Public Health Program Competencies

Competencies describe activities or behaviors students should be able to demonstrate upon completion of a learning experience. Compentencies of the Muskie School Graduate Program in Public Health include:


Communication: the ability to express concepts and share information through clear and effective writing and speech.

  1. Demonstrate effective written and oral skills with different audiences
  2. Apply theory and strategy-based communication principles
  3. Apply skills in culturally appropriate community engagement
  4. Demonstrate interpersonal communication skills


Leadership: the ability to apply leadership skills, facilitate group interactions and share leadership of teams.

  1. Demonstrate team building, negotiation, and conflict management skills
  2. Describe the attributes of leadership in public health
  3. Use collaborative methods for achieving community health goals
  4. Articulate a vision, set of core values, and achievable mission
  5. Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning and professional service


Health Policy and Management: the ability to
assess and address managerial and policy opportunities and challenges in the structures, processes, and outcomes of healthcare and public health services, within the unique organizational, political, and competitive environments in which they operate

  1. Apply the principles of organizational and management theory and evidence-based management practices
  2. Identify key components and demonstrate an understanding of the organization, financing, and delivery of healthcare and public health services
  3. Apply the concepts of quality and performance improvement
  4. Apply the principles of strategic planning and marketing
  5. Demonstrate the principles of budget development
  6. Apply the principles of financial planning and management


Public Health Science, Research, and Theory: the ability to interpret and apply theory, research, and the public health approach to identify and solve problems

  1. Apply theories, concepts, and models used in public health
  2. Analyze the determinants of population health
  3. Identify individual, organizational, and community concerns, assets, resources, and deficits
  4. Describe the role of social and community factors for public health consideration
  5. Articulate distinctions among experimental and quasi-experimental study designs and types of variables
  6. Provide certification of understanding regarding the use of protected health information and the role of internal review boards
  7. Explain the importance of epidemiology to public health initiatives and population health management
  8. Identify and critically evaluate epidemiologic studies
  9. Identify the principles and limitations of public health screening programs


Informed Decision-Making: the ability to use information, systems thinking and appropriate analytic methods to reach evidence -informed decisions

  1. Apply common statistical techniques
  2. Apply evidence-based principles and knowledge to decision-making in public health
  3. Interpret results of statistical analyses
  4. Identify sources of health information
  5. Articulate the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative methods of inquiry
  6. Demonstrate the use of systems thinking
  7. Apply legal and ethical principles to decision-making in public health

New Publications

What's New?

Building Bridges Beyond the Quadrangle: The CAO and the External Community
(Book chapter by Mark Lapping in: Martin J, Samuels JE, eds. The Provost's Handbook: The Role of the Chief Academic Officer. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press; 2015:200-206.)

Health Data and Financing and Delivery System Reform: Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty? (Issue Brief by Barbara Shaw, Andy Coburn, Kimberley Fox, Andrea Gerstenberger, and Barbara Leonard)

New Jersey's Manage by Data Program: Changing Culture and Capacity to Improve Outcomes(Report by David Lambert and Julie Atkins).

Rural Implications of Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act. (Issue Brief by Erika Ziller, Jennifer Lenardson, and Andy Coburn).

Safety of Rural Nursing Home-to-Emergency Department Transfers: Improving Communication and Patient Information Sharing across Settings. Journal for Healthcare Quality, 37(1), 55-65. (Authors: Judy Tupper, Carolyn Gray, Karen Pearson, and Andy Coburn).

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