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M.P.H. Applied Practice Experience Sites

  MPH Clinical Sites
  View a map of the M.P.H. Applied Practice Experience sites.


“The Applied Practice Experience Sites gives students a broad and diverse experience of the field, and allows them to explore specialties beyond their intended career goals. Often students don’t understand how many things in life are integral to public health, or how many career possibilities there are. It is a vast field and they need to get out there and see how much of it is open to them.”

~ Diane Heck, M.P.H.

The Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) Applied Practice Experience allows students to interact with practitioners in public health, who then become mentors in the development of communications and organizational skills, research methods, and quantitative and qualitative analysis. Students also hone their abilities in problem-solving and advocacy.

Applied Practice Experience sites are as distinct as our students. A survey of our most recent Applied Practice Experience class showed the following site distribution:

  • Community-based agency 37%
  • Hospital 28%
  • Private practice 12%
  • Government agency 7%
  • Health department 7%
  • Academic institution 7%
  • Pharmaceutical company 2% 

M.P.H. students report that the curriculum prepares them well for this real-world experience. A detailed application process helps students focus on their goals for their experience, and choose sites and projects that resonate with them personally and professionally.


Sample Applied Practice Experience Projects:

  • Partnering with the March of Dimes national office, a Global Public Health student performed an analysis of newborn screening panels for 33 Latin American countries. Information on gross domestic product, rates of diseases applicable to newborns, and anomalies in population disease rates was assessed to identify barriers to testing and lead to recommendations for future steps to initiate improvement.
  • Partnering with staff at the City of Danbury (Connecticut) Health and Human Services department, a Health Policy and Management student compiled data on health-related indicators for ten towns in Western Connecticut to produce the Western Connecticut Report Card (CRC). The CRC was utilized by a community steering committee to create a searchable database of public health programs. Our student was instrumental in organizing a series of events surrounding the public release of the revised CRC.
  • Utilizing tools made available by the West Point Environmental Health and US Army Public Health command, an Environmental Public Health student conducted field surveys of mosquitoes and deer ticks to assess possible exposure to West Nile Virus and Lyme disease in the West Point community. The project determined best practices for reducing exposure to insect vectors and practice changes to reduce human exposure to insects.

Applied Practice Experience (APE) Guidelines and Forms

The Public Health Applied Practice Experience provides students with a structured public health practice experience whereby they can take a population based-approach to a public health problem and apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom. Please see the and all associated forms.

Timing of Applied Practice Experience (APE) and registration

Students should discuss registration for the APE with their academic advisor after they have completed between 12-30 credits including the following core courses: Health Care in the U.S., Introduction to Biostatistics, Introduction to Epidemiology, Behavioral and Social Factors in Public Health, and Environmental Influences on Human Health. Students register for the practicum with the approval of their academic advisor. The APE course follows a semester schedule similar to other courses in the SHSP. Students are permitted up to 3 semesters to complete their APE. Some concentrations require the student to complete their APE prior to beginning the capstone.

At the beginning of the semester for which a student registers for the APE, the student will arrange to meet with the APE director and or assistant director to plan the APE including site placement. These meetings are flexible and can be done in office, skype or by phone. Students may utilize their current employment as an APE site if appropriate. All APE sites require approval from the APE Director, Academic Advisor and Site Supervisor. An APE workshop is held on campus at the beginning of each semester and there is a video on the APE course site.