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MPH Competencies

Competencies for all Pitt Public Health MPH students

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

Core Public Health Disciplines

  • Define commonly used statistical terminology
  • Demonstrate the ability to correctly select the most appropriate statistical procedures for given research hypotheses and types of data
  • Demonstrate the ability to interpret the results of statistical analysis given the results of a statistical analysis
Environmental Health Sciences
  • Define environment, sources of unhealthy exposures to environmental hazards, populations most susceptible to environmental hazards, and sources, as well as reasons for disparity in environmental and occupational hazard exposure. | Source: ASPH EOH competencies 1, 2, 4, 5
  • Identify the major classes of environmental hazards, their mechanisms for injury and susceptibility, the issues related to measurement of their exposures, and the major components for environmental risk characterization and assessment. | Source: ASPH EOH competencies 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Explain the roles of responsible global and national government agencies and identify important laws that regulate and protect environmental quality and health, as well as explain the role of agencies and parties responsible for protecting and cleaning the environment. | Source: ASPH EOH competencies 6, 7
  • Identify approaches for preventing and remediating environmental hazards, protecting populations from environmental hazards, and working with stakeholders to resolve complex issues of environmental and occupational health promotion. | Source: ASPH EOH competencies 9, 10, 11
  • Describe a public health problem in terms of magnitude, person, place and time
  • Calculate basic epidemiology measures
  • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of epidemiologic reports (i.e. research reports)
Health Policy and Management
  • Identify and evaluate the main components of the policymaking process that affect the financing and delivery of health services in the US. | Source: ASPH HPM competencies #1, #4 and #8
  • Apply the principles of strategic planning, program development, and performance measurement to public health initiatives that utilize effective partnerships between organizations and communities. | Source: ASPH HPM Competencies 5, 6 and 7
  • Develop leadership skills and communicate relevant healthcare policies and management issues using appropriate channels and technologies. | Source: ASPH HPM Competencies #9 and #10
Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Identify basic theories, concepts, and models from a range of social and behavioral disciplines that are used in public health research and practice
  • Describe steps and procedures for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs, polices, and interventions
  • Identify factors related to and resources and targets to address the health of individuals and populations at all levels of the social ecological framework

Cross-Cutting Competencies

Communication and Informatics
  • Demonstrate effective written, oral, and technology-based skills for communicating with different audiences in the context of professional public health activities
  • Use information technology to access, evaluate, and interpret public health data
Diversity and Culture
  • Discuss the roles of cultural competence, linguistic competence, health literacy and a diverse workforce in public health
  • Use the basic concepts and skills of community-based participatory research that involve culturally appropriate community engagement and empowerment to develop public health programs and strategies that are responsive and acceptable to a wide range of communities
  • Identify and describe the historical underpinnings and structural inequality that lead to health disparities
  • Provide examples of interventions that were made more effective by being adapted to culture-specific needs of a particular group
  • Describe the principles and terminology of leadership in public health
  • Demonstrate team building, negotiation, conflict management and other leadership skills
Public Health Biology
  • Identify the key biological processes and recent scientific breakthroughs related to:
    • Infectious diseases, including pathogenesis, the immune response, the emergence of new infections, plus treatment and vaccination strategies
    • Genetic and chronic diseases, including Mendelian and complex diseases, cancer, and neuropsychiatry disorders
  • Apply basic principles of ethical analysis to issues of public health practice and policy
  • Promote high standards of personal and organizational integrity, compassion, honesty, and respect for all people
  • Value commitment to lifelong learning and professional service
Program Planning
  • Identify steps in planning, implementing and evaluating public health programs and interventions
  • Apply public health theories and planning models to program planning
  • Describe formative, process and outcome evaluations and how they can be used
Systems Thinking
  • Qualitatively describe a systems thinking approach to public health, including consideration of complex feedback loops and unintended consequences
  • Identify and describe the key terminology and concepts of one or more specific approaches to quantitative or systems modeling in public health
© 2018 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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