The Global Health MPH Program is an in-residence, full-time, day program where students complete required and elective coursework, a practicum, and a thesis as part of their course of study. Students have access to all University of Washington courses and are encouraged take advantage of classes in other departments. Case studies and applied learning are common approaches, and contributions by students provide a major component of the learning environment. Graduates enter fellowships or doctoral programs or go on to find employment among various types of agencies involved in global health, including ministries of health, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and the private sector.  

Which Track is Right for You?

The General Track provides a broad curriculum with a wide selection of courses and maximal flexibility to develop one’s own curricular direction. Students can focus on areas such as: program design and evaluation, implementation science, global mental health, maternal, child, and adolescent health, qualitative research, non-communicable diseases, tropical medicine, and others.

Please note: Prospective students enrolled in medical school outside of the UW who are planning to take a year off to complete the MPH at UW will participate in this track. Please contact us a ghprog@uw.edu for more information.

The Leadership, Policy, and Management (LPM) Track trains creative and effective leaders, managers, and policy advocates who will translate knowledge into action to transform health systems and advance health equity. The Leadership, Policy, and Management Track is for individuals who want to learn more about their Individual leadership style (informed by assessments done at the beginning of the program); how to motivate teams; communicate effectively with individuals and groups from different cultural, technical, and social backgrounds and learning styles; how to analyze policy issues and solutions by incorporating empirical information and stakeholder interests; and how to advocate for just and equitable public policies that promote conditions in which people can be healthy. 

The Health Metrics and Evaluation (HME) Track is for students who want to pursue careers addressing global health challenges by utilizing quantitative research, methods and modeling development, survey design and analysis, health systems and program evaluation, and policy analysis. Graduates of the HME Track seek employment opportunities in the U.S. and globally with governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, non-profits and research institutions.

The Health Metrics and Evaluation curriculum develops competencies in the following areas: population health measurement, statistical methods and analytical techniques related to global health measurement, programming in statistical packages, program/survey design, and evaluation. Coursework is highly interdisciplinary with courses offered through various schools and departments at the UW.  

Competitive applicants may be recent college graduates, and must have strong quantitative skills as demonstrated through undergraduate courses or research. Although it is expected that most applicants will have had some experience in low-resource settings, substantial low/middle-income country work experience is not an entry requirement.

The primary advantage of the concurrent degree option is that typically it allows the student to complete two degrees in less time than would be required by completing each degree separately. Some requirements, such as the thesis and some course requirements, can – with careful planning – often be met for both degrees by one product or activity. 

MD/MPH Concurrent Degree (for UW medical students) 

Students in this track complete one full year (three academic quarters) of MPH-only coursework after the second or third year of medical school. International work occurs in summers, between rotations, in specialized rotations, or by taking time off. MD students at other institutions should apply to the General Track.

For UW School of Medicine Students

Non-MD Concurrent Degrees

The below are concurrent degrees most often pursued in conjunction with a Global Health MPH, other concurrent options are also possible.

  • Students generally apply to the General Track for maximum flexibility but other options are possible.
  • Most concurrent students complete the partner program first and then complete the MPH. This is because of the practicum and thesis component of the MPH and students find it best if they can move directly from MPH coursework to completing their practicum and thesis. 
  • Please contact ghprog@uw.edu with concurrent degree questions

Concurrent applicants must submit an application for the MPH program even if already enrolled in the Graduate School and should fill out the application in the same manner as single-degree applicants with the exception of the following:

  • Identify Concurrent Degree - in this section of the online application, indicate which UW graduate program you are enrolled in and your current status in respect to that program (This is the only way the MPH program can identify an applicant as a concurrent degree applicant).
  • GRE Test Scores - applicants should indicate if they already have GRE scores on file at the UW from a previous application.

MPH/MSW

This concurrent degree offering by the School of Social Work and the Department of Global Health allows students to complete degree requirements for MSW and MPH degrees in approximately three years. These degrees would require four years of academic work if earned separately. Prospective students should apply for the MSW first and then apply for the MPH during their first year in the MSW program. For more information, contact J'May Rivara at jbr@u.washington.edu from the School of Social Work. 

MPH/MPA

This concurrent degree offering by the Evans School of Public Affairs and the Department of Global Health allows students to complete degree requirements for MPA and MPH degrees in approximately three years. Prospective students are advised to apply for the MPA first and then apply for the MPH during their first year in the MPA program. For more information, contact ghprog@uw.edu to learn more about the Global Health MPH and the Evans School Recruitment Manager at evansrec@u.washington.edu to learn more about MPA.

MAIS/MPH

This concurrent degree program is intended mainly for students who are planning careers in management or policy aspects of international health. The two degrees can be completed in approximately three years. For more information, contact the Jackson School of International Studies Office of Student Services.

MPH/PhD Anthropology

This concurrent degree program offers an interdisciplinary curriculum in the fields of public health and anthropology leading to a MPH in Global Health and PhD in Anthropology. This offering is designed to prepare professionals who will function in multidisciplinary health settings in the areas of teaching, research, administration, planning, and policy development and implementation. Students admitted into the concurrent degree program will be those who have identified a strong commitment to devoting their careers to innovative approaches to solving the world’s most pressing global health issues. For more information, contact James Pfeiffer at jamespf@u.washington.edu.  

Curriculum

The courses listed below are required for all students in all tracks of the Global Health MPH program.

  • G H 511, Problems in Global Health (autumn)
  • ENV H 511, Environmental and Occupational Health (spring)
  • G H 531, Research and Evaluation Methods in Global Health (autumn)
  • EPI 511, Introduction to Epidemiology (autumn) OR EPI 512 & 513, Epidemiologic Methods I and II (autumn & winter)
  • BIOST 508, Biostatistical Reasoning for the Health Sciences (winter) OR BIOST 511, Medical Biometry (autumn) OR BIOST 517, Applied Biostatistics (autumn)

 Students should review the EPI guide and BIOST guide to assist with determining which course they should take. Discussion with staff advisers is also recommended. 

In addition to core coursework, General Track students are required to complete the below courses. 

  • G H 521, Leadership Development in Global Health (winter)
  • G H 593, MPH Workshop (autumn, winter, and spring quarter of a students first year)
  • Minimum of three Department of Global Health elective credits

MPH Workshop

MPH Workshop is a cohort-building course for General and Leadership, Policy, and Management track students that provides students with an opportunity to share their expertise with one another and discuss global health issues that may not be covered in other coursework. Highlights of the course include presentations from fellow students, guest lecturers from various departments, and scholars who share their interdisciplinary, global perspectives, and expertise. Students are also invited to select topics and prepare student-led sessions. Examples of past topics students have chosen for the workshop include: indigenous health, gender-based violence, working globally versus locally, institutionalized racism, and photojournalism and storytelling as tools for public health.

Please note: Prospective students enrolled in medical school outside of the UW who are planning to take a year off to complete the MPH at UW will participate in this track. Please contact us a ghprog@uw.edu for more information.

In addition to core coursework required for all students in the School of Public Health, HME Track students take two health metrics courses focused on quantitative skill development and a three-quarter seminar to gain insight into analyzing research methodology. Prospective students may also find the degree checklist for this track useful in understanding course requirements.

  • GH 592: HME Track Seminar
  • GH 539: Methods, Tools, and Data for Global Health
  • GH 590 A: Mortality Analysis for Global Health or GH 590 G: Global Burden of Disease

In addition to core coursework, Leadership, Policy and Management Track students are required to complete the below courses. 

  • G H 522, Global Program Management and Leadership (spring, via distance)
  • G H 523 Policy Development and Advocacy for Global Health (spring)
  • G H 593 MPH Workshop (autumn, winter, and spring quarter of a students first year)
  • Minimum of three Department of Global Health elective credits

MPH WORKSHOP

MPH Workshop is a cohort-building course for General and Leadership, Policy, and Management track students that provides students with an opportunity to share their expertise with one another and discuss global health issues that may not be covered in other coursework. Highlights of the course include presentations from fellow students, guest lecturers from various departments, and scholars who share their interdisciplinary, global perspectives, and expertise. Students are also invited to select topics and prepare student-led sessions. Examples of past topics students have chosen for the workshop include: indigenous health, gender-based violence, working globally versus locally, institutionalized racism, and photojournalism and storytelling as tools for public health.

Global Health MPH Students may take courses from any school or college within the University of Washington as long as they have met any course prerequisites and there is space in the class. The attached list of electives is a sampling of popular courses recommended by current and former GH-MPH students.

Elective Offerings