APEX Requirements

Master of Public Health (MPH) students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison demonstrate mastery of the public health competencies through MPH coursework and the Applied Practice Experience (APEX). All MPH students are required to complete a 240-hour work experience, which is six course credits, with a community-based component. The APEX provides practical experience in a public health setting where students apply skills and knowledge they gained during didactic courses.

Community Engagement

At the UW MPH program, community partnerships are integral to meeting student learning goals and community engagement outcomes. The MPH program is committed to the Wisconsin Idea: that the benefits of the university extend to the boundaries of the state and beyond. We are committed to making a meaningful impact in the surrounding community.

The MPH program partners with local public health agencies, community nonprofits, public and private schools, and governmental agencies to provide each student with an Applied Practice Experience.

APEX opportunities


You must be in good academic standing (GPA of 3.0 or above) and have successfully completed first-year courses (PUBLHLTH 780-786) before beginning your APEX.

MPH curriculum

Applied Practice Experience Seminar

You must complete a one-credit required seminar, PUBLHLTH 787: MPH Applied Practice Experience Seminar, prior to the APEX. Select your APEX site before you enroll in the seminar. The seminar provides students with useful skills needed to complete an APEX and/or to work in a public health or community setting. During the seminar, students prepare their project aim, learning objectives and work plan, and sign an APEX Learning Agreement.

Time Commitment

All Master of Public Health students must complete 240 hours with their site. The Applied Practice Experience is typically completed during the summer term, although part-time students may complete the APEX over a number of semesters. If you are completing a part-time APEX, use the following guidelines for the number of hours to be completed in a semester.

  • 1 credit = 40 hours
  • 2 credits = 80 hours
  • 3 credits = 120 hours
  • 4 credits = 160 hours
  • 5 credits = 200 hours
  • 6 credits = 240 hours
Public Health Mentors Global Health APEX