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MPH Core Competencies

 Fundamental Public Health Knowledge

Profession and Science of Public Health

  1. Explain public health history, philosophy and values.
  2. Identify the core functions of public health and the ten essential services.
  3. Explain the role of quantitative methods and science in describing and assessing population health.
  4. List major causes and trends of morbidity an mortality in the United States or other communities relevant to the school or program.
  5. Discuss the science of prevention at all levels, including health promotion, screening, etc.
  6. Explain the critical importance of evidence in advancing public health knowledge.

Factors Related to Human Health

  1. Explain effects of environmental factors on human health.
  2. Explain biological and genetic factors that affect human health.
  3. Explain behavioral and psychological factors that affect human health.
  4. Explain the social, political, and economic determinants of health and how they contribute to population health and health inequities.
  5. Explain how globalization affects global burdens of disease.
  6. Explain a One-Health, ecological perspective on the connections among human health, animal health and ecosystem health.

MPH Foundational Competencies

Evidence-based Approaches to Public Health

  1. Choose data collection methods
  2. Analyze and interpret quantitative and qualitative data.
  3. Use computer-based programming and software to support data analysis and interpretation.
  4. Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice.

Public Health and Health Care Systems

  1. Compare the organization, structure and function of health care and public health systems across national and international settings.
  2. Assess impacts of structural bias at organizational, community and societal levels that pose challenges to health equity.

Planning and Management to Promote Health

  1. Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities' health.
  2. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health programs
  3. Design a population-based project, program or intervention.
  4. Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management.
  5. Select methods to evaluate public health programs and policies.

Policy in Public Health

  1. Assess multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including ethics and evidence in relation to their capacity to improve public health and health equity.
  2. Apply communication and negotiation skills to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships to influence public health outcomes.
  3. Advocate for programs and political, social and economic policies that will improve health in diverse populations.


  1. Apply principles of effective leadership, governance and management, including fostering collaboration, guiding decision making, creating a vision and empowering others.


  1. Choose appropriate strategies for communicating a public health issue to various audiences, including stakeholders at all levels and sectors.
  2. Write technical or professional papers on public health issues.
  3. Deliver oral presentations on public health issues.

Inter-professional Practice

  1. Perform effectively on inter-professional teams

Systems Thinking

  1. Apply system thinking tools to a public health issue.