Getting Started On Your Applied Experience

There are numerous opportunities for students to fulfill the Applied Experience (AE) requirement, including during the semester or during the summer, either domestically or overseas. Enrollment in various programs may be limited by the number of openings available. We strongly encourage students to seek out their own Applied Experience opportunities.

  1. To get acquainted with the AE, please begin by watching this 14 minute video.
  2. Read the Standards of Conduct.
  3. Learn how to get the most out of your Applied Experience.
  4. Explore some of the resources listed below.

Resources

  • Speak with your PHS advisor
  • Check the PHS weekly e-newsletter for postings
  • Join the PHS LinkedIn group
  • Look through the Career Center’s Handshake listings. It may be helpful to set up a meeting with the Career Center to learn about more internship/volunteer/fellowship opportunities available.
  • Speak with your course professors about opportunities they may know of or be willing to host.
  • Check with Student Employment for relevant assignments.
  • Visit the Center for Social Concern (CSC) for ideas and see their Community Bulletin.
  • Talk to your friends! They may know of openings.

Types of Applied Experiences

Volunteer/Internship (Uncompensated) Applied Experiences

Students participating in volunteer or internship work with a public health focus may choose to formally apply for that work to fulfill the Applied Experience requirement. Medical tutorials do not satisfy this requirement. Students may receive 1-2 S/U credits from their academic advisor. Students pursuing this option will:

  1. Meet with your advisor to discuss the opportunity, prior to beginning the 80 hours of your Applied Experience.
  2. Depending on the timeline of hours, register for 1-2 credits under 280.500.03 Applied Experience PH by completing the gold form (“Undergraduate Research, Independent Study, Internship, and Departmental Thesis Form”) with your PHS advisor and submitting it to the Registrar
  3. Submit your detailed information in this Google form.
  4. Submit reflections via Blackboard. Updates should be dated and model a journal entry. Due dates will be given by your advisor.
  5. Upon completion, submit a Memorandum of Completion, signed by the faculty/staff who supervised the student, affirming that the student completed 80 hours of service and offering feedback on the student’s work.
  6. Complete a synthesizing assignment and abstract and submit to Blackboard.

Uncompensated applied experiences include (but are not limited to):

  • An uncompensated internship with an organization engaged in public health
  • Participation in Health Leads or other student groups with significant non-student oversight. To find out whether your student group’s work can count as an Applied Experience, please speak with your advisor.
Research Applied Experiences

The course number Public Health Studies Research 280.505 or 280.511 can be used for customized applied experience opportunities you develop in collaboration with PHS faculty and an onsite public health professional specific to your area of interest. Satisfaction of the Applied Experience requirement should be pre-approved by the participating PHS faculty member who oversees your work and awards academic credit. All research must be approved and have all necessary IRB approvals (see links in sidebar for more details). If you are interested in pursuing this option:

  1. Meet with your advisor to discuss the opportunity, prior to beginning the 80 hours of your Applied Experience.
  2. Register for 1–3 credits of independent academic work, research, by completing the gold form (“Undergraduate Research, Independent Study, Internship, and Departmental Thesis Form”) with your PHS sponsor and submitting it to the Registrar
  3. Submit your detailed information in this Google form.
  4. Submit regular updates, as requested by the PHS sponsor, via Blackboard. Updates should be dated and model a journal entry.
  5. Upon completion, submit a PI Summary Report (found in Blackboard), signed by the faculty/staff who supervised the student, affirming that the student completed 80 hours and offering feedback on the student’s work.
  6. Complete a synthesizing assignment and abstract and submit to Blackboard.
Compensated Applied Experiences

Students may find paid employment that is relevant to the purpose and mission of the applied experience. If you believe that a paid position qualifies, speak to your academic advisor. It is possible to have the experience satisfy this requirement for the major, but you will not receive academic credit on your transcript. Students pursuing this option will:

  1. Meet with your advisor to discuss the opportunity, prior to beginning the 80 hours of your Applied Experience.
  2. Submit your detailed information in this Google form.
  3. Submit regular updates, as requested by the PHS sponsor, via Blackboard. Updates should be dated and model a journal entry. Due dates will be given by your advisor.
  4. Upon completion, submit a Memorandum of Completion, signed by the faculty/staff who supervised the student, affirming that the student completed 80 hours of service and offering feedback on the student’s work.
  5. Complete a synthesizing assignment and abstract and submit to Blackboard.
Course-Based Applied Experiences

Courses that include a public health internship component may satisfy the Applied Experience requirement. Students should discuss options with their advisor and AE coordinator. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Public Health Honors (280.495 and 280.499)
  • Community Based Learning – Practicum Community Health (280.399)
  • Internship/Practicum: Critical Theory and the Possibility of Social Justice (363.417)
  • Study abroad that incorporates an 80-hour field-based public health component. Some possibilities include the PHS Uganda trip, the PHS program in South Africa, SIT programs, CIEE Service-learning programs, and some, but not all, Boston University Internship programs abroad.
  • Approved courses can generally either count as Applied Experience OR upper level PHS courses, not both.

If you are pursuing this option:

  1. Meet with your advisor to discuss the course, and ensure that it fulfills the Applied Experience requirement.
  2. Submit your detailed information in this Google form.
  3. Once you have enrolled and completed the course, let your advisor know.
  4. Submit the final paper or product required by the class. Course-based experiences offer graded credit, and require no additional synthesizing assignment beyond the final assignments completed for the class, unless specifically stated by your advisor.
  5. You do not have to submit a Memorandum of Completion, but a completed Exit Survey is expected.