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 for individuals.
Public health practitioners focus on preventive, population-level approaches to health promotion. For example, public health work related to substance abuse among UW–Madison 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 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 global health problems require expertise from many disciplines, and the certificate welcomes both pre-health science students and a diversity of other students who are passionate about improving the well-being of humans, 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 United States 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.
Learn more about the program on its website.
Undergraduate students from all majors on campus are encouraged to consider completing the Certificate in Global Health. Keep in mind that once you finish the requirements of your degree and major, you may not extend your time on campus just to compete a certificate.
Students may declare after completing any one of the program's three core courses. To declare, either make an appointment with your assigned Global Health certificate advisor or fill out the brief form on the program's website.
- 2.0 GPA in certificate courses
- At least 50% of certificate coursework taken in residence
|NUTR SCI/AGRONOMY/ENTOM 203||Introduction to Global Health||3|
|MED HIST/ENVIR ST 213||Global Environmental Health: An Interdisciplinary Introduction 1||3|
|or POP HLTH 370||Introduction to Public Health: Local to Global Perspectives|
|Field experiences range in length from one week to an entire semester and typically carry from one to four credits. The field experience can be completed in the US or abroad but must be completed for credit and must be approved by certificate staff. Some experiences are "preapproved" while others such as internships must be submitted for approval. Volunteering that includes clinical work is strongly discouraged and is not accepted as field experience. See the program's field experience web page for more details.||1-4|
|Select from electives list (see below) to reach a minimum of 15 credits total for the certificate.||6-8|
Completing both of these courses is encouraged but not required, and students who do so can count one as an elective. Both MED HIST/ENVIR ST 213 and POP HLTH 370 are generally only offered in the spring.
Global Health electives grouped by functional AREA
|AGRONOMY 377||Cropping Systems of the Tropics||3|
|BOTANY/PL PATH 123||Plants, Parasites, and People||3|
|BOTANY 240||Plants and Humans||3|
|BOTANY/AMER IND/ANTHRO 474||Ethnobotany||3-4|
|HORT 350||Plants and Human Wellbeing||2|
|HORT 370||World Vegetable Crops||3|
|Animal Science/Dairy Science|
|AN SCI/DY SCI 370||Livestock Production and Health in Agricultural Development||3|
|DY SCI/AN SCI/FOOD SCI/SOIL SCI 472||Animal Agriculture and Global Sustainable Development||1|
|C&E SOC/SOC 532||Health Care Issues for Individuals, Families and Society||3|
|C&E SOC/SOC 533||Public Health in Rural & Urban Communities||3|
|Environmental Health/Environmental Science/Environmental Economics|
|A A E/ENVIR ST 244||The Environment and the Global Economy||4|
|A A E/ECON/ENVIR ST 343||Environmental Economics||3-4|
|BOTANY/ENVIR ST/ZOOLOGY 260||Introductory Ecology||3|
|BOTANY/F&W ECOL/ZOOLOGY 460||General Ecology||4|
|CIV ENGR 422||Elements of Public Health Engineering||3|
|CIV ENGR 423||Air Pollution Effects, Measurement and Control||3|
|ENVIR ST/POP HLTH 471||Introduction to Environmental Health||3|
|ENVIR ST/POP HLTH 502||Air Pollution and Human Health||3|
|ENVIR ST/HIST SCI/MED HIST 513||Environment and Health in Global Perspective||3|
|POP HLTH/ENVIR ST 560||Health Impact Assessment of Global Environmental Change||3|
|SOIL SCI/ATM OCN 132||Earth's Water: Natural Science and Human Use||3|
|ENTOM/ZOOLOGY 371||Medical Entomology||3|
|KINES 353||Health and Physical Education in a Multicultural Society||2|
|KINES 355||Socio-Cultural Aspects of Physical Activity||3|
|Health Economics/Health Finance|
|ECON/POP HLTH/PUB AFFR 548||The Economics of Health Care||3-4|
|Health Education/Behavioral Sciences|
|ED POL 150||Education and Public Policy (Sexuality and Education; Education and Global Change) 1||3|
|POLI SCI/INTL ST 434||The Politics of Human Rights (Health Policy) 1||3-4|
|SOC WORK 206||Introduction to Social Policy||4|
|Health Promotion and Communications|
|COM ARTS/JOURN/LSC 617||Health Communication in the Information Age||3|
|LSC 515||Social Marketing Campaigns in Science, Health and the Environment||3|
|M M & I 301||Pathogenic Bacteriology||2|
|M M & I 554||Emerging Infectious Diseases and Bioterrorism||2|
|M M & I 555||Vaccines: Practical Issues for a Global Society||3|
|PATH/PATH-BIO 210||HIV: Sex, Society and Science||3|
|PATH 404||Pathophysiologic Principles of Human Diseases||3|
|POP HLTH/M M & I 603||Clinical and Public Health Microbiology||5|
|Maternal and Child Health|
|SOC WORK 646||Child Abuse and Neglect||2-3|
|DS 527||Global Artisans||3|
|DS 341||Design Thinking for Transformation||3|
|Minority Health and Health Disparities|
|AFROAMER/HIST SCI/MED HIST 523||Race, American Medicine and Public Health||3|
|ASIAN AM 240||Topics in Asian American Studies (Hmong Refugee History) 1||3|
|RP & SE 660||Special Topics (Health Promotion for Disabilities and Chronic Illness) 1||1-6|
|ANTHRO 104||Cultural Anthropology and Human Diversity||3|
|ANTHRO 365||Medical Anthropology||3|
|Nutrition/Public Health Nutrition|
|A A E/AGRONOMY/INTER-AG/NUTR SCI 350||World Hunger and Malnutrition||3|
|C&E SOC/SOC 222||Food, Culture, and Society||3|
|NUTR SCI 132||Nutrition Today||3|
|or NUTR SCI 332||Human Nutritional Needs|
|NUTR SCI/BIOCHEM 510||Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism||3|
|PL PATH 311||Global Food Security||3|
|M M & I/ENTOM/PATH-BIO/ZOOLOGY 350||Parasitology||3|
|SOC 170||Population Problems||3-4|
|Poverty and Development|
|A A E/INTL ST 373||Globalization, Poverty and Development||3|
|A A E/ECON 474||Economic Problems of Developing Areas||3|
|A A E/ECON 477||Agricultural and Economic Development in Africa||3|
|C&E SOC/F&W ECOL/SOC 248||Environment, Natural Resources, and Society||3|
|C&E SOC/ENVIR ST/SOC 540||Sociology of International Development, Environment, and Sustainability||3|
|C&E SOC/AMER IND/SOC 578||Poverty and Place||3|
|C&E SOC/SOC 630||Sociology of Developing Societies/Third World||3|
|ECON 448||Human Resources and Economic Growth||3-4|
|HDFS/CNSR SCI 465||Families & Poverty||3|
|GEOG 307||International Migration, Health, and Human Rights||3|
|INTL ST 101||Introduction to International Studies||3-4|
|INTL ST 402||Topics in Politics and Policy in the Global Economy (Global Poverty and Inequality) 1||3-4|
|Public Health Ethics|
|MED HIST/PHILOS 505||Justice and Health Care||3|
|MED HIST/PHILOS 515||Public Health Ethics||3|
|MED HIST 559||Topics in Ethics and History of Medicine (Climate Change Ethics) 1||3|
|Public Health Leadership|
|POP HLTH 504||Health Care Quality Improvement in Low Resource Settings||1|
|SOC WORK 659||International Aspects of Social Work||2-3|
|Public Health Medicine|
|INTER-AG/INTER-LS 152||Ways of Knowing: Medicine and Society||1|
|MED HIST/HIST SCI 212||Bodies, Diseases, and Healers: An Introduction to the History of Medicine||3|
|NURSING/S&A PHM/SOC WORK 105||Health Care Systems: Interdisciplinary Approach||2|
|PHM SCI 310||Drugs and Their Actions||2|
|PHM PRAC 305||Consumer Self-Care and Over-the-Counter Drugs||2|
|NURSING 436||Health and Illness Concepts with Individuals, Families, and Communities: Experiential Learning||2-4|
|Public Health Practice|
|CSCS 500||Global Health and Communities: From Research to Praxis||3|
|MED HIST/HIST SCI 509||The Development of Public Health in America||3|
|MED HIST/HIST SCI/POP HLTH 553||International Health and Global Society||3|
|Social Determinants of Health|
|ART HIST 103||Topics in Art History (The Body, Sex, and Health in Art) 1||3-4|
|HISTORY/HIST SCI/MED HIST 504||Society and Health Care in American History||3|
|MED HIST/HIST SCI/HISTORY 564||Disease, Medicine and Public Health in the History of Latin America and the Caribbean||3|
|RELIG ST 101||Religion in Global Perspective||3|
|RELIG ST 102||Exploring Religion in Sickness and Health||3|
|RELIG ST 103||Exploring Religion and Sexuality||3|
|S&A PHM 490||Selected Topics in Social and Administrative Pharmacy (Health Equity and Social Justice) 1||1-4|
|F&W ECOL/AGRONOMY/ENTOM/M&ENVTOX 632||Ecotoxicology: The Chemical Players||1|
|F&W ECOL/AGRONOMY/ENTOM/M&ENVTOX 633||Ecotoxicology: Impacts on Individuals||1|
|F&W ECOL/AGRONOMY/ENTOM/M&ENVTOX 634||Ecotoxicology: Impacts on Populations, Communities and Ecosystems||1|
|Veterinary Public Health|
|F&W ECOL/SURG SCI 548||Diseases of Wildlife||3|
|GEN&WS 102||Gender, Women, and Society in Global Perspective||3|
|GEN&WS 103||Gender, Women, Bodies, and Health||3|
|GEN&WS 320||Special Topics in Gender, Women and Society (The Female Body in the World: Gender and Body Politics) 1||1-3|
|GEN&WS 424||Women's International Human Rights||3|
|GEN&WS/PSYCH 522||Psychology of Women and Gender||3|
|GEN&WS/INTL ST 535||Women's Global Health and Human Rights||3|
Footnotes related to electives
This course is a special topics course. These are courses whose topic changes from semester to semester and even between sections in the same semester. Sections of these courses accepted by the certificate in the past are shown in parentheses. Please contact your global health advisor if you take a special topics course as a global health elective.
Certificate COMPLETION REQUIREMENT
This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.
- Understand the global burden of disease, threats to well-being, and the root causes of these conditions.
- Identify parallels between local, domestic, and international health issues.
- Become informed citizens in an increasingly interconnected world.
- Collaborate and communicate effectively with diverse colleagues and local partners.
- Respectfully engage with other cultures.
Students interested in the Certificate in Global Health can schedule an appointment with an advisor.
The knowledge and skills developed through the Certificate in Global Health prepare students for success in a range of career paths. Some graduates may use their global health education to go into a healthcare profession, while others may choose careers as researchers, policy-makers, administrators, non-profit workers, educators, data analysts, and communicators in fields related to public health, epidemiology, environmental health, or international development. The certificate supports students who intend to go directly into the workforce after graduation, as well as those who intend to further their education through graduate or professional programs.
Because an interest in global health can lead to many different careers, students are encouraged to begin the career exploration process early in their UW-Madison journey by working with advisors, faculty, and career resources on campus. These resources can help students reflect on their values and goals, identify career paths, and outline strategies for pursuing their goals. UW-Madison has a number of dedicated career resources for undergraduate students, including CALS Career Services, the Career Exploration Center, L&S SuccessWorks, and the Center for Pre-Health Advising.
Please see the Certificate in Global Health website for a list of certificate staff and ways to contact them.
A unique aspect of the certificate is the requirement of a field experience, which can take the form of a study abroad field course, an internship, or site visits right here in Wisconsin. You will have the opportunity to get out of the classroom and see the connections between human, animal, and environmental health while deepening your understanding of the social and cultural contexts that influence health and wellness. The experience also increases your comfort in working with a diversity of people and introduces you to many types of careers in global health.
Click here to learn more about our field experiences or set up an appointment to talk with an advisor.