Global Health Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Person-in-ChargeCheryl Thompson
Program CodeGLBHL

The purpose of this 12-credit graduate certificate in Global Health is to provide students with foundational graduate-level course work in global health. All course work will be at the 500 or 800 level. Upon completion of the Public Health certificate, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate their knowledge of the major players and issues in global health, how global health systems interact, and the social, political, and cultural determinants related to health and health systems.
  2. Apply their skills to assessing global health issues and developing solutions.

Certificate course work may be transferable to the Penn State Master of Public (M.P.H.) graduate degree program subject to restrictions outlined in GCAC-309 Transfer Credit, should a student wish to continue public health training at the graduate level. Students must earn a grade of B or better for a course to be applied to the M.P.H. degree program. Students who wish to pursue the M.P.H. degree must formally apply and be admitted to the Penn State M.P.H. degree program. Admission into the Penn State M.P.H. degree program is a separate step and is not guaranteed. Admission into the M.P.H. program, and credit towards a graduate degree for specific courses is not guaranteed based on acceptance into or completion of the certificate program.

Effective Semester: Summer 2023
Expiration Semester: Summer 2028

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies. International applicants may be required to satisfy an English proficiency requirement; see GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Applicants must submit the following items with their application for admission to the Public Health certificate program:

Admission decisions are made by a faculty committee and are based on the quality of the applicant's professional and academic accomplishments. Upon approval, certificate program students will enroll in course work on a nondegree basis. Note that admission as a nondegree graduate student neither guarantees nor implies subsequent admission to a degree program. Nondegree students are not eligible to receive fellowships or graduate assistantships.

Certificate Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.

Students must complete each course with a grade of B or better in order to receive the certificate.

Required Courses
PHS 803Principles of Global Health3
PHS 809Principles of Public Health 13
or PHS 577 Integrative Seminar in Social & Behavioral Determinants of Health
Select 6 credits from the following:6
World Health Promotion
Multicultural Health Issues
Advanced Epidemiological Methods 2
Global Impact of Infectious Diseases
Integrating Systems Thinking in Global Health
Master of Public Health Internship
Advanced Field Experience
MPH Global Health Internship
Dr.P.H. Global Advanced Field Experience
Total Credits12

Dr.P.H. students take PHS 577.


 Epidemiology and Biostatistics Track students only.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Learning Outcomes.

  1. Propose evidence based solutions to global health problems.
  2. Employ critical thinking and appraisal of the literature to explain the global influences on determinants of health.
  3. Apply social justice and human rights principles in public health policies and programs.
  4. Describe the roles and relationships of the entities influencing global health.
  5. Identify the relationships among patterns of morbidity, mortality, and disability with demographic and other factors in shaping the circumstances of the population of a specified community, country, or region.


Campus Hershey Med Ctr
Graduate Program Head Cheryl Thompson
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Kristin Elizabeth King Sznajder
Program Contact

Shannon Tuininga
(717) 531-0003 Ext. 281150

Program Website View