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Undergraduate Global Health Certificate



The Undergraduate Global Health Certificate is a 19 credit hour program that offers a unique inter-professional opportunity for undergraduate students interested in gaining a global perspective on healthcare through coursework and a 2-week capstone/field experience. Faculty from 15 disciplines and 5 colleges collaborated to create the Global Health Certificate.Photo 1

Recent pandemics (HIV, SARS, avian influenza) are just one indicator of the increasingly globalized nature of health and health care. Demand for global health education and experience has increased as governmental and nongovernmental agencies call for global health personnel.­ Professionals trained to address underserved populations are especially needed.­ Increased migration and disease proliferation require that healthcare providers, at home and abroad, become comfortable with different cultures, global health issues and diseases.

The Global Health Certificate will help you:
  • Gain an understanding of the factors that influence health globally
  • Learn the value to your future career of understanding global health
  • Gain hands-on experiences grounded in the ethical, practical and multicultural aspects of global health
  • Learn about inter-professional global health related needs and opportunities
Course Work

Photo 2All core courses, as well as many electives, are offered online, making them more accessible and better able to fit into your busy life. *After applying for the certificate, you can register for these Athens Online Courses through My Ohio, Register for Classes.

Introduction to Global Health (IHS 2210): This course introduces you to the main concepts of the global health field and the critical links between global health and social and economic development. You will get an overview of the determinants of health and how health status is measured. The course also reviews the burden of disease, risk factors, and key measures to address the burden of disease in cost-effective ways. Throughout the course, you will be encouraged to analyze and synthesize course material through written assignments and discussion boards.

Tropical Disease Biology (BIOS 4440) or Cross Cultural Issues in Tropical Diseases (IHS 2235):­

BIOS 4440 provides an overview of the nature, impact, and management of tropical diseases and uses a holistic approach to examine tropical diseases as systems. The high prevalence of these diseases is not the­ entire ­problem.­ It is ­the consequence of many factors that come together creating a propitious environment for the spread of disease.

IHS 2235 introduces the concept of culture as a relevant framework for understanding human behavior in relation to health. It will focus on biological, environmental, cultural, social, and political aspects relevant to tropical diseases, including prevention, treatment, and control. It will also discuss the importance of these issues in health interventions and in the design, implementation, and evaluation of health promotion projects.

Global Health Research and Service (IHS 3521) or Global Health Programming (HLTH 4120):

IHS 3521 aims  to improve students’ understanding of the key strategies for working in the global health research and services field.  To achieve this goal, the course utilizes the basic strategies for grant writing as a tool for effective and impactful program design and delivery.  The course also introduces the learner to ethical issues and logistical factors that need to be taken into consideration when working with vulnerable populations and in resource poor communities and how to address them in project delivery.

HLTH 4120 addresses diverse and rapidly changing health problems in underdeveloped and industrialized countries while exploring roles of health professionals. Surveys program interventions and solutions that are available or under development. 

Global Health Capstone Experience (IHS 3930/4910): The Capstone Experience (1 week or 40 hours) is a service, clinical or research project integrating aspects of global health that impact developing country populations. It combines fieldwork with theoretical knowledge and analytical skills gained through coursework. You are encouraged to pursue a project in your discipline of interest.

Elective Course Work:­ Additionally, 2 elective courses from an approved list are required.

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To Apply
  1. Complete the Global Health Certificate Application.  You will be asked to upload your most recent OHIO DARS or other institution transcript and provide a Statement of Purpose.
  2. Interview with the Global Health Office.
  3. Upon acceptance,­the Global Health office will complete the "Application for Update of Academic Programs" and submit to HSP Student Services.
  4. The Global Health Office will track completion of the Certificate requirements.



Undergraduate Global Health Certificate Brochure
Global Health Certificate Approved Electives
Approved Sites for Field Experience
Global Health Resources




For additional information (application and general advising), contact:


Debra McBride, MA
Assistant Director, Global Health Initiative
Grover Center E118
Athens, OH­ 45701

Capstone Instructor and Advisor for Capstone Projects:

Gillian Ice, MPH, PhD
Director, Global Health Initiative
Grover Center E118
Athens, OH  45701