Global Health Certificate

The Global Health Certificate program is designed to benefit students who are interested in pursuing careers in this area by allowing them to demonstrate active engagement and longstanding commitment to global health.  It is hoped that this commitment, as documented on the student's academic record, can help to overcome what is often a barrier for professionals seeking their first international health post.

Global Health Certificate Requirements

To earn the Global Health Certificate, students must:

  1. Complete two field experiences (*see Bridging the Gaps below for alternative) lasting a minimum of 4 weeks each but preferably 6-8 weeks, usually between years MS1-MS2 and during MS3-MS4.  To have these experiences qualify, student must:
    • Submit Global Health Experience Registration forms prior to commencement (preferably 6 weeks in advance) of each experience; please note that the Registrar and The Center for Global Health will not recognize any experience that is not registered before departure for international location
    • Ensure completion of Evaluation Forms by your mentor/supervisor for the global health experience; you must provide the form to the evaluator before you return to Penn
  2. Complete the Issues in Global Health:  PUBH519, offered by the Master of Public Health program in the Perelman School of Medicine, 1 credit unit, Fall Semester. Note: To request a waiver of PUBH519, please submit to The Center for Global Health a transcript, with letter grade, and syllabus documenting that the course or courses cover all the material in the PUBH519. If a waiver is granted, you may use another global health-oriented PUBH course to satisfy the certificate requirement. Please contact The Center for Global Health if you have any questions about course eligibility.
  3. Complete a scholarly pursuit (or equivalent in rigor) that is global health focused, as determined by the PSOM Global Health Center. Students should consult with the Global Health Center prior to initiating their scholarly pursuit to ensure appropriateness of their projects. Registration is via the standard MD scholarly pursuit process which includes approval from the Associate Dean for Curriculum.
  4. NOTE: In order to be considered to count for the Global Health Certificate, the Scholarly Pursuit must directly address: a health issue discussed in a global context; health issues affecting peoples in low-resourced countries; or health issues faced by transnational populations including immigrants, refugees, asylees and/or internally-displaced peoples. 

  5. Please contact Megan Doherty if you need information about this. 
  6. Submit a Global Health Certificate Request form by the fall of your senior year. 

*Bridging the Gaps: As an alternative for the summer between MS1 and MS2, students may wish to participate in the Penn Medicine program “Bridging the Gaps, a Community Health Internship Program” and have this experience credited as one of the required experiences for the Global Health Certificate.  To learn about Bridging the Gaps, click here and follow the links for detailed information on program opportunities and program coordinators to contact.

Last updated:  June 11, 2015

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