The Council on Education for Public Health released its final version of new accreditation criteria for schools and programs of public health in October 2016.  The following competencies are included throughout the VT MPH curriculum. These competencies apply to all VT MPH students that matriculate into the program in Fall 2018 and thereafter.

MPH Foundational Public Health Knowledge

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

7. Explain effects of environmental factors on a population’s health

8. Explain biological and genetic factors that affect a population’s health

9. Explain behavioral and psychological factors that affect a population’s health

10. Explain the social, political and economic determinants of health and how they contribute to population health and health inequities

11. Explain how globalization affects global burdens of disease

12. Explain an ecological perspective on the connections among human health, animal health and ecosystem health (eg, One Health)

MPH Foundational Competencies

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

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

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

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

21. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams

22. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue


  • Define public health and the core functions of assessment, policy development, and assurance in the analysis of public health problems and their solutions
  • Articulate one health model of population-based health that reflects the human, animal, environmental health interdependency 
  • Identify social, cultural and ethnic differences in the conduct, interpretation and use of public health studies, interventions and outcomes 
  • Analyze, interpret and present public health data and strengths and limitation of public health source material 
  • Describe biological concepts relevant to public health 
  • Apply principles of study design and biostatistics in public health 
  • Interpret results of statistical analysis in public health studies 
  • Assess determinants and dynamics of health in communities and populations for the design and implementation of interventions that protect, maintain and/or restore health, well-being and productivity in individuals and populations
  • Identify the direct and indirect population health effects of environmental hazards (biological, chemical and physical) on humans, animals and the ecology 
  • Apply principles of environmental health sciences (exposure assessment, toxicology, environmental epidemiology) and risk assessment to evaluate environmental and occupational factors that impact health 
  • Analyze health policy using sound policy analysis procedures 
  • Apply organization and management principles to public health agency operations 
  • Analyze the social and behavioral factors affecting health of individuals and populations 
  • Apply health behavior theories and models to address public health problems 
  • Demonstrate ability to communicate public health principles and concepts through various strategies across multiple sectors;
  • Demonstrate team building, negotiation, and conflict management skills and use of collaborative methods for achieving organizational and community health goals
  • Demonstrate knowledge of public health ethics and the ability to apply ethical principles, values, and beliefs to public health decision-making