Global Health Certificate

Global Health Certificate – for students matriculating Fall 2016 or later

All students who begin the MPH program in Fall 2016 or later must choose one functional area certificate. Additionally, students have the opportunity to select a context certificate to master additional knowledge and skills. An exciting context certificate option which pairs well with many functional area certificates is Global Health. Global Health study and research has played a prominent role in the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) for decades and remains a dynamic community within BUSPH. Members of the GH community at BUSPH, such as the Center for Global Health and Development (CGHD), seek to improve the health and well-being of underserved populations in low and middle-income countries through the education and training of  students, as well as through research, technical assistance, and service.

In our constantly evolving world, global health practitioners must have the ability to adapt to emerging challenges in a variety of settings, including designing culturally appropriate disease prevention activities and having the capacity to rapidly respond to sudden crises such as the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The global health professional of the future must therefore be equipped with the contextual knowledge needed to address global health problems while respecting social norms and values, using data to set priorities, and incorporating the latest technologies and other innovative strategies to meet global health needs.

This certificate helps to lay the foundation for a global health career by providing students with a nuanced understanding of the causes and consequences of health problems, especially in low- and middle-income countries, and methods for influencing health behaviors, programs, and policies to improve health outcomes.  Students who complete the certificate will gain necessary knowledge and skills for analyzing global health issues and participating in the development of evidence-based solutions to key global health problems.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Describe current health challenges faced at global, national, regional, and community levels including major causes of morbidity and mortality, and reasons for geographic variation in health outcomes.
  • Analyze a health system and its component elements in order to examine its performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, and compare it to other systems.
  • Critically evaluate the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of health programs administered by governments, the private sector, and commercial entities; and identify factors that influence health program sustainability.
  • Apply skills to aid in the design and implementation of health programming activities while working on teams and in collaboration with different organizations or disciplines.
  • Integrate socio-cultural and political awareness with social justice and human rights principles to promote culturally acceptable solutions to improve health status and conditions, and advocate for health equity.

Course Requirements

  • GH 760: Foundations of Global Health (4)
  • Choose 4 credits from the following:
    • GH 743: Implementing Health Programs in Developing Countries (4)
    • GH 744: Program Design for Global Health (4)
    • GH 887: Planning and Managing MCH Programs in Developing Countries (4)
  • Choose 4 credits from the following:
    • GH 715: Antiretroviral Program Management and Adherence Issues in Low Resource Settings (2)
    • GH 775: Field Practicum in Tanzania (4)
    • GH 774: Implementation and Evaluation of Community Health Assessment in Mexico (4)
    • GH 741: Global Health Consultation Techniques (2)
    • GH 755: Managing Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Emergencies (4)
    • GH 757: Fighting Corruption Through Accountability and Transparency (2)
    • GH 762: Essentials of Economics and Finance for Global Health (4)
    • GH 766: Sexual and Reproductive Health in Disaster Settings (4)
    • GH 770: Poverty, Health, and Development (4)
    • GH 805: Controversies in Global Control and Eradication of Infectious Diseases (2)
    • GH 880: Confronting Non-Communicable Diseases in the Developing World (4)
    • GH 881: Program Design for Global Reproductive and Perinatal Health (4)
    • GH 888: Seminar on Global Health Policy Issues (2)
    • PM 740: Comparative Health Systems and Policy in Industrialized and BRIC Countries
    • GMS MA 622: Religion, Culture and Public Health

Career Paths

Recent BUSPH global health graduates currently serve as project managers, program coordinators, global health advocates, technical advisors, consultants, and academic researchers in diverse global health organizations.  Previous graduates have gone on to work with the CDC as program coordinators, with the WHO as technical officers, and with international NGOs such as Management Sciences for Health and John Snow.  Others now work for large foundations such as the Clinton Foundation in Swaziland, Malawi, and Zambia, and many have joined domestic and international health agencies such as CARE, Catholic Relief Services, and Save the Children.  Numerous graduates have gone on to academic careers in Global Health at Boston University or other Universities, or into front-line public health positions in both the US and overseas.

Kim Shea, Assistant Professor, Epidemiology and Rich Feeley, Associate Professor, Global Health serve as co-directors of the GH certificate. If you have questions about the Global Health certificate please contact the GH Program Manager, Travis DiJoseph at