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MPH Competencies

M.P.H. Program

CEPH MPH Learning Objectives
Profession & Science of Public Health

  1. Explain public health history, philosophy and values
  2. Identify the core functions of public health and the 10 Essential Services
  3. Explain the role of quantitative and qualitative methods and sciences in describing and assessing a population’s health
  4. List major causes and trends of morbidity and mortality in the US or other community relevant to the school or program
  5. Discuss the science of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention in population health, 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 a population’s health
  2. Explain biological and genetic factors that affect a population’s health
  3. Explain behavioral and psychological factors that affect a population’s 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 an ecological perspective on the connections among human health, animal health and ecosystem health (eg, One Health)

CEPH MPH Competencies
Evidence-based Approaches to Public Health

  1. Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice
  2. Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
  3. Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate
  4. Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice

Public Health & Health Care Systems

  1. Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings
  2. Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community and societal levels

Planning & 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 policies or programs
  3. Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention
  4. Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
  5. Select methods to evaluate public health programs

Policy in Public Health

  1. Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
  2. Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
  3. Advocate for political, social or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations
  4. Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity


  1. Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making
  2. Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges


  1. Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
  2. Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
  3. Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content

Interprofessional Practice

  1. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams

Systems Thinking

  1. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue

Cross-cutting Competencies
At the completion of the MPH degree program all students will be able to :

  1. Demonstrate effective written and oral skills for communicating with different audiences in the context of professional public health activities. (Communication and Informatics)
  2. Use information technology to access, evaluate, and interpret public health data. (Communication and Informatics)
  3. Describe the roles of history, power, privilege and structural inequality in producing health disparities. (Diversity and Culture)
  4. Explain how professional ethics and practices relate to equity and accountability in diverse community settings. (Diversity and Culture)
  5. Develop public health programs and strategies responsive to the diverse cultural values and traditions of the communities being served. (Diversity and Culture)

Biostatistics Concentration

  1. Provide the biostatistical components of the design of a public health or biomedical experiment by:  clarifying the research objectives or questions; determining data and endpoints to be collected appropriate for the objectives; translating the objectives into biostatistical questions via hypothesis testing or confidence interval frameworks; determining the appropriate sample size; and writing the statistical analysis section of the experiment.
  2. Apply appropriate statistical analysis methods using SAS to analyze both categorical and quantitative data.
  3. Develop written and oral reports to communicate effectively to research investigators pivotal aspects of a study, including its design, objectives, data, analysis methods, results, and conclusions ensuring that results and conclusions are valid and reliable and address the research objectives.
  4. Create a collaborative environment for working on written and oral reports and developing critical thinking skills.
  5. Describe key concepts and theory underlying biostatistical methodology used in probability and inferential, analytical, and descriptive statistics.

Community Health Concentration

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

Environmental Health Sciences Concentration

  1.  Describe major environmental health hazards (physical, chemical and biological), and assess their genetic, physiologic, and socio-economic impacts on vulnerable and susceptible populations with special emphasis on rural and underserved communities.
  2. Apply research ethics and current research principles, including hypothesis development, experimental design, and current research methodology, to the qualitative and quantitative measurement and analysis of environmental health hazards.
  3. Apply the outcomes of environmental monitoring and environmental impact assessments to prevent, mitigate and/or forecast future exposures to environmental hazards and utilize this information to support or advocate for environmental health policy development.
  4. Apply current health risk assessment methods, utilized by federal, state, and local regulatory programs, and non-governmental guidelines and authorities directed toward management of environmental hazards and provide technical assistance and leadership to address the concerns of communities including environmental justice and equity.
  5. Apply current research methodology for community based intervention studies, assessing exposure to environmental factors as well as for the identification, quantification, and understanding of potential adverse effects on human health and ecosystems that might result from complex exposure to environmental stressors.
  6. Communicate environmental health hazards and associated health outcomes to community, stakeholders and professional audiences through oral and written communication and community-based intervention studies.

Epidemiology Concentration

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

Health Policy & Management Concentration

  1. Define the main components and issues of the organization, financing and delivery of public health systems in the US and compare the economic, professional, social and legislative influences to include safety preparedness.
  2. Describe the legal, values and ethical dilemmas in public health that are inherent in efforts to control cost, while assuring access and quality of services for the public.
  3. Compare the policy development, assessment, and evaluation process for improving the health status of populations; compare the potential impacts of policy and management on the conduct of public health research and practice.
  4. Describe the principles of program development, management, budget preparation with justification and evaluation as related for public health initiatives; in that effort, define quality, cost benefit and performance improvement concept to address organizational performance issues in public health as well as trends in planning, resources allocation, and financing their effects on consumers, providers and payers in public health.
  5. Define principles of strategic planning and marketing in public health and define how “systems thinking” can contribute to solving public health organizational problems.
  6. Compare leadership skills for building partnerships in public health and demonstrate health policy and management effectiveness using appropriate channels and technologies.


  1. Demonstrate how data and information are used to improve individual, program, and/or organizational performance (e.g., selection and use of valid and reliable quantitative and qualitative data, data-driven decision making, data management, performance measurement).
  2. Explain the importance of evaluations for improving programs, and services.
  3. Target/Tailor messages for disseminating public health data and information (e.g., social media, newspapers, newsletters, journals, town hall meetings, libraries, neighborhood gatherings).
  4. Recognize the role of cultural, social, and behavioral factors in the accessibility, availability, acceptability, and delivery of public health services.
  5. Engages community members to improve health in a community (e.g., input in developing and implementing community health assessments and improvement plans, feedback about programs and services).
  6. Participate with stakeholders in identifying key public health values and a shared public health vision as guiding principles for community action.

Last updated: 2/21/2019