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.  After completing the integrated core curriculum, 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.

Interested in becoming an internship site for an MPH student? Learn more

Current AP experience opportunities

MPH Students in Action

  1. Sampada Mudgalkar, MPH in Community Health Sciences student, completed her applied practice experience at the CDC Quarantine Station at O'Hare International Airport, tracking controlled substances and objects brought into the country.
  2. Colin Hendrickson, MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences student, completed his global applied practice experience in Kenya, working with SPH's Dr. Samuel Dorevitch researching solar-powered water disinfection.
  3. Cortney Alleyne, MPH in Community Health Sciences student, completed her applied practice experience at the UI Health Sickle Cell Center, analyzing what motivates or discourages sickle cell disease patients to participate or not participate in research studies.
  4. Paris Bates (right side of table, far end), MPH in Epidemiology student, interned at the UI Cancer Center, exploring cancer disparities among African American men in Chicago's south and west sides, particularly assessing for lifestyle risk factors associated with diet and tobacco use.
  5. Muhammad Saif Ullah, MPH in Community Health Sciences student, worked at the Chicago Department of Public Health's Office of Violence Prevention and Behavioral Health for his applied practice experience, preparing for accreditation of Chicago mental health centers.

Previous applied practice experience sites