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Community Partners

Visit the websites of the many community partners who support our program.

Public health organizations in Chicago can partner with the MPH program

The Master of Public Health (MPH) program at Northwestern University is committed to preparing our students for work as a public health practitioner. Therefore, in addition to traditional coursework, students must complete two professional experiences: the Applied Practice Experience (APEx) and the Culminating Experience (CE). APEx is a practicum that allows students to apply the theories, concepts, and knowledge attained in the classroom to public health projects in real-world settings.

The MPH program partners with a wide range of community organizations that offer APEx placements to students.


When a student undertakes an APEx project at a partner organization, they are required to:

  • complete 160 hours of work with the organization
  • develop two practical public health products of relevance to the community partner and the population it serves

Examples of APEx Project Work:

  • Grant proposals
  • Project Plans
  • Training modules, lesson plans, etc.
  • Qualitative and/or quantitative data collection activities
  • Health education activities
  • Health communication tools and materials
  • Dissemination of health information and resources (podcasts, digital artifacts, websites, flyers, videos, etc.)

Student Timelines:

Depending on the student type (i.e. full-time, part-time, dual-degree), there are a variety of timelines in which a student is expecting to complete their 160 hours of work.

  • Full-time students complete their hours between September and March
  • MD/MPH students work on their hours between February and September
  • DPT/MPH students aim to work on their hours between June and September
  • Part-time and PhD/MPH students vary individually on their timelines depending on their workload


Northwestern is grateful to all partner organizations who take on one of our students for their APEx work. APEx is a formative experience for our students as it offers them a taste of the work they will be doing upon graduation. Therefore, we ask that our partners regularly meet with students during their APEx work to check on their progress toward their deliverables and to discuss the larger impact of their work and the work of organization. We also ask that partners sign off of the students’ APEx proposal, review the student’s final presentation, certify that the student has completed their 160 hours, and evaluate the student.


Adela Mizrachi, MA
Director, Applied Practice & Community Engagement
Northwestern University Program in Public Health