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Doctor of Public Health Applied Practice


Walden's DrPH program is Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Accredited. It prepares public health practitioners to assume positions of leadership and influence in practice-based settings. In this professional doctoral degree program, students explore public health challenges from both a domestic and global standpoint and learn how evidence-based research can be applied to advance public health goals. Through their coursework, students examine topics such as ethics, budgeting, critical analysis, and supervision, with an overarching emphasis on enhancing practical skills. Students in this multidisciplinary program have the opportunity to collaborate on assignments with students from other programs.

Making a difference in your profession requires both theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

Why an Applied Practice Experience?

The experience that you receive through the Applied Practice Experience is a critical educational component of the DrPH program. The Applied Practice Experience is designed to provide you with the opportunity to:

  • synthesize knowledge,
  • develop professional public health competence in the foundational areas identified by CEPH,
  • apply knowledge to the solution of public health problems,
  • reinforce program learning outcomes and DrPH competencies in a professional setting,
  • develop a respect for and commitment to the continued pursuit of professional knowledge.


Read the DrPH Applied Practice Experience Manual

You are required to read the DrPH Applied Practice Experience Manual in detail and adhere to the policies included within.  You must confirm that you have read and understand all the policies in this manual when you apply for your applied practice experience. Failure to comply with the policies within this manual is considered a violation of Walden’s Code of Conduct and Professional Competence Policy and may result in formal sanctions, including, but not limited to, award of a failing course grade, Code of Conduct inquiry, and dismissal from the university. See the student handbook for details and contact the Field Education Coordinator for questions.

Determine When You Will Take Your Applied Practice Experience

The MPH program is 64 quarter credit hours. You will complete practicum during your last 1 or 2 quarters of enrollment. You should contact your student success advisor (SSA) halfway through your program for assistance in determining when you are due to begin your practicum:

Determine Your Application Deadline

You must submit your applied practice application one full quarter before beginning PUBH 8990. 

Applying for Applied Practice can be a lengthy process. We recommend you learn your applied practice requirements at the beginning of your program. This can help remedy any problems that may arise before your application is due. 

Deadlines are critical. Failure to submit your Applied Practice Application by the deadline may result in a delay to the next quarter and a delay in your graduation date.

Application Deadlines

Fall Quarter

Application Deadline: First day of preceding summer quarter 

Winter Quarter

Application Deadline: First day of preceding fall quarter 

Spring Quarter

Application Deadline: First day of preceding winter quarter 

Summer Quarter

Application Deadline: First day of preceding spring quarter 

Preceptor Requirements

Your preceptor must meet the requirements below to be nominated to serve as your preceptor. This information will be reviewed during the application process to determine if they are an appropriate choice.

  • Is employed by the applied practice site.
  • Holds a terminal degree OR master’s degree (MPH preferred but not required) with at least 5 years of related experience.
  • Works currently in public health in the student’s area of interest.
  • Has the time and desire to guide and support the applied practice experience.

Student Requirements

To begin your applied practice course, you must apply, be approved, and registered for the course. You must wait until the first official day of the course to begin your hours.


  • There is one applied practice course, PUBH 8990: DrPH Applied Practice Experience (2 cr.)
  • You must complete a total of 80 hours of applied practice at the same site
  • Applied Practice hours can only be completed when you are participating in PUBH 8990
  • You must begin logging Applied Practice hours during the first two weeks of PUBH 8990

Professional Preparation

These Professional Preparation resources may assist you in your search for an applied practice site. While they are not a required part of your application, it is recommended you review the resources as they may help you in your future career search as well.

Familiarize Yourself With Meditrek

Meditrek is a user-friendly online tool that will help you search for field sites, submit your applied practice application, monitor the status of your applied practice application, and complete the evaluation process. Meditrek will help you:

  • Search for previously used field sites near you.
  • Provide an easy and trackable system to submit your applied practice application(s).
  • Collaborate more effectively with faculty and preceptors.
  • Provide documentation of your experience to potential employers.
  • Access the system 24 hours a day from anywhere with an Internet connection, including your computer, tablet, and smartphone, even after you graduate.


You will receive access to Meditrek approximately 6 months before the start of PUBH 6638. You will receive an email when your account is created. Once created, you will be able to use your Walden portal classroom sign on information to login to Meditrek. If you do not have access by the time you begin your application, contact the Office of Field Experience.