Global Health Certificate

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UMSON has designed this certificate for nursing, health, and human service professionals who want to enhance their work and make a positive impact on population health and the quality of health service delivery worldwide.


Global health is an emerging, interdisciplinary, interprofessional field that requires a broad knowledge base and the capacity to create innovative solutions to challenging health problems in resource-limited environments. Collaboration in global health requires skills and strategies to meaningfully improve the health outcomes of communities experiencing social injustice and health inequities. This 12-credit certificate is designed to prepare nurses and health and human services professionals for careers in global health practice, education, and research.

This certificate is open to professional and graduate students who want to develop leadership, scholarship, and practical skills in the emerging field of global health. To be eligible for the Global Health (GH) certificate, you must be a current graduate student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) or hold a bachelor's degree. If you’re an accepted or enrolled UMB professional or graduate student, you may complete the certificate concurrently with your master’s or doctoral programs with approval by and support from your academic advisors.

If you already hold a professional or bachelor's degree, you will be able to take all courses sequentially as a professional certificate since all requirements may be completed over the course of two semesters and a summer session. Admission to the certificate course of study is not restricted to nursing students and other graduate and professional students are encouraged to apply.

Program Details

Sample Plan of Study (12 Credits)

Fall Semester* NURS 769 Society, Health, & Social Justice 3
Spring Semester* PREV 664/NRSG 664 Critical Issues in Global Health 3
Variable NURS XXX** Global Health Option 3
Spring Semester* NRSG 610 Global Health Seminar 1
Summer Term* NRSG 611 Global Health Field Experience 2
    Total Credits 12

*Courses ONLY offered in the specified semesters

**A range of global health course options are available. This flexibility is built into the certificate to allow students an opportunity to extensively explore specialized skills, cross-cutting domains, and interprofessional aspects of global health practice. Course selection must be approved by the certificate program director.


NURS 769  Society, Health, & Social Justice

This course provides a critical conceptual and ethical foundation for community and global health practice and research. Students are introduced to the fundamental social, political, and economic determinants of health in developed and developing countries. The course also explores community-based and societal-level health programs and policies designed to address health inequities in an era of increasing globalization.     

PREV 664/NRSG 664  Critical Issues in Global Health

This course provides an overview of global health problems and equips students with tools to navigate the world of international health. The course focuses on the global burden of disease and the pattern of disease variations within and among countries. It addresses issues such as poverty, environmental degradation, and the impact of globalization on health. Topics covered include maternal and child health, gender and violence, nutrition, water, and sanitation. 

NRSG 610  Global Health Seminar

This course familiarizes students with the challenges of designing and performing GH research and practice. Students will be introduced to the scientific literature on cultural differences in health and illness, and issues of health disparities and health care and cultural competencies will be addressed. Students will begin the (optional) process of preparing to work and travel abroad by identifying potential sites and global health organizations of interest. Different programmatic opportunities will also be addressed both didactically and through presentations by faculty members and professional or graduate students who have extensive GH experience. 

NRSG 611 Global Health Field Experience

Students will complete a field project in a GH setting under the supervision of a UMB faculty member and guidance of identified project mentors. Previous students have conducted field experience projects in Nigeria, Zambia, Liberia, Kenya, Haiti, and Malawi, as well as locally in Baltimore through established collaborative partnerships. Emerging placement opportunities are expanding to include additional domestic global health organizations and interested international partners. Preference will continue to be given to supervised group placements, though in some instances individually designed field experience projects may also be permitted pending approval by the certificate program director. Although every effort will be made to identify funds for scholarship and travel support, students will be responsible for paying expenses related to participating in select field projects. Students will be required to complete a GH field experience paper focusing on their scope of work and learning outcomes and present it in a public forum following the conclusion of the field project.

Global Health Option

The University System of Maryland has a number of schools that collectively provide students with diverse options to explore additional global health domains and apply practical skills and approaches. The following are possible examples, but not an exhaustive list:

University of Maryland School of Nursing
NURS 724 Health, Health Care, and Culture (3 credits, fall and spring, web-based)
NURS 732 Program Planning and Evaluation in Community/Public Health  (3 credits, spring)
NRSG 609 Essentials and Practice in Global Health Nursing  (3 credits, fall and spring, web-based)
NURS 690 Managerial Health Finance  (3 credits, fall and spring, web-based)
University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School
CIPP 960 Global Women’s Health  (3 credits, fall and spring)
University of Maryland School of Law
LAW 503L Health Care Law and Policy  (3 credits)
LAW 548B Critical Issues in Health Care  (3 credits)
University of Maryland School of Social Work
SOWK 703 Program Management (3 credits)
SOWK 704 Community Organization (3 credits)
SOWK 705 International Social Work (3 credits)
SOWK 720 Comparative Social Policy (3 credits)
SOWK 772 Evaluation Research (3 credits)
SOWK 783 Qualitative Ethnocultural Research (3 credits)
University of Maryland School of Medicine – Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
PREV 613 Nutritional Epidemiology (3 credits)
PREV 625 Community-Based Participatory Research: Theory and Methods (3 credits)
PREV 627 Vaccinology (3 credits)
PREV 716 Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3 credits)
PREV 705 Pharmacoepidemiology (3 credits)
PREV 749 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3 credits)
PREV 758 Health Survey Research Methods (3 credits)
PREV 803 Clinical Trials/Experimental Epidemiology (3 credits)
PH 648 Health Services Policy, Management, and Finance (3 credits)
University of Maryland School of Medicine
MSTP 589 Research (Elective, 4 credits, Spring)
MSTP 598 Physician Scientist (Elective, 4 credits, Fall)
MEDT 638 Special Topics (Lecture, 1-4 credits)
ICME 541 Indian Health Service (Clinical, 4 credits)
ICME 542 Public Health (Independent Study, 4 credits)
ICME 543 International Health (Independent Study, 4 credits)
ICME 544 Research (Research, 4 credits)
ICME 545 Community Service Project (Independent Study, 4 credits)
University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
PHAR 547 Epidemiology and Medical-Based Evidence (3 credits)
PHAR 571 Population-Based Health Strategies: Public Health Pharmacy (2 credits)
PHMY 5001 Interdisciplinary HIV Care (1 credit)
PHMY 535 Cultural Competence and Medical Spanish (2 credits)
University of Maryland School of Dentistry
DHYG 603 Issues in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (2 credits)
DHYG 619 Area of Specialization Practicum (1-6 credits)
DHYG 649 Research Practicum (1-6 credits)
DPAT 599 Special Topics (1-12 credits)
DMBS 638 Biostatistics (1-3 credits)

Faculty & Staff

Jeffrey V. Johnson, PhD
Professor, FCH
Director, Office of Global Health

Rosemary F. Riel, MAA
Clinical Instructor, FCH
Associate Director, Office of Global Health

Anne Brenner
Coordinator, Office of Global Health

Yolanda Ogbolu, PhD, CRNP-Neonatal
Assistant Professor, OSAH
Deputy Director, Office of Global Health

Lori A. Edwards, DrPh, MPH, RN, PHCNS-BC
Assistant Professor, FCH
Associate Director for Global Occupational Health, Office of Global Health

Marik Moen, MSN, MPH, ACRN
Assistant Professor, FCH

Beth Barrows, MS, RN
Clinical Instructor, FCH

For more information, please email:

Admissions Requirements

To enroll in the Certificate in Global Health program, you must be currently enrolled in a UMB professional or graduate program or have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in a program resulting in the award of a bachelor's degree (or an equivalent degree from a comparable university).

To apply, please submit:

  • Official transcripts for all prior undergraduate and graduate study.
  • Two letters of recommendation. (Reference letters must come from a mentor, teacher, employer, fellow student, or professional colleague who can speak knowledgably about your potential to become a global health practitioner and/or researcher.)
  • Current résumé or curriculum vitae.

Please mail additional materials (transcripts, letters of recommendation, and CVs) to:

University of Maryland School of Nursing
Office of Student and Academic Services
655 West Lombard Street, Suite 102
Baltimore, MD 21201

What You'll Do

After completing the Certificate in Global Health, you’ll have a deeper understanding of:

  • A scientific understanding of the social determinants of health inequities within and among countries.
  • Familiarity with a global health ethical framework based on human rights, cultural diversity, and social justice.
  • The political, economic, and cultural processes of globalization and their impact on population health and health care systems from a comparative international perspective.
  • The fundamentals of international health with an emphasis on the prevailing types of infectious and non-communicable diseases and their global pattern of distribution.
  • The essential principles of demography and epidemiology that are currently applied in the assessment of the specific vulnerability of particular populations, both domestically and abroad.
  • International and local strategies currently used or envisioned to address global health inequalities and the major global burden of disease, as well as local, community-based primary health care initiatives.
  • An introduction to the key institutional and organizational actors in global health including the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the United States Agency for International Development, and civil society and social movement organizations.
  • The essentials of how to plan, design, and evaluate the effectiveness of community-based programs directed at improving global health.
  • A review of current clinical practice in the care and treatment of HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and the common water-borne diseases that cause diarrhea.
  • An introduction to global health practice and the diverse roles the health and human service professional may be engaged in as a clinician, researcher, educator, administrator, organizer, advocate, and change agent.