Academic Catalog

Master of Public Health Applied Practice Experience (APE)

Students are required to complete 144 contact hours of applied practice experience (APE) with an accompanying integrative learning experience (ILE) course over the last two sessions of the program, after they have completed all core MPH coursework. The intention of the applied practice experience, to provide students with the opportunity to synthesize and apply concepts learned in their coursework to resolving real-life public health problems and situations in public health practice. Both the integrative learning experience and the applied practice learning experience are final requirements for the MPH degree program.

Planning the Applied Practice Experience

Students must be in good academic standing, have completed all MPH core course requirements and have the approval of their supervising course faculty and the MPH applied practice experience manager prior to registering for the applied practice experience. The applied practice experience is planned for the last two sessions of the MPH program; however, applied practice experience may need to be extended for a variety of reasons. Students whose applied practice experience placements extend beyond the initial enrolled session will receive an incomplete until a final grade can be given (refer to the Incomplete section of the academic catalog).

Students are responsible for identifying locations and preceptors that meet the criteria established by Chamberlain and that support the student’s achievement of the program’s competencies and learning outcomes. If the preceptor, mentor and/or field instructor you are submitting for Chamberlain University's review and approval was found using a third-party preceptor matching service, be advised that Chamberlain University will not reimburse any fees you may have incurred.  The MPH applied practice experience manager and the MPH experiential learning specialists assist a student with the contractual and compliance documents required to secure an applied practice experience site. Students will be in contact with the applied practice experience manager after their fifth course in the MPH curriculum sequence and prior to their projected applied practice experience start date to ensure placement and readiness to engage in the applied practice experience. After identifying a potential placement site, experiential learning specialists assist students in securing the placement site, in addition to making sure all required forms and documents are submitted as required.

Certain public health applied practice experiences may require screening including, but not limited to, a criminal background check, drug and/or alcohol testing, physical and/or psychological examination, or a credit check. Unsatisfactory screening results may result in denial of a particular applied practice experience opportunity.

Students are encouraged to begin planning for the applied practice experience as early possible. Students will need time to research and contact sites before making application for site and preceptor approval. At least 120 days (two sessions) prior to beginning the MPH-610 Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) and Applied Practice Experience (APE) I course, students will prepare and submit an application identifying the selected site, the preceptor, and outline general objectives/projects that will be conducted in the setting. The student is required to upload a copy of the preceptor’s resume with the application. At the start of the MPH-610 Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) and Applied Practice Experience (APE) I course, students develop a Student Learning Agreement (SLA). With the preceptor and faculty mentor supporting, the student will prepare the SLA which identifies the student’s educational objectives, specific assignments the student will have at the agency, interaction with and knowledge of other employees and their functions, and contact with other organizations to which the agency relates.

Final Deliverables – Applied Practice Experience (APE) & Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) Products

The scope and sequence of the ILE and APE courses are developed so that students can apply all learning from the MPH didactic courses to demonstrate successful mastery of the MPH degree program outcomes and competencies. To this end, students will review the MPH degree program outcomes and program competencies outcomes for each ILE/APE course. Using an ePortfolio, students will present the following deliverables at the end of MPH-620 Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) and Applied Practice Experience (APE) II as evidence of successful attainment of competencies and outcomes:

  1. ILE high-quality written product
  2. ILE poster presentation
  3. APE Student Learning Agreement (SLA)
  4. APE hours log/reflection
  5. APE products (two) representing projects conducted during the fieldwork
  6. CITI Training Certificate

In November 2016, the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) published new accreditation criteria for public health programs. As a result, the latest MPH competencies were incorporated into the Chamberlain MPH degree program curriculum and should be reviewed during your required final courses.

You will need to address the CEPH competencies and the Chamberlain MPH degree program competencies in your e-portfolio as evidence of synthesis and beginning practice.

For a complete listing of CEPH/MPH Foundational Competencies, see the MPH APE Handbook at

Applied Practice Experience Performance Evaluations

The preceptor supervises and provides feedback on the student’s on-site performance. During the applied practice experience there will be communication between the MPH applied practice experience manager and the student, and between the supervising course faculty member, the student and the preceptor, particularly when questions or issues arise. Contact will be made with the preceptor by the supervising course faculty member at least twice during the session to discuss the student’s progress. The grade will be based on the preceptor’s feedback, the student’s evaluation, the written reflective journal and any other relevant information.