Global Health Certificate

The Global Health Certificate focuses on knowledge, skills, and attitudes to address health issues that transcend national boundaries, and that develop and implement solutions to health problems that requires global cooperation.

The Global Health Certificate is designed for students who have a strong interest in global health, who have a desire to understand cultures, and who want to experience first-hand a global field experience which may prepare them for work in a global setting. Many students may want to complete the Certificate to complement their graduate degree.

It is increasingly recognized that issues that affect health transcend national boundaries, and that development and implementation of solutions to such health problems requires global cooperation. Global health represents an interdisciplinary approach that embraces both disease prevention in populations and clinical care of individuals, with a strong emphasis on health equity and health as a public good.

Upon completion, students will be able to:

  1. Share knowledge, skills and resources for enhancement of global public health programs, infrastructure, and workforce.
  2. Work with a diverse range of global health stakeholders to advance research, policy, and practice goals, and effective communication.
  3. Assess ethical issues in diverse economics, political, and cultural context and accountability policy decisions upon public health practice.
  4. Analyze strategies to address health disparities across socially, demographically, or geographically defined populations.
  5. Design, implement, and evaluate global health programs to maximize effective policy and practice, and improved and sustainable health outcomes.
  6. Work effectively within diverse cultural settings and across local, regional, national, and international political landscapes.
  7. Analyze a diverse range of complex and interrelated factors shaping health trends to formulate programs at the local, national, and international levels.

The Global Health Certificate requires a minimum of 15 credits (7 required credits and 8 credits of electives.) The Certificate can be completed part time, over 4 terms. Students are encouraged, but not required to start with PubH 6390 Foundations of Global Health offered online fall term. Students have four years to complete the Certificate.

Coursework incorporates the global health practice domains as established by the Associations of Schools and Programs in Public Health.

  • Capacity strengthening, collaborating and partnering
  • Ethical reasoning and professional practice; health equity and social justice
  • Program management and strategic analysis; and
  • Socio-cultural and political awareness

Sample Schedule (students may start any term)

Year One

Fall Term (6 cr)

  • Required – PubH 6390 Foundations of Global Health, 2 cr – offered Fall term, online. This course will present key principles in global health and address cross-cutting issues. Class exercises will focus on challenging global health problems, and strategies to address them. OR PubH 6134 Effects of globalization on social/sustainable development- 2 cr – offered Fall term, onsite  Population, war, economics, urbanization, environment, water/sanitation, communicable/non-communicable conditions. New infectious/chronic diseases, food security/environmental health. *DO NOT TAKE BOTH*
  • Global Health Elective, 2 cr
  • Global Health Elective, 2 cr

Spring Term (6 cr)

  • Required – PubH 6131, Working in global Health, 2 cr – offered Spring term, onsite. Introduction to key issues in global health. Global burden of disease. Cultural issues/health. Nutrition. Infectious diseases. Environmental problems. Women/children.
    Prereq Grad student.
  • Global Health Elective, 2 cr
  • Global Health Elective, 2 cr

Summer Term (2 cr)

Fall Term (1cr)

  • Required – PubH 7200 Topics in Public Health Practice: Global Health Certificate Capstone Seminar, 1 cr – offered spring/fall

Elective courses options (8 cr required):
Students must complete a minimum of 8 elective credits. Below is an approved list, but other global health related courses may be considered. Please consult with the Global Health certificate program staff about seeking elective approval.

  • PubH 6085 Alcohol and Tobacco: Ongoing Threats to Global Health (2 credits) Strategies to prevent/control tobacco/alcohol problems. Policy and community/individual strategies to reduce burden of tobacco/alcohol problems locally, nationally, and globally. Similarities/differences in public health approaches to tobacco/alcohol prevention/control.
  • PubH 6132 Air, Water, and Health (2 credits) Issues related to providing adequate levels of clean air/water. Local water quantity/quality, air quality in developed/developing world, global air/water quality, policies meant to protect these resources.
  • PubH 6290 Humanitarian Crisis Simulation (1 credit) A three day disaster simulation will be carried out using a ‘field exercise’ format. The goal will be to learn through doing in a crisis scenario, applying concepts and understanding in practice complexities of this field as studied in the readings and discussed in interactive didactic sessions. This will be a challenging experience that will require students to put into practice many of the topics commonly covered in humanitarianism classes and in the literature. The simulation will involve active team work, intense interaction with role players, and on-the-spot decision making in a way that closely resembles how field work is done in international humanitarian crises.
  • PubH 6385 Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases (2 credits) Principles/methods. Strategies for disease control/prevention, including immunization. Relevance of modes of transmission of specific agents for disease spread/prevention. Public health consequences of infectious diseases at local, national, and international levels prereq: [[6320 or 6341], PubH student
  • PubH 6605 Reproductive and Perinatal Health (1 credit) Epidemiology, programs, services, and policies. Social, cultural, psychological, physiologic, environmental, economic, and political factors that affect reproductive health, pregnancy, and childbearing. prereq: Public health student or grad student or instr consent
  • PubH 6686 Global Reproductive Health (2 credits) Examine reproductive health issues, programs, services and policies in developed and developing countries. Emphasis on social, economic, environmental, behavioral, and political factors that affect family planning, reproductive health, fertility, and pregnancy outcomes. prereq: [Acad hlth grad level student or grad student in [international studies or child development or other social sciences]] or instr consent
  • PubH 6732 Topics & Methods in Global Health Assessment (2 credits) Evaluation of health populations relative to specific topics important to global health, including methodology appropriate to particular issue. Focuses on developing countries. prereq: [6705, [concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in PUBH 6705 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in PUBH 6320 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in PUBH 6341 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in grad course in epidemiology], [public health MPH or environmental health [MS or PhD] or health services research/policy/administration [MS or PhD] or epidemiology PhD or clinical research MS]] or instr consent
  • PubH 6906 Global Nutrition (2cr) Nature/scope of chief nutritional issues and problems in the world. Emphasizes developing countries. Nutrient deficiencies, nutrition-related aspects of infectious/chronic disease. prereq: Grad student
  • PubH 7262 Globalization & Health: Challenges & Perspectives Study Abroad (1 credit) Global health concerns cross the borders of developed and developing nations. Effect of globalization on social and scientific consequences in public health. Interplay between global stressors such as population, war, economics, urbanization, and environment; effects on the health of women/children, spread of infectious/chronic diseases, nutrition and environmental health.
  • PA 5451 Immigrant Health Issues (3-4 credits) How to access demographic, health, background information on U.S. immigrants. Characteristics and health needs of immigrants. Designing culturally competent health programs. How to advocate for change to promote immigrant health. Community visits required. Online course. prereq: Grad student or instr consent

There are also a number of 1 credit classes offered during the Public Health Institute every year that may be appropriate. Topics change annually. Please consult with the Program Director and the Program Coordinator about approval.

The field experience is in some way global-health related and it may meet the requirements of another degree program, besides the Global Health Certificate. Check with your adviser. The experience may take place in a foreign or a domestic site. Contact the Global Health Coordinator for registration information.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
The Global Health Certificate is designed for students interested in global health who are currently a MPH, MS, or PhD student or have an undergraduate or graduate degree or who are currently enrolled in a professional school, i.e., pharmacy, dentistry, medicine, etc.

To apply, please submit your application to SOPHAS Express:

  • Proof of previous bachelor’s degree
  • Statement of purpose and objectives – an essay describing your past education, experience and current professional career objectives. You are encouraged to comment on any or all of the following: plans you have to use your education and training; the needs and/or challenges you perceive as important in your field of study; and any personal qualities and skills you believe will enable you to be successful in the Certificate.
  • Resume or CV
  • Official transcripts from each college/university attended, including any previous study at the University of Minnesota
  • One letter of recommendation from persons qualified to assess your academic work, clinical and professional experiences

For international students:

  • World Education Services (WES) evaluation of foreign academic credentials
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS score

Why should I get a Global Health Certificate?

Because you:

  • want a structured global field experience (international or domestic)
  • have an strong interest in global health
  • desire for a more structured and selective approach to your global knowledge
  • aspire to have the Global Health Certificate formally stated on your transcript.

What competencies does the Certificate fulfill?

Coursework incorporates the global health practice domains as established by the Associations of Schools and Programs in Public Health.

  1. Capacity strengthening, collaborating and partnering
  2. Ethical reasoning and professional practice; health equity and social justice
  3. Program management and strategic analysis; and
  4. Socio-cultural and political awareness

Who is eligible for the Certificate?

The Certificate is available to SPH students, health science students, SPH alumni, and others with an undergraduate degree.

How long does the Certificate take?

The Certificate takes four terms to complete. It is strongly recommended to start in the fall term and finish the following fall term, but alternate schedules can be arranged.

Can I transfer credits from the Certificate to a degree program?

All credits taken for the certificate are graduate level and are eligible for transfer consideration. However, graduate programs reserve the right to determine if credits can be accepted and how they are applied to program requirements. Often certificate courses can be counted as electives in a graduate program, reducing the total number of credits you must complete to earn both a certificate and a graduate degree.

Can I transfer credits into the Certificate?

You may transfer in up to six credits with approval. AHC students may register for six credits with their home school and then transfer those credits to the Certificate.

Is financial aid available?

Federal financial aid is not available for students seeking certificates. However, if you are also seeking a graduate degree at the same time, your financial aid through that program could potentially be applied towards the certificate costs. Please speak to One Stop for more detailed information.

How much does the certificate cost?

The School of Public Health charges tuition on a per credit basis. This certificate is charged at the MPH rate. You can find current tuition information on our website.

Are scholarships available?

Unfortunately, there are no scholarships available for the Global Health Certificate.

Once my application is complete, how soon can I expect to hear from the School of Public Health?

It usually takes about 3 -6 weeks for the Admission Committee to process and review your application.


Zobeida Bonilla, PhD, MPH Epidemiology and Community Health
Alan Lifson, MD, MPH, Epidemiology & Community Health PubH 6390: Foundations of Global Health
William Toscano, PhD, Environmental Health Sciences PubH 6134 Sustainable Development and Global Public Health
Harry Lando, PhD, Epidemiology and Community Health PubH 6085: Alcohol and Tobacco: Ongoing Threats to Global Health
Claudia Munoz-Zanzi, DVM, MPVM, PhD, Epidemiology and Community Health
Wendy Hellerstedt, PhD, MPH Epidemiology and Community Health

Application Deadline

Spring (January) Term: December 1
Summer Term: April 1
Fall Term: August 1

Contact Us

Program Coordinator
Katy Korchik

Program Director
Zobeida Bonilla