HPM MPH Competencies

MPH CompetencyGraphicBubbles.pdf

The HPM-MPH Student Competency Model (SCM) contains three specific domains, including an interdisciplinary, cross-cutting set of competencies:

  1. Cross-cutting
  2. Self-actualization
  3. Health policy and management

Each of the domains covers specific competencies:

Cross-cutting Competencies
  1. Communication
  2. Systems Thinking
  3. Professionalism
  4. Leadership
  1. Accountability
  2. Self-Development
Health Policy and Management
  1. Organization/Financing Healthcare and Public Health
  2. Legal and Ethical Foundations
  3. Community Health Preparedness
  4. Health Policy Making Process
  5. Program Planning, Management, and Evaluation
  6. Strategic Planning and Marketing
  7. Quality and Performance Improvement
  8. Building Partnerships

Cross Cutting Competencies


Uses generally accepted English grammar; Facilitates group interactions; Prepares well-documented written analyses; Presents compelling solutions by employing logical deductive and/or insightful inductive reasoning.

For example the student has demonstrated the ability to...

  • Speak and write in a clear, logical, and grammatical manner in formal and informal situations to prepare cogent presentations
  • Articulate assumptions, distinguishing between facts and inferences
  • Use subject-verb agreement and parallel structure
  • Use rules of punctuation, and construct sentences and paragraph
  • Document the source(s) of information, and uses an appropriate reference format
  • Deliver an accurate and complete presentation of facts with accompanying audiovisual media (presentation software, exhibits, etc.)
  • Specify well-reasoned recommendations and engages in non-defensive Q&A
  • Demonstrate good time management skills

Systems Thinking

Perceives and comprehends the multiple inter-relationships among individuals and collectivities; recognizes the diversity of interests, goals, and approaches among system participants when identifying healthcare management problems and developing proposed solutions.

For example the student has demonstrated the ability to...

  • Recognize system level properties that result from interdependent interactions among humans, between humans and their local, state, and national environments, and across regional and global locations
  • Comprehend and appreciate how biological, social, and physical components affect the relationships among and across multiple layers of the system, ranging from individuals, organizations, and communities, to local, state, national and global environments
  • Distinguish between individual goals and collective goals, especially as they relate to healthcare policy and healthcare management issues
  • Recognize the differences between top-down and bottom-up dynamics among system participants as groups pursue their goals
  • Account for variation in perspectives when analyzing problems and developing healthcare management and health policy solutions
  • Account for indirect unintended consequences when developing solutions


The ability to demonstrate ethical choices, values and professional practices implicit in public health decisions; consider the effect of choices on community stewardship, equity, social justice and accountability; and to commit to personal and institutional development

For example the student has demonstrated the ability to...

  • Discuss sentinel events in the history and development of the public health profession and their relevance for practice in the field
  • Apply basic principles of ethical analysis (e.g. the Public Health Code of Ethics, human rights framework, other moral theories) to issue of public health practice and policy
  • Apply evidence-based principles and the scientific knowledge base to critical evaluation and decision-making in public health
  • Apply the core functions of assessment, policy development, and assurance in the analysis of public health problems and their solutions
  • Promote high standards of personal and organizational integrity, compassion, honesty and respect for all people
  • Analyze determinants of health and disease using an ecological framework
  • Analyze the potential impacts of legal and regulatory environments on the conduct of ethical public health research and practice
  • Distinguish between population and individual ethical considerations in relation to the benefits costs, and burdens of public health programs


For example the student has demonstrated the ability to...

  • Describe the attributes of leadership in public health
  • Describe alternative strategies for collaboration and partnership among organizations, focused on public health
  • Articulate an achievable mission set of core values, and vision
  • Engage in dialogue and learning from others to advance public health goals
  • Demonstrate team building, negotiation, and conflict management skills
  • Demonstrate transparency, integrity, and honesty in all actions
  • Use collaborative methods for achieving organizational and community health goals
  • Apply social justice and human rights principles when addressing community needs
  • Develop strategies to motivate others for collaborative problem solving, decision-making, and evaluation

Self-Actualization Competencies


Holds oneself and others accountable to standards of performance; Ensures compliance using the power of one's position or force of personality appropriately; Responds to individual and group performance based upon the mission of the organization, both as a student and a resident

For example the student has demonstrated the ability to...

  • Complete the Academic Integrity modules
  • Understand how to communicate requirements and expectations in a reasonably clear manner
  • Understand how to explicitly delegate details of routine tasks in order to free self for more valuable or longer-range considerations
  • Recognize how to firmly says “no” to unreasonable requests
  • Communicate and demand high performance and suitable resources as a student and resident
  • Issue clear warnings about consequences for non-performance as a student and resident


The ability to have an accurate view of one’s own strengths and development needs; A willingness to address needs through reflective, self-directed learning, and by trying new approaches

For example the student has demonstrated the ability to...

  • Seek feedback from others, including those who are likely to be critical
  • Appreciate the need to learn and grow
  • Regularly reflect on own performance including both successes and failures
  • Independently set annual improvement goals and analyzes future developmental needs
  • Proactively pursue multi-year personal development, including willingness to tackle fundamental behavior change

Health Policy and Management

Health policy and management is a multidisciplinary field of inquiry and practice concerned with the delivery, quality and costs of health care for individuals and populations. This definition assumes both a managerial and a policy concern with the structure, process and outcomes of health services including the costs, financing, organization, outcomes and accessibility of care.

  • Identify the main components and issues of the organization, financing and delivery of health services and public health systems in the U.S.
  • Describe the legal and ethical bases for public health and health services
  • Explain methods of ensuring community health safety and preparedness
  • Discuss the policy process for improving the health status of populations
  • Apply the principles of program planning, development, budgeting, management and evaluation in organizational and community initiatives
  • Apply principles of strategic planning and marketing to public health
  • Apply quality and performance improvement concepts to address organizational performance issues
  • Demonstrate skills needed for building partnerships

All graduates also achieve the core and cross-cutting competencies for Pitt Public Health MPH students.