Global Health Specialization | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Global Health Specialization

The Global Health specialization prepares students to confront complex issues primarily impacting resource-poor populations around the world.

 Understanding and confronting global health issues often requires transdisciplinary approaches that integrate multiple sectors working together for creative solutions. Strategies focus on vulnerable groups such as pregnant and lactating women, infants, young children, adolescents, internally displaced persons, refugees, persons with disabilities and older adults. 

The specialization provides students with knowledge about major infectious and chronic diseases, as well as other health conditions. Students learn to deconstruct and analyze mainstream development discourse and develop a context-specific understanding of the root causes that lead to health outcomes. Students also create program and policy solutions to address global health problems. 

Graduates are prepared for careers in multilateral organizations, the United States federal government, and nongovernmental organizations based in the U.S. and abroad.

Specialization Requirements: 15 Credits

  • Global Health
  • Transdisciplinary Problem Solving (TPS) course*
  • Policy, Politics and Power in Global Health
  • One elective course*
  • MPH practicum (global health-focused)

*Select from a list of pre-approved courses related to global health

TPS course options include:

  • TPS: Global Hunger & Undernutrition
  • TPS: Implementing Public Health Interventions in Developing Countries (taught abroad)
  • TPS: International Family Planning and Reproductive Health
  • TPS: Protection of Women and Children in Humanitarian Settings

Global Health-focused electives include:

  • International Social Development Theory
  • Global Anti-Poverty Interventions
  • Development Practice in International Settings
  • Global Burden of Disease
  • International Child Welfare

Practicum

The MPH program requires 360 hours of practicum. Students in the Global Health specialization must complete their practicum experience in a low- or middle-income, international setting. (Note: Exceptions are being made for those selecting practicum sites in 2020/2021.)

Students who enter the specialization with at least 1 year of experience in a low- or middle-income, international setting may pursue their global health-focused practicum within a high-income setting (e.g., USAID in Washington, D.C.) that has been approved as a Core Affiliated Site.

Sample low- and middle-income, international practicum sites include:

  • Helen Keller International
  • INTERSOS
  • Maji Safi Group
  • TERREWODE
  • Ripples Foundation
  • World Health Organization


Jessica Levy

Specialization Chair

Associate Professor Jean-Francois Trani investigates the intersection of mental health, disability, vulnerability and poverty with a focus on conducting field research that informs policy and service design for individuals living in conflict-affected fragile states and low-income countries. Trani’s teaching is linked to his professional experience in global health and international development, and he involves students in all phases of his research projects.

Kate Chlitheroe

Featured Graduate

“The specialization equipped me with the conceptual frameworks I need to understand complex global health issues. Everything we learned about balancing theory with practice, prioritizing ethics, centering community perspectives, and thinking about global health issues in a transdisciplinary way is directly relevant to the work I’m doing right now.”



—Aishwarya Nagar, MPH ’19, Research Associate, Iris Group, INC.