Student Portal: University of New England Online - November 28, 2021

Applied Practice Experience – GPH 743

Applied Practice Experience – APE (GPH 743)

The Applied Practice Experience (APE) is a required component of the Master of Public Health (MPH) program. The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) requires that “all graduate professional public health degree students develop skills in basic public health concepts and demonstrate the application of these concepts through a practice experience that is relevant to student’s areas of specialization.” It is an opportunity to acquire ‘real world’ public health experience, apply concepts learned in class to actual projects, and explore different public health settings. Because it is a requirement for graduation, there are no waivers.

To prepare for the APE course (GPH 743), students will be enrolled in a planning organization on Blackboard about four to six months before they are scheduled to take the course. Students must successfully complete all required planning documents before they are cleared to register for GPH 743. In addition, students must have completed all core and required courses before beginning GPH 743. 

The following table summarizes basic information regarding the APE (GPH 743)

Credit hours

3 credit hours; 16 weeks

Just like any other course in the program, enrollment in GPH 743 will require registration for the course and completion of blackboard assignments in addition to completing the field work and final products. Students are encouraged to plan their time and work schedule accordingly. 

Prerequisites Students need to pass all core and required courses and successfully complete the planning process before registering for the course. 
Time Commitment and Deliverables There is no minimum number of hours required, but a minimum of 2 final products that are useful to the host organization is required. This is pre-determined before the APE begins.
Experience Sites The APE must be completed at a community-based practice site, not at universities or hospitals.
Blackboard Assignments Consist of assignments related to the APE and professional development.
Competency attainment The APE project and products should address five (5) competencies, at least three (3) of which must be foundational.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What paperwork will I need?

    You should have a practical experience site, preceptor, affiliation agreement, project, and final product approved prior to registering for the course. To prepare for the APE course (GPH 743), you will be enrolled in a planning organization on Blackboard about four to six months before you are scheduled to take the course. Once in the planning organization, you will be guided through the process and paperwork; all paperwork must be approved before you are cleared to register for the course. Please contact your Student Support Specialist if you have any questions about your schedule. 

  • Will the program provide sites for completion of the APE?

    Due to the fact that we have students all over the US and in other countries, the program cannot provide sites where you can complete an APE. There is a list of sites where students have completed practice experiences in the past that can serve as a guide for your search, and your practicum coordinator or academic advisor can provide additional guidance on how to begin your search.

  • When will I work on my capstone paper?

    According to the 2016 CEPH guidelines, what is currently known as the capstone paper will be referred to as the integrative learning experience (ILE). The ILE (GPH 744) will be taken as a standalone 1 credit hour course at the end of your MPH program. 

  • I have completed my core and required courses but I don’t have an APE site yet, can I register for the ILE course to save time?

    No. The ILE is the final course you will take in the program. As with any other discipline, you write your thesis at the end of your program, not midway through. If you have completed your core and required courses, but have not yet found a site, take your electives while you search.

  • What are some examples of acceptable final products?

    This is not an exhaustive list, but final products that you can complete for your APE include:
    • Surveys (Quantitative or qualitative)
    • Datasets
    • GIS Maps
    • Program evaluation reports
    • Scientific posters
    • Policy evaluations
    • Budgets
    • Grant proposals
    • Health promotion materials
    • Training course curriculum
    • Site-specific reports

Previous Practice Experience Sites

View the following List of Previous Practice Experience Sites. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and we cannot guarantee that the sites on this list are currently taking students. This list should only be used as an example of potential sites and projects. Keep in mind that approval of sites on this list is based on the availability of an appropriate preceptor and project.

Information for Preceptors

Learn more information about the role of preceptors during the Applied Practice Experience.