School Wide Programs

Master of Public Health (MPH)-- Public Health Practice

MPH Core Competencies – for all MPH concentrations


  • Describe the roles biostatistics serves in the discipline of public health.
  • Describe basic concepts of probability, random variation and commonly used statistical probability distributions.
  • Describe preferred methodological alternatives to commonly used statistical methods when assumptions are not met.
  • Distinguish among the different measurement scales and the implications for selection of statistical methods to be used based on these distinctions.
  • Apply descriptive techniques commonly used to summarize public health data.
  • Apply common statistical methods for inference.
  • Apply descriptive and inferential methodologies according to the type of study design for answering a particular research question.
  • Apply basic informatics techniques with vital statistics and public health records in the description of public health characteristics and in public health research and evaluation.
  • Interpret results of statistical analyses found in public health studies.
  • Develop written and oral presentations based on statistical analyses for both public health professionals and educated lay audiences.


  • Describe the direct and indirect human, ecological and safety effects of major environmental and occupational agents
  • Describe genetic, physiologic and psychosocial factors that affect susceptibility to adverse health outcomes following exposure to environmental hazards.
  • Describe federal and state regulatory programs, guidelines and authorities that control environmental health issues.
  • Specify current environmental risk assessment methods.
  • Specify approaches for assessing, preventing and controlling environmental hazards that pose risks to human health and safety.
  • Explain the general mechanisms of toxicity in eliciting a toxic response to various environmental exposures.
  • Discuss various risk management and risk communication approaches in relation to issues of environmental justice and equity.
  • Develop a testable model of environmental insult.


  • Identify key sources of data for epidemiologic purposes.
  • Identify the principles and limitations of public health screening programs.
  • Describe a public health problem in terms of magnitude, person, time and place.
  • Explain the importance of epidemiology for informing scientific, ethical, economic and political discussion of health issues.
  • Comprehend basic ethical and legal principles pertaining to the collection, maintenance, use and dissemination of epidemiologic data.
  • Apply the basic terminology and definitions of epidemiology.
  • Calculate basic epidemiology measures.
  • Communicate epidemiologic information to lay and professional audiences.
  • Draw appropriate inferences from epidemiologic data.
  • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of epidemiologic reports.


  • Identify the main components and issues of the organization, financing and delivery of health services and public health systems in the US.
  • Describe the legal and ethical bases for public health and health services.
  • Explain methods of ensuring community health safety and preparedness.
  • Discuss the policy process for improving the health status of populations.
  • Apply the principles of program planning, development, budgeting, management and evaluation in organizational and community initiatives.
  • Apply principles of strategic planning and marketing to public health.
  • Apply quality and performance improvement concepts to address organizational performance issues.
  • Apply "systems thinking" for resolving organizational problems.
  • Communicate health policy and management issues using appropriate channels and technologies.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills for building partnerships.


  • Identify basic theories, concepts and models from a range of social and behavioral disciplines that are used in public health research and practice.
  • Identify the causes of social and behavioral factors that affect health of individuals and populations.
  • Identify individual, organizational and community concerns, assets, resources and deficits for social and behavioral science interventions.
  • Identify critical stakeholders for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs, policies and interventions.
  • Describe steps and procedures for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs, policies and interventions.
  • Describe the role of social and community factors in both the onset and solution of public health problems.
  • Describe the merits of social and behavioral science interventions and policies.
  • Apply evidence-based approaches in the development and evaluation of social and behavioral science interventions.
  • Apply ethical principles to public health program planning, implementation and evaluation.
  • Specify multiple targets and levels of intervention for social and behavioral science programs and/or policies.


  • Specify the role of the immune system in population health.
  • Describe how behavior alters human biology.
  • Identify the ethical, social and legal issues implied by public health biology.
  • Explain the biological and molecular basis of public health.
  • Explain the role of biology in the ecological model of population-based health.
  • Explain how genetics and genomics affect disease processes and public health policy and practice.
  • Articulate how biological, chemical and physical agents affect human health.
  • Apply biological principles to development and implementation of disease prevention, control, or management programs.
  • Apply evidence-based biological and molecular concepts to inform public health laws, policies, and regulations.
  • Integrate general biological and molecular concepts into public health.

     Public Health Practice Concentration competencies

  • Describe public health as a system, including its unique and important features and their role within it, to general audiences.
  • Apply measures of population health and illness, including risk factors, to community health improvement initiatives.
  • Identify and distinguish public health and prevention strategies from curative strategies for prevalent health problems.
  • Describing the role of law and government in promoting and protecting the health of the public and identifying specific functions and roles of governmental public health agencies in assuring population health.
  • Describing the public health role, and their own level of participation, in emergency responses for a range of contingencies that might arise.
  • Identifying and explaining how various occupations, professions, and careers contribute to carrying out public health’s core functions and essential services.
  • Identifying and describing key challenges facing public health workers in the early 21st century.
  • Develop a theory- and evidence-based health promotion intervention using a systematic program planning process.
  • Apply theory and strategy-based communication principles across different settings and audiences
  • Develop public health programs and strategies responsive to the diverse cultural values and traditions of the communities being served
  • Demonstrate team building, negotiation, and conflict management skills
  • Use collaborative methods for achieving organizational and community health goals
  • Analyze determinants of health and disease using an ecological framework
  • Describe how social, behavioral, environmental, and biological factors contribute to specific individual and community health outcomes.
  • Describe the tasks necessary to assure that program implementation occurs as intended.
  • Explain how the findings of a program evaluation can be used.
  • Explain the contribution of logic models in program development, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Differentiate among goals, measurable objectives, related activities, and expected outcomes for a public health program.
  • Prepare a program budget with justification
  • Develop and carry out a comprehensive plan for evaluating a public health program or policy.
  • Differentiate the purposes of formative, process, and outcome evaluation
  • Differentiate between qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods in relation to their strengths, limitations, and appropriate uses, and emphases on reliability and validity
  • Assess evaluation reports in relation to their quality, utility, and impact on public health
  • Describe attributes of leadership in public health.
  • Articulate an achievable mission, set of core values, and vision.
  • Communicate public health information effectively with diverse public and professional audiences via oral, written, or other emerging communication technologies.