Competencies and Learning Objectives


School of Public Health Foundational Learning Objectives


Foundational Learning Objectives

Profession & Science of Public Health:
Explain history, philosophy & values
Identify the core functions & 10 essential services
Explain role of quantitative & qualitative methods & sciences to describe & assess a population's health
List major causes & trends of morbidity & mortality in the US or other relevant community
Discuss the science of primary, secondary & tertiary prevention in population health
Explain the critical importance of evidence in advancing public health knowledge

Factors Related to Human Health:
Explain effects of environmental factors on a population's health
Explain biological & genetic factors that affect population health
Explain behavioral & psychological factors that affect population health
Explain the social, political & economic determinants of health & how they contribute to population health & health inequity
Explain how globalization affects global burdens of disease
Explain an ecological perspective on the connections among human health, animal health & ecosystem health (One Health)


Master of Public Health (MPH)

MPH (All Degrees)

Foundational Competencies

Evidence-based Approaches to Public Health:
FC1. Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings & situations in public health practice
FC2. Select quantitative & qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
FC3. Analyze quantitative & qualitative data using appropriate biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming & software
FC4. Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice

Public Health & Health Care Systems:
FC5. Compare the organization, structure & function to health care public health & regulatory systems both national & international
FC6. Discuss how structural bias, social inequities & racism undermine health & create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community & societal levels

Planning & Management to Promote Health:
FC7. Assess population needs, assets & capacities that affect communities' health
FC8. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs
FC9. Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention
FC10. Explain basic principles & tools of budget & resource management
FC11. Select methods to evaluate public health programs

Policy in Public Health:
FC12. Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics & evidence
FC13. Propose strategies to identify stakeholders & build coalitions & partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
FC14. Advocate for political, social or economic policies & programs that will improve health in diverse populations
FC15. Evaluate policies for their impact on public health & health equity

FC16. Apply principles of leadership, governance & mgmt. including creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration & guiding decision making
FC17. Apply negotiation & mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges

FC18. Select communication strategies for different audiences & sectors
FC19. Communicate audience-appropriate public health context, through both written & oral presentation
FC20. Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content

Interprofessional Practice:
FC21. Perform effectively on inter-professional teams

Systems Thinking:
FC22. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue


Describe public health issues in terms of person, place, and time from social, environmental, population, and individual perspectives.
Identify and use sources of epidemiologic information and knowledge as a basis for sound research, decision-making, and data-driven public health practice.
Construct suitable study designs.
Interpret and communicate the results of analysis to ensure the effective application of epidemiologic methods.
Always demonstrate strong ethics in the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of data used for public health practice.

Professional Option

Make policy recommendations at the organizational, local, state or federal level to improve population and community health.
Apply the principles of program planning, development, budgeting, management, and evaluation in organizational and community initiatives.
Apply quality and performance improvement concepts to address organizational performance issues.
Apply principles of ethical analysis (e.g., the Public Health Code of Ethics, human rights framework, other moral theories) and distinguish between population and individual ethical considerations in relation to the benefits, costs, and burdens of public health programs.
Apply the attributes of leadership in public health in interprofessional and collaborative community contexts.

Public Health Practice

Translate research findings into plain language formats for community audiences
Design a mixed methods evaluation design that meets a need for a community organization
Create data visualizations that simplify and streamline complex material for community audiences
Develop a proposal that demonstrates the link between community needs, intervention strategies, and resource allocation
Articulate the history and politics of regional community public health efforts

Maternal & Child Health

Identify the unique lifecourse, biological, sociocultural, and behavioral assets and challenges of public health practice with women, children and families.
Critique and evaluate existing public health interventions or policies for their appropriateness and implications for women, children and families.
Describe the historical landmark policies that have influenced public health practice in maternal and child health.
Develop an advocacy plan that engages a community in improving maternal and child health outcomes.
Describe a maternal and child issue in terms of time, magnitude/severity, scope, dispersion/location, and co-occurrence/co-morbidity.


Master of Health Administration (MHA)


The Master of Health Administration program is designed to prepare students for effective organizational management based on competencies and evidence based practices needed to become exceptional managers and leaders. The program is also committed to the improvement of health services through health services research and community engagement within complex health-related organizations. The 60 semester credit hour program is designed for aspiring and committed professionals who are interested in careers in health services administration in such settings as hospitals; managed care organizations; medical group practices; ambulatory, long- term care, insurance and pharmaceutical companies; consulting firms; government agencies; for- profit and nonprofit sector organizations. Through an internship, student portfolio and a final integrative experience, students are asked to incorporate, synthesize, and apply their knowledge within both an operational and a community context. The result is an organizational perspective that encourages students to integrate knowledge from a range of management disciplines while emphasizing accountability for effective performance. By the conclusion of the MHA program, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and skills in:

Achievement Orientation
Communication Skills
Financial Skills
Impact & Influence
Information Technology Management
Performance Measurement
Process Management & Organizational Design
Project Management 
Human Resources Management
Change Leadership
Strategic Orientation
Organizational Awareness
Analytical thinking
Information Seeking
Self Confidence
Team Leadership


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

PhD Health Behavior & Research

Disseminate research findings in peer-reviewed venues
Synthesize knowledge to identify gaps in the literature about important public health issues
Use research methods to develop, test, and implement interventions designed to achieve
social and behavioral change

(note, must meet all competencies for MS HBR)

PhD Epidemiology

Synthesize findings from epidemiologic studies in order to effectively communicate information that addresses public health issues
Demonstrate an ability to design an appropriate study to address a given public health issue
Formulate study hypotheses based on evidence to generate original research initiatives

(note, must meet all competencies for MS EPI)


Masters (MS)in Public Health Sciences

MS Biostatistics

Translate mathematical and statistical foundations to biostatistics
Design and critically evaluate study protocols in the health sciences
Design and apply comprehensive data management strategies for health-related studies
Identify and apply suitable statistical methods for data analyses
Effectively communicate statistical information to health practitioners and professionals

MS Health Behavior & Research

Conduct a systematic overview of the psychological, social, and cultural factors that promote population health
Apply and interpret data relevant to health behavior research
Communicate research findings to scientific audiences
Demonstrate a core set of research skills for conducting health behavior research
Use ethical principles to conduct research and professional practice

MS Epidemiology

Appropriately quantify risk and protective factors for various public health problems
Identify categories of threats to validity and appropriate actions to minimize them
Analyze the components and applications of causal inference adopted in the field of epidemiology
Critically evaluate the quality and applicability of epidemiologic research
Apply epidemiological methods and assumptions governing their use in research

This page was last modified on April 10, 2019