Appendix I: YSPH Practice Requirement Guidelines

All M.P.H. candidates must complete an Applied Practice Experience (APE) to integrate classroom learning with real-life experience in a public health work environment, which allows them to learn from professionals in the field. 

The majority of two-year M.P.H. students fulfill the APE requirement by completing a full time, preapproved public health summer internship (EPH 521) that addresses population health. If the internship does not fulfill the APE requirement (EPH 520), students may also fulfill their APE through a practicum course or by completing a preapproved independent project. All students must complete a work plan prior to starting their placements.

The practicum courses that meet the APE include:

  • EMD 584/SBS 584/LAW 30184, Advanced Global Health Justice Practicum: Fieldwork
  • EMD 588/SBS 588/LAW 30186, Health Justice Practicum
  • EPH 500,  Public Health Practicum (only offered to second-year students and Advanced Professional M.P.H. students)
  • EPH 501, U.S. Health Justice Concentration Practicum (only offered to students in the U.S. Health Justice Concentration)
  • EPH 555,  Clinic in Climate Justice, Law, and Public Health
  • HPM 555, Health Policy or Health Care Management Practicum
  • HPM 556, Advanced Health Policy Practicum

SBS 541, Community Health Program Evaluation, may also meet the APE requirement. Students wishing to use this experience to fulfill the APE will submit a work plan as an independent project to the Office of Public Health Practice (OPHP, for review at the start of the semester and be expected to complete all check-ins and evaluations in addition to course requirements. This experience, however, will not fulfill the internship requirement.

Those students utilizing an independent project must ensure that it (1) is focused on public health, (2) is preapproved by the Office of Public Health Practice, (3) meets the threshold of a minimum of one hundred hours, (4) involves a preceptor holding a master’s level degree or higher, and (5) produces two work products (deliverables) for the site/agency. 

Advanced Professional M.P.H. and Accelerated M.B.A./M.P.H. students are not required to complete a summer internship. These students may complete an optional internship to meet the APE requirement by obtaining pre-approval from the Office of Public Health Practice or take a practicum course listed above and submit required documentation.

Guidelines for APE placements:

  1. The APE may occur in a wide variety of settings at the local, regional, national, or international level but must be outwardly focused on a public health problem or issue and include significant community engagement. Acceptable placements would include: governmental, nongovernmental (NGO), and private-sector organizations with a public health component such as pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, managed care/health maintenance organizations, consulting firms, and universities.

  2. The APE allows students to apply classroom learning and theories to address public health issues in a professional setting to foster skills and professional development. This experience serves as a means for the student to demonstrate competencies from the core curriculum, department, and chosen concentrations/tracks.

  3. The APE entails one or more of the following roles:

    1. Assessment, monitoring, and/or surveillance of population health indicators, social determinants of health, inequities associated with race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status, environmental/occupational hazards and exposures, and other public health issues;

    2. Participating in the development and/or execution of applied public health research in the biological, environmental, and social/behavioral realms that has an immediate impact on public health, including translational, evaluation, and epidemiological research efforts that contribute to the evidence base and efficacy of public health practice;

    3. Planning, designing, implementing, and evaluating public health interventions;

    4. Developing disease prevention and health promotion, media advocacy, or risk communication materials;

    5. Developing, implementing, and evaluating public health laws, regulations, and policy;

    6. Participating in administrative/management activities of governmental and nongovernmental public health agencies and/or health service delivery systems such as hospitals or community health centers. Activities could include quality improvement, organizational analysis and restructuring processes, strategic and business planning, organizational policy and protocol, financial management, budgeting and reimbursement processes, preparation of internal or external reports, human resources management, workforce development and credentialing, and addressing regulatory compliance issues such as audits and accreditation processes;

    7. Supporting the development and goals of public health coalitions through community organizing and advocacy efforts, needs assessments, strategic and participatory community planning, leadership development, and assisting with the development and implementation of community health improvement plans that respond to local needs and priorities.

  4. The approved site/agency will have the infrastructure to support the M.P.H.-level student learning experience and provide a preceptor/site supervisor who has public health expertise (master’s-level or beyond) or expertise in a related field to oversee the work and provide mentorship.

  5. The APE has deliverables of tangible value to the mission of the placement agency/site. These deliverables (at least two) will be required to evaluate mastery of competencies from the student internship experience.