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USC MPH Global Health Concentration

Global Health Concentration

The purpose of the global health concentration is to build students’ competencies in population-based disease prevention and control as relevant to all countries in the world. The coursework addresses public health leadership and management principles, with a focus on addressing the health and well-being of disadvantaged populations worldwide. Courses equip students with the skills to effectively strengthen global, regional, national and local public health systems, enhance public health preparedness and emergency response, implement effective policies and programs, and protect and improve global health as a whole. Graduates of this MPH concentration will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and competencies to lead multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral and multi-national initiatives to enhance the health status and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities around the world.

MPH students in this concentration will take the public health core courses plus 24 units of concentration- specific coursework (16 units of concentration core courses + 8 units of elective courses). Required concentration courses increase students’ understanding of the role of global health research and programs, culture, public health systems, and the role of law and human rights in achieving desired health outcomes. Students are trained in quantitative and qualitative methods, healthcare policy, delivery and services, and achieve familiarity with health equity concepts and methods. Students in this track will examine 21st century challenges and threats in public health and will be provided with opportunities to engage in a variety of hands-on experiences locally and internationally that reinforce classroom learning related to world-class problems.

Concentration Curriculum
Concentration Directors
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Frequently Asked Questions
  • Globalization has linked our health more closely to one another than ever before. The rapid movement of people and food across borders means that a disease can travel from a remote village to an urban hub at breakneck speed.
  • To identify variations in health status with a focus on the impact of socioeconomic status, politics, environment, education, and other such factors on access to care, the etiology of illness, progression of disease and recovery from illness
  • To build leadership skills to engage in a variety of projects around the world that seek to improve health and prevent disease.
  • To learn about the interplay of public health with politics and socioeconomic issues, and become particularly knowledgeable of the important role of culture in promoting health and preventing diseases at a global level
  • To work with international partners to strengthen regional public health systems, enhance public health preparedness and emergency response, and protect and improve global health as a whole.
  • To develop knowledge, skills and abilities to design programs, work in multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral and multi-national initiatives to enhance the health status and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities around the world.
  • Global resources administration and management
  • Refugee health/ International health
  • Evaluate climate and environmental change and its implications for global population health
  • Work for humanitarian emergencies/ emergency response and relief
  • Work with government agencies/ministries of health/non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Work with research community and universities worldwide
  • Communication in global settings
  • Strategic planning, evaluation and reporting
  • Evaluation, impact planning and population health improvement
  • Technical specialist/consultant
  • Grant writer
  • Program manager
  • Program development officer
  • Chief administrative officer of international affairs
  • World Health Organizations (WHO)
  • United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Bureau for Global Health
  • President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
  • US Agency for International Development
  • United Methodist Committee on Relief (UNCOR)
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Concentration Core Courses

Click courses for descriptions.

Introduction to the core concepts and methods of planning and implementing health-related programs and research in resource-constrained settings.

AND choose two of the following

Elective Options

Click courses for descriptions.

*May receive credit for concentration core or concentration elective only.

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.

Macro-level analysis of the structure and delivery of health care services around the world, including an examination and comparison of health system performance. 

With a physiological overview, differentiates genetic and environmental disease; emphasis on the relationships between lifestyle, behavior, and health.

Prerequisite: admission to PhD in Preventive Medicine, Health Behavior Research or basic biology.

Survey of effective community organizing and mobilization efforts in the U.S. and abroad, using participatory, organizational, community empowerment and public-private partnership models.

Introduction to leadership and management concepts, tools, and practices in the context of domestic and global public health and healthcare delivery settings.

Definition and chronology of natural and man-made disasters and their effects on the global community. Structure and organization of disaster management systems and the role of humanitarian organizations.

Recommended Preparation: PM 501, PM 512

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.

Recommended Preparation: PM 501

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

Recommended Preparation: MPH core course work.
Duplicates Credit in LAW 707.

Investigates the way health is organized and administered at the global level, emphasizing the role of international diplomacy and law in governing health.

Introduction to common uses of qualitative research methods in public health research and application. Methods include ethnography, participant observation, open-ended interviewing, and focus groups.

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.

Recommended Preparation: PM 578

See course website »

This information represents an effort on the part of your advisor to help you plan your academic program. It is not an official document.

For program requirements, please refer to your USC Catalogue .

Courses listed may be offered irregularly. Check the USC schedule of classes  for semester-specific course offerings and/or meet with your advisor to discuss available options for your concentration.