Applied Practice Experience (APE) and Capstone (post-Fall 2019 Cohorts)


Students who enrolled in the MPH program post-Fall 2019 will complete PHC 6941 MPH Applied Practice Experience, which encompasses both internship and public health service hours (PHS). While PHC 6941 is typically taken in the final semester, students can accumulate public health service hours throughout their time in the MPH program.

MPH students in the 48 credit hour program are required to complete 150 hours of internship, in addition to another 50 hours of public health service hours (to be completed as internship, as volunteer hours, or through experiences) for a combined total of 200 hours. Students may complete their public health service hours at any time during the MPH program.

In their final semester, students will also take PHC 6940 MPH Capstone. It is an integrative learning experience that pairs students with community public health agencies and culminates with students producing a high-quality written report for their agency. Guidelines and details on PHC 6940 Capstone can be found on the PHC 6940 Capstone page.

Public Health Service (PHS) Hours

48-credit students must accumulate 50 PHS hours. These are completed outside of courses; hours will be logged and factual reports will be placed in their e-portfolio. The MPH program will provide some opportunities, but students are encouraged to find their own unique experiences in the field of public health. PHS hours be completed at multiple sites and throughout the student’s time in the program. The internship coordinator will evaluate factual reports and verify and approve PHS hours.

PHC 6941 Applied Practice Experience

Students enrolled in the program in Fall 2019 or after will complete 150 hours of an internship as part of PHC 6941. Typically taken in the last or penultimate semester, the internship assists the student in strengthening the public health competencies. Internships must be approved by the faculty advisor and the internship coordinator. Two deliverables associated with internship will be approved, evaluated, and graded by the faculty advisor.

PHC 6940 Capstone

This course is not tethered to internship, and the major paper and presentation that the student completes in Capstone will be guided by the instructor of the course. Presentations will be presented on Public Health Day.

What are Applied Practice Experience Hours?

Applied Practice Experience (APE) Hours are made up of Public Health Service Hours, Internship Hours (150 hours), and experiences offered through the MPH program (some mandatory, some optional). Students in the 48-credit program must log 200 total hours of Applied Practice Experience, while students in the 42-credit program must log 150 total hours of Applied Practice Experience. Options for gaining Applied Practice Experience are as follows:

MPH Program Opportunities:

  • Participation in Interprofessional Learning in Healthcare (required; 10 hours)
  • Participation in Afternoon of Learning (3 hours)
  • Participation in Common Reader book discussion (2 hours)

Options for Public Health Service Hours include:

  • Experiences gained through a public health service learning course or public health study abroad course
  • Public health service and volunteer activities organized by a student association
  • Individual public health volunteer activities
  • Participation on a Putting Families First team
  • Participation in the Clarion Competition
  • Participation in the Global Health Case Competition
  • In-person attendance at a city or county agency meeting when a public health issue is on the agenda
  • Serving as a board member for a public health agency

Public Health Service Hours are self-tracked by students throughout their time in the program. Students are also responsible for completing a factual report for each experience. Logs and reports will be posted to a student’s e-portfolio and submitted as an assignment in PHC 6941.

Details of the Applied Practice Experience can be found in the APE Handbook.