Host an MPH Student

Why host an MPH student?
Expand your capacity.

If you have an idea for a new project, or could use another enthusiastic team member to support an existing project, consider hosting a Cornell MPH student. Our students are motivated to dedicate time, energy and skills to support organizations and create useful deliverables. Every student must complete at least one Applied Practice Experience before graduation.

What is an MPH applied practice experience? It’s like an internship.

An applied practice experience (APE) is designed in partnership with an organization—across New York State, the United States, or around the world. MPH students build upon and apply skills learned through coursework to real-world settings with public health needs. These may be paid or unpaid. Applied practice projects can take many forms.

When does an applied practice experience take place?
Usually in the summer, but not always.

Most applied practice projects take place in the summer, between a student’s first and second years in the MPH Program, where a student is immersed in on-site work for 6-8 weeks. Some projects take place in the spring, fall, or across multiple semesters. Timing can be flexible, but please check with the MPH office early in the planning process.

What do applied practice site supervisors do? Plan, mentor & offer feedback.

  1. Help define a project opportunity that supports your organization.
  2. Collaborate with the student to develop a Project Work Plan including:
    A project description
    A timeline of activities
    Two or more deliverables
    Applied learning objectives
  3. Mentor the student on site with your organization.
  4. Complete brief mid-point progress & final evaluation surveys.
  5. Approve the student’s final deliverables, along with descriptions of how they applied public health skills during the project.

Have a project idea for an MPH student?
You can…

  • Complete an Applied Project Opportunity Form
  • Reach out to the applied practice coordinator, Audrey at
  • Have an informational interview with a student

For more details, check out the Applied Practice Guide for MPH partners.

Applied practice experiences may be paid or unpaid. They can require budgeting and planning, especially if a student plans to travel for the experience. Costs might include airfare, housing accommodations, or commuting costs. International students or projects may also require visa or immunization fees. While some practice experience partners offer stipends, many do not. It is the student’s responsibility to research funding options and secure necessary funding. It is also up to the student to determine whether a practice partner offers a stipend or reimbursement for other specific costs and, if so, to outline these in writing. See more information on funding options for student projects on the MPH Program’s funding page.

 Partners have received:

  • Outreach materials
  • Stakeholder presentations
  • Quantitative and qualitative data analyses
  • Grant proposals and reports
  • Community needs assessments
  • Summary reports
  • Data visualizations
  • Literature reviews
  • Handbooks and manuals
  • Curricula and activities
  • Policy briefs
  • Logic models
  • And more!

What are some past Cornell MPH student applied practice experiences?
Here are just a few…

  • Supporting development of public health emergency response plans and a triage manual with the Tompkins County Department of Health in Ithaca, New York
  • Developing mobile farmers’ market and nutrition curriculum proposals with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County in New York State
  • Collecting, analyzing, and communicating Hurricane Harvey surveillance data with the Texas Department of State Health Services in Austin, Texas
  • Assessing food security and safety risks associated with food chains in Kenya and developing a research plan with the Smithsonian Global Health Program

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