Chapter 1: Introduction


The APE, or Applied Practice Experience (PHP 667), is a required 200 hour, 4-credit practicum course in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at Syracuse University. The purpose of this experience is for students to engage in public health practice and show competency in public health knowledge and skills.  

The major components of this course include:

  • Completion of 200 field hours with a public health or related agency.
  • Submission of a portfolio, which includes at least two (2) deliverables showcasing competency in at least five (5) MPH competencies, of which at least three (3) must be foundational competencies.
  • Four (4) online, asynchronous seminars
  • Weekly journals
  • Product/deliverable drafts for feedback.
  • Meetings with PHP 667 instructor and APE committee.

APE Eligibility is contingent on:

  • Eighteen (18) credits of applicable MPH coursework completed.
  • Completion of the APE milestone prior to enrollment in PHP 667.

PHP 667 Instructor/APE Coordinator Contact:
Susan Coots

Chapter 2: Responsibilities

Student Responsibilities

Students are responsible for:

  1. Completing the Applied Practice Preparation Milestone.
  2. Completion of PHP 667 assignments.
  3. Completing at least 200 hours of direct field experience; hours of which should be spent working towards attaining proficiency in core public health competencies.
  4. Engaging with the public health workforce and stakeholders according to professional and ethical guidelines.
  5. Actively engaging with site supervisor and PHP 667 instructor to discuss any issues or concerns with practicum placement.
  6. Actively seeking feedback from APE committee to receive guidance on APE deliverables through-out the semester. 

PHP 667 Instructor Responsibilities

The PHP 667 instructor is responsible for:

  1. Discussing readiness to complete the APE.
  2. Advising students on practicum placements and necessary tasks that must be completed prior to placement.
  3. Advising and mentoring students prior to, during, and after the placement.
  4. Serves as chair to the APE Committee.
  5. Consulting with site supervisor, as needed.
  6. Assessing required student work.

Applied Practice Experience Committee

The Applied Practice Experience Committee is responsible for:

  1. Reviewing the applied practice proposal submitted for the milestone and meeting with the student to suggest revisions or alternate practice activities and products if needed.
  2. Reviewing drafts of deliverables as outlines in the APE proposal and providing guidance and revision suggestions prior to portfolio submission
  3. Reviewing PHP 667 portfolio, meeting with the student to discuss revisions if needed, and completing the evaluation rubric.

Field Site Supervisor Responsibilities

The field site supervisor is responsible for:

  1. Working with the student and PHP 667 instructor to establish a placement plan; to include tasks/responsibilities for student during placement.
  2. Providing mentorship and guidance as student engages in public health practice; providing appropriate public health activities and tasks to complete during experience on day-to-day basis. 
  3. Completing mid and final evaluations on the student performance during the field placement.
  4. Meeting with the student regularly during the field placement and providing adequate public health opportunities for the student to engage in.
  5. Consulting with the PHP 667 instructor, as needed.

Chapter 3: Timelines and Procedures

APE Milestone Steps

The APE is a pre-planned experience. Students must complete the APE Milestone preparation activities prior to enrollment in PHP 667 (APE).

Prior to APE Milestone (1st Semester of Study)

  • All students enroll in PHP 675, a 0-credit course which allows access to pre-planning tasks.

Step 1: Attend APE Information Session

  • An information session is held every September. The information session provides an overview of the APE Milestone, as well as the APE guidelines and expectations.
  • Additional information about the APE Milestone, as well as the APE guidelines and expectations can be found on the "APE Milestone" Blackboard organization of which all MPH students have access to.

Step 2: Complete APE Application and Submit Resume via Tevera

  • The APE application and upload for students resume can be found on "Tevera," Falk's website for planning and oversite of internships/practicums. Students can access "Tevera" by visiting the PHP 675 Pre-planning Course Blackboard and clicking the "Tevera" link of the main page.

Step 3: Meet with APE Coordinator

  • Schedule a meeting with the APE Coordinator to discuss placement opportunities, planning, expectations, etc.

Step 4: Placement Search and Approval

  • Work the the APE Coordinator and APE Committee to review placement opportunities.
  • Important notes regarding placements
    • Placements must be able to provide public health practice opportunities. Research is not appropriate for the APE.
    • Syracuse University Legal policy dictates that students must have a scope of work (letter of agreement) or placement contract with any agency a student is placed for an internship or practicum.

Step 5: APE Proposal

  • Students must submit a proposal detailing the placement, activities, deliverables, and competencies to be met. This proposal is submitted to the APE Committee for review. Proposal requirements and template located on the APE Milestone Blackboard Organization.

Step 6: APE Proposal Committee Meeting

  • All proposals are reviewed by the APE Committee. The committee provides feedback and suggested revisions to the proposal, as well reviews for appropriateness in meeting APE requirements. Each student will meet with the committee to review their proposal and receive feedback. The committee must approve the proposal for the student to move forward.

Step 7: APE Approval

  • Students cannot enroll in PHP 667 until the steps above are complete.
  • Students cannot begin their placement until the official first date of the semester enrolled in PHP 667 AND they have received approval from the APE Committee AND a contract/letter of agreement/offer letter is secured from the placement agency.

Step 8: During APE (PHP 667)

  • Placement begins on or after day 1 of the semester, but not before.
  • Complete 200 hours of field work and create products which prove proficiency in public health competencies, as outlined in the APE proposal. 

*Note: We recognize that the applied practice experience is fluid, and that agency needs evolve and therefore the competencies to be demonstrated as initially listed in the APE proposal may change during the course of the experience. When this occurs, the student discusses the changes and the related work product to be produced with the APE Committee before proceeding.

  • Complete assignments per the PHP 667 syllabus.
  • Maintain contact with the PHP 667 instructor. Semi-monthly check-in meetings required.
  • Meet with the Applied Practice Experience Committee as needed.

APE Timeline


Summer APE

Fall APE

Spring APE

APE Information Session

September, Year 1

September, Year 1

September, Year 1

Submit PHP 667 application materials

Meet with APE coordinator to discuss placement ideas, opportunities, etc.

Note: Students interested in going abroad for their APE must submit their application at least 1 month prior to the dates listed on the right.

Application due: January 15th

Application due: April 15th

Application due: Sep 15th

Secure placement
APE Proposal submission

Proposal due:

April 1st

Proposal due:

July 1st

Proposal due:
December 1st

APE Proposal review, edit, and approval process

Approval needed by:
May 1st

Approval needed by:

August 1st

Approval needed by:

January 1st

Enroll in PHP 667, begin placement upon official start date of summer semester




Chapter 4: Field Placements


The placement process is a collaborative process between the PHP 667 Instructor, the student, and potential placement agencies.

Placement agencies must provide sufficient public health practice opportunities and supervisors that can appropriately oversee graduate level public health practice activities. Students may work with a variety of non-profit or for-profit agencies but should avoid academic institutions and research-based organizations.

Students discuss placement interests and receive final placement approval from the PHP 667 instructor.


The university must have a valid contract with any agency a student is placed. The contract process can take up to 3-4 months to complete. Students wanting a placement at an agency with which the University does not have a contract should speak with the PHP 667 Instructor during the Fall semester prior to PHP 667 enrollment.
*A contract is not needed if a student is accepted into an existing internship program within an agency or the placement is a paid experience.

Employment based

If a student wishes to request a placement in an agency they will be simultaneously employed, the following minimal conditions must be met:

  1. The organization possesses an interest in an opportunity for public health practice.
  2. An individual must be available as site supervisor, subject to the approval of the Department of Public Health. The site supervisor may not be the same individual who supervises the student in the work setting or has supervised the student in the past.
  3. The proposed placement activities must different significantly from previous or current employment responsibilities in the agency.
  4. The proposed placement must meet PHP 667 requirements.

Students wishing to secure an employed placement meet with the PHP 667 Instructor to discuss if the placement fulfills the minimum requirements above. The constraints of an employed placement are reviewed, other options are discussed, and a decision on the appropriateness of the placement is made.


Forms and Documents for APE can be found on the APE Milestone Blackboard Organization, of which all MPH students have access.

PHP 667: Graduate Practicum in Public Health (Graduate Course Syllabus)

Office Hours:

Catalog Description:

Provide cross-cultural experience and understanding of public health policies and practices in the field.


Completion of the Applied Practice Preparation Milestone. By permission of instructor. 



Learning Objectives:

At the completion of this course, students will be able to

  1. Demonstrate a minimum of 5 foundational and concentration public health competencies within a public health practice setting – CEPH Accreditation Criteria.
  2. Participate as a member of a professional workplace team.
  3. Reflect on public health practice experience as it pertains to personal, professional, and academic development.

Learning Objective

Course Assessment

Demonstrate a minimum of 5 foundational and concentration public health competencies within a public health practice setting

APE Portfolio

Participate as a member of a professional workplace team.

Student Evaluation – Mid & Final

Reflect on public health practice experience as it pertains to personal and professional development.

Weekly Journals

Course Grading:

item gradedweight



Student Evaluation - Mid-term


Student Evaluation – Final


Bi-Weekly Check-Ins


Seminar (4)


Weekly Journals


APE Portfolio




Students need to pass all P/F assessment items to pass the course.

gradespercentile gradegrade points per credit

























0 - 59.999


All pass/fail requirements must earn a “Pass” to pass the course.


  1. Timesheets (P/F); Tevera.
    1. Students are required to complete a minimum of 200 hours of field experience with their practice site.
      1. Note: Students are required to meet at least 80% (160 hours) of the required hours to pass the course.
        1. Students completing 80-89% of the required hours will receive a 20% grade deduction on the journals and portfolio assignment.
        2. Students completing 90-99% of the required hours will receive a 10% grade deduction on the journals and portfolio assignment.
    2. During their placement, students are required to track and submit timesheets noting the number of hours completed at the site. Timesheets are to be completed by the student on Tevera and submitted to the supervisor for approval on a weekly basis. The supervisor will then use Tevera to electronically sign the documents.
  2. Student Evaluations (P/F); Tevera.
    1. At the mid-point of the practicum placement and at the end of the practicum placement, each student use Tevera to send their mid-term and final evaluation form to their site supervisors. The site supervisors complete these forms at the mid-term and end of the semester. The written evaluation will be used to determine if the following objectives are being/have been met, and if the student is:
      1. Making steady progress on the completion of the assigned site projects, including any requested reports and papers.
      2. Making steady progress towards the completion of required practicum hours.
      3. Making steady progress towards identified competencies.
      4. Engaging in the site activities as an active participant and contributor to the project or organizational goals.
      5. Communicating effectively, both orally and written.
      6. Interacting with individuals, groups, and/or communities across diverse setting competently.
      7. Respecting the rights of others and maintains confidentiality.
  3. Bi-Weekly Check-Ins (P/F)
    1. Students communicate with the course instructor at least once every two weeks. This check-in can be in the form of an email or zoom meeting and include: Description of how the practicum experience in progressing, a review of any issues or barriers the student is or believe they might experience, a progress report on the APE products as described in the APE portfolio.
  4. Seminars (4 – P/F)
    1. Students attend 4 seminars (online asynchronous) over the course of the semester; must attend at least 3 out of 4 to achieve a “Pass”. See schedule below.
  5. Journals (30%)
    1. Students keep track of their personal and professional learning experiences during their practicum by submitting a semi-weekly electronic journal to the course instructor via blackboard.
    2. The weekly journal writing allows students to document their own responses to the work in their practicum site as well as their observations of the organization, its leadership and the strengths and weaknesses of public health practice at the site. The journal is meant to be a series of personal reflections that communicate the impact of the experience on the formulation of the student’s views of effective public health practice.
    3. Entries should include specific accounts of experiences, interactions, and observations. Each entry should be at least one page single-spaced or two pages double-spaced. See rubric on Blackboard.
  6. APE Portfolio (70%):

Prior to beginning the practice experience, student submit the APE proposal form for committee review. See APE Milestone Organization on Blackboard for form.  

Students are encouraged to submit drafts of the portfolio products as completed, rather than wait until the end of the experience. The APE committee is then able to provide formative feedback to the student

The APE committee reviews the completed portfolio for adequacy in demonstrating MPH competencies. Actions and products produced for the portfolio must be grounded in public health and related theory, concepts, and principles. Elements of the portfolio may require citations; The committee will provide one set of feedback commentary, to which the student may respond and revise the portfolio before the final submission.

Portfolio rubric on Blackboard.

    1. Portfolio to Include:
      1. Cover Page
      2. Table of Contents
      3. APE Overview Document (The Proposal Document, developed during the Internship Pre-Planning phase and approved by the APE committee; switched to past tense for this purpose); narrative should include aims/goals of experience and significance of work.
      4. APE Reflection
      5. Product #1, with brief description of how the product exemplifies the mapped competencies.
      6. Product #2, with brief description of how the product exemplifies the mapped competencies.
      7. Additional Products, as necessary.
      8. Appendix, as necessary.
      9. APA Format.
    2. Portfolio Review Process
      1. Portfolio is due two weeks prior to last day of classes, for review by APE Committee.
      2. APE Committee will provide feedback and student will make edits as suggested, then submit their final, revised copy.
      3. Final Portfolio is due by final day of semester, for final review by the APE Committee. Note: Portfolio must be received at least 48 (business) hours in advance of final APE Committee review meeting.
      4. The APE Committee will review and finalize the portfolio grade using the portfolio rubric (see BB). The student then meets with the APE Committee for a final discussion. This meeting must occur before grades are due for the semester.
      5. Meeting Process
        1. Student provides overview of experience (description of overall aim of agency and program worked with, overall scope of their work, competencies demonstrated and associated products); highlights high points and low points of experience.
        2. Committee presents summary of review and rubric.

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