The USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health provides students the opportunity to participate in the annual World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.  As delegates, students can witness diplomacy and governance in action on the global stage.

Apply now!Applications are now open and the deadline to apply is February 28, 2020.

PM 589: Global Health Governance and Diplomacy in Practice in Geneva (4 units) investigates the way health is organized and administered at the global level by exposing students to the inner workings of key global health organizations and integrating them directly into the World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the World Health Organization. At the WHA, delegates from WHO Member States determine WHO policies for the year, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the program budget for WHO. Students will engage with the diverse organizations, consortia and networks engaged in global health, and be directly integrated into the international diplomacy processes governing health and global health funding. This course will allow students to apply the knowledge and skills from their coursework to engage in and analyze global policy processes. In addition, students will interact with global health organizations in Geneva to learn about their programs and operations. This will provide students with a deeper understanding of the work of diverse organizations involved in health globally and the various opportunities for future careers in global health. PM 578 (Global Health Governance & Diplomacy) is a recommended (not required) pre-requisite.

Course Objectives

At the completion of this course, students will be equipped with knowledge, skills and abilities to:

  • Describe the role of major public and private sector players in global health governance and programming
  • Describe the forums through which global health governance is debated and formalized
  • Discuss current strengths and weaknesses in existing global health governance
  • Contribute to global policy processes in an appropriate manner

Learning Methods

A range of interactive and applied learning approaches will be employed in this course including but not limited to the following: self-directed learning (intensive study, reading, or research on particular issues), audiovisual materials (to showcase specific themes or topics), peer education (sharing of information, knowledge, skills or experience among students), direct engagement (students will be participating in the assembly as delegates) and class discussions (in-depth questions and answers)


This program is a four-unit course administered by the MPH program and is open to enrolled USC students. Priority will be given to applicants int he MPH program.

Deadline for the 2020 course is February 28, 2020, 5:00 PM (PST)

Apply now!

World Health Assembly Updates

Learn more

See specific information, including blog posts, social media highlights and annual summaries, in the pages listed below.