The NYU Master of Public Health program requires all students to complete an Applied Practice Experience (APE) which includes 180-hours of hands-on public health practice and two courses- one in the fall and one in the spring semester to be taken in the final year. The Applied Practice Experience (APE) 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. Students will be able to choose their own field placement with NGOs, governmental agencies, multilateral institutions, community-based organizations, or private sector companies based within the US and overseas. See the "Searching for an APE" section below for additional information on how to secure an internship for the APE.
The APE course you will complete depends on which concentration you choose:
- CHSP, EPHS, GH, PHN, and PHPM students complete GPH-GU 2359 Internship I in the Fall and GPH-GU 2360 Internship II in the Spring.
- BIOS, EPI, and SBS students complete GPH-GU 2686 Thesis I in the Fall and GPH-GU 2687 Thesis II in the Spring.
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.”
When Can I Complete the APE?
Students begin working towards the 180-hour requirement of the APE after completing a minimum of 23 credits towards the MPH degree. Students will enroll in the accompanying courses during the Fall and Spring semester of their final year. Students completing Thesis I and II must complete all 180 hours prior to the start of the Fall semester. Students completing Internship I and II can begin their hours in the Summer but must complete all 180 hour prior to the end of the Fall semester.
How do I find an APE?
The process of finding the right applied practice experience takes time, so it is important to begin your applied practice search early. Start 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:
- NYU CareerNet is a great search engine for finding APEs and the Wasserman Career Center staff is available to help prepare you for your applications and interviews
- Faculty often have a wide network of colleagues and may be able to point you in the direction of a strong APEs
- NYU GPH Centers, Labs, and Initiatives
- The Applied Practice Office's database of previously completed APEs. To request it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Online resources such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Idealist, and more.
In addition, many of your fellow classmates work in public health - network with them!
How do I obtain approval for my APE?
To obtain approval for an APE, students must have secured an internship and should have completed and submitted a Practice Learning Contract (PLC) via the online portal. Below are the deadlines by which to submit the PLC:
- BIOS, EPI, SBS, and PHPM* students: May 1st is the deadline to submit a PLC. Students in other concentrations are strongly encouraged to submit by this deadline as well.
- CHSP, EPHS, GH, and PHPN students: August 1st is the deadline to submit a PLC.
* PHPM may submit by August 1st with prior permission from the department chair.
A completed PLC must be submitted, reviewed, and approved by the Applied Practice Office and a GPH faculty member before any hours may be counted towards the 180-hour requirement. Upon approval of your PLC, you will receive the permission code required to register for the Internship or Thesis course.
Please find below an example of a completed learning contract and along with the guidelines for each concentration:
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 email@example.com.
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.