Applied Practice (AP) Experience


The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) requires that “all professional degree student must develop skills in basic public health concepts and demonstrate the application of these concepts through a practice experience that is relevant to the students’ areas of specialization.”

The Applied Practice Experience in the MPH Program is required of students in both concentration to meet this goal.

Applied Practice (AP) Experiences are community engagement or professional service activities that occur as part of a course, field placement or service/volunteer opportunity.  These experiences help students gain an understanding of the contexts in which public health is performed outside of an academic setting and of the importance of learning and contributing to professional advancement in the field.


Students must have completed their BA/BS and at least one semester of PHS course Work before beginning the Applied Practice Experience/Field Placement.


Students have five options for completing their Applied Practice Experience requirement.

  • OPTION 1:  Two 1 credit Applied Practice Experience courses
  • OPTION 2:  One 1 credit Applied Practice Experience course and one 100 hour field placement course
  • OPTION 3:  Two 100 hour field placements courses
  • OPTION 4:  One 200 hour field placement course
  • OPTION 5:  Summer or J-Term PHS Study Abroad course

Important Components of a Field Placement

  • Applied public health skills and competencies
  • Is framed and carried out within a public health practice context with an established organization or agency
  • Is supervised by a qualified preceptor
  • Is an evaluated experience
  • Is a significant experience (minimum of 200 hours)


Each MPH field placement is individually selected and tailored to the specific interests and needs of the student.  All placements are arranged through Prof. Diamond Walton and Prof. Aaron Pannone in the Department of Public Health Sciences.  Placements may be local or at a distant site.  Students are encouraged to explore opportunities with non-local and/or international organizations.  Students should not contact local organizations without prior permission. In general, more time is needed to plan for a non-local or international placement.


Your method of completing the MPH program will determine when and how you can fulfill your AP Experience requirement.  So, your timeline will look different depending on whether you’re a 4+1 student, joint degree student, completing your MPH in 1 year of multiple years.

  • Spring placements should be finalized by December 1.
  • Summer placements should be finalized by May 1.
  • Fall placements should be finalized by August 1.


For more information please contact Prof. Diamond Walton or Prof. Aaron Pannone.