Curriculum Requirements

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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.  Below is a description of the core requirements and electives.

Core course requirements (6 credits):

PHS 718, section 1: Fundamentals of International Health Care Systems (2 credits)

This course 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 socio-political systems. Students develop an understanding of the various avenues of international cooperation in health.  It is offered the first 7 weeks of the fall semester. This course is a pre-requisite for PHS 640.

PHS904, section 4: Topics in Epidemiology: Global Health (2 credits)

The purposes of this course are to explore the relationship between globalization and health and provide students with an understanding of: a) major indicators and determinants of health and health disparities across populations, from less to more developed countries; b) the role of epidemiology in developing proven and potential interventions to improve global health and reduce health disparities; and c) 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 offered the second 7 weeks of the fall semester.

PHS 640: Foundations for Global Health Practice 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 country and health topic of focus. For students planning to do an independent global health field experience, PHS 640 includes selecting a site, identifying a counterpart organization, developing a scope of work that is of mutual benefit to the student and the counterpart organization, and preparing to travel (health and safety). Please note: PHS 718 is a pre-requisite for PHS 640. Students wishing to petition for an exception may do so by sending a syllabus and/or course description of a comparable course previously taken. Certificate students planning on taking part in the Guatemala or China faculty-led field experience are 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.

PHS 644 is for students planning to participate in the Uganda, Thailand or Ecuador faculty-led field experience and includes site-specific course work.

Global Health field experience (1-6 credits)

A global health field experience is a credit-based experience in a setting relevant to global health. Field experiences are generally carried out during winter, spring or summer breaks, and 1 week on site is equivalent to 1 credit. (Please note that only one field experience credit can go toward Certificate requirements; additional credits earned may not be applied to the elective requirements.) Global health field experiences may also be carried out during the academic semester if they do not interfere with class attendance or completion of requirements for registered coursework.

Students may elect to do a faculty-led interdisciplinary group field experience administered by the UW-Madison Office of International Academic Programs (IAP), a faculty-led health sciences (primarily medical students) group field experience, requiring registration as an independent study and administered by GHI, or they may choose to design an independent field experience at the site of their choice. Field experiences usually take place in a country outside the U.S., but may also be carried out among a culturally diverse population in the United States. Students may also work with international agencies, such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, or non-governmental organizations.

Field experience requirements:

For PHS 645 faculty-led group experiences, students are required to take pre-requisite campus-based courses (PHS 644) and apply to participate in the field course through the Office of International Academic Programs. Upon satisfactory completion of the field course, students will receive credit for PHS 645: Global Health Field Study.

For independent study faculty-led group experiences (Guatemala and China), students must register for independent study credit in the department of the faculty leader (699 in most health sciences and graduate departments). As is noted above, PHS 640, Foundations for Global Health Practice, is a prerequisite for the Guatemala and China faculty-led experiences.

For independent field experiences students must prepare a proposal, to be reviewed and approved by his or her advisor, which describes project goals and objectives and lays out a tentative schedule of activities. Students must register for independent study credit in an appropriate school or department (699 in most health sciences and graduate departments). MPH students may register for PHS 788, Public Health Field Experience. As is noted above, PHS 640, Foundations for Global Health Practice, is a prerequisite for individual field experiences.

Pharmacy students planning to use an international APPE to fulfill their field experience requirement may contact the School of Pharmacy Office of Global Health for further information.

Upon completion of the field experience, all students must submit:

  1. field experience journal (reflection)
  2. referenced field experience report (or field course academic assignment)
  3.  evaluation by the field preceptor/course instructor

Students completing an independent field experience will also need to submit a site evaluation.

In order to take full advantage of the field experience, prior completion of all course work is recommended whenever possible.

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

Field Courses 2017

Core and Elective Courses

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