additional hours used for outside research, literature review, coordination and write-up (MPH 840 = 6 semester credit hours).  Travel and research time do not count toward the 240 contact hours.
  2. Research Thesis and APE:  The APE requirement is a minimum of 180 contact hours at the experience site (MPH 840 = 3 semester credit hours).