MPH Program Competencies

The UVA MPH program has adopted the following core competencies:

Foundational Competencies

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


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


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

 Health Policy, Law, and Ethics Concentration – Specific Competencies

  1.  Synthesize health information and data from numerous sources to generate policy options to improve population health outcomes.
  2.  Conduct a comprehensive economic review and analysis of a public health policy.
  3.  Formulate strategic or financial plans for public health or healthcare organizations.
  4.  Assess the organizational structure, responsibilities, and values of key stakeholders, including governmental and nongovernmental organizations, to design and evaluate health policy options
  5. Evaluate ethical and/or legal dimensions of a policy, program , or public health action, choosing or creating appropriate frameworks.
  6. Incorporate equity and ethical principles and best practices in the development and evaluation of health policies.


Research in Practice Concentration – Specific Competencies

  1. Generate hypotheses and assess relevant variables to measure and address health problems.
  2.  Synthesize quantitative and/or qualitative data from numerous sources to assess the health status of populations and/or evaluate programs or interventions
  3.  Choose data visualization techniques to design a communication strategy fora range of community and professional stakeholders
  4.  Design a research study to address a health problem using a secondary/population data source
  5.  Manage data with appropriate software for collection, storage, analysis, and presentation
  6.  Incorporate equity and ethical principles and best practices in population health research in practice.


Foundational Public Health Knowledge

Profession and Science of Public Health

  1. Explain public health history, philosophy, and values.
  2. Identify the core functions of public health and the 10 Essential Services.
  3. Explain the role of quantitative and qualitative methods and sciences in describing and assessing a population’s health.
  4. List major causes and trends of morbidity and mortality in the US or other community relevant to the school or program.
  5. Discuss the science of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention in population health, including health promotion, screening, etc.
  6. Explain the critical importance of evidence in advancing public health knowledge.

Factors Related to Human Health

  1. Explain effects of environmental factors on a population’s health.
  2. Explain biological and genetic factors that affect a population’s health.
  3. Explain behavioral and psychological factors that affect a population’s health.
  4. Explain the social, political and economic determinants of health and how they contribute to population health and health inequities.
  5. Explain how globalization affects global burdens of disease.
  6. Explain an ecological perspective on the connections among human health, animal health, and ecosystem health (e.g., One Health).