The Capstone Certificate in Global Health Program is designed to advance the knowledge and capabilities of non-traditional learners with interests in global health. The certificate is available to capstone students with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree who have interest in global health.

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.

To accommodate working professionals, core courses are offered in the evening. 

Further detail, including current tuition and cost, is provided on the program's website.

Educational Benchmarks for Certificate Program

  • To demonstrate self-guided learning habits, recognizing that experiential learning opportunities exist in many forms and that learning is a life-long endeavor.
  •  To interpret quantitative and qualitative information from the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities to inform global health work.
  •  To integrate contextually-grounded information about a location’s health, history, politics, culture, and environment into one’s learning experiences.
  • 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.
  • To compare and contrast the practice of health-related activities in different settings, including the social production of health and well-being.
  • To draw connections between global experiences and local needs.
  • To work effectively as a member of a diverse team to achieve shared goals.
  • To effectively communicate ideas about health to other professions, as well as to community leaders and members of the general public.
  • To recognize valuable opportunities for high and low-middle income countries to learn from one another, and creatively evaluate assets in addressing problems.
  • To model ethical models of community-based engagement, recognizing the mutual benefit to learners and to the host community.

ADMISSION

Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree. Must have a minimum GPA of 3.000. Applications are accepted for fall semester with a deadline in late spring.  Adult Career and Special Student Services (ACSSS) is the admitting office for all University Special students. However, the department offering the capstone certificate program makes the final admission decision upon review of all applicant materials.

Application steps

A complete application includes the following information:

  1. An online application for admission as a University Special student, selecting UNCS Capstone Certificate and the program: Global Health. This application is received and processed by ACSSS with final decision held for approval from the specific capstone certificate coordinator. 
  2. An application and materials submitted directly to the program, which includes:
  • an online application directly to the program. The application includes a personal statement (maximum 350 words) which require a description of global health interest and previous experience, career goals, and how the skills obtained in the certificate program will improve the health status of underserved populations
  • a resume and official transcripts for current programs and prior degrees sent to: Betsy Teigland (teigland@wisc.edu) of the Global Health Institute located at 4270B Health Sciences Learning Center, 750 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705-2221.

ENROLLMENT

Admitted students receive a formal letter of admission to UW–Madison from Adult Career and Special Student Services along with general enrollment information. Additional detail is provided on the ACSSS enrollment page

The Global Health Institute will send an email to admitted students with specific information pertaining to enrollment in courses and completion of the capstone program. 

Completion of a minimum of nine credits is required for the certificate, including six core course credit requirements, one of which is a credit-based global health field experience, and three elective credits. A description of the core requirements and electives is provided below.

Core course requirements

Core
POP HLTH 718 Principles of Global Health Care Systems 12
POP HLTH 904 Special Topics in Epidemiology (Global Health)2
Students choose one of the following sequences:
POP HLTH 640 Foundations in Global Health Practice 21
Independent Study 699 31
or
POP HLTH 644 Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Global Health and Disease 41
POP HLTH 645 Global Health Field Course1
Students take electives to complete credit requirements. Consult with Global Health Institute program staff for updated list.3

GLOBAL HEALTH FIELD EXPERIENCE

(1-6 credits in total; 1 credit counts toward certificate requirements)

A global health field experience is an academic credit-based learning experience in a setting relevant to global health. Field experiences are generally carried out during winter, spring, or summer breaks within the normal academic calendar; 1 week of on-site learning is equivalent to 1 credit(Please note that only one field experience credit counts toward Certificate requirements; additional field course credits earned cannot be applied to the elective requirements.) Global health field experiences may also be carried out during the academic semester if they do not interfere with class attendance or completion of requirements for registered coursework.

Students may elect to do: a faculty-led interdisciplinary group field course administered by the UW-Madison Office of International Academic Programs (IAP); a faculty-led health professions (primarily medical students) group field course, requiring registration as an independent study and administered by GHI; or, they may choose to design an independent field experience at the site of their choice, with approval of an academic advisor and the Certificate Program Director. Field experiences usually take place in a country outside the United States, but may also be carried out in the U.S., working with international/underserved populations or addressing health issues that have global implications. Students may also work with international agencies, such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or non-governmental organizations.

Field experience requirements:

For POP HLTH 645 Global Health Field Course faculty-led group courses (Thailand, Uganda, Ecuador), students are required to take the related prerequisite campus-based course (POP HLTH 644 Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Global Health and Disease) and apply to participate in the field course through the campus-wide Office of International Academic Programs. Upon satisfactory completion of the field course, students will receive credit for POP HLTH 645 Global Health Field Course.

For independent field experiences, certificate students must prepare a proposal, to be reviewed and approved by his or her advisor and the Certificate Program Director, which describes project goals and objectives and outlines a tentative schedule of activities.  Students must register for independent study credit in an appropriate school or department (a 699 course number in most health sciences and graduate departments).

All students completing independent field experiences are required by the School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) to execute an affiliation agreement between the field site organization and the SMPH/University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Upon completion of the field experience, all students must submit to the Certificate program office:

  • A reflection paper (based on a journal kept throughout the field course/experience);
  • An instructor evaluation of the student; and,
  • A reference-cited, academic paper/project report.

Students completing an independent field experience will also need to submit a site evaluation.

1. Exhibit the ability to describe and compare the health care systems in different areas of the world (such as: an understanding of pros and cons of systems, comparison to the US system, and trends in the evolution of health care systems over time).

2. Demonstrate knowledge of the epidemiology of common global health concerns, both communicable and non-communicable (such as: differences between high/middle/low income countries and programs to mitigate the impacts of these health issues such as the millennium and sustainable development goals).

3. Demonstrate the ability to integrate information from multiple perspectives into an assessment of a country/location's health status (such as: history, politics, culture, societal structure, economics, environmental sciences, health care system(s), health databases, disease epidemiology, human rights, human subjects protections).

4. Model ethical behavior in global health engagement (such as: appreciation of the bidirectional nature of learning and mutual benefits between stakeholders and learners, cultural humility and flexibility, recognition of the importance of program sustainability over time, openness to new information/ideas).

5. Demonstrate professionalism, effective communication, leadership, problem-solving, and collaboration across multiple health education disciplines and stakeholders in addressing a global health issue (including an understanding of One Health approaches).

6. Exhibit the ability for growth in one's approach to global health work through self-assessment and structured reflection (such as: personal biases and perspectives, views on equity and disparities, personal limitations).