Global Health Graduate Joint Online Initiative

Two world-class universities, one global health experience

Expand your global health knowledge and enhance your professional credentials through online courses taught by two world-class universities: UC Berkeley and UCSF. Whether you are a current student, resident, researcher or health professional—and wherever you are in the world—the courses teach you about today’s complex global health challenges, and how you can make an impact.



Graduate-level courses focus on global health fundamentals and are based on the premise that human health and the delivery of health care—whether at a population or individual level—are at the epicenter of global development and well-being.

Students may take the 8-week courses individually or as a series, for 3 semester units each.

*Global Health Foundations (PHW212)  course runs from Jan 9 – Mar 4
**Comparative Health Systems (PHW209) course runs from Mar 12 – May 6
For Online students registration is open through January 7th, 2018.
For Residential students including GH Specialty Area students, opens December 15th, 2017 and closes on January 7th, 2018.

Global Health Foundations (PHW212)

January 9 – March 4, 2018 | Art Reingold & George Rutherford
Registration open now, closes December 10, 2017

Introduces the basic principles of global health that aim to improve population health at all levels in communities throughout the world. Introduces and applies essential concepts from public health disciplines to current global health challenges, to provide real-world context. Global health experts share their experiences and lessons learned from implementing global health research and programs.

Comparative Health Systems (PHW209)

March 12 – May 6, 2018 | Neelam Feachem
Registration opens March 1, 2018

Examines health systems and their role in global health, and introduces current debates about health financing and universal health coverage (UHC). Investigates efforts to achieve UHC by balancing the goals of quality, affordability, and access in ways that are unique to each country and region. Studies the evidence on financing, delivery, and governance of health systems, and considers the policy context in which health systems operate.

Global Health Ethics (PHW211)

Summer 2018 (dates and faculty TBD)
Examines ethical issues and challenges in global health, including health access, health inequalities, standards of care, resource allocation, and research with human subjects.


UC Berkeley School of Public Health graduate students can register directly through the registrar’s office. Priority will be given to the students currently enrolled in the Berkeley Online MPH program. Several seats will be reserved for SPH residential students.

Residential students: given the limited space for these classes, please read the enrollment policy and drop out restriction before applying.

Course objectives include:


Global Health Principles

Define global health and describe the basic tenets of principles of global public health


Proactive Learning

Identify major global health threats including infectious disease, non-communicable disease; and critically appraise strategies to respond (i.e. vaccines, prevention, control, etc.)


Dynamic Contributors

Describe the roles of diverse members of the global health community such as key bilateral/multilateral institutions, political bodies, NGOs that contribute to health promotion and policies.


Analytical Approaches

Evaluate interventions using different frameworks that are designed to improve global health


Online courses cover 3 units in a 7 – 8 week format, and students should expect to spend 15-16 hours per week engaging with course material, instructors, and fellow classmates. Due to the accelerated pace and interactive nature of online courses, students may not drop out of the courses after the first week of instruction.

  • Online course are organized by week with weekly course deliverables generally due on Monday evenings at 11:59 pm PT.
  • Students have the flexibility within each week to organize their study/coursework time, but are expected to complete each week’s deliverables by their Monday due dates.
  • Most online courses include small group work which is integrated into each week’s activities and deliverables.
  • All online courses have a proctored assessment. On-campus proctoring is scheduled in advance of the course start date and residential students are expected to take exams while on campus

Frequently Asked Questions

How long are the courses?

The courses are 8 weeks long and cover 3 units. Students should expect to spend 15-16 hours per week engaging with course material, instructors and fellow classmates.

Will I earn credit for the courses?

Yes. If you are enrolled in a UC Berkeley SPH graduate program, you will receive credits for these courses.

Can I take the courses for non-credit at a reduced fee?

The option to audit online courses is not available at this time.

Is financial aid available for these courses?

Financial aid is not available for individual courses; however, in accordance with the UC Berkeley campus policy, if you are a UC Berkeley enrolled in a full-time School of Public Health degree program, you can take this course for no extra fee. In addition, if you are enrolled in the Global Health Specialty of SPH, you can take this course for no extra fee.

When is the deadline to drop the course without penalty?

Given the accelerated pace and interactive nature of online courses, students must change your course enrollment no later than the end of the first week of each course. After the first week, students are committed to the program. To drop a course, you will need permission to drop from your Departmental Chair or Faculty Director, and you will be charged for the course.

I am a UCSF Student and have more questions. Who do I contact?

UCSF students and trainees should contact the IGHS Education Programs Manager, Inez Bailey, at for registration information specific to these courses. Find more information specific to UCSF students at the UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences website

Are there other online courses related to global health?

UC Berkeley offers online courses in Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Data Science for Public Health through the Environmental Health Sciences Division.