Global Health

The Global Health Certificate offers students the breadth of coursework and skills needed to successfully operate in the international public health arena. It builds on our faculty’s extensive history of global health research and service programs. 

Developing effective interventions requires public health professionals who are comfortable working in ever-shifting political, social, economic, and health environments. Graduates will have the technical skills and cultural competency to pursue a variety of career opportunities in academia, government, industry, foundations, and non-governmental organizations.

The program’s interdisciplinary focus steeps students in traditional global health priorities such as poverty reduction, maternal health, prevention of neonatal and child mortality, infectious diseases, environmental sanitation, and access to safe drinking water, while also addressing new priorities including urbanization, rising rates of chronic diseases and obesity, climate change, aging populations, global mental health, and the health consequences of conflict.

Students will be equipped to address health problems that transcend borders due to globalization and increasing migration. A practicum experience working overseas enables students to apply classroom concepts in a real-world setting.


  1. Examine the major causes of morbidity and mortality around the world, and how the risk for disease varies with regions

  2. Analyze the roles, relationships, and resources of global and local institutions active in global health

  3. Analyze historical and present north-south power dynamics; social and political contexts, and determinants of health

  4. Demonstrate ongoing self-reflection and learning in global health

  5. Collaborate effectively and responsibly in low-resource settings to promote sustainable interventions for global health.

Admissions Eligibility

Global Health is open to Columbia MPH students in all 6 academic departments:

Biostatistics -3 month practicum option only.
Environmental Health Sciences -3 month practicum option only.
Epidemiology -3 or 6 month practicum option
Health Policy and Management -3 or 6 month practicum option
Population and Family Health -3 or 6 month practicum option
Sociomedical Sciences -3 or 6 month practicum option

All students are required to complete a practicum in a low-resource setting

Learn More

Visit the Certificates Database to learn more about core and credit requirements.

Sample Courses

Priorities in Global Health

Many of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity disproportionately affect the populations of low-income countries. This course uses a multidisciplinary approach to analyze the emergence, justification, and success of current global health priorities, including reproductive health, child health water, infectious diseases, non-communicable disease, mental health, and public health in complex emergencies (manmade and Environmental). Students will learn to examine the social, economic, and political factors contributing to the rise of these global health priorities, learn about the different suggested approaches and tools for managing them, and be involved in the development of strategies for their solution. This course builds on the core studio Global and Developmental Perspectives (P6052) by demonstrating the application of major concepts and principles that govern the practice of global health in resource-poor countries.

Advanced Topics in Global Health

Maintaining a multidisciplinary focus, the course presents case studies of global health programs for in-depth study. The course first introduces systems thinking and its application to public health. Using a case study approach, students will then study the global and regional politics and local social contexts in which global health problems occur and will learn to analyze the successes and shortcomings of global public health interventions from a systems perspective.

Related Certificates

Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Public Health and Humanitarian Assistance

Related Links

The Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program