Where to Find an APE

The Applied Practice Experience (APE), while a degree requirement, provides degree-seeking students with an opportunity to gain real-world experience while applying skills and knowledge from their academic training. The APE must be competency-based and provide the student with the opportunity to attain a combination of foundational and concentration/department-related competencies.

When starting the process for identifying an APE, students should consider their career/professional goals and interests. It is important that students begin the process early and understand that they will need to use a combination of job search tools to secure an APE, including but not limited to RSPH Career Connection job postings, networking events, career fairs, LinkedIn contacts, external events, information sessions and workshops, career coaching appointments, and other resources. Students also have the opportunity to complete their APE at various industries, including research, proprietary, non-profit, government, healthcare, and others.

As a reminder, an APE is required to be approved by the department APE Advisor prior to starting the position to ensure it meets the requirement. It is also the student’s responsibility to secure an APE prior to graduation and ensure all approvals and documents are submitted on time.

This page is one of several resources to help students with the planning process and provide examples of APE that may be appropriate for meeting the requirement.


Additional resources for identifying potential APE opportunities:


APE opportunities may be paid or unpaid depending on funding available at the organization. Unpaid experiences still offer an immeasurable opportunity to build practical skills, gain professional skills, make a tangible difference, and open doors for future opportunities.


How to talk to your employer about using your job as an APE in 5 easy steps


  1. Talk to your employer about what an APE does for you. Explain to them that this will help you meet one of the requirements for you to graduate. 
  2. Talk to your employee about how the APE can benefit them. Explain to the employer that you will provide the specific tangible deliverables that you agree to complete.
  3. Explain that the employer (APE Supervisor) will receive a quick reference handbook that goes over exactly what you need them to do.
  4. Stress that the APE process is very simple and requires them to log into a system when you start, way through, and then when you finish the project to approve the objectives, deliverables, site, etc. 
  5. Follow the steps outlined in the Student APE Handbook to help you cover all the steps.