Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health

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About the certificate

The Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health is a 15-credit program open to all undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin- Madison.

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 public health problems require expertise from many disciplines and the certificate welcomes both pre-health science students and diverse other students who are passionate about improving the well-being of humans, non-human animals, and the environment through changes in politics, economics, culture, and society in general. 

Certificate students must complete credit-bearing field work but may or may not actually go abroad to do it — the “global” in “global health” refers both to our desire to achieve equity in health for all people worldwide and to the goal of studying and finding solutions to health issues that cross both geographic and socioeconomic boundaries.  There are large differences or “disparities” in health and well-being between different populations in Madison and across the US such that many students choose to study a health problem locally and make connections to the handling of the same problem in other populations and places

The certificate is administered by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) and the Global Health Institute (GHI) in partnership with faculty and staff across campus.

More information about the certificate is available in the program’s handbook.

How the certificate helps you

Completing an Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health gives you tools to operate as a global citizen. Through classroom-based courses and a field experience, you will learn to:

  • discuss the global burden of disease, threats to well-being in varied settings, and the root causes of these conditions;
  • understand how practitioners from a variety of disciplines (health care, education, agriculture, engineering, nutrition, etc.) collaborate with local partners to improve health;
  • reflect on your values, ethics and assumptions, so you can practice respectful and mutual engagement with other cultures, collaborators and organizations;
  • communicate effectively with other public health professionals and with community representatives about measures being taken to address key health concerns in their communities, and
  • use your domestic and international health experience to become informed citizens in an increasingly interconnected world.

Download a brief flyer about the certificate and how to complete it.

Download a longer article describing the certificate and its field courses.

Who’s who in the certificate program

Executive Committee

Each student has an official staff advisor, but students are encouraged to contact other certificate team members by e-mail as desired for supplemental advising. Please click on any team member’s name to access a brief biography.

TanumihardjoSherry Tanumihardjo
Director, Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health
Professor, Nutritional Sciences,
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
(608) 265-0792
DipretebrownPhotoLori DiPrete Brown
Associate Director of Education and Engagement,
Global Health Institute
(608) 262-4801


Katie Freeman (advisor, students last names A-M)
Global Health Program Manager,
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Dept. of Nutritional Sciences, Room 272 (map); (608) 262-3718
devika mug shotDevika Suri (advisor, students last names N-Z)
Global Health Advisor,
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Dept. of Nutritional Sciences, Room 278 (map); (608) 262-3427

For and about our alums

Network with certificate alums and current students through LinkedIn — Our group is called “UW Madison Undergrad Certificate in Global Health.”  If you have a LinkedIn profile whose primary e-mail address is a wisc.edu address, you should be able to find and join the group without asking for approval.  If your account is linked to a non-wisc.edu address, you will need to request to join.

Get occasional updates through the certificate’s e-mail list for alums — To join the list, send a blank message to: join-undergradcertalums@lists.wisc.edu
If you are on the list and you want to get off, send a message from the address you want removed from the list to: leave-undergradcertalums@lists.wisc.edu