Applied Practice and Integrated Learning Experience

Master of Public Health (MPH) students have the opportunity to gain meaningful real world practice through the Applied Practice Experience (APEX). Students find placements in some of the Bay Area’s best public health agencies, and in health organizations across the nation and the globe. In place of a research-based thesis, students complete an Integrated Learning Experience (ILEX), a capstone synthesis that demonstrates mastery of the profession.​

For students starting in 2019 or after, 250 hours of applied practice experience are required for all concentrations.

In preparation for the APEX, our MPH Program offers:

  • Opportunities for meaningful, hands-on work
  • Fieldwork orientation at the beginning of the program
  • Conversations with local leaders and experts from around the world
  • Resume-building and cover letter workshop
  • Internship and career fairs to liaise with recruiters and practitioners in the field
  • Support provided during one-on-one practice advising sessions with internship supervisors
  • Health Professions Day, which follows an APHA Conference-style with
  • Poster/Oral Presentations made by graduating students.

“Once I got to the MPH program, it finally clicked — I was learning about something with the opportunity to apply tools and techniques to issues that mattered to me.

Reid Whaley, MPH‘19

Program Contact

Applied Practice Experience Coordinator: Dr. Dory Escobar

If your organization is interested in becoming a USF community partner please contact Dr. Dory Escobar at

Applied Practice Experience Placements

Please find below a list of sample organizations where our students have completed their applied practice experience.

Agency Location
Alameda County PH – Asthma Program Alameda, CA
Breast Cancer Fund San Francisco, CA – Migrant Farm Worker Public Health Walnut Creek, CA
Every Life Foundation Novato, CA
Glide Clinic San Francisco, CA
HOPE Collaborative San Francisco, CA
Pacific Gas and Electric San Francisco, CA
Physicians for Social Responsibility Oakland, CA
Department of Public Health San Francisco, Oakland, Yolo County, Santa Clara, Marin, San Mateo, Sonoma County, CA
SF CARD San Francisco, CA
Suicide Study – University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
UCSF – Office of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs San Francisco, CA
Young Family Resource Center San Francisco, CA
California Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS) Central Valley, CA
California Program of Access to Care Berkeley, CA
Flu Near You San Francisco, CA
Kaiser Permanente San Francisco & Santa Rosa, CA
Lucrecia Farfan-Ramirez – HOPE Collaborative San Francisco, CA
The Food Education Project San Francisco, CA
Berkeley Unit Alternative Berkeley, CA
Brighter Beginnings Richmond, CA
CPIC – Cancer research Fremont, CA
Family Service Agency  – SF San Francisco, CA
Gamble Institute San Francisco, CA
NIH Baltimore, MD
Partnerships for Change San Francisco, CA
UC–Merced Merced, CA
World Health Organization (WHO) Geneva, Switzerland & Uganda
The Birthing Project USA San Francisco, CA
Contra Costa Health Services – The Community Wellness and Prevention Program Pittsburg, CA
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA
FASD Norcal Sonoma, CA
Family Caregiver Alliance San Francisco, CA
California Department of Public Health – Immunization Branch Richmond, CA
San Francisco General Hospital San Francisco, CA
Project Avary Novato, CA
California Immunization Coalition Sacramento, CA