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About the Global Health & Development Program

"Building Healthy Communities & Promoting Health Equity Worldwide to Improve Global Health and Development”

Global health has been defined as an area for study, research, and practice that places priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide [1]. Issues of health are no longer concerns of single nations, communities and disciplines. In the face of the growing awareness for the need to share evidence-based solutions to common problems, opportunities for global health are expanding rapidly.

Increasing numbers of professionals from multiple disciplines are experiencing the imperative to enlarge their world view and expand their skills and competence in global health to adequately address the current challenges in their own increasingly diverse settings or to lend a hand to the worsening challenges in resource-limited environments.  In order to be successful, skills are required to identify and delineate critical health and human development issues that confront populations in the multiple employment, community and environmental settings. Professionals may be required to design and/or implement large or small scale interventions to prevent disease, and protect, or promote population health. They may also be engaged as consultants to provide technical advice and assistance.

Rooted in global health practice and development as the overarching framework, this graduate certificate program is especially designed to equip participants with the foundation knowledge and skills necessary to function and flourish effectively in global health practice, whether at home in a diverse setting, along the border in a bi-cultural environment, working side-by-side in indigenous homelands or abroad where populations and communities are displaced and under-resourced and where health systems are constrained.  This program covers several critical issues in global health, including but not limited to epidemiology and disease control, health systems management, multi-sectoral partnerships, racial, ethnic and cultural disparities, disabilities, gender and health equity, refugee and migrant health, food and nutrition, evidence-based policy and practice, project design, monitoring and evaluation, and the environment, health, and sustainability.

With a major focus on working professionals, the program is designed as a flexible, internet-based, alternative for local, regional, national and foreign individuals working or intending to work with communities and/or organizations engaged in global health and development.  It is especially designed for three groups of participants: i) individuals with a passion for health equity who have real-life experience but with limited relevant academic preparation ii) health and health-related professionals wishing to update and expand their knowledge and skills, but do not have the time or flexibility to undertake a campus-based academic degree program, iii) students in other disciplines who want to enrich your major with a global health & development world view. This course has relevance for professionals in public health, international relations, nursing, environmental sciences, anthropology, agriculture, sociology, biology, business and economics.

At the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH), all our graduate courses are relatively small to facilitate meaningful, regular contact with faculty. We value practice-based learning and are known for our strength in community engaged scholarship and practice. One of the many qualities of our training program is an emphasis on providing students with service-learning opportunities through structured field experiences.  Both our faculty and students are deeply involved in community-based programs to reduce health disparities in the southwest and globally.  Our proximity to the Mexican border and Native American reservations in our state and in the four-corner region provides practical opportunities for community-engaged learning and for translating theory to practice.

To ensure a flexible, unpressured, and yet top quality program, all courses are taught online. Students can expect to commit approximately 4-8 hours per week on each course, completing individual assignments and participating in discussion board forums. Online class activities are mostly asynchronous, and students can participate in these activities at times that are convenient to them, so long as the stipulated deadline for each activity is met. The program is designed to be completed in 12 months, but can be spaced out over an 18 month period.

Graduate Certificate Course Objectives

The Graduate Certificate in Global Health and Development is designed to equip participants with essential skills to succeed in, and impact, global health and development policy and practice.  At the end of the certificate program participants should be able to:

  • Analyze the relationship between health and development.
  • Use appropriate methods to appraise global health challenges and strengthen health care systems, as well as identify resource-appropriate responses to meet these challenges.
  • Synthesize information from primary and secondary sources to help identify appropriate interventions and actions in the field of global health.
  • Use research, planning and management methods to make efficient and effective use of available resources in field settings.
  • Develop professional skills in program design, program monitoring, and evaluation.
  • Acquire skills in the use of distance learning technologies for application to future professional development programs.

Course Endorsement & Accreditation

This certificate program has been approved for graduate level credit by the University of Arizona Graduate College and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. The certificate is a stand-alone program that will be delivered entirely online, via the internet.

Please be aware that the Graduate College requires that all certificate students have a 3.0 GPA or higher before they can complete the certificate.  If you are in danger of falling below a 3.0, please contact the Certificate Programs Coordinator at to discuss a plan of action. You can obtain a C in a class and still complete the certificate; just understand that you will need an A in another class to balance out the C.

A student who fails to achieve a passing grade in a course can retake the course only once. Students who do not pass the required credits will only receive credits for the courses passed, but will not qualify for the certificate. All courses will be taught by experienced instructors with a solid track record of teaching graduate students, using web-based technologies.

Course Access

The course is built in the Moodle course management system. Delivered entirely online and with the Millennium Development Goals as the overarching framework, the curriculum blends online, experiential and field-based learning. The online components include; a class café, required & supplemental readings, multi-media instructions tools such as DVD clips, radio broadcasts, power points, discussion board assignments, case studies and uploaded assignments. Participants will actively interact with the moderators and their own peers using the online discussion board.

[1]Koplan JP, Bond TC, Merson MH. et al. Toward a common definition of global health. Lancet 2009; 373:9679; 1993-1995.

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