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Upstate Public Health Core Competencies

The Council of Education for Public Health (CEPH) is the independent agency recognized by the US Department of Education to accredit graduate schools of public health and certain public health programs outside of the schools of public health. Based on recommendations from CEPH, the Upstate Public Health Program has developed the following Competencies. 

MPH 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

  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

Data and Analytics Concentration Competencies

  1. Evaluate the validity and reliability of data.
  2. Utilize appropriate statistical software for visualization and modeling of multidimensional study data.
  3. Synthesize evidence from print and electronic sources to support public health decision making.
  4. Create a qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods study to address a public health issue.
  5. Disseminate complex analytic findings to professionals and the public using a variety of approaches.

Global Health and Translational Science Concentration Competencies

  1. Assess major forces that influence health of vulnerable populations from a global perspective
  2. Prioritize relevant sources of data to analyze, measure and understand the global burden of disease
  3. Critically appraise resources and barriers to successfully conduct translational research
  4. Apply the social determinants of health pertaining to public health practice and evidence-based interventions in diverse cultural settings both locally and globally.
  5. Formulate and communicate a well-defined clinical or translational research question to be studied in human or animal models

Population Health for Clinicians Concentration Competencies

  1. Advocate for the use of evidence in decision making that affects the health of a community (e.g., helping policy makers understand community health needs, demonstrating the impact of programs)
  2. Synthesize population health evidence from print and electronic sources to support clinical decision making
  3. Incorporate ethical standards of practice (e.g., Public Health Code of Ethics) into all interactions with individuals, organizations, and communities
  4. Interact with the larger inter-related system of organizations that influence the health of populations at local, national, and global levels
  5. Evaluate and interpret the multitude and overlap of factors that impact the health of a community and health disparities