Graduate/Professional/Capstone Certificate in Global Health

The Graduate/Professional/Capstone Certificate in Global Health Program 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 who have interest in global health. Regardless of the student population served, the overall curriculum, educational benchmarks, and learning objectives are the same.

Watch a 3-minute video about the certificate.

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 two-way 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 wellbeing 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

The educational benchmarks for the Certificate program are as follows (see Appendix A for more details):

  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.

Program Statistics/Completion Expectations

The Graduate/Professional/Capstone Certificate in Global Health program was approved by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in December 2005. As of Spring 2017, 188 students from a wide range of disciplines have completed the program. Each year the program receives 25 to 45 applications; the number of accepted applicants varies depending on the strength of the applicant pool and the number of available program openings.

It is possible to complete the certificate’s course of study in one year by taking both PHS718 and PHS904 in the fall semester, completing the 1-credit Foundations in Global Health Practice (PHS640) or Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Global Health and Disease (PHS644) in the spring, three elective credits in the fall/spring/summer, and completing the field experience in the summer. However, 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 1 to 2 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 Completion Checklist Fall 2017

Key contacts

Christopher Olsen
Director and Faculty Advisor

Betsy Teigland
Programs Coordinator

James Conway
Program Advisor

Lori DiPrete Brown
Program Advisor

Updated February 14, 2018