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Victory over disease and disability has become an understandably popular and realistic goal.
– Harold Varmus, M.D. Director National Cancer Institute, Nobel Prize Laureate


The MPH program has a competency-based curriculum. That is, the MPH curriculum emphasizes certain outcomes and abilities based upon the needs of the public health workforce. Competencies are divided into those mainly addressed by core courses called foundational competencies, and those mainly addressed by concentration courses called concentration competencies. Both foundational and concentration competencies are addressed by the MPH Applied Practice Experience course and the MPH Integrative Learning Experience course.

Foundational Competencies:

  • Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice
  • Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate
  • Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice
  • Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings
  • 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
  • Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities’ health
  • Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs
  • Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention
  • Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
  • Select methods to evaluate public health programs
  • Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
  • Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
  • Advocate for political, social or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations
  • Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity
  • Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making
  • Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges
  • Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
  • Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
  • Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content
  • Perform effectively on interprofessional teams
  • Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue


  • Define research problems, frame research questions, design research procedures, and outline methods of analysis
  • Apply theoretical frameworks to public health practice and problem solving
  • Assess risk and protective factors impacting communities through critical evaluation of peer-reviewed scientific literature and/or data analysis
  • Design and conduct evaluations of the acceptability and effectiveness of public health studies (e.g., interventions, observational studies, randomized controlled trials etc.)
  • Solicit and interpret input from community and stakeholders to participate in the needs assessment, planning, and/or implementation of health education/promotion in a defined community