Skip to main content

“Medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing more than medicine in larger scale”
Rudolf Virchow (1879) – Founder of Social Medicine

 

Application Deadline (2020-2021 academic year)
The admissions website is open. To apply, visit UC San Diego Graduate Admissions website. See our Admissions page for program requirements. Please note, we only accept students during the Fall of each academic year.
Priority Deadline: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 11:59pm
Extended Deadline: Sunday, February 2nd at 11:59pm

UC San Diego’s Master of Arts (MA) in Global Health is a one year degree program that provides interdisciplinary training that equips students to examine, understand, and address pressing issues concerning wellbeing, illness, and healing across global contexts. The goal of improving health at the individual, population, and global levels, requires appreciating how illness and healing practices are shaped by cultural, biosocial, and other contextual forces amid the uneven circulation of resources, technologies, infrastructures, and people. We instill in students an ability to identify and analyze health equity challenges and opportunities to enhance health care in under-resourced communities around the world.

The program offers two degree options; a conitgous degree option for current UC San Diego Global Health majors (students apply during senior year) and a standalone MA degree option designed for non-Global Health majors and outside students. We welcome students from a wide range of academic and employment backgrounds. 

The UC San Diego Global Health Program is a collaborative integration of multiple disciplines and perspectives within and beyond the health sciences. We offer a synthesis of population-based prevention, individual-level clinical care, and cross-cultural understanding of the causes and experiences of illness, becoming and staying well, and the practices of healing. We achieve this unique interdisciplinary emphasis by:

  • balancing quantitative and qualitative methods
  • acknowledging health issues from global, regional, and individual perspectives
  • harmonizing pragmatic methods for addressing global health problems in the field with academic approaches for understanding how health problems arise and affect communities and individuals

Our one-year curriculum (three academic quarters) engages knowledge and skills from the domains of social epidemiology, global health policy and diplomacy, medical anthropology, and global health research methodology.

Program Core Competencies include:
  • Social Epidemiology -- factors creating the global burden of disease
  • Global Health Research Methodology -- design, execution, and analysis of research studies
  • Medical Anthropology -- cultural variation in the experience of illness and treatment
  • Global Health Policy & Diplomacy -- programs and strategies for effective intervention

We integrate leadership and collaboration opportunities and professionalization activities into the curriculum to help you create a professional portfolio, identify jobs, network, and build your career. And we offer individualized attention, an option to focus on a specific region and global health issue, and the opportunity to take electives from Departments across UCSD. Students can also take advantage of the various global health organizations, seminars, and events on and off-campus.

Our program prepares students for a range of domestic and international careers in global health with NGOs, government agencies, multilateral aid organizations, and grassroots programs. Graduates might work in areas such as program development and implementation, health policy, health administration, social services, health development, advocacy, project management, humanitarian aid, and research. The program also prepares students pursuing training in allied health professions, medical school, and advanced training (Ph.D) in many of the academic fields contributing to global health.

Learn more:


Program Requirements 

To receive the Master of Arts in Global Health, students must:

  • Complete at least thirty-six units (nine courses) of graduate coursework during the graduate year.
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA for all course work, both cumulatively and for each quarter of enrollment. If the student’s GPA falls below 3.0 (for either overall or in the major), he or she will be automatically dropped from the program.
  • Students will choose between the “Professional Track” or “Research Track” concentration.
  • Successfully complete a master’s thesis or comprehensive examination and final portfolio. 

Contiguous Degree Requirements

The program is designed specifically for selected UC San Diego undergraduate majors in the Global Health Program who seek advanced training in the field of global health. The BA/MA or BS/MA retains and builds on the interdisciplinary core of the existing Global Health degree.

Students participating in the BA/MA degree program will complete the following courses:

9 Required Courses

Core Courses (5 courses/20 units)


  • GLBH 200. Global Health Masters Core Seminar (4)
  • GLBH 248. Introduction to Global Health Research (4)
  • GLBH 249. Social Epidemiology (4)
  • GLBH 260. Global Health Policy (4)
  • ANTH 260. Seminar in Medical and Psychological Anthropology (4)

Elective Requirements (4 courses / 16 units)

  • Graduate MA students may enroll in no more than two 100-level upper division courses towards electives, these cannot be courses taken during their undergrad.
  • Students completing the Research Concentration must enroll in a minimum of two GLBH 299. Independent Research courses with an affiliated faculty member.

All students will choose between two concentrations for the degree;

1) Research track: students will complete a research based Global Health Master’s Thesis under the supervision of an affiliated faculty member of the program

or

2) Professional track: Students will complete a Comprehensive Examination at the conclusion of the program.

*Students will select track once enrolled in the program.

 

Sample Plan

Master’s I –

Research  Track

9 courses/36 units

  • GLBH 200. Global Health Masters Core Seminar (4)
  • GLBH 260. Global Health Policy (4)
  • Elective (4)
  • GLBH 249. Social Epidemiology (4)
  • Elective (4)
  • GLBH 299. Independent Research (4)
  • GLBH 248. Introduction to Global Health Research (4)
  • ANTH 260. Seminar in Medical and Psychological Anthropology (4)
  • GLBH 299. Independent Research (4) 
Advance to Candidacy (beginning of quarter)
 
Defend Thesis

 

Master’s II – Professional Track

9 courses/36 units

 

  • GLBH 200. Global Health Masters Core Seminar (4)
  • GLBH 260. Global Health Policy (4)
  • Elective (4)
  • GLBH 249. Social Epidemiology (4)
  • Elective (4)
  • Elective (4)
  • GLBH 248. Introduction to Global Health Research (4)
  • ANTH 260. Seminar in Medical and Psychological Anthropology (4)
  • Elective (4)

 Advance to Candidacy (beginning of quarter)

 Comprehensive Exam

 



Standalone Degree Requirements

Students participating in the standalone MA degree program will complete the following courses:

9 Required Courses

Core Courses (7 courses/28 units):

  • GLBH 200. Global Health Masters Core Seminar (4)
  • GLBH 248. Introduction to Global Health Research (4)
  • GLBH 249. Social Epidemiology (4)
  • GLBH 260. Global Health Policy (4)
  • ANTH 260. Seminar in Medical and Psychological Anthropology (4)

In addition, students who have not completed their BA in Global Health at UC San Diego are required to complete two of the following three courses:

  • ANTH 248. Global Health and Cultural Diversity (4)
  • GLBH 281. Essentials of Global Health (4)
  • MGT 173. Project Management in the Health Services (4)

Elective Requirements (2 courses / 8 units)

  • Graduate MA students may enroll in no more than two 100-level upper division courses towards electives, these cannot be courses taken during their undergrad.
  • Students completing the Research Concentration must enroll in a minimum of two GLBH 299. Independent Research courses with an affiliated faculty member.

 

Sample Plan

 

Fall

Winter

Spring

 

Master’s I –

Research  Track

9 courses/36 units

  • GLBH 200. Global Health Masters Core Seminar (4)
  • GLBH 260. Global Health Policy (4)
  • ANTH 248. Global Health and Cultural Diversity (4) 
  • GLBH 249. Social Epidemiology (4)
  •  MGT 173. Project Management in the Health Services (4) or GLBH 281. Essentials of Global Health (4)
  • GLBH 299. Independent Research (4)
  • GLBH 248. Introduction to Global Health Research (4)
  • ANTH 260. Seminar in Medical and Psychological Anthropology (4)
  • GLBH 299. Independent Research (4)

 Advance to Candidacy (beginning of quarter)

Defend Thesis

 

Master’s II – Professional Track

9 courses/36 units

 

  • GLBH 200. Global Health Masters Core Seminar (4)
  • GLBH 260. Global Health Policy (4)
  • ANTH 248. Global Health and Cultural Diversity (4) 
  • GLBH 249. Social Epidemiology (4)
  •  MGT 173. Project Management in the Health Services (4) or GLBH 281. Essentials of Global Health (4)
  •  
  • Elective (4)
  • GLBH 248. Introduction to Global Health Research (4)
  • ANTH 260. Seminar in Medical and Psychological Anthropology (4)
  • Elective (4)

Advance to Candidacy (beginning of quarter)

 

Comprehensive Exam

Coursework

Core Courses

All students will complete the following courses:

GLBH 200. Global Health Masters Core Seminar (4)

This seminar course consists of workshops to expand on a student's thesis project and readings synthesizing key concepts and problems in the field of Global Health. Students will explore career options in Global Health and prepare a final portfolio to be due at the end of spring quarter.

GLBH 248. Introduction to Global Health Research (4): Students will gain competency in common research methods, and introduced to implementation challenges in Global Health. Students will critically evaluate the impact of sociocultural factors on health disparities. This knowledge can be applied towards future research experiences and career development. 

GLBH 249. Social Epidemiology (4): This course provides an overview of social epidemiology, a branch of epidemiology that focuses on the study of how health-related states or events are impacted by social, political, cultural, and economic factors. Students will learn about the history and current state of the science of social epidemiology, its leading theories/paradigms and methods, and distinct core areas of research.

GLBH 260.  Global Health Policy (4): Students will learn fundamental principles and concepts of global health policy, law, and governance. The course will focus on identifying critical global health policy challenges and solving them using a multidisciplinary approach that takes into account the perspectives of various stakeholders. 

ANTH 260. Seminar in Medical and Psychological Anthropology (4): This seminar examines medical, psychological, and psychiatric anthropology through reading, discussion, and presentation of work 1) essential to the development of and 2) exemplifying the state of the art in these related fields.

In addition, students in the standalone MA degree will complete two of the following three courses:

 

ANTH 248. Global Health and Cultural Diversity (4): This seminar investigates global health from the perspective of medical anthropology on disease and illness; cultural conceptions of health; doctor-patient interaction; illness experience; medical science and technology; mental health; infectious disease; and health-care inequalities by ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. May be co-scheduled with ANSC/GLBH 148. Students may not receive credit for ANSC/GLBH 148 and ANTH 248. Prerequisites: graduate standing.

GLBH 281. Essentials of Global Health (4): Illustrates and explores ecologic settings and frameworks for study and understanding of global health and international health policy. Students acquire understanding of diverse determinants and trends of disease in various settings and interrelationships between socio-cultural-economic development and health. Students may not receive credit for GLBH 181 and GLBH 281. Prerequisites: graduate standing.

MGT 173. Project Management in the Health Services (4): This course covers efficient techniques for managing health services projects, including both the technical aspects of project management as well as the human-capital management issues associated with blending administrative and technical staff with health-care professionals. Topics include scheduling methods, milestone setting, governmental regulations, resource allocation, interpersonal skills, and performing research and development projects—all with a health services focus.

Electives

  • Graduate MA students may enroll in no more than two 100-level upper division courses.
  • Students may upgrade two undergraduate courses to a graduate level course (GLBH 298).
  • Students completing the Research Concentration must enroll in a minimum of two GLBH 299 courses working with faculty members to complete their thesis research.

(Additional courses to be added)

Approved Electives:

Anthropology

  • ANSC 106. Global Health: Indigenous Medicines in Latin America
  • ANSC 146. A Global Health Perspective on HIV/AIDS
  • ANSC 147. Global Health and the Environment
  • *ANSC 149. Conflict, Health, and Inequality
  • ANSC 155. Humanitarian Aid: What is it Good For?
  • ANSC 164. Anthropology of Medicine
  • ANTH 212. Advanced Topics in Biological Anthropology
  • ANTH 213. Anthropology and Mental Health
  • ANTH 229. Religion and Healing
  • ANTH 238. Immigrant and Refugee Health
  • ANTH 243. Mental Health as Global Health Priority
  • ANTH 249. Gender and Mental Health
  • ANTH 280C. Core Seminar in Psychological Anthropology

Communication

  • COMM 114J. CSI: Food Justice

Economics

  • ECON 140. Economics of Health-Care Producers
  • ECON 141. Economics of Health-Care Consumers

Ethnic Studies

  • ETHN 142. Medicine, Race, and the Global Politics of Inequality

Global Health Program

  • GLBH 100/201. Special Topics in Global Health
  • GLBH 101. Aging: Culture and Health in Late Life Human Development
  • *GLBH 102. Global Health Epidemiology
  • GLBH 105. Global Health and Inequality (cross-listed with ANSC 105)
  • GLBH 110/210. Demography and Social Networks in Global Health
  • GLBH 113. Women’s Health in Global Perspective
  • *GLBH 141. Clinical Perspectives in Global Health
  • *GLBH 142. "When the field is a ward:" Ethnographies of the Clinic
  • *GLBH 171R.  Global Mental Health
  • GLBH 211. Clinic on the Border: Health Frontiers in Tijuana
  • *GLBH 212. “Experiencing Epidemics:” Anthropologies of Infectious Diseases 
  • *GLBH 214. Global Health & Program Management (pending approval)
  • *GLBH 239. Native American Health & Healing
  • GLBH 261.  Global Health Policy, Diplomacy and Advocacy (GLBH 260)
  • GLBH 297. Global Health Internship
  • GLBH 298. Directed Study
  • GLBH 299. Independent Research

History

  • HISC 109. Invention of Tropical Disease
  • HISC 115. History of Modern Medicine
  • HISC 116. History of Bioethics
  • *HISC 280. Science and Public Policy

Literature

  • LTCS 155. Health, Illness, and Global Culture
  • LTCS 165. Special Topics: The Politics of Food
  • LTWL 177. Literature and Aging

Philosophy

  • PHIL 163. Biomedical Ethics
  • PHIL 164. Technology and Human Values
  • PHIL 173. Topics in Bioethics

Political Science

  • POLI 111D. Social Norms and Global Development

Psychology

  • PSYC 124. Clinical Assessment and Treatment
  • PSYC 134. Eating Disorders
  • PSYC 155. Social Psychology and Medicine
  • PSYC 168. Psychological Disorders of Childhood
  • PSYC 179. Drugs, Addiction, and Mental Disorders
  • PSYC 236. Substance Abuse
  • PSYC 265. Social Psychology and Medicine

Rady School of Management

  • MGT 454. Disruptive Technologies for Healthcare

School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS)

  • *GPPA 404. Governance, Public Administration, and Development
  • *GPPA 472. Latin American Environmental and Energy Policy
  • GPEC 468. International Health Economics
  • GPPS 430. Human Rights, Public Policy, and International Relations
  • GPPS 434. Humanitarian Interventions
  • GPPS 458. International Environmental Policy and Politics

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

  • SIO 116. Climate Change and Global Health
  • SIOB 289. Pollution, Environment, and Health

Sociology

  • SOCI 113. Sociology of the Aids Epidemic
  • SOCI 134. The Making of Modern Medicine
  • SOCI 135. Medical Sociology
  • SOCI 136E. Sociology of Mental Illness: An Historical Approach
  • SOCI 136F. Sociology of Mental Illness in Contemporary Society
  • SOCI 138. Genetics and Society
  • SOCI 143. Suicide
  • SOCI 173. Sociology of Health, Illness and Medicine
  • *SOCG 234. Intellectual Foundation of the Study of Science, Technology, and Medicine 
  • SOCG 284. Contemporary Biomedicine

Urban Studies and Planning

  • USP 144. Environmental and Preventive Health Issue
  • USP 145. Aging: The Social and Health Policy Issues
  • USP 147. Case Studies in Health-Care Programs/Poor and Underserved Populations

FAQ'S

What will this program prepare me for?

The MA in Global Health will provide students with the knowledge base to address urgent questions of global health equity and;

1) Will prepare students to enter the field of global health working for NGOs or governmental agencies at what the CUGH has defined as the Basic Program-Oriented Operational Level;

2) In addition, the master’s thesis curricular option will prepare students to pursue advanced training (Ph.D.) in academic fields that contribute to the interdisciplinary field of global health; and

3) In combination with a pre-medical curriculum will prepare students to attend medical school or pursue training in allied health professions with an emphasis in global health.

What is the difference between a MA, MS and MPH degree?

The UC San Diego MA in Global Health is grounded in the social science understanding of the global burden of disease and the social bases of complex, ever-changing health challenges in low-resource community settings and a globalizing world, emphasizing skill sets for analyzing global health challenges with respect to health-related social processes, the relation between health and social justice, health consequences of structural violence, and cultural factors influencing illness and treatment. 

The MPH is grounded in the five competencies traditional to public health, including epidemiology, biostatistics, behavioral health/health education, environmental health, and health services administration. 

A Master of Science (MS) degree places relatively more emphasis on quantitative skills and biological sciences.

Is financial aid available?

Can I use courses taken as an undergraduate towards my MA degree?

No, courses taken as an undergraduate cannot be applied towards coursework for the MA degree.

Should I choose the comprehensive exam or thesis?

The answer depends on your academic or career goals, interests, and strengths. Students who are interested in pursuing employment opportunities in government agencies, NGOs, or other human service organizations and those interested in clinical training after their MA often choose the comprehensive exam. Students interested in research-focused careers or continuing with Ph.D. studies might benefit most from the thesis track. The thesis is a significant undertaking and students have a limited time to complete it. Successful thesis students will have a clear project in mind and will have considered potential thesis advisors early in the Fall Quarter.

What will the comprehensive exam cover?

The exam will require demonstration of expertise in:

1) Global Burden of Disease

2) Institutions and Practices of Global Health Care Delivery

3) Expertise in a topical problem area (maternal and child health, infectious disease, mental health, nutrition and food security, refugee and immigrant health, natural and human caused disasters)

4) Expertise in a particular geographical region and the range of its global health challenges.

How do I choose a Thesis topics?

Think of your career goals and the substantive area you want to pursue. The topic should be something in which you are interested and about which you are passionate. It should also be something that is realistic to address and about which there is already literature you can draw on. 

When do I start my Thesis?

Your writing will begin in Winter Quarter. However, we recommend you begin to develop your research questions, jot down ideas or notes, and start on an annotated bibliography during the Fall Quarter. Remember that writing is a form of thinking and it is best to start as soon as possible.

Can I write on the same topic as my undergrad thesis?

You can write on a related topic but not on the same topic, and the thesis must be altogether different from your senior thesis.

If I have additional questions about the program, who can I contact for more information?

If you have further questions about the MA in Global Health program, feel free to contact the Global Health Program department at ma-globalhealth@ucsd.edu.