Applied Practice


The Master of Public Health program within the NYU College of Global Public Health (GPH) requires that all students complete an Applied Practice Experience (APE) consisting of a minimum of 180-hours of hands-on public health practice and a 2-semester course. While the requirements vary depending upon which concentration a student is pursuing, the applied practice experience provides students the opportunity to become familiar with the kinds of organizations that put into practice the theory, concepts, and methods taught in the MPH program. 

The APE course you will complete depends on which concentration you choose:

  • Internship course: completed by students in the CHPS, EPHS, GH, PHN, and PHPM Concentrations
  • Thesis course: completed by students in the BIOS, EPI, and SBS Concentrations

You will be able to choose your own field placement with NGOs, governmental agencies, multilateral institutions, community-based organizations, and private sector companies based within the US and overseas. 

What I loved most about GPH was my practice experience in a research lab where I could apply what I learned in the classroom and interact closely with faculty.”
- Jazmin Rivera (USA), MPH 2016, Social and Behavioral Sciences Concentration

When Can I Complete the APE?

Students can begin working towards the 180-hour requirement of the APE after completing a minimum of 23-credits towards the MPH degree and will enrol in the accompanying course during the Fall and Spring semester of their final full year.

APE hours can be completed primarily during the Summer before the final full year, though some concentrations have the options to complete hours through the Fall semester. For more information on concentration-specific APE requirements, please consult your respective Guidelines:

 Your applied practice experience allows you to integrate the skills and theories you learn in the classroom into the real public health work environment. You’ll learn from interactions with mentors in the field, and explore questions and engage in group problem-solving around your work experience. Plus, you’ll gain valuable skills in the global public health field and explore new career opportunities through professional development

Searching for an APE

The process of finding the right applied practice experience takes time, so start your applied practice search early - begin looking at least one semester in advance!

Some questions to ask yourself as you begin your search:

  • What are my goals for the experience? What skills do I want to gain? 
  • Where would I like to work and with what type of organization?
  • Will I be exposed to a wide range of interesting activities?
  • What level of mentorship/guidance would I like from my preceptor?

We recommend that students identify at least two potential applied practice sites/projects in the event that your first choice falls through.

Use the many resources available to you:

  • Wasserman's CareerNet is a great search engine for finding APEs and the Wasserman staff is available to help prepare you for your applications and interviews
  • Faculty often have a wide network of colleagues and can point you in the direction of strong APEs that would be, otherwise, difficult learn about
  • The Practice Office maintains a database of previously completed APEs that they will share will students and often send available opportunities to students
  • Many of your fellow classmates work in public health - network with them! 

How do I Complete the APE?

To request approval for an APE, students must complete and submit a Practice Learning Contract  for each APE they would like to use towards the 180-hour requirement to the online portal by the deadline below:

  • May 1: Deadline to submit a PLC for a Summer APE
  • August 1: Deadline to submit a PLC for a Fall APE (CHPS, EPHS, GH, and PHN students only; other concentrations with prior permission)

For help on what is required in the PLC, please refer to the Guidelines for Completing the PLC

A PLC must be completed, submitted, and approved before any hours can be counted towards the 180-hour requirement. 

Enrolling in APE-related Courses

An access code is required to enrol in the Internship and Thesis APE courses. Students will not receive an access code for the courses until a learning contract has been submitted, reviewed, and approved. 

If you have any questions, please contact

Interested in Working with Our MPH Students?

If you are an organization or preceptor who wants the innovative and systems-changing input of our advanced-level MPH students, learn more about becoming an applied practice sponsor.

Professional Development

Wherever you are in your career and professional development, we work to provide opportunities where you can enhance your classroom learning with experiential training.