Students graduating with an MPH degree and planning to work as public health professionals should meet competencies in the five public health disciplines specified in the Associations of Schools of Public Health, Education Committee Report, Master's Degree in Public Health Core Competency Development Project. The domains of the discipline-specific competencies include biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health policy and management, and social and behavioral sciences.
We have added a sixth discipline of public health ethics and relevant competencies to the MPH Program curriculum. In addition, interdisciplinary competencies in communication and informatics, diversity and culture, leadership, professionalism, program planning, public health biology, and systems thinking will provide our MPH students with the skills needed to succeed in the field of public health.
Upon graduation, all MPH students will have the following competencies:
Describe the role biostatistics serves in the discipline of public health.
Identify vital statistics and other key data sources, and apply descriptive techniques commonly used to summarize public health data.
Describe basic concepts of probability, random variation and commonly used statistical probability distributions.
Distinguish among the different measurement scales and the implications for selection of statistical methods to be used based on these distinctions.
Apply common statistical methods for inference, and specify methodological alternatives to commonly used statistical methods when assumptions are not met.
Understand analysis of basic study designs and apply descriptive and inferential methodologies accordingly to answer a particular research question.
Interpret results of statistical analyses found in public health studies.
Environmental Health Sciences
Describe the direct and indirect human, ecological and safety effects of major environmental and occupational agents.
Specify approaches for assessing, preventing and controlling environmental hazards that pose risks to human health and safety.
Describe genetic, physiologic and psychosocial factors that affect susceptibility to adverse health outcomes following exposure to environmental hazards.
Specify current environmental risk assessment methods.
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.
Describe federal and state regulatory programs, guidelines and authorities that control environmental health issues.
Explain the importance of epidemiology for informing scientific, ethical, economic and political discussion of health issues.
Identify key sources of epidemiologic data, and comprehend basic ethical and legal principles pertaining to the collection, maintenance, use and dissemination of epidemiologic data.
Identify the principles and limitations of public health screening programs, including the evaluation of validity and reliability of screening tests
Describe epidemiologic study designs and assess their strengths and limitations.
Describe a public health problem in terms of person, time and place.
Apply the basic terminology and definitions of epidemiology.
Calculate basic epidemiology measures, including risk, rate, incidence, and prevalence.
Draw appropriate inferences from epidemiologic data.
Communicate epidemiologic information to lay and professional audiences.
Evaluate the strengths and limitations of epidemiologic reports.
Health Policy and Management
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.
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Identify the role of social and community factors in both the onset and solution of public health problems.
Recognize the causes of social and behavioral factors that affect health of individuals and populations.
Examine racial and ethnic disparities within the context of historic and contemporary social and economic climates.
Discuss sentinel events in the history and development of the public health profession and their relevance for practice in the field.
Understand the root causes of disparities in disease risk, access and utilization of preventive and health care services and health outcomes.
Identify basic theories, concepts and models from a range of social and behavioral disciplines that are used in public health research and practice.
Describe steps and procedures for the planning of social and behavioral interventions and policies.
Apply ethical principles to public health program planning, implementation and evaluation.
Identify multiple targets and levels of intervention for social and behavioral science programs and/or policies.
Identify individual, organizational and community concerns, assets, resources and deficits for social and behavioral science interventions.
Apply evidence-based approaches in the development and evaluation of social and behavioral science assessments and interventions.
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.
Public Health Ethics
Comprehend basic ethical and legal principles pertaining to the collection, maintenance, use and dissemination of epidemiologic data.
Describe the legal and ethical bases for public health and health services.
Apply basic principles of ethical analysis to issues of public health practice and policy.
Apply legal and ethical principles to the use of information technology and resources in public health settings.
Describe the roles of history, power, privilege and structural inequality in producing health disparities.
Explain how professional ethics and practices relate to equity and accountability in diverse community settings.
Identify the ethical, social and legal issues implied by public health biology.
Distinguish between population and individual ethical considerations in relation to the benefits, costs, and burdens of public health programs.
Upon graduation, MPH students in the Epidemiology concentration will have met the core competencies and will also be able to:
Select the most appropriate and efficient design for a specific research problem.
Articulate appropriate research questions and hypotheses to investigate public health problems.
Select measurement instruments appropriate for a research question.
Demonstrate familiarity with evidence-based principles of data management
Identify potential sources of bias, describe the direction and magnitudes of bias and its effect on measures of association, and develop strategies for reducing bias.
Identify variables that are potential confounders with respect to an association of interest.
Use statistical software packages to conduct descriptive analyses and examine bivariate associations.
Estimate measures of disease occurrence and of association and associated confidence intervals.
Use advanced statistical methods such as logistic regression, survival analysis, and proportional hazards models.
Draw appropriate inferences based on results of analysis.
Be prepared to participate in the implementation and management of a clinical trial.
Upon graduation, MPH students in the Community and Population Health concentration will have met the core competencies and will also be able to:
Recognize and assess the social, biological, psychological, and behavioral factors that affect the health of individuals and populations.
Identify and assess the individual, family, organizational, community, and societal level factors that are associated with the onset and solution of public health problems.
Comprehend the basic theories, concepts and models from the social and behavioral sciences that are used to address health issues at the individual, family, organizational, community, and population levels in public health research and practice.
Integrate and apply qualitative and quantitative mixed research methods for understanding phenomena in population health, and developing and evaluating public health assessments and interventions.
Develop community partnerships for the planning, implementation and evaluation of health promotion programs.
Employ the steps and procedures of planning social and behavioral assessments, interventions, and policies.
Advocate for the use of social and behavioral science approaches to address public health issues.
Use the basic concepts, skills, and methods involved in culturally appropriate community engagement and empowerment with diverse communities.
Identify key stakeholders for the planning, implementation and evaluation of health promotion programs.
Apply social justice and human rights principles when addressing community needs.