Applied Practice Experience (APE)

The Applied Practice Experience (APE) is a required component of the MPH and MD/MPH programs that allows students to gain experience and develop skills towards the application of public health knowledge to address public health problems. Students are able to gain applied experience in a variety of settings, including governmental, non-governmental, non-profit, and for-profit agencies. The activities that are completed through this course should be mutually beneficial to both the student and the selected site. Students have the option to apply for formal internships or work directly with UTMB partners to complete their APE.

For their APE, students are required to identify five individual competencies that they will meet through the creation of two deliverables (minimum) that they complete for their site. Three of the five competencies must come from the list of foundational competencies as defined by CEPH. The other two competencies can be any combination of foundational and concentration competencies (any concentration competencies selected must be specific to the concentration in which the student is enrolled). A complete list of competencies can be found here.

International Practice Experience

Students also have the opportunity to complete their APE internationally with SPPH’s Department of Global Health & Emerging Diseases. Students will do an international rotation for up to 3 months during which time they will work with long-term collaborators on projects that address needs identified by those partners and the communities they serve. For those that are interested in this opportunity, contact Sadie Odom at 

Past APE Sites

Students have completed their Applied Practice Experience at many non- and for-profit sites. Examples of some of these sites include:

  • AccessHealth 
  • American College of Healthcare Executives - Southeast Texas Chapter (ACHE-SETC)
  • American Red Cross (D.C.)
  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • CHRISTUS Our Daily Bread
  • City of Galveston Municipal Utilities Dept
  • Exploration Medicine
  • Family Service Center of Galveston County
  • Galveston County Food Bank
  • Galveston County Health District
  • Galveston Queer’s & Allies
  • Galveston Urban Ministries
  • Galveston's Own Farmers Market
  • Gulf Coast Center
  • Harris County Public Health
  • Legacy Community Health
  • MD Anderson - Dept of Health Disparities Research
  • Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services (MD)
  • REACH Coalition
  • Region 6/5S - Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Sealy Center for Environmental Health & Medicine
  • Southeast Texas Poison Center
  • St. Vincent's House
  • St. Vincent’s Free Clinic
  • Texas AHEC East      
  • Texas HHSC - Austin State Supported Living Center
  • University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
  • UTMB Institutional Office of Regulation Nonclinical Studies
  • UTMB Biocontainment Treatment Unit
  • UTMB Center for Global & Community Health
  • UTMB Marketing & Communications
  • UTMB Special Pathogens Excellence in Clinical Treatment, Readiness, and Education (SPECTRE)

Practice Experience Course Requirements

Students are required to register for SPPH 6070: Applied Practice Experience and earn 4 credit hours towards graduation.

For more information about the APE, please contact Arielle Bennett at