Global Health Certificate

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UMSON has designed this certificate for nursing professionals who want to better understand how their work can make a positive impact on the quality of patient care 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. This 12-credit certificate is designed to prepare nurses and health 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 (UM) or hold a graduate-level degree (master’s or doctoral). If you’re an accepted or enrolled UM professional or graduate student, you may complete the certificate concurrently with your master’s or doctoral programs with approval by and support from their academic advisors.

If you already hold a professional or graduate 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. However, you must have fulfilled core competencies in statistics, research methods, health systems, and population health. In addition, we strongly recommend a basic course in epidemiology. 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 Issues 3
Spring Semester* PREV 664/NRSG 664 Critical Issues in Global Health 3
Spring Semester* NURS 732 Program Planning & Evaluation in 
Community/Public Health
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

Students who have previously completed any of the required courses for the certificate may request a waiver for these courses, but they will be required to make up credits through courses that are approved by the certificate directors.


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. 

NURS 732  Program Planning & Evaluation in Community/Public Health

This course focuses on the foundations of advanced practice in community/public health program planning and evaluation. Emphasis is on the assessment, planning, and evaluation of population/community-focused health promotion and disease prevention programs and projects. GH certificate students are encouraged to work as a group to complete a GH oriented project. Prerequisites: NURS 622, NURS 671, and NURS 701 or approval of instructor.  

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 service learning project in a GH setting under the supervision of a UM faculty member. GH certificate students have conducted field experience projects in Nigeria and Zambia through collaborative partnerships with the University of Maryland School of Medicine Institute of Human Virology.  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 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 and present it in a public forum following the conclusion of the field project.

Faculty & Staff

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

Rosemary F. Riel, MAA
Clinical Instructor, FCH
Associate Director, Partnership Development & Field Placement, Office of Global Health

Anne Brenner
Coordinator, Office of Global Health

Yolanda Ogbolu, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor, FCH
Deputy Director, Office of Global Health

Marik Moen, MSN, MPH, ACRN
Assistant Professor, FCH
Coordinator of Educational Initiatives, Office of Global Health
Nurse Educator, AIDSRelief, Institute of Human Virology 

For more information, please email:

Admissions Requirements

To enroll in the Certificate in Environmental 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 master’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:

  • The fundamentals of international health with an emphasis on the prevailing types of infectious and chronic 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.
  • Global and local strategies currently used or envisioned to address global health inequalities and the 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 political, economic, and cultural processes of globalization and their impact on population health and health care systems from a comparative international perspective.
  • 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 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 the practice of global health nursing and the diverse roles the nurse may be engaged in as a clinician, researcher, educator, administrator, organizer, advocate, and change agent.