The Graduate/Professional/Capstone Certificate in Global Health is designed to advance the knowledge and capabilities of traditional and non-traditional learners with interests in global health.  The certificate is available to graduate students, students in a professional degree program (typically in the health sciences), and to capstone students with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree.  Though the Graduate/Professional and Capstone Certificates are viewed as separate programs by campus administration, for purposes of this document, they will be referred to as a single program. Regardless of student status, the overall curriculum, educational benchmarks, and learning objectives are the same.

The certificate curriculum focuses on global health topics and health issues that transcend national boundaries.  Through this nine-credit program, which includes academic course work and a global health field experience emphasizing bidirectional learning, students will be prepared to better address health challenges and disparities in a context of cultural diversity, both at home and abroad.   Certificate candidates often work with partners and sites internationally, but may also apply a global lens to issues of health and well-being in Wisconsin and other parts of the United States.  This global-to-local philosophy is important to the program.  Through choices of elective/selective courses, students may focus their studies on health promotion, detection and treatment of disease,prevention and management of outbreaks, health policy, environmental health, or other current and important global health topics.  The certificate emphasizes multidisciplinary learning and approaches to global health challenges.

Educational benchmarks for certificate program

  1. To demonstrate self-guided learning habits, recognizing that experiential learning opportunities exist in many forms and that learning is a life-long endeavor.
  2. To interpret quantitative and qualitative information from the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities to inform global health work.
  3. To integrate contextually-grounded information about a location’s health, history, politics, culture, and environment into one’s learning experiences.
  4. To practice directed self-assessment and reflection about one’s experiences and chosen profession, including consideration of one’s role as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
  5. To compare and contrast the practice of health-related activities in different settings, including the social production of health and well-being.
  6. To draw connections between global experiences and local needs.
  7. To work effectively as a member of a diverse team to achieve shared goals.
  8. To effectively communicate ideas about health to other professions, as well as to community leaders and members of the general public.
  9. To recognize valuable opportunities for high and low-middle income countries to learn from one another, and creatively evaluate assets in addressing problems.
  10. To model ethical models of community-based engagement, recognizing the mutual benefit to learners and to the host community.


Learning objectives for the Global Health Certificate

Upon completion of the certificate, students should be able to:

  1. Exhibit the ability to describe and compare the health care systems in different areas of the world(such as: an understanding of pros and cons of systems, comparison to the US system, and trends in the evolution of health care systems over time).
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the epidemiology of common global health concerns, both communicable and non-communicable (such as: differences between high/middle/low income countries and programs to mitigate the impacts of these health issues such as the millennium and sustainable development goals).
  3. Demonstrate the ability to integrate information from multiple perspectivesinto an assessment of a country/location’s health status(such as: history, politics, culture, societal structure, economics, environmental sciences, health care system(s), health databases, disease epidemiology, human rights, human subjects protections).
  4. Model ethical behavior in global health engagement (such as: appreciation of the bidirectional nature of learning and mutual benefits between stakeholders and learners, cultural humility and flexibility, recognition of the importance of program sustainability over time, openness to new information/ideas).
  5. Demonstrate professionalism, effective communication, leadership, problem-solving, and collaboration across multiple health education disciplines and stakeholders in addressing a global health issue(including an understanding of One Health approaches).
  6. Exhibit the ability for growth in one’s approach to global health work through self-assessment and structured reflection (such as: personal biases and perspectives, views on equity and disparities, personal limitations).

Program statistics | completion expectations

The Graduate/Professional and Capstone Certificate in Global Health program was approved by UW-Madison in December, 2005.  From 2007-2019, 223 students from a wide range of disciplines have completed the program.  Each year the program receives ~25-45 applications; the number of accepted applicants varies depending on the strength of the applicant pool and the number of available program openings.

Though it is technically possible to complete the certificate’s course of study in one year, certificate students should generally allow two years to complete the program.  This time frame provides sufficient flexibility for students to access core courses and for graduate and professional students to simultaneously complete curriculum requirements in their primary areas of study.  Capstone candidates, who are often meeting the demands of full- or part-time work while simultaneously pursuing the certificate, follow a similar course of study as the professional/graduate students, with most also taking 2-3 years of part-time study to complete the program.  It is expected that all students will complete the certificate in no more than 4 years and, in the case of students simultaneously pursuing a graduate or professional degree, at or before the time of completion of their primary degree program.

Graduate • Professional • Capstone Certificate in Global Health Handbook

Updated August 20, 2018