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Planning your applied practice experience

Step 1: Self-reflection and career preparation tools Heading link

Students should consider their strengths, values, interests, and personal/career goals as they think about what they would like to do for their applied practice experience. Students are also encouraged to attend a workshop on the Applied Practice Experience that are offered throughout the school year on site or via webinar. For those in need of more assistance in deciding what type of placement to pursue, they can always schedule a meeting with the Asst. Dir. of Internship Programs and Employer Outreach.

Additional resources for exploring and preparing for AP experience opportunities are linked below.

Step 2: Meet with your division's applied practice experience advisor Heading link

Each division has an applied practice advisor who can meet with students to discuss their interests, brainstorm possible projects, and provide guidance on selecting appropriate activities. However, before you meet with your AP Experience Advisor or begin searching for an AP Experience placement, you must meet with your divisional staff/advisor to confirm that you have met the prerequisites to register for IPHS 650 (AP Experience) for the term you wish to complete the AP Experience.

Once confirmation is received that you are eligible to register for the AP Experience, you can begin searching for a site. Once a site is selected, you will complete the Registration Form/Learning agreement with your preceptor and then submit it to your APE Advisor for approval.

Divisional staff can also facilitate completion of Human Subjects Research Training, required before you begin your AP experience.

Step 3: Finding a placement Heading link

There are several ways you might identify a site to meet your AP experience requirement. Please note that each organization that collaborates with the School to offer an AP experience is required to sign an agreement with SPH. If a student desires an AP experience with an organization that does not currently have a relationship with UIC SPH, the student should contact Michele Rodriguez Taylor at to initiate the agreement process.
  • Opportunities in class at SPH

    For example, during a class a faculty member might mention a colleague working on childhood obesity at a local nonprofit who needs help with a research project. You could approach the faculty member after class and tell them you are interested in helping. This could lead to a project that might meet the AP experience requirement.

  • Identify a connected organization

    A student could identify an organization they would like to work with and reach out to UIC faculty/staff to see if they have a contact at the organization.  Alumni at organizations are often quite willing to serve as preceptors for students’ AP experiences.

  • Identify a new organization

    A student could identify an organization they would like to work with but neither the student nor staff/faculty have a contact there. In those cases, students are encouraged to reach out to the organizations and inquire if they have opportunities. This is a good opportunity to practice your informational interview skills!

  • Review prior site placements for ideas

    Explore a sample of previous sites where MPH students have completed their applied practice experiences in the past.

Step 4: Complete registration for your AP experience Heading link

In order to register for this course (IPHS 650), students need to submit the IPHS 650 Registration Form/Learning Agreement and submit it to their AP Experience Advisor using the following naming convention: “LastName_IPHS 650 Registration Form_DATE”.  Please use the following competency lists by division/program when completing the registration form.

Step 5: Complete the AP experience Heading link