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Core Public Health Competencies for MPH Specializations:

By receiving a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the NDSU, students will be expected to attain the following public health competencies in addition to those specific to their specialization:


Develop statistical reasoning; and apply statistical methods in addressing, analyzing, and solving problems related to public health. 

  • Distinguish among the different measurement scales and the implications for selection of statistical methods to be used based on these distinctions.
  • Interpret results of statistical analyses found in public health studies.





Understand patterns of disease and injury in human populations; how this knowledge is derived; and how this knowledge is used to control health problems in populations. 

  • Describe a public health problem in terms of magnitude, person, time and place.
  • Calculate basic epidemiology measures




Health Policy and Management

Understand the organization, cost, financing, quality, and equity of the health care delivery system; the role of the health care delivery system in maintaining the health of populations; and current health management and policy issues. 

  • Identify the organization, financing, and delivery issues of the health care system in the US.
  • Describe the legal, ethical, historical, and philosophical bases for the health care delivery system in the U.S.
  • Discuss the policy process for improving the health status of populations.
  • Apply “systems thinking” for resolving organizational problems.
  • Analyze public health challenges within appropriate ethical and legal frameworks.  



Social and Behavioral Sciences

Understand the behavioral, social, and cultural factors related to individual and population health and health disparities over the life course; and how this knowledge is used to improve population health. 

  • Identify basic theories, concepts and models from a range of social and behavioral disciplines that are used in public health research and practice.
  • Identify and analyze the social and behavioral factors that affect health of diverse populations.
  • Describe the role of social and community factors in both the onset and solution of public health problems.



Environmental Health

Understand the environmental and occupational factors including biological, physical and chemical factors that affect the health of communities and workers. 

  • Describe the direct and indirect human, ecological and safety effects of major environmental and occupational agents.
  • Discuss various risk management and risk communication approaches in relation to issues of environmental and occupational justice and equity.



Communication Skills

Interchange of ideas, opinions, and information; providing appropriate information to different audiences in formal and informal public health settings. 

  • Identify the health literacy of populations served
  • Communicate in writing and orally, in person, and through electronic means, with linguistic and cultural proficiency
  • Solicit community-based input from individuals and organizations
  • Participate in the development of demographic, statistical, programmatic and scientific presentations
  • Apply communication and group dynamic strategies (e.g. principled negotiation, conflict resolution, active listening, risk communication) in interactions with individuals and groups



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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-6549 / Fax: (701) 231-5586
Campus address: Research 2
Physical/delivery address: 1805 Research Park Drive, Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 2662 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Master of Public Health

Last Updated: Thursday, October 09, 2014 11:35:39 AM