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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.

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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