What is the MPH internship? According to the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), all students working towards an MPH degree students must demonstrate competency attainment through an applied practice experience.  For MPH students in the School of Public Health (SOPH), this applied practice experience is a three (3) credit hour internship completed over a single semester. The internship is planned, supervised, and evaluated throughout the semester by the internship advisor, agency preceptor (site supervisor), and internship coordinator. The MPH Internship provides an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in a public health practice setting relevant to their career interests. Students are not able to register for the MPH Internship (PUH 688) until they meet with their internship coordinator and have their Internship Proposal Form approved by both their preceptor and internship advisor in the APEx portal.

Snapshot of the MPH Internship Program

Who is my internship advisor and coordinator?

The student’s internship advisor and internship coordinator are listed in the MPH Internship Syllabus and Contact Us page.

Who completes an MPH Internship?

All students working to complete an MPH degree are required to complete an internship as part of their degree curriculum. NO WAIVERS!

When do students complete the MPH Internship?

Students are eligible to complete the MPH internship after the completion of all of their core public health courses. Usually, this means that students must wait until their 3rd semester to complete the internship. The internship must be completed in a single academic semester. See the MPH Internship Timeline for more information.

Where can students complete the MPH Internship?

Internship sites may include governmental, non-governmental, non-profit, industrial and for-profit settings or appropriate university-affiliated settings. To be appropriate for the MPH internship, university-affiliated settings must be primarily focused on community engagement, typically with external partners. University health promotion or wellness centers may be appropriate. Applied practice activities should allow students the opportunity to address a critical public health issue in the community and should not be primarily administrative or research in nature. The internship advisor will review all proposals and reserves the right to request the student change their products or select a different internship organization if the internship activities and/or products do not meet the requirements of the MPH Internship Program at the UAB School of Public Health.

How do students secure an internship?

Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to secure an internship. Students should start looking for internships at least 2-3 months prior to the semester in which they intend to complete their internship. Internship opportunities are posted in the Get a Handle Student Newsletter and Handshake, UAB Career Center’s job/internship search platform. Students are also encouraged to view a sampling of Past Internship Sites to see where other students have interned in the past. Students can also identify their own internship opportunity as long as it satisfies the MPH Internship Requirements.  Students should not wait until the last 2-3 weeks before the semester begins to start thinking about where to complete the internship.  

What are the eligibility requirements to complete the MPH Internship?
  • All core MPH courses must be completed to be eligible to complete the internship.
  • Background check before registering for their internship (read through the instructions here). If a student is a UAB employee (student employment is not included), or if the student is an online international student who will complete their internship outside of the US, they are not required to complete the background check. Students completing their internship remotely are required to submit a background check order. Online students (domestic) are required to submit a background check order. The registration hold for the internship course is removed from the student’s account once the background check order has been submitted, and the SOPH consent form has been signed and returned per the linked instructions.
  • Professional Passport Interprofessional (IP) Practice Modules (Modules 1 & 2) and two (2) Enrichment Activities. Please note, the completion of IP Activities require registration and participation in extracurricular events scheduled during the semester. Do not wait until the last minute to complete the IP Activities. See the MPH Professional Passport in Canvas for more details.
What is the APEx Portal? When should I access it?

The APEx portal is the UAB School of Public Health’s online system for tracking and managing student’s applied practice experiences. There is no Canvas course associated with the MPH Internship.

Students can log into the APEx portal with their Blazer ID and password here or access the portal through the green buttons at the top of every page of the Applied Practice Experience website.

Students should not access the APEx portal until they have secured an internship. All required documentation that the student, preceptor, and internship advisor will complete will be done through the APEx Portal.

What are the requirements of the MPH internship?
  • The focus of the internship MUST be public health practice. Internships which are solely academic research, shadowing, clinical, and clerical/administrative internships are not appropriate. 
  • The internship must allow the student to demonstrate the attainment of five (5) MPH Foundational Competencies. Students can align their internship to additional Departmental Competencies.
  • Students demonstrate competency attainment through the development of work products.  The student must be able to submit a minimum of two (2) work products demonstrating competency attainment in all five (5) competencies. Products are tangible work items developed by the student during their internship. Products must be approved by the preceptor prior to the start of the internship and be beneficial to both the student and the internship organization.
  • The student must complete a minimum of 180 contact hours with the organization during the semester in which they register for the internship, however, the student’s preceptor can require the student to complete additional hours. All hours must be completed in a single semester. 
  • The student must be registered in BlazerNet for PUH 688/688Q, a 3-credit hours course, under their internship advisor before beginning the internship.
  • In order to register for the internship, the student must complete the MPH Internship Proposal Form and have this form approved electronically by their internship advisor and preceptor through the APEx portal. 
  • Students cannot start the internship prior to the first day of class and must have all hours completed by the last day of class for that semester. 
  • All forms are tracked using the APEx portal; all deliverables are submitted in APEx portal.
What documentation/deliverables are required throughout the internship?

The following documents/deliverables are required as part of the planning and evaluation of the internship. 

  • Internship Proposal Form (completed by the student; approved by the internship advisor & preceptor)*
  • Student Midpoint Reflection of Internship Experience 
  • Preceptor Midpoint Evaluation of Student Performance 
  • Internship Advisor Midpoint Meeting Confirmation 
  • Student Final Reflection of the Internship Experience
  • Hours Log (tracked by student)
  • A minimum of 2 Final Work Products demonstrating competency attainment in a minimum of 5 MPH Foundational Competencies
  • Preceptor Final Evaluation of Student Performance
  • Student Electronic Internship Poster and Internship Poster Presentation
  • Other Deliverables and Products as determined by the Site and Preceptor

* Note: You CANNOT REGISTER until your Internship Proposal form is complete and has been approved by your internship advisor and preceptor in the APEx portal.