MPH Applied Practice Experience: for Preceptors

All MPH students are required to complete the MPH Applied Practice Experience.  It is a 200-hour field experience that allows students to demonstrate professional competency in public health in a practice setting.

The applied practice experience enables students to bridge the gap between the classroom and public health practice.  It is an exciting opportunity to gain “real world” experience that can also help foster relationships among the public health community.

It is typically one of the final courses in the MPH student’s plan of study.  The experience is supervised by an experienced field supervisor (preceptor) and the Practicum Director.

Organization qualifications

Applied practice experience placements can be in a wide variety of organizations, including local and state public health agencies, community-based organizations, as well as, international non-governmental organizations and agencies.  There is a formal approval process for all potential preceptors/organizations.

Benefits of hosting

UI Public Health

  • Increase exposure for your organization
  • Open the doors to a potential new employee
  • Gain assistance on a project
  • Enhance your organization’s relationship with The University of Iowa
  • Impact the next generation of public health leaders

Preceptor responsibilities

  • Work with the student to develop a mutually beneficial project
  • Orient the student to the organization and the community it serves providing a context for the organization’s impact on public health
  • Assist the student to become acquainted with organization staff
  • Provide resources needed to complete the practice experience (e.g., work space, computer, office supplies, administrative support, access to data)
  • Provide on-going oversight and maintain consistent contact with the student throughout the experience
  • Provide written feedback by completing an online mid-point and final evaluation form

More info

The MPH Applied Practice Experience Preceptor Orientation packet is available, and feel free to contact Jeanie Kimbel, Practicum Director, at for further information.