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MPH Competencies

Competencies for all MPH students, and
Department-specific competencies

Core competencies are required of all Pitt Public Health MPH students, some are general competencies, others specific to each department.

MPH Public Health Competencies

Human Genetics Competencies
  • Apply knowledge of inheritance, including basic cellular and molecular mechanisms, and risk factors for disease to understanding a variety of rare and common health conditions.
  • Identify interactions among genes, environmental factors, and behaviors, and their effects on public health.
  • Assess the ethics of the application of genetic technologies to public health.
  • Communicate genetic and genomic principles to the general public as part of current public health initiatives.
  • Evaluate how genetic principles/technologies apply to diagnosis, screening, and interventions for disease prevention and health promotion programs.
Evidence-Based Approaches to Public Health
  • 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.

Public Health & Health Care Systems

  • 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.
Planning & Management to Promote Health
  • 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.
Policy in Public Health
  • 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.
Interprofessional Practice
  • Perform effectively on interprofessional teams (interprofessional means outside of public health).
Systems Thinking
  • Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue.


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