Sattha Riyapan and Austin Cohrs, both alumni of the Master of Public Health program in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, discuss a poster being presented. The two men are at left in the photo, pointing toward a large research poster.

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Master of Public Health (MPH) Foundational Competencies

The core curriculum of the MPH program supports student attainment of the 22 foundational competencies.

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 and 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 and 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.
  • Select methods to evaluate public health programs.

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.

Leadership

  • 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.

Communication

  • 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.

Systems Thinking

  • Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue.

There are also specific competencies for each academic track within the MPH program. View track-specific courses and competencies.