Applied Practice

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 "How do I find 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, ENV, GH, PHN, PHPM, and SDG students complete GPH-GU 2359 Applied Practice Experience Seminar in the Fall and GPH-GU 2360 Integrative Learning Experience Seminar 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. Additional information about Thesis may be found here.

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 Applied Practice Experience Seminar and Integrative Learning Experience Seminar are highly encouraged to do all their hours in the Summer and are required to 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 Handshake 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
  • NYU GPH Career Development 
  • 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 
  • 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:   

  • All students are strongly encouraged to complete their APE hours in the Summer between their 1st and 2nd years in the MPH Program. Therefore, the deadline to submit a PLC is May 15th.
  • Otherwise, CHSP, EPHS, GH, PHN, PHPM, and SDG students have the option to complete the APE in the Fall of their 2nd year. In this case, they should submit a PLC by August 1st.

* 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 APE 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 enroll 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. 

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

Understanding the Applied Practice Experience

Dr. LeConté Dill, Director of Public Health Practice, and Ipsita Krishnan, Program Administrator, discuss the most common questions regarding the APE, and the best ways students can leverage their internship experience at GPH.