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Global Applied Practice Experience

An applied practice experience is required of all MPH students in the School of Public Health.

Students in the global health concentration will be encouraged to complete a global Applied Practice Experience.  This is often done in an international setting, but it is possible to conduct a "local-global" Applied Practice Experience in a domestic setting as well.  The latter choice includes working with an international NGO, a global health agency, or a community in Chicago that retains strong ties to another country or culture.  Students should consult with their academic and field placement advisors when arranging the Applied Practice Experience, as well as the Global Health Program.

Knowing your desired location, population you'd like to work with, thematic discipline (epidemiology, EOHS, CMH, youth development, etc.) and what you'd like to gain from your experience is a great place to start. Some students aim to find a balance among these criteria so that their experience fits their interests, while other students focus on one or two of the above criteria to find an applied practice experience that fits their needs.

Global Health Competencies Heading link

Students in the global health concentration must meet at least one global health competency in their Applied Practice Experience. It is crucial that students meet all competencies throughout their degree program, most of which can be met through the required coursework. Students are strongly encouraged to work to meet GH competency #5 through their Applied Practice Experience or Integrative Learning Experience.
G1 Demonstrate knowledge of the Social Determinants of Health (SDH) and their contribution to the health of populations globally, as well as the influence of SDH (including economic, political and environmental) on programmatic approaches in international settings.
G2 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the major causes of morbidity and mortality around the world, and explain how the risk for disease varies within and across regions.
G3 Describe the roles and relationships of the major entities influencing global health and development, and how they work to address communicable and noncommunicable diseases, including injury, given context specific challenges within countries and regions
G4 Demonstrate an ability to use systems thinking to analyze programs at the local, national and international levels.
G5 Apply ethical reasoning to the design, implementation, or evaluation of global health programs, policies, or practice through an equity and human right lens.

Domestic vs. International global health applied practice experiences

Students are not required to complete an international Applied Practice Experience. We live in a global world and in that respect, a global experience can be conducted here in the U.S. You will want to work with your divisional Applied Practice Experience advisor and global health coordinator to ensure your experience will fulfill both your divisional and global health requirements.


For students completing their Applied Practice Experience during the summer, we highly recommend having your project selected by March at the latest. This will allow adequate time to ensure everything is taken care of prior to the start of your Applied Practice Experience.


The School of Public Health offers several competitive scholarship opportunities for students pursuing a global health Applied Practice Experience. Please check out our Scholarship Opportunities for further information.


The following pages offer extensive listings of potential fieldwork sites and organizations, including two fieldwork programs in Kenya and Mexico offered by the School of Public Health.