Global Health Degrees & Courses

USC offers several interdisciplinary global health degrees and many global health courses. See below for degrees and a selection of courses in the Department of Preventive Medicine taught by Institute faculty, as well as the Institute’s continuing education courses. For information about admissions, curricula, tuition and more, please follow the links provided to contact the programs directly. For information on specific courses and when they are offered, please look them up in the USC Schedule of Classes.

Graduate Level

Master of Public Health

The Master of Public Health and MPH Online programs offer a global health concentration. Students build leadership skills and examine the impacts of globalization and culture on public health; identify how ethics and human rights shape global health research, programs, and policies; and learn to design, monitor, and evaluate programs and work with international agencies to strengthen public health at local, national and international levels.

Courses taught by IIGH Faculty

PM 589 – Global Health Governance and Diplomacy in Practice in Geneva (4.0 units)

Instructors: Sofia Gruskin, Laura Ferguson
Investigates the way health is organized and administered at the global level by integrating students directly into the World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the World Health Organization.

PM 599 – Health and Sustainable Development: Perspectives from Costa Rica (4.0 units)

Instructors: Mellissa Withers, Shubha Kumar
Summer course in Costa Rica with lessons on how climate change, biodiversity loss, migration, sustainable development, and human rights relate to health in Costa Rica. Learn more at

PM 506: Overcoming Real World Challenges in Global Health (4.0 units)

Instructors: Mellissa Withers, Shubha Kumar
Overview of program implementation challenges in global health contexts, including best practices for establishing effective cross-cultural collaborations, working with key leaders, and operationalizing complex interventions.

PM 565 – Introduction to Global Health (4.0 units)

Instructor: Mellissa Withers
Current public health issues and research topics relating to 21st century challenges and threats. Lessons learned and best practices to strengthen public health systems and enhance public health readiness and preparedness.

PM 568 – Ethics in Global Health (4.0 units–online)

Instructors: Shubha Kumar, Mellissa Withers
Ethical principles in the distribution of health resources, conduct of global public health research, and implementation of public health initiatives across different nations, cultures, religions.

PM 576 – Global Health Research and Programs (4.0 units)

Instructors: Laura Ferguson,  Mellissa Withers
Introduction to the core concepts and methods of planning and implementing health-related programs and research in resource-constrained settings.

PM 577/LAW 707 – Global Health, Law, and Human Rights (1.0-4.0 units)

Instructor: Sofia Gruskin
Highlights the complex interactions between global health, law and human rights, emphasizing the use of human rights in public health thinking and practice.

PM 590 – Directed Research (1.0-12.0 units)

Instructor: Various
Research leading to the master’s degree. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department.

Master of Science in Global Medicine

The Master of Science in Global Medicine (MSGM) is offered by the Department of Educational Affairs of the Keck School of Medicine. The program aims to train medical, dental and pharmacy students; current physicians and allied health professionals; and those planning to pursue degrees in the allied health professions to analyze and address critical issues in global medicine. The program provides a solid foundation in basic science while also exposing students to a broad scope of pertinent issues in global medicine.

Undergraduate Level

Bachelor of Science in Global Health

The B.S. Global Health is a multidisciplinary degree through the Keck School of Medicine of USC Department of Preventive Medicine. The program offers an examination of public health and policy issues in the context of global affairs. Students complete coursework from the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies program and International Relations in addition to requirements from other schools of the uni­versity. The degree provides a strong background in understanding and evaluating global health issues and prepares students to become health professionals with international competencies.

Minor in Global Health

The global health minor provides students with a basic understanding of the factors that determine the health of populations around the globe. The curriculum focuses on the cultural, environmental and clinical aspects of various health topics such as maternal and child health, aging, obesity, infectious disease and others. By studying these issues, students from majors across the university will be prepared to assess and contribute to the resolution of emerging global health challenges.

Progressive Degrees

USC’s Progressive Degree Program enables superior undergraduates to begin work on a master’s degree while completing requirements for the bachelor’s degree. Through the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Health Promotion and Global Health students can pursue the following graduate degrees:

  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Science in Applied Biostatistics and Epidemiology
  • Master of Science in Global Medicine
  • Master of Science in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

Health Promotion and Global Health students may also be interested in:

  • Master of Health Administration (USC Price)

Students who wish to pursue a progressive degree should contact their undergraduate major advisor to discuss the application process.

Courses taught by IIGH Faculty

HP 270: Introduction to Global Health (4.0 units)

Instructor: Laura Ferguson
Introduction to concepts of global health and disease control. Issues of globalization, global governance, emerging diseases, infectious disease treatment, and outbreak challenges.

HP 470: Case Studies in Global Health (4.0 units)

Instructor: Mellissa Withers
Case study examination of programs and organizational structure underlying current international efforts addressing problems related to infection disease, chronic disease, global environmental change, emergencies and emerging disease epidemics.

Continuing Education

Courses taught by IIGH Faculty

Drones in Global Public Health Online Certificate Program

Instructors: Shubha Kumar, Helena Samisoe
Online certificate course that explores how drones could be used in public health, emergency response and related fields. It serves as an introduction to government agencies and other organizations interested in utilizing drones to improve their operations. Learn more »

NCDS & Human Rights Short Course (open-access, online)

Instructors: Laura Ferguson, Sofia Gruskin, David Patterson, Marcus Stahlhofer
Online short course designed as an open-access, free online resource to boost literacy and support action to address the links between non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and human rights. Learn more »

High School

Courses taught by IIGH Faculty

USC Summer Programs – Global Health: Trends & Challenges (3.0 units)

Instructors: Mellissa Withers, Heather Wipfli
In this four-week summer course, students learn about how people around the world live, what they die from, and study current approaches to preventing disease and improving wellness in diverse communities worldwide. Learn more »