Applied Practicum Experience (Field Placement | Internship)

The purpose of the “Applied Practicum Experience” (APE) is to demonstrate competency through application of classroom knowledge into public health practice settings. Students may enroll in MPH 6904 (Introduction to APE, 1 credit hour) while completing their remaining core classes. After completing the core courses, students should enroll in MPH 6905 (Applied APE, 2 credit hours) while completing concentration courses.

The Applied Field Practicum is taught by instructors from each concentration. APE precepting agencies include public health departments, medical practices, community health centers, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and non-profit health agencies. It is recommended that students consider field placements that may lay the foundation for their professional paper and/or future employment opportunities.

MPH 6904 Introduction to Field Placement is a 1- credit hour course where students will work on securing their internship and write a proposal for their scope of work.

MPH 6905 Applied Field Placement is a 2- credit hour course. 240 internship hours are logged and minimum of two non-academic work products as deliverables are required. MPH 6904 is completed before enrolling in MPH 6905.

Typical students take the MPH 6904/MPH 6905 courses.

MPH 6903 Comprehensive Field Placement is a 3- credit hour course. This course is offered only to students who already have a secured internship and do not need help in finding a field placement site.

For students in the MPH HPAL concentration focusing in long term care administration, MPH 6903 is taken and counted as an 3 credit hour elective in addition to completion of MPH 6904/6905.

A list of agencies/preceptors where students have previously completed their APE is regularly updated by instructors. At the end of each semester, the Field Placement Coordinator routes the agency list to instructors to update. The updated list is provided to each instructor prior to the beginning of the next semester to be provided to students in their respective courses. Students may choose a site not on the list, in which case the Field Placement Coordinator and respective instructor work with ECU to assure the site meets program standards and appropriate university agreements are complete and in place.

The APE field placement can be completed within a semester or longer based on instructor approval and agency needs. The student and preceptor work together to determine how many hours per week the student will be interning. Ultimately, the student produces two non-academic work products, and many other products which can be displayed in the student’s portfolium and used as a demonstration of public health competency attainment.

MPH Field Practicum Manual (PDF) – revised Aug 2022

ECU MPH Guide for Preceptors (PDF)

Applied Practicum Experience (APE) (recording)

Learn more about our students’ internship experience