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Global Health Program

[ undergraduate program | courses ]

Social Science Building, Second Floor

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

The Graduate Program

The UC San Diego Global Health Program offers a contiguous bachelor of arts/master of arts (BA/MA) degree as well as a standalone master’s degree in global health. The BA/MA program is designed specifically for selected UC San Diego undergraduate majors in global health who seek advanced training in the field. The standalone master’s degree is open to all students. A master of arts in global health will provide students with an interdisciplinary curriculum that educates them on urgent social concerns and equips them with the ability to understand and productively intervene in processes of health, illness, and healing across the globe. The MA in global health focuses on global health policy, health equity, social epidemiology, global health research, and medical anthropology. This program prepares students for careers in the field of global health working for NGO or governmental agencies, pursing training in allied health professions, medical school, or to pursue advanced training (PhD) in academic fields that contribute to the interdisciplinary field of global health. Students will select between a professional (comprehensive exam) or research track (thesis), both of which can be completed in one year or thirty-six units.

The Master of Arts in Global Health


Application Requirements

  • Completion of online application via Grad Apply
  • Two essays/writing samples
  • Résumé/Curriculum Vitae
  • Statement of Purpose or Intent—Applicants should include their interest, background, and how this program fits in with future goals 
  • Transcripts
  • Two to three letters of recommendation
    • One letter must be from a faculty member the student has worked with or taken a course with. The second letter must be from a faculty member or internship/field experience supervisor.
  • International Students: TOEFL (Minimum TOEFL score for admission is 550 for the paper-based test (PBT), 80 for the internet-based test, or 231 for the computer-based test)

Eligibility and Enrollment

To be eligible, students must:

  • Have received a bachelor’s degree and have a minimum of a 3.3 GPA.
  • Have completed a global health field experience (international or domestic) or have postgraduate global health-related volunteer or work experience (e.g., Peace Corps)
  • Have completed undergraduate course work in global health, medical social sciences, international studies or related field.
  • Complete a statistics course (may also be completed the summer prior to beginning program).
  • For the BA/MA students, be a current UC San Diego Global Health major who has completed the majority of their core requirements at the time they apply (Fall of Senior year).

Degree Requirements

To receive the Master of Arts in Global Health, students must:

  • Complete at least thirty-six units of graduate course work during the graduate year.
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA for all course work, both cumulatively and for each quarter of enrollment. If the student’s GPA falls below 3.0 (for either overall or in the major), he or she will be automatically dropped from the program.
  • Students will choose between the “Professional Track” or “Research Track” concentration.
  • Successfully complete a master’s thesis or comprehensive examination.

Master’s I (Thesis) or II (Comprehensive Exam)

MA students will choose between two concentrations to complete their degree:

Plan 1: Research Track—Thesis

Students must submit an application to the program director to be approved for this track by the end of fall quarter. Students will complete course work during year one and identify faculty advisers to begin writing their thesis by winter quarter. Once approved, students will enroll in two sections of GLBH 299. Independent Research during winter and spring quarter working with their faculty advisers to develop their paper. The thesis option is attractive for students pursuing a PhD in the global health or related fields. Students must give an oral presentation and defense of their thesis project to a thesis committee.

Thesis Faculty Committee Requirements

Students must have a three-member thesis committee comprised of faculty advisers from the Global Health Affiliated Faculty list (see master’s thesis committee requirements).

Plan 2: Professional Track—Comprehensive Exam:

Students choosing the comprehensive exam route may take the exam upon completion of all course work including the seven core courses and two elective courses. The purpose of this requirement is to confirm that students have achieved an advanced understanding in topics including the global burden of disease, institutions, and practices of global health care delivery, expertise in a topical problem area (maternal and child health, infectious disease, mental health, nutrition and food security, refugee and immigrant health, natural and human-caused disasters), as well as expertise in a particular geographical region and the range of its global health challenges. The comprehensive exam option is an attractive option for students seeking employment in government agencies or nongovernmental organizations, as well as those planning to pursue clinical training in global health-related professions.

Comprehensive Exam Faculty Requirements

Students will need one faculty adviser designated by the department to grade the exam.

Required Courses (nine courses/thirty-six units)

The MA in global health requires students to complete seven core courses.

BA/MA Degree Requirements

Core Courses (six courses/twenty-four units)

GLBH 200. Global Health Masters Core Seminar (4)
GLBH 214. Program Management in Global Health (4)
GLBH 248. Introduction to Global Health Research (4)
GLBH 249. Social Epidemiology (4)
GLBH 260. Global Health Policy (4)
ANTH 260. Seminar in Medical and Psychological Anthropology (4)

Electives (three courses/twelve units)
  • At least one elective must be a 200-level GLBH graduate course.
  • Students completing the Research Concentration must enroll in a minimum of two GLBH 299 courses working with faculty members to complete their thesis research.

Stand Alone Degree Requirements

Core Courses (seven courses/twenty-eight units)

GLBH 200. Global Health Masters Core Seminar (4)
GLBH 214. Program Management in Global Health (4)
GLBH 248. Introduction to Global Health Research (4)
GLBH 249. Social Epidemiology (4)
GLBH 260. Global Health Policy (4)
ANTH 260. Seminar in Medical and Psychological Anthropology (4)

Complete two of the following courses (students in research track complete ANTH 248 only):

ANTH 248. Global Health and Cultural Diversity (4)
GLBH 281. Essentials of Global Health (4)

Electives (two courses/eight units)
  • At least one elective must be a 200-level GLBH graduate course.
  • Students completing the Research Concentration must enroll in a minimum of two GLBH 299 courses working with faculty members to complete their thesis research.
Elective Options
  • Graduate MA students may enroll in no more than two 100-level upper division courses, in the absence of relevant graduate course work and by director approval.

To convert an undergraduate (100 level) course into a 298 graduate-level course, a student must attend all of the course meetings and incorporate a component of additional graduate-level research work, upon arrangement with the faculty member teaching the course (a special form describing the supplementary work must be filled by the student and approved by the instructor and department chair). The supplementary work should (a) increase the amount of reading to match the regular reading expectations of a graduate seminar, (b) include additional meeting time with the professor for a graduate-level discussion of the material, and (c) require the student to write a research paper (which would generally be on the order of fifteen to twenty pages).


  • ANSC 101. Aging: Culture and Health in Late Life Human Development
  • ANSC 106. Global Health: Indigenous Medicines in Latin America
  • ANSC 146. A Global Health Perspective on HIV/AIDS
  • ANSC 147. Global Health and the Environment
  • ANSC 149. Health, Conflict, and Inequality
  • ANSC 155. Humanitarian Aid: What is it Good For?
  • ANSC 164. Anthropology of Medicine
  • ANTH 212. Advanced Topics in Biological Anthropology
  • ANTH 213. Anthropology and Mental Health
  • ANTH 229. Religion and Healing
  • ANTH 238. Immigrant and Refugee Health
  • ANTH 243. Mental Health as Global Health Priority
  • ANTH 249. Gender and Mental Health
  • ANTH 280C. Core Seminar in Psychological Anthropology


  • COMM 114J. CSI: Food Justice


  • ECON 140. Economics of Health-Care Producers
  • ECON 141. Economics of Health-Care Consumers

Ethnic Studies

  • ETHN 142. Medicine, Race, and the Global Politics of Inequality

Global Health Program

  • GLBH 100. Special Topics in Global Health
  • GLBH 102. Global Health Epidemiology
  • GLBH 105. Global Health and Inequality (Cross-listed with ANSC 105)
  • GLBH 110. Demography and Social Networks in Global Health
  • GLBH 113. Women’s Health in Global Perspective
  • GLBH 142. “When the field is a ward”: Ethnographies of the Clinic
  • GLBH 171R. Global Mental Health
  • GLBH 201. Special Topics in Global Health
  • GLBH 211. Clinic on the Border: Health Frontiers in Tijuana
  • GLBH 212. “Experiencing Epidemics”: Anthropologies of Infectious Diseases
  • GLBH 213. Program Design and Evaluation
  • GLBH 215. Community Health Workers
  • GLBH 239. Native American Health and Healing
  • GLBH 241. Clinical Perspectives in Global Health
  • GLBH 261. Global Health Policy, Diplomacy, and Advocacy (Prerequisite: GLBH 260)
  • GLBH 297. Global Health Internship
  • GLBH 298. Directed Study
  • GLBH 299. Independent Research


  • HISC 109. Invention of Tropical Disease
  • HISC 115. History of Modern Medicine
  • HISC 116. History of Bioethics
  • HISC 280. Science and Public Policy

Latin American Studies

  • LATI 222A. Field Research Methods for Migration Studies: Seminar
  • LATI 222B. Field Research Methods for Migration Studies: Practicum (twelve units)
  • LATI 222C. Field Research Methods for Migration Studies: Data Analysis


  • LTCS 155. Health, Illness, and Global Culture
  • LTCS 165. Special Topics: The Politics of Food
  • LTWL 177. Literature and Aging


  • PHIL 163. Biomedical Ethics
  • PHIL 164. Technology and Human Values
  • PHIL 173. Topics in Bioethics

Political Science

  • POLI 111D. Social Norms and Global Development


  • PSYC 124. Clinical Assessment and Treatment
  • PSYC 134. Eating Disorders
  • PSYC 155. Social Psychology and Medicine
  • PSYC 168. Psychological Disorders of Childhood
  • PSYC 179. Drugs, Addiction, and Mental Disorders
  • PSYC 236. Substance Abuse
  • PSYC 265. Social Psychology and Medicine

Rady School of Management

  • MGT 454. Disruptive Technologies for Healthcare

School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS)

  • GPPA 404. Governance, Public Administration, and Development
  • GPPA 472. Latin American Environmental and Energy Policy
  • GPEC 468. International Health Economics
  • GPPS 430. Human Rights, Public Policy, and International Relations
  • GPPS 434. Humanitarian Interventions
  • GPPS 458. International Environmental Policy and Politics

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

  • SIO 116. Climate Change and Global Health
  • SIOB 289. Pollution, Environment, and Health


  • SOCI 113. Sociology of the Aids Epidemic
  • SOCI 134. The Making of Modern Medicine
  • SOCI 135. Medical Sociology
  • SOCI 136E. Sociology of Mental Illness: An Historical Approach
  • SOCI 136F. Sociology of Mental Illness in Contemporary Society
  • SOCI 138. Genetics and Society
  • SOCI 143. Suicide
  • SOCI 173. Sociology of Health, Illness, and Medicine
  • SOCG 234. Intellectual Foundations of the Sociology of Science, Technology and Medicine
  • SOCG 284. Contemporary Biomedicine

Urban Studies and Planning

  • USP 144. Environmental and Preventive Health Issue
  • USP 145. Aging: The Social and Health Policy Issues
  • USP 147. Case Studies in Health-Care Programs/Poor and Underserved Populations