Thank you for your interest in the UAB School of Public Health Applied Practice Experience (APEx) program. For general information about the MPH Internship, please read through the MPH Internship Policies and Procedures page or the DrPH program, read through the DrPH Practicum Policies and Procedures page. The frequently asked questions (FAQs) below can help answer may of the most common questions regarding the internship. If you still have any questions regarding the internship or would like to set up time to talk with one of our internship coordinators, please contact the Office of Public Health Practice

  • The focus of internship must be public health practice. The internship cannot be SOLELY clinical, research or administrative.
  • The internship must allow the student to demonstrate competency attainment in 5 MPH Foundational Competencies (additional competencies may be departmental, if applicable).
  • Students demonstrate competency attainment through the development of work products. Students must ensure all five competencies are represented in the work products they submit and must submit a minimum of 2 work products.
  • Before students can begin their internship, students must submit an Internship Proposal form in APEx. The Internship Proposal Form describes their internship plan and anticipated work products and correlating MPH competencies. For each competency identified, the student must describe how the anticipated work product will demonstrate the competency.
  • Work products must mutually beneficial to student and internship site (i.e. the internship poster DOES NOT count as a work product).
  • Work described should be reasonable for the student to complete 180+ hours in one (1) semester.
  • The work completed by the student should be reflective of an entry-level MPH professional.
Internship sites may include governmental, non-governmental, non-profit, industrial and for-profit settings or appropriate university-affiliated settings. If the internship occurs in an university-affiliated setting, the internship must provide an opportunity for the student to interact with external community partners/stakeholders. University health promotion or wellness centers may be appropriate.

Students are responsible for securing their own internship based on their background, interests, and personal preferences. Students can apply to internships coordinated through the school, or they can identify their own opportunity. Students are encouraged to first review posted internships coordinated through the school. These opportunities will be distributed to students through the SOPH student newsletter and through direct outreach from faculty and the internship coordinators.

If you would like to post an internship opportunity at your organization, please complete the intern request form or contact the Office of Public Health Practice (ophp@uab.edu). You can also submit your opportunities be posted in Handshake, UAB's online recruiting system that allows all UAB students 24/7 access to search jobs and apply for on-campus interviews. Visit Handshake to learn more.

Students are ultimately responsible for securing their own internship, based on their background, interests, and personal preferences and circumstances, so we cannot predict which organizations they will choose. However, we are eager to work with you to increase your chances of getting the right student for your organization.

By the time they begin their internship, our MPH students will have at a minimum completed the UAB MPH core curriculum which gives our students the tools they need to become competent leaders in the field of public health. This model provides the critical link between public health education, research, and practice. They may have also taken additional courses in their area of interest.

Students must complete their internship within one academic semester (FALL: August – December, SPRING: January – April, SUMMER: May – August). OPHP@uab.edu can provide you with the specific start and stop dates for each semester.

The bulk of our MPH students, complete internships during the summer semester (May to August).

Students must be registered for the appropriate internship course before they can start their internship. Students cannot start their internship prior to the first day of classes and must complete all required hours and activities before the last day of classes the semester in which they are registered.  

Students are required to work at least 180 hours over the semester. This is an estimate of approximately 13 hours per week. However, preceptors can require the student complete additional hours.
  • Work with OPHP to develop a internship/practicum proposal.
  • Interview and choose the best student(s) for the position.
  • Develop an internship/practicum work plan along with the student intern before the start of the practice experience.
  • Electronically approve the student's work plan in APEx.
  • Provide the student an orientation to the organization, including the structure and function of the agency, and any professional or job expectations.
  • If available, provide the student with space within the organization in which to work while doing the practice experience, and include the student in agency and interagency meetings. Introduce the student personnel within the agency and to representatives of other community agencies when relevant.
  • Provide guidance to the student during their applied practice experience giving them feedback on their work. 
  • Notify the internship advisor and internship coordinator if any problem arises.
  • Provide a model of professional work habits and attitudes.
  • Maintain periodic contact with the internship advisor and student intern.
  • Discuss the student’s progress at least once midway through the internship.
  • Evaluate student performance on the midpoint and final student evaluation forms in provided in APEx. 
APEx is the online database used to manage all documents related to the MPH internship. Once you have identified a student, the student will start completing the necessary paperwork in APEx. After the students starts this paperwork, you should see your student intern’s name when you log into the system. Information will be organized by the role you have (review and sign, review only), and you will be notified when action is needed in the system. If you are a UAB preceptor, you can login with your BlazerID and Password (UAB MC or PEDs will need to request access to Microsoft Teams first). If you are an external user, you will need a username and password to access APEx. Don't have a username or password? The preceptor registration process will begin as soon as the student intern starts on his or her Internship/Practicum proposal form. If you already have an account, but have forgotten your password, please go to this website: https://apps.idm.uab.edu/xias/top and click Change your XIAS Password.
If you don't see your intern's information listed, please verify the student used your correct email address in their proposal form. If you continue to have issues, please contact the Office of Public Health Practice at ophp@uab.edu.
  • Internship/Practicum Proposal Form (completed by the student; approved the internship advisor and preceptor)
  • Preceptor Midpoint Evaluation of the Student Intern
  • Preceptor Final Evaluation of the Student Intern

As interns, students want to be treated as an integral part of the work team. Characteristics of a successful internship include:

  • An applied, real-world experience that offers professional tasks that relate to the student's field of study
  • An an internship preceptor (site supervisor) who is committed to mentoring and providing career advice and constructive feedback
  • An experience that assures the intern gets an overview of all departments and functions
  • An experience that allows the student to be part of the "team" (i.e., attend staff meetings, project planning team meetings, etc.)

At the completion of the internship, the student submits their final products and poster to be reviewed by their internship advisor. The internship advisor also takes into consideration the student's reflections of their internship experience and your midpoint and final evaluation of student performance. Students receive a Pass/No Pass grade based on these components. 

It depends. The range for stipends or salaries varies widely depending on the organization. If travel and relocation are involved, students might expect some sort of compensation or stipend. Some organizations have a need for an intern, but are unable to provide a stipend. They normally offer something unique that students cannot find elsewhere.
The Office of Public Health Practice will work with each organization to determine the status of liability and workers compensation coverage.