GSC convenes an advisory group to nurture campus-wide cooperation on curricular and programmatic initiatives related to global health. Our aim is to promote the multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary study of global health among students and faculty by creating spaces for collaboration among scholars.

Certificate in Global Health

In addition to the global health research initiative, we are happy to offer a new Certificate in Global Health.

Who Should Participate?

Students who:

  • Desire a deeper understanding of the social structures underpinning disparities in illness and access to care worldwide
  • Want to explore the policy ramifications of community and population health
  • Enjoy contributing to a dynamic community, asking questions, soliciting diverse views, and taking action to address global concerns
  • Intend to pursue graduate training in health or medicine

Get equipped with the analytical tools and professional skills necessary to address our world’s most compelling issues. Students with a Certificate in Global Health will explore the transnational processes underpinning the global burden of disease and the social determinants of health, as well as related inequalities in access to high quality medical care.

With the undergraduate Certificate in Global Studies, a student tailors a unique program of study based on their academic, personal, and career interests, including 18 credits of coursework and co-curricular experiential engagements. With no extra time or tuition cost, the certificate prepares future health professionals to study the specific political and economic contexts that give rise to disparities both within and among countries.

Academic Requirements

The proposed certificate is designed around five learning objectives. Upon completion, students should be able to:

  • Identify key global health concepts, including burden of disease, social determinants of health, and treatment disparities from a transnational and historical perspective
  • Differentiate current research, programs, strategies, and coordination mechanisms that address these issues in a variety of settings, along with key organizational actors
  • Recognize the behavioral and cultural dimensions of health in myriad contexts
  • Appreciate how different disciplines approach these issues and apply one or more such approaches to a key question in global health
  • Critique different discourses on global health (e.g., medical, policy, anthropological) and communicate effectively about these issues orally and in writing to an interdisciplinary audience.

Students can tailor the modular curriculum to their schedules, co-curricular interests, and experiential opportunities while still ensuring that they emerge with a cohesive overall understanding of the cultural and social dimensions of healthcare from the transnational level down to the community.

Core Courses

A required Introduction to Global Health (PUBHLT-1001) lays the foundation for the Certificate in conjunction with two "core" courses selected from a short menu (3 credits each, taken in any order):

  • Contemporary Issues in Cross-Cultural Health (NUR-1829)
  • Cross-Cultural Communication (LING-1263)
  • Global Health History (HIST-1091)
  • Introduction to Epidemiology (HRS-1017)
  • Introduction to Global Studies (PS-0550)
  • Introduction to Health Economics (ECON-0220)
  • Patients and Healers: Medical Anthropology 1 (ANTH-1761)
  • Sociology of Globalization and Health (SOC-0473)
  • Statistics in the Modern World (STAT-0800)

Global Health Electives

Students can then personalize their course of study through additional electives offered by departments and schools across campus (9 credits total). A comprehensive list of courses is available prior to each academic registration period on the Global Studies Center website. In addition to traditional courses, students may receive credit through their home department for related field visits, internships, community-based research, and other experiential learning as well as 1-credit “pop up” courses on global health (e.g. weekend intensives on the Sustainable Development Goals in partnership with Carnegie Mellon).


A capstone project gives students the opportunity to reflect on and synthesize their knowledge and to think about how to communicate it to external audiences. This may take the form of: 1) a digital portfolio sharing the work from those courses, drawing out connections between them, and reflecting on their learning outcomes; 2) a research paper on a related topic (building on a previous course); or 3) a policy memo related to current events in global health or linked to a specific internship experience. Students may use this opportunity to take different approaches to focus the certificate around their specific topical interests, co-curricular programming, or major requirements.

Study Abroad

Working with your advisor, students may select to study aboard. While study abroad is not required for the certificate, almost 85 percent of global studies students do so. PittMAP, an around-the-world, semester-long study program, is the Center’s signature study abroad program and focuses on the theme of global health on rotating years, and there many other Panther Programs include approved global health elective courses (along with myriad other Pitt-recognized programs subject to advisor discretion). Study abroad credits count towards your degree and certificate requirements. Visit our Study Abroad program to explore programs and search by location and program duration.

Certificate Admissions and Advising

Schedule an appointment with international advisor Elaine Linn on our advising page. You will discuss your academic and professional interests and complete an application form.

Personalized advising—ideally during your freshman year—ensures maximum benefit from the certificate. International advisor Elaine Linn will help you:

  • Design a tailored program of study based on your interests and career goals
  • Internationalize your Pitt experience through extracurricular activities on and off campus
  • Optimize study abroad opportunities
  • Utilize general education and foreign/cultural requirements
  • Explore, identify and secure professional opportunities and community engagement experiences related to your global concentration

Scholarships and Funding

Pitt and the Global Studies Center have a number of avenues to fund research and international travel. These range from study abroad scholarships (sometimes country specific) to foreign language and student ambassador fellowships, and research awards.

Career Readiness

Tap into the resources available through the Center including Career Toolkit series, Global Guide and network with over 800 alumni working across the globe in a wide span of sectors.

Global Studies Center

Join us for our monthly Hot Topics, Global Perspectives discussions with faculty and students, International Career Toolkit Series, and GSC Research Toolkit Series. Join the Global Studies club! Visit global/events.