MPH Competencies

The MPH program has been designed to help students develop the competencies they need to be successful in an array of public health careers and organizational settings.  The competencies for all MPH graduates are provided below, followed by the competencies for each of the concentrations.

General competencies

  • Apply basic concepts of probability, random variation and commonly used statistical probability distributions
  • Apply descriptive techniques commonly used to summarize public health data
  • Interpret results of statistical analyses found in public health studies
  • Analyze the direct and indirect human, ecological and safety effects of major environmental and occupational agents
  • Apply federal and state regulatory programs, guidelines and authorities that control environmental health issues
  • Systematically examine a public health problem in terms of magnitude, person, time and place to develop potential responses or interventions
  • Apply the basic terminology and definitions of epidemiology
  • Calculate basic epidemiology measures
  • Describe interrelationships among the main components and issues of the organization, financing and delivery of health services and public health systems in the US
  • Demonstrate use of the policy process for improving the health status of populations
  • Apply "systems thinking" for resolving organizational problems
  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic theories, concepts and models from a range of social and behavioral disciplines that are used in public health research and practice
  • Explain the causes of social and behavioral factors that affect health of individuals and populations
  • Demonstrate effective written and oral skills for communicating with different audiences in the context of professional public health activities
  • Apply the principles of community-based participatory research to develop interventions for diverse populations
  • Illustrate the importance of public health programs and strategies responsive to diverse cultural values and traditions of the communities being served
  • Commit to the attributes of leadership in public health
  • Apply the core functions of assessment, policy development, and assurance in the analysis of public health problems and their solutions
  • Embrace a definition of public health that captures the unique characteristics of the field (e.g., population-focused, community-oriented, prevention-motivated and rooted in social justice) and how these contribute to professional practice

Biostatistics concentration competencies

  • Evaluate preferred methodological alternatives to commonly used statistical methods when assumptions are not met
  • Distinguish among and apply the different measurement scales and understand the implications for selection of statistical methods to be used based on these distinctions
  • Apply common statistical methods for inference

Environmental health competencies

  • Explain genetic, physiologic and psychosocial factors that affect susceptibility to adverse health outcomes following exposure to environmental hazards
  • Apply current environmental risk assessment methods
  • Propose approaches for assessing, preventing and controlling environmental hazards that pose risks to human health and safety
  • Delve into the general mechanisms of toxicity in eliciting a toxic response to various environmental exposures
  • Develop various risk management and risk communication approaches in consideration of issues of environmental justice and equity

Epidemiology competencies

  • Integrate epidemiologic concepts to inform scientific, ethical, economic and political discussions of health issues
  • Interpret epidemiologic data and measures
  • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of epidemiologic reports related to infectious, chronic, or genetic diseases

Health systems and policy competencies

  • Apply the principles of program planning, development, budgeting, management and evaluation in of strategic planning and marketing to public health
  • Apply principles of strategic planning and marketing to public health
  • Leverage quality and performance improvement concepts to assess and influence organizational performance issues
  • Demonstrate leadership skills for building partnerships

Social and behavioral sciences competencies

  • Propose steps and procedures for the planning, implementation and evaluation in organizational and community initiatives
  • Assess the role of social and community factors in both the onset and solution of public health problems
  • Apply evidence-based approaches in the development and evaluation of social and behavioral science interventions