Master of Public Health in the Field of Global Health Policy

Program Director C. Santos-Burgoa


master of public health in the field of global health policy (GHP) addresses health challenges of interdependent nations, regions and sectors with multiple cultures, development, capacities and coexistent values. GHP is the area of public health concerned with decisions that translate evidence and political will into authoritative public agreement and intervention. GHP focuses on global and national health systems, including medical care and the public health services. GHP is concerned with the allocation of resources across countries and organizations, and on implementation of programs for solutions to achieve health goals. It considers institutions, authority, organizations, roles of people within such structures, and service arrangements within diverse national and local health systems. 


The mission of the global health policy program is to prepare professionals to assist in public health decision making related to national, regional and worldwide interventions and institutions; to support policy analysis and utilize diverse analytic tools including epidemiology and international comparative policy methods paying particular attention to culture and equity.

These leaders integrate scientific knowledge and global evidence to advise decision making and action by diverse global health systems and other sectors and to provide insight on policies and processes that impact population health all with an emphasis on underserved populations and development.


The goals of the Global Health Policy Program are to prepare students to be policy analysts, designers and implementers who know how to:

  • Assess the burden and determinants of health problems, their social distribution and inequities, and the interdependence of countries.
  • Apply common economic, epidemiological, and comparative policy analysis methods and tools for evidence to assess burden of disease, determining efficacy and effectiveness of interventions for global infectious and chronic disease control.
  • Use global evidence for local action using systematic reviews and local facts to drive well informed health policy decisions. Translate evidence to support program and health systems policy recommendations.
  • Work with other disciplines and with sectors beyond health to develop innovative policy options.
  • Develop strong cultural sensitivity and intercultural competency within diverse health and political systems
  • Act in global health diplomacy in policy-shaping and negotiations to improve health while strengthening relations among nations.
  • Assume leadership roles in the global health policy development process.
  • Work with methodological rigor in international policy design, program priority setting and negotiation.
  • Communicate the results of research to a culturally broad set of constituents.

Visit the program website for additional program information.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 45 credits, including 17 credits in core courses, 19 credits in program-specific courses, 7 credits in selective courses, and a 2-credit culminating experience.

Core courses
PUBH 6002Biostatistical Applications for Public Health3
PUBH 6003Principles and Practices of Epidemiology3
PUBH 6007Social and Behavioral Approaches to Public Health2
PUBH 6009Fundamentals of Public Health Program Evaluation2
PUBH 6011Environmental and Biological Foundations of Public Health3
PUBH 6012Fundamentals of Health Policy2
PUBH 6021Essentials of Public Health Practice and Leadership I1
PUBH 6022Essentials of Public Health Practice and Leadership II1
PUBH 6023Interprofessional Education Experience0
Program-specific courses
PUBH 6315Introduction to Health Policy Analysis2
PUBH 6400Global Health Frameworks2
PUBH 6410Global Health Study Design2
PUBH 6412Global Health Quantitative Research Methods3
PUBH 6416Ethical and Cultural Issues in Global Health Research and Programs1
PUBH 6417Cross-Cultural Approaches for Global Health Practice1
PUBH 6440Global Health Economics and Finance2
PUBH 6441Global Health Organizations and Regulations 3
PUBH 6442Comparative Global Health Systems2
PUBH 6450Global Health Diplomacy 2
7 credits from the following list of courses. Alternative courses may be taken with prior permission of the advisor.
PUBH 6262Introduction to Geographic Information Systems1
PUBH 6399Topics in Health Policy (taken exclusively in the topic Cost-Benefit Analysis in Health Care)0-3
PUBH 6411Global Health Qualitative Research Methods2
PUBH 6430Theories for Global Health Communication Interventions2
PUBH 6435Global Health Program Development and Implementation2
PUBH 6436Global Health Program Management and Leadership2
PUBH 6480Public Health in Humanitarian Settings2
PUBH 6482International Food and Nutrition Policy 2
PUBH 6486Global Health Programs and Approaches to the Control of Infectious Diseases2
PUBH 6488Cost-effectiveness Analysis in Public Health and Health Care2
PUBH 6492Global Health Programs and Approaches to the Control of Chronic Diseases2
PUBH 6499Topics in Global Health (taken exclusively in the topic National and Global Public Health Systems)1-3
PUBH 6499Topics in Global Health (taken excusively in the topic Attacking Wicked Problems in Global Health using Systems Methods and Approaches)1-3
PUBH 6575Communication Skills for Public Health Professionals1
PPPA 6056Regulatory Comment Clinic3
PPPA 6062Community Development Policy and Management3
IAFF 6138Special Topics in International Development Studies3
IAFF 6158Special Topics in International Science and Technology Policy3
IAFF 6198Special Topics in International Trade and Investment Policy3
IAFF 6502Professional Skills I1
or IAFF 6503 Professional Skills II
Culminating Experience
PUBH 6015Culminating Experience (taken for 2 credits)2-3

Graduation Requirements

  1. Graduate credit requirement: 45 graduate credits.
  2. Course requirements: Successful completion of core and program-specific courses.
  3. Practicum Requirement: Students are required to fulfill all requirements of the Applied Practice Experience (Practicum) to receive credit for PUBH 6022.
  4. Interprofessional Education Experience (IPE):  Students are required to enroll and participate in an authorized IPE activity (PUBH 6023).
  5. Minimum grade-point requirement: minimum 3.0 (B average) cumulative grade-point average.
  6. Time limit requirement: The degree must be completed within five years.
  7. Transfer credit policy: With approval, up to 12 graduate credits that have not been applied to any previous graduate degree may be transferred to the master of public health program. External credits must have been earned from an accredited institution in the last three years with a minimum grade of 3.0 (B) in each course. Students in SPH graduate certificate programs can transfer as many credits earned toward the certificate to the MPH degree as meet MPH degree requirements, to a maximum of 18 credits.
  8. Graduate certificate students wishing to transfer to a degree program may apply to do so after completion of three or more courses with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 via the online change of concentration petition. A grade of B or above is required for a specific course to be eligible for transfer.  
  9. CITI Training requirement: All students are required to complete training regarding human subject protection regulation and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
  10. Integrity Quiz and Plagiarism requirement: All students are required to review the George Washington University Code of Academic Integrity and take the SPH Academic Integrity Quiz at GWSPH Source. within their first semester of study.
  11. Professional Enhancement requirement: Students must participate in eight hours of public health-related lectures, seminars, and symposia, related to their field of study.