Applied Practice Experience

An applied practice experience is required of all Master of Public Health students.  The purpose of this course (IPHS 650) is for students to acquire experience and develop practical skills in the application of public health competencies and concepts.  The applied practice experience provides an opportunity for students to:

  • apply the content and analytical skills of MPH degree coursework to issues, situations, contexts, and projects associated with the experience.
  • gain or enhance knowledge or skills related to public health competencies.
  • use journaling as a mode of inquiry, reflection, and learning.
  • create a synopsis to summarize the activities and products from the experience.

Students will work under the supervision of a preceptor, a practicing public health professional with an advanced degree in public health who are generally mid-management or higher at an organization, generally with three or more years experience post-masters degree.

Sign up to be a preceptor

Previous applied practice experience sites

Registration Requirements and Deadlines

Students are required to register for their applied practice experience (IPHS 650) for a minimum of 3 credit hours but students can register for up to 5 credit hours (between 192 and 320 hours in the field, where 1 credit hour is equal to 64 contact hours). The applied practice experience can be completed in a single semester or over several semesters. Students may choose a cost saving option by requesting to register for 0 credit hours in the summer semester but, they must get approval from the applied practice experience advisor, the experience must overlap with the fall or spring semester and the student has to be registered for 3-5 semester hours during that semester.  Please note, during the summer semester, students will still be charged a graduate base fee, tuition differentials, fees and assessments even though they are registered for 0 credit hours.

Registration Deadlines

Semester Meet with advisor Ideal submissions of learning agreement to advisor Deadline to register (4:30 p.m. CST)
Spring 2019 Beginning of October January 11 January 25
Summer 2019 Beginning of February May 8 May 22
Fall 2019 Beginning of June August 23 September 6

Registration Details

  • Ideally you should meet with your AP Experience advisor at least 3-4 months before you want to register for the course.
  • Typically, the advisor will have comments and edits that will need to be incorporated into the learning agreement you originally submit to them. You will also need your preceptor to review the document and sign it. We suggest you allow at least 2 weeks for this process. Please note that standard business/professional etiquette is to allow 3 business days for a response, this applies to both your AP advisor and your preceptor so you should plan accordingly.
  • Once you complete your learning agreement your advisor will submit it to the UIC SPH Office of Student Affairs (OSA). After they process your paperwork, you will receive an email from OSA stating that you have access to register for the course. Then you will have to go into the system and register for the course. In order to meet the deadline, you must go into the system and register for the course before the end of day (4:30pm) on the date indicated above.
  • If an IPHS 650 Registration Request form is submitted after the tenth day of term (the deadline indicated above), you will no longer be able to electronically enroll or drop a class. The following will take place:
    1. Your request will be forwarded to the office of the registrar for processing.
    2. You will not receive an “access to register” for class email.
    3. You must log onto my.UIC within 24 hours of submission to ensure that your scheduleof classes reflect the additional course and hours.
    4. A $50.00 Late registration fee will be applied to your account if you are not alreadyenrolled in at least one other course for the term.

IRB and HIPAA Training

Students must complete HIPAA training through the UIC Institutional Review Board (IRB) before starting their applied practice experience. If  you have any questions about these trainings, contact your division’s academic coordinator.

Planning your applied practice experience