Specialty Tracks

Public health degrees at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai require all students to complete core courses in the five basic areas of public health knowledge: epidemiology, biostatistics, socio-behavioral health, health policy and management, and environmental health.

To round out your studies, students may select a general public health course of study or choose from seven areas of specialization. All students who wish to pursue one of the specialty tracks will be required to take specific courses listed for that track. The specialty tracks are as follows:

Note: If you choose the epidemiology or biostatistics track and enroll in the spring term, it may take more than two years to complete the Master in Public Health (MPH) degree.

Core Competencies

The Master in Public Health adopted program competencies in 2007. We started with the competencies promulgated by the Council on Linkages between Academia and Public Health Practice Core Competencies for Public Health Profession and we revise and update the core competencies regularly. Our faculty uses these competencies as the primary guide for measuring student achievement in the classroom, practicum, culminating experience, and other service learning opportunities. These competencies listed replace those in previous iterations of the Student Handbook and all other program materials.

We require all students, regardless of specialty track, to achieve the following core competencies. We continually evaluate these competencies for relevance and applicability. You must be able to:

  • Describe factors affecting the health of a community (e.g., equity, income, education, environment).
  • Identify the behavioral determinants of contemporary public health problems, and apply behavioral theories to the development and implementation of policies and programs.
  • Assess the impact of social, political, economic, and cultural forces on the development and implementation of health policies and programs.
  • Evaluate the influence of social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental factors on the initiation and persistence of health disparities within communities both locally and globally.
  • Analyze how population exposures to environmental risk factors interfere with human biological systems to produce disease in communities.
  • Use descriptive and inferential statistical methods to critically evaluate and interpret scientific evidence from public health reports and published studies.
  • Apply epidemiological methods to reveal causal associations between risk factors and disease and to measure and describe patterns of disease occurrence in populations.
  • Analyze the validity and reliability of data.
  • Clearly articulate a public health issue and formulate relevant research questions.
  • Apply ethical principles in accessing, collecting, analyzing, using, maintaining, and disseminating data and information.
  • Demonstrate effective written and oral skills for communicating with a wide range of audiences and in a variety of public health practice settings.