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Competencies

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:

Core Competencies

  1. Describe the role biostatistics serves in the discipline of public health.
  2. Describe basic concepts of probability, random variables, and commonly used statistical probability distributions.
  3. Distinguish among the different measurement scales or types of variables and select appropriate descriptive statistical methods for summarizing public health data.
  4. Select appropriate inferential statistical methods to answer research questions relevant to public health research.
  5. Conduct descriptive and inferential statistical analyses that are appropriate to different basic study designs used in public health research.
  6. Summarize and interpret results of basic statistical analyses found in public health studies.
  7. Interpret results of multivariable statistical analyses found in public health studies.
  8. Describe the direct and indirect human, ecological and safety effects of major environmental and occupational agents.
  9. Describe genetic, physiologic and psychosocial factors that affect susceptibility to adverse health outcomes following exposure to environmental hazards.
  10. Explain the general mechanisms of toxicity in eliciting a toxic response to various environmental exposures.
  11. Specify current environmental risk assessment methods.
  12. Develop a testable hypothesis to evaluate the adverse impact of environmental hazards.
  13. Specify approaches for assessing, preventing and controlling environmental hazards that pose risks to human health and safety.
  14. Describe federal and state regulatory programs, guidelines and authorities that control environmental health issues.
  15. Discuss various risk management and risk communication approaches in relation to issues of environmental justice and equity.
  16. Develop appropriate skills in communicating environmental health issues to target groups, both orally and in writing.
  17. Identify vital statistics and other key sources of data for epidemiologic purposes.
  18. Describe a public health problem in terms of magnitude, person, time and place.
  19. Discuss the principles and limitations of public health screening programs.
  20. Comprehend basic ethical and legal principles pertaining to the collection, maintenance, use and dissemination of epidemiologic data.
  21. Explain the importance of epidemiology for informing scientific, ethical, economic and political discussion of health issues.
  22. Apply the basic terminology and definitions of epidemiology.
  23. Calculate basic epidemiology measures.
  24. Communicate epidemiologic information to lay and professional audiences.
  25. Differentiate among the criteria for causality.
  26. Draw appropriate inferences from epidemiologic data.
  27. Describe epidemiologic study designs and assess their strengths and limitations.
  28. Evaluate the strengths and limitations of epidemiologic reports.
  29. Identify the main components and issues of the organization, financing and delivery of health services and public health systems in the U.S.
  30. Describe the legal and ethical bases for public health and health services.
  31. Explain methods of ensuring community health safety and preparedness.
  32. Discuss the policy process for improving the health status of populations.
  33. Apply the principles of program planning, development, budgeting, management and evaluation in organizational and community initiatives.
  34. Apply principles of strategic planning and marketing to public health.
  35. Apply quality and performance improvement concepts to address organizational performance issues.
  36. Apply organizational theory and systems thinking for resolving organizational problems.
  37. Apply basic principles of ethical analysis to issues of public health practice and policy.
  38. Identify basic theories, concepts and models from a range of social and behavioral disciplines that are used in public health research and practice.
  39. Identify the causes of social and behavioral factors that affect health of individuals and populations.
  40. Identify individual, organizational and community concerns, assets, resources and deficits for social and behavioral science interventions.
  41. Describe steps and procedures for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs, policies and interventions.
  42. Describe the role of social and community factors in both the onset and solution of public health problems.
  43. Apply evidence-based approaches in the development and evaluation of social and behavioral science interventions.
  44. Apply ethical principles to public health program planning, implementation and evaluation.
  45. Specify multiple targets and levels of intervention for social and behavioral science programs and/or policies.
  46. Identify critical stakeholders for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs, policies and interventions.
  47. Describe the merits of social and behavioral science interventions and policies.
  48. Describe the roles of history, power, privilege, and structural inequality in producing health disparities.
  49. Cite examples of situations where consideration of culture-specific needs resulted in a more effective modification or adaptation of a health intervention.
  50. Explain how professional ethics and practices relate to equity and accountability in diverse community settings.
  51. Identify the ethical, social and legal issues implied by public health biology.
  52. Distinguish between population and individual ethical considerations in relation to the benefits, costs, and burdens of public health programs.
  53. Apply legal and ethical principles to the use of information technology and resources in public health settings.
  54. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of published articles that address public health issues within the program concentration area.
  55. Characterize the health of a population/community.
  56. Develop and implement plans to address specific public health issues related to the program concentration area.
  57. Integrate and apply public health knowledge to practice within the relevant program concentration area.
  58. Identify ethical, social, and cultural issues related to policies, risks, research, and/or interventions in public health contexts.
  59. Identify processes whereby priorities are established and decisions are made within public health organizations or agencies.
  60. Communicate public health content to various target audiences clearly and effectively both orally and in writing.

Community and Population Health Concentration Competencies

  1. Recognize and assess the social, biological, psychological, and behavioral factors that affect the health of individuals and populations.
  2. Identify and assess the individual, family, organizational, community, and societal level factors that are associated with the onset and solution of public health problems.
  3. 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.
  4. Integrate and apply qualitative and quantitative mixed research methods for understanding phenomena in population health, and developing and evaluating public health assessments and interventions.
  5. Develop community partnerships for the planning, implementation and evaluation of health promotion programs.
  6. Employ the steps and procedures of planning social and behavioral assessments, interventions, and policies.
  7. Advocate for the use of social and behavioral science approaches to address public health issues.
  8. Use the basic concepts, skills, and methods involved in culturally appropriate community engagement and empowerment in diverse communities.
  9. Identify key stakeholders for the planning, implementation and evaluation of health promotion programs.

Epidemiology Concentration Competencies

  1. Select the most appropriate and efficient design for a specific research problem.
  2. Articulate appropriate research questions and hypotheses to investigate public health problems.
  3. Select measurement instruments appropriate for a research question.
  4. 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.
  5. Identify variables that are potential confounders with respect to an association of interest.
  6. Use statistical software packages to conduct descriptive analyses and examine bivariate associations.
  7. Estimate measures of disease occurrence and of association and associated confidence intervals.
  8. Use advanced statistical methods such as logistic regression, survival analysis, and proportional hazards models.
  9. Draw appropriate inferences based on results of analysis.
  10. Be prepared to participate in the implementation and management of a clinical trial.

Global Health Concentration Competencies

  1. Explain the impact of globalization on disease, economic development, extreme poverty and hunger.
  2. Examine the impact of gender inequality, and the disparities in health, education and nutrition on health outcomes.
  3. Describe the epidemiology and point out the impact of maternal and child health and mortality on public health.
  4. Evaluate approaches to social and behavioral change in the context of global health programs.
  5. Describe the epidemiology, ecology, and control of infectious and non-communicable diseases.
  6. Analyze the importance of environmental resources and sustainability in promoting health and economic well-being.
  7. Identify, define and describe human rights principles and international public health ethics.
  8. Outline the global burden of disease, and compare the roles of major organizations, governments and communities in disease management and global development.
  9. Generate a plan to conduct international health work in resource-poor settings or within global initiatives.
  10. Use the basic concepts, skills, and methods involved in culturally appropriate community engagement and empowerment in diverse communities.
  11. Apply public health skills and principles of research methods and analysis to health problems in the developing world.