Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health

The Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health is a 15-credit program administered by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) and the Global Health Institute (GHI) in partnership with faculty and staff across campus. Open to all undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Certificate gives you the tools to:

  • Understand the global burden of disease, threats to well-being, and the root causes of these conditions;
  • Identify parallels between local, domestic, and international health issues;
  • Collaborate and communicate effectively with diverse colleagues and local partners;
  • Respectfully engage with other cultures;
  • Become informed citizens in an increasingly interconnected world.

 What Is Global Health?

All students, especially those who identify as pre-health, are familiar with the concept of health care, the idea of preventing and treating mental and physical health conditions in individuals. The Certificate’s coursework discusses medicine and particularly the need to improve access to care for all, but it also introduces students to the field of public health, a model for promoting health and well-being that seeks to identify and address the root causes of health problems for populations rather than individuals.

Public health practitioners focus on preventive, population-level approaches to health promotion. For example, public health work related to substance abuse among UW students involves education and outreach to high-risk groups as well as facilitating access to treatment. Other public health researchers, government officials, nonprofit staff, and community leaders might work with an entire rural communities in a developing country to improve access to clean water, or work on a global scale to try to reduce migration driven by climate change-related declines in food production.

Solutions to global health problems require expertise from many disciplines and the Certificate welcomes both pre-health science students and a diversity of other students who are passionate about improving the well-being of humans, animals, and the environment through changes in politics, economics, culture, and society.

Learn more about careers in global health and see what some Certificate alumni are doing by visiting our Forms and Resources page.