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Core Competencies

MPH Foundational Competencies

All MPH graduates must demonstrate the following competencies. These competencies are informed by the traditional public health core knowledge areas, (biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, health services administration and environmental health sciences), as well as cross-cutting and emerging public health areas.

Evidence-based Approaches to Public Health
1. Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice
2. Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
3. Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming
and software, as appropriate
4. Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice

Public Health & Health Care Systems

5. Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings
6. 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
7. Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities’ health
8. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs
9. Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention
10. Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
11. Select methods to evaluate public health programs

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

Leadership
16. Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making
17. Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges
Communication
18. Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
19. Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
20. Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content

Interprofessional Practice
21. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams

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

Biostatistics Concentration

  • Utilize statistical probability distributions and methodological alternatives to test assumptions and conduct research on determinants for disease; 
  • Apply descriptive and inferential methodologies according to the type of study design for answering a particular research question;
  • Apply basic informatics techniques with vital statistics and public health records in the description of public health characteristics and in public health research and evaluation; 
  • Identify determinants for disease that include individual, social/contextual, and structural determinants of morbidity and mortality trends within and across populations;
  • Describe disease trends within and across populations both in the US and globally; 
  • Identify the appropriate analytic methods for calculating key measures of morbidity (i.e. prevalence, incidence), mortality (e.g. mortality rates, etc) and measures of association (e.g. risk ratio, rate ratio, odds ratio, etc.);
  • Identify appropriate analytic approaches, in consultation with faculty members, along with relevant statistical software packages for the management and analysis of data;
  • Communicate and present findings of an epidemiologic investigation to a variety of audiences;
  • Contribute to cutting-edge research with internationally known faculty mentors across NYU working on key areas including clinical trial study design, nutrition, HIV/AIDS and tobacco control.

Community and International Health Concentration

  • Assess health issues among diverse population groups in the US and globally;
  • Apply a social ecological framework to the assessment of social, cultural, economic, environmental and institutional factors that contribute to health among diverse populations;
  • Apply a social ecological framework to the development, implementation, and evaluation of population-based intervention strategies to improve health and reduce inequities;
  • Apply evidence-based strategies to the development and implementation of population-based health programs.

Environmental Public Health Sciences Concentration

  • Describe the direct and indirect human, ecological, and safety effects of major environmental and occupational agents;
  • Explain the general mechanisms of toxicity in eliciting a toxic response to various environmental exposures;
  • Identify systems-based approaches for assessing, preventing and controlling environmental hazards that pose risks to human health and safety;
  • Specify current practice-based approaches and agencies responsible for reducing health risks due to environmental causes;
  • Discuss equity-based risk management and risk communication approaches;
  • Describe genetic, physiologic and psychosocial factors that affect susceptibility to adverse health outcomes following exposure to environmental hazards;
  • Describe global and US-based approaches for reducing risks from natural disasters and food insecurity;
  • Explain international, US, and state regulatory programs, guidelines and authorities that control environmental health issues;
  • Specify current environmental risk assessment methods; and
  • Develop a testable model of environmental insult

Epidemiology Concentration

  • Identify determinants for disease that include individual, social/contextual, and structural determinants of morbidity and mortality trends within and across populations.
  • Identify which chronic, infectious, and degenerative diseases contribute the most morbidity within and across populations.
  • Describe the trends in mortality due to the most common infectious, chronic and degenerative diseases within and across populations.
  • Conduct a literature review that critically analyzes the extant epidemiological literature on a given topic; be able to use this information to develop a research question and formulate testable hypotheses.
  • Identify existing sources of data (both domestic and international datasets) for epidemiological research; identify and understand the strengths and limitations of these extant datasets.
  • Identify the appropriate analytic methods for calculating key measures of morbidity (i.e. prevalence, incidence), mortality (e.g. mortality rates, etc) and measures of association (e.g. risk ratio, rate ratio, odds ratio, etc.).
  • Understand basic principles and standard practices employed in data entry and data management to ensure the integrity of study results.
  • Identify appropriate analytic approaches, in consultation with faculty members, along with relevant statistical software packages for the management and analysis of data.
  • Communicate findings of an epidemiologic investigation to both lay and professional audiences.
  • Present findings of an epidemiologic report to both lay and professional audiences at conferences and scientific meetings.
  • Synthesize and publish (as a member of a research team) project findings.

Global Health Concentration

  • Engage in collaborative capacity-building with local, national, and international organizations to facilitate and strengthen their ability to address current and future public health needs;
  • Design and implement effective, efficient, equitable and appropriate global health programs, projects, and policies based on the strongest population-based evidence;
  • Work effectively within varied cultural settings and across different social and political environments;
  • Perform strategic assessment and evaluation to analyze factors shaping individual and institutional behaviors and measure their impact;
  • Apply principles of ethical reasoning and professional practice to advance health equity and social justice in the United States and in international settings.

Public Health Nutrition Concentration

  • Identify and assess diet-related health problems—of both undernutrition and overnutrition—among diverse population groups in the United States and internationally; 
  • Identify the social, cultural, economic, environmental, and institutional factors that contribute to the risk of undernutrition and overnutrition among populations; 
  • Demonstrate the linkages between agriculture, food, nutrition, and public health;
  • Develop educational, institutional, and other population-based intervention strategies to improve food security and reduce obesity;
  • Develop policies to reduce barriers to food insecurity and to improve the food and activity choices and nutritional status of diverse population groups;
  • Promote policies to ensure the safe production, distribution, and consumption of food

Public Health Policy and Management Concentration

Health Policy:

  • Analyze the main components and challenges in the organization, financing and delivery of health care and public health services;
  • Describe the legal basis for public health and health services;
  • Apply principles of leadership and management to work with and across organizations, sectors and agencies;
  • Discuss processes for developing and implementing policies and programs to improve the health status of populations, especially vulnerable groups;
  • Evaluate public policies and programs that promote health and health equity;
  • Utilize evidence to guide policymaking to protect and promote the public’s health.

Management:

  • Analyze the main components and challenges in the organization, financing and delivery of health care and public health services;
  • Describe the legal basis for public health and health services;
  • Apply principles of leadership and management to work with and across organizations, sectors and agencies;
  • Apply the principles and tools of budgeting and resource management to improve the performance of public health and health care delivery organizations;
  • Apply principles of strategic planning and marketing to public health;
  • Apply principles and practices from quality and performance improvement to address organizational performance issues.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Concentration 

  • Critically assess the literature related to social and behavioral aspects of health;
  • Explain major theories, trends, and debates in the social and behavioral sciences literature regarding health;
  • Assess the means by which structural bias & social inequities undermine health & create challenges to achieving health equity at the behavioral, community & societal levels;
  • Apply the methods and analytic tools of social and behavioral science to design, implement, and analyze evaluation or research studies;
  • Apply ethical principles to public health research and evaluation;
  • Disseminate research findings to diverse audiences.

About MPH Core Competencies

The NYU MPH program uses an adaption of the MPH Core Competency model developed by the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH). Our curriculum uses this model as a foundation for ensuring that our graduates are well-prepared to enter rewarding careers in public health. Read More.