George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Consortium of Universities for Global Health Analysis of MPH Competencies in Global Health

April 6, 2020

An article just published in Health Promotion Practice examines the competencies in use by all 37 of the 223 MPH programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health or in candidate status that offered a concentration in global health during the 2019–2020 academic year. The study was led by Dr. Kathryn H. Jacobsen of George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services as  part of her role as co-chair of the Subcommittee on Master’s and Undergraduate Degrees in Global Health of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH). Helen Zeraye, MS ’20, coauthored the paper along with co-chair Dr. Caryl E. Waggett of Allegheny College and faculty from other CUGH-member universities. George Mason University’s MPH concentration in Global Health was one of the programs included in the study.

A review of the concentration-specific competencies from all 37 programs revealed several key features that were common across programs. Most MPH concentrations in global health focus on the effects of globalization on population health in countries of all income levels while also prioritizing the health concerns of disadvantaged populations.  Most programs emphasize the equity and social justice concerns that generate and perpetuate health disparities, and they seek to equip their graduates with the cultural knowledge, attitudes, and skills that will allow them to serve diverse communities effectively. Although each MPH degree program has its own unique set of concentration competencies that align with institutional missions and values, the analysis shows that MPH concentrations in global health are preparing practitioners to work in resource-limited settings anywhere in the world, including in their home communities.

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