MPH Competencies


EHS students visit a local water treatment facility.

Core Competencies

Upon completing the core curriculum of the MPH program, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge base in the disciplines of biostatistics, chronic and infectious disease epidemiology, health systems, public policy, social and behavioral sciences, and environmental health.
  • Apply basic research skills to specific public health problems in both group and individual settings, including the ability to define problems; construct, articulate and test hypotheses; draw conclusions; and communicate findings to a variety of audiences.
  • Explain the interrelationships between a multitude of factors that can impact on a public health problem, including scientific, medical, environmental, cultural, social, behavioral, economic, political, and ethical factors.
  • Review, critique, and evaluate public health reports and research articles.
  • Apply public health concepts, principles, and methodologies obtained through formal course work to actual problems experienced in the community or work environment.
  • Critically evaluate programs, interventions, and outcomes that relate to public health practice.
  • Apply ethical standards and professional values as they relate to the practice of public health.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to the social context within which public health professionals practice.

Health Policy MPH Competencies

Upon receiving an M.P.H. degree with a concentration in Health Policy, the student will be able to:

  • Evaluate the efficiency of public policies using economic concepts
  • Identify market failures in the market for public health activities and health care
  • Conduct decision analysis to evaluate prevention, screening, and treatment alternatives in public health and clinical medicine
  • Critically evaluate both the methods and application of cost-effectiveness analysis to inform public health decision-making
  • Assess statistical findings and empirical literature to enhance policy design and implementation
  • Synthesize the research literature, assessing strengths and weaknesses of published findings, to guide evidence-informed policymaking
  • Describe and assess the historical evolution of how different countries systems for financing and delivering health care have evolved and influenced the health of their populations
  • Describe the role of the major U.S. political institutions in health policy and politics.
  • Identify and evaluate different strategies for financing, regulatory and delivery system reform
  • Influence health policy and management decision making
  • Understand strategies of media advocacy to effectively reshape public awareness and opinion on health-related issues
  • Describe conceptual frameworks for political agenda setting
  • Assess how well different governance arrangements and policy designs result in a health care system that is responsive to differences in health needs among subsets of the population
  • Describe legal perspectives and institutions that affect health policy and public health, including assessment of legal and regulatory environments in the context of public health
  • Understand the ethical distinctions and professional norms associated with different paradigms for policy analysis and their implications for health policy
  • Demonstrate written communication skills to effectively communicate in professional health policy and community settings
  • Demonstrate oral communication and presentation skills to effectively communicate in professional health policy and community settings
  • Demonstrate leadership, team-based collaboration, and management skills