Academic Standards & Competencies
Each student must meet or exceed the academic standards of Dartmouth and its programs, with or without appropriate adjustments.
Academic standards refer to acceptable demonstrations of mastery of program requirements as judged by faculty members, examinations, and other measurements of performance.
Program requirements include satisfactory completion of all courses in the student’s academic program as described in the student handbook and demonstration of acceptable levels of mastery of each competency in the broad categories listed below.
Competencies required of every MPH graduate established by the accrediting body for all schools and programs of public health -- The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) -- address the following:
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 (e.g., One Health)
13. Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice
14. Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
15. Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate
16. Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice
17. Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings
18. 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
19. Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities’ health
20. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs
21. Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention
22. Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
23. Select methods to evaluate public health programs
24. Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
25. Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
26. Advocate for political, social or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations
27. Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity
28. Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making
29. Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges
30. Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
31. Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
32. Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content
33. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams
34. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue
The CEPH competencies are informed by the traditional public health core knowledge areas, (biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, health services administration and environmental health sciences), as well as cross-cutting and emerging public health areas.
In addition to the above required foundational competencies, Dartmouth has developed five unique competencies for our MPH program to address knowledge and skills needed to improve population health and health care. These unique competencies fall under two categories: Making Sense of Health Care and Making Change in Health Care.
Making Sense of Health Care
1. Explain the causes, consequences, and policy implications of variation in health care utilization, outcomes, and spending.
2. Critically appraise research findings for applications in public health and health care to demonstrate healthy skepticism.
3. Describe the strengths and weaknesses of the major payment systems for health care and how they affect delivery, value, and equity.
Making Change in Health Care
4. Compare perspectives on healthcare services, including shared decision making and partnership to achieve coproduction of health, for their impacts on quality, safety, equity, and value.
5. Compare approaches for healthcare quality improvement and their capacities to transform the quality, safety, equity, and value of healthcare.