Program Goals

Department of Health Sciences | Master of Public HealthMPH > OBJECTIVES & COMPETENCIES

Program Goals and Objectives:

The following are the program goals and objectives, learning objectives and competencies as of Fall Semester 2018 to better meet the new accreditation standards of the Council on Education for Public Health.

  • Environment

    Goal: To create an inclusive environment where diverse faculty, students, and staff work collaboratively and respectfully to promote public health.


    1.  Attain and maintain a diverse student body that reflects the diversity of the region we serve.
    2. Foster diversity, inclusion, and cultural humility in the development and implementation of program initiatives or activities, administrative policies and guidelines, and faculty and staff recruitment and retention practices
    3. Provide students opportunity to learn about, provide service, or conduct applied research in diverse communities and peoples in the region that we serve.
  • Teaching 

    Goal: To advance public health knowledge, stimulate critical thinking, and promote scholarship through theory, evidence-based practices, mentorship and community engagement using the lenses of our program values.


    1. Integrate faculty research, program initiatives, and professional experience to enhance student understanding of public health issues, theories, and practices.
    2. Facilitate opportunities for students to participate in community-engaged health-related projects or programs in their defined community.
    3. Facilitate dissemination of students’ work in scientific and academic communities and/or local/national/international institutions or organizations.
    4. Support faculty in scholarship of teaching and learning.
  • Research/Creative Activity

    Goal: To advance public health knowledge and practice that address community health needs and environmental challenges through innovative and culturally appropriate research/creative activity that engages community partners.


    1. Conduct research and/or develop evidence-based projects that address social and environmental determinants of health through collaborative efforts.
    2. Engage students and community partners in faculty-directed research and projects.
    3. Communicate research/creative activity processes and outcomes to diverse audiences
    4. Facilitate faculty success in securing resources for research or creative activities that provide opportunities to address community health needs.
  • Service

    Goal: To enhance public health practice through leadership, service and workforce development.


    1. Provide public health expertise and leadership to agencies, organizations and communities to develop and implement collaborative strategies to address community issues and challenges.
    2. Collaborate with diverse public and private partners to meet current and future public health practice and workforce needs.
    3. Facilitate professional development opportunities based on identified public health workforce needs.
  • Learning Objectives

    MPH Program Public Health Foundational Knowledge Learning Objectives (12)

    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 of Public Health.
    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 U.S. or other community relevant to the program.
    5. Discuss the science of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention in population health, including health promotion and screening.
    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).
  • MPH Program 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

    1. Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings.
    2. 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

    1. Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities’ health.
    2. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs.
    3. Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention.
    4. Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management.
    5. Select methods to evaluate public health programs.


    Policy in Public Health

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



    1. Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making.
    2. Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges.



    1. Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors.
    2. Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation.
    3. Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content.


    Interprofessional Practice

    1. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams.


    Systems Thinking

    1. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue.
  • MPH in Public Health Practice Generalist Track Specific Competencies

    Applied Research and Evaluation

    1. Apply core public health research and evaluation skills in real world situations where the practitioner may have little control.


    Circumpolar Health

    1. Identify and analyze current circumpolar health issues and recognize unique social, cultural, and environmental conditions that affect population health in the arctic.


    Community Needs Assessment

    1. Diagnose public health problems in the communities and gather information needed to determine when and where to involve public health specialists and other experts.


    Diversity and Cultural Humility

    1. Engage sensitively, professionally, and respectfully with individuals and communities with diverse characteristics.


    Information, Education, and Communication

    1. Promote and improve health through population-specific and culturally-appropriate materials, resources, and outreach.


    Professionalism and Ethics

    1. Demonstrate ethical and informed decision-making, accountability, and reflective professional practices implicit in public health action and research.


    Public Health Response

    1. Respond quickly and effectively to emerging public health concerns, coordinating the response and enlisting the help of specialist as appropriate.