University of Wisconsin–Madison

Graduate Certificate Course Requirements

A minimum of nine credits are required for the certificate, including six core course credit requirements (one of which is a credit-based global health field experience) and three elective credits.

Graduate • Professional Capstone Core and Elective Courses

Core Course Requirements

PHS 718, section 1: Fundamentals Of International Health Care Systems (2 Credits)

This course introduces students to issues in global health, and addresses and analyzes differences in health status and methods of organizing and providing health services in countries with varying levels of development and types of sociopolitical systems. Students develop an understanding of the various avenues of international cooperation in health. This course is currently offered the first 7-8 weeks of the fall semester. For optimal preparation, POP HLTH 718 should be taken prior to field experience prerequisite courses (POP HLTH 640 or POP HLTH 644).

PHS 904: Topics in Epidemiology – Global Health (2 credits)

This course examines the relationship between globalization and health; indicators and determinants of health and health disparities across populations, from less to more developed countries; epidemiology as a tool to evaluate population health, and develop interventions to improve global health and reduce health disparities; and, methodological and ethical considerations in international health research.  The course is also designed to expose students to health research and clinical work of faculty working in a range of disciplines relevant to global health, and to help students identify ways in which they might contribute in the future to improvements in global health.  It is currently offered the last 7-8 weeks of the fall semester.

Global Health Field Courses/Experiences

A global health field course/experience (1 credit) is an academic credit-based learning experience in a setting relevant to global health.  Field courses/experiences are generally carried out during the summer (less commonly within the normal academic calendar if they do not interfere with class attendance or completion of requirements for registered coursework); 1 week of on-site learning is equivalent to 1 credit(Please note that only one field course/experience credit counts toward Certificate requirements; additional field credits earned cannot be applied to elective course requirements.)

Students must be in good academic standing to participate in a global health field course/experience.

PHS 640: Foundations for Global Health Practice (1 credit) or PHS 644: Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Global Health (1 credit)

These courses help students to prepare for a global health field experience. Students study general precepts of global health, learn to use quantitative and qualitative data to gain an understanding of the health situation related to their selected field site country/population, and explore a pertinent health topic of focus.

PHS640 includes selecting a site, identifying a counterpart organization, researching and creating a country profile, developing a project proposal that is of mutual benefit to the student and the counterpart organization, understanding the Institutional Review Board process and global health ethics, and preparation for travel (health and safety).  Students design an independent field experience at the site of their choice and write a proposal that describes project goals and objectives and outlines a tentative schedule of activities to be reviewed and approved by their advisor and the Certificate Program Director.

Please note: POP HLTH 640 is still a prerequisite for POP HLTH 788 for dual MPH/global health certificate students.

PHS 644 is for students planning to participate in one of the global health faculty-led field courses (currently offered in Uganda, Thailand, and Ecuador) and includes site-specific course work.  Eligibility for enrollment in POP HLTH 644 is contingent upon acceptance into one of the POP HLTH 645 field courses administered by the UW-Madison Office of International Academic Programs (IAP).  Please see the IAP website for more information on the three global health field courses, https://www.studyabroad.wisc.edu/. The deadline for applying for these courses is the first Friday in December each year.

Certificate students planning on taking part in the Guatemala faculty-led service learning program are also required to take PHS 640 but will focus on slightly different elements than those preparing for independent study.

Fourth year PharmD students who intend to fulfill the field requirement with an Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) may use PHARM 673: Seminars in Global Health Pharmacy as the pre-requisite course in place of PHS 640.

Elective Course Requirements

(3 credits)

Criteria for Global Health Electives

  • Course objectives are aligned with some or all of the learning objectives of the Graduate/Professional/Capstone Certificate in Global Health (see above and Appendix A).
  • A substantial portion of the course content pertains to health in an international setting or deals with international/underserved populations in the U.S.
  • The class is a graduate level course.  (Note:  upper level undergraduate courses that have content highly relevant to global health may be included as electives with the approval of the Certificate Director.)
  • Students are encouraged to use the elective requirements to develop breadth or depth in their interest areas that will take them beyond their major course of study.
  • (Note: The course may not be part of the student’s required core curriculum for their primary degree program.­) ­­

Special requests to count other courses as electives toward the Graduate • Professional • Capstone Certificate in Global Health

In addition to the list of approved electives (see Appendix C), students may petition to be granted permission to include other courses as electives toward their certificate. These petitions should be made in writing and should include:

  • a brief explanation of how the course is relevant to the student’s particular global health goals and course of study;
  • a copy of the syllabus of the course in question;
  • an assessment by the course instructor of how much of the content is global health related; and,
  • a summary of global health courses taken to date.

These requests will be reviewed by the Certificate Director/Faculty Advisor in light of the following criteria:

  • The class is 400 level or higher. (If 300 level or lower, additional review and approval is required.)
  • The course topic is relevant for global health as it pertains to the student’s particular career path.
  • A substantial proportion of the course content pertains to health in an international setting or deals with health-related issues in international/underserved populations in the U.S.
  • In the case of area studies courses that do not emphasize health as a major theme, the student’s major paper should be written on a health topic and submitted to the certificate program director.
  • The course may not be part of the student’s required core curriculum for their degree program, but may be degree program electives/selectives.

Updated August 20, 2018