Anne Dressel, Director, Center for Global Health Equity, Nursing, Certificate Coordinator
Connor Sampson, Advisor, Nursing,

Global Health is an interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate administered by the Director of the Center for Global Health Equity and the Global Health Advisory Committee (GHAC). 

The world is economically, politically, culturally, and technologically connected and interdependent with increasingly mobile populations seeking economic opportunity, security, and safety as a result of civil unrest, regional conflicts, diminished natural resources, poverty, and disease. Although some health problems and issues remain specific to levels and contexts of socio-cultural, economic, and political development within countries, many of the same problems, issues, and concerns transcend geographic boundaries, as should appropriate approaches and solutions. The concept of “global health” describes and addresses these realities. An undergraduate certificate in Global Health will provide students with academic inquiry into:

  • the global burden of disease
  • the social determinants of health in a global context
  • the principles, language, and measurement tools used in global health
  • ethics and global health
  • the global cultural, religious, and historical contexts of health, disease, and health care

The Global Health Certificate will provide undergraduate students with an opportunity to focus on current global health issues and concerns, policies, processes, programs, and practices that contribute to and hinder global health improvement. A wide array of courses will help students better comprehend the interdisciplinary approach to understanding and addressing global health issues.


The Global Health Certificate is intended to enhance a bachelor’s degree. The certificate is available to all students seeking a bachelor’s degree from UWM, to students who previously have received a bachelor’s degree from UWM or any other accredited college or university, and to those who do not plan to pursue a college or university degree (non-degree students) but who have a strong interest in this subject. Non-degree students must meet regular University admission requirements. Students currently involved in baccalaureate studies who successfully complete the requirements of the program will be awarded the certificate at the time of graduation. Students who already have a bachelor’s degree will receive the certificate upon completion of the program requirements.


To obtain the certificate, the student must complete, with a minimum grade point average of 2.500, at least 21 credits in approved Global Health courses, of which 12 must be earned in residence at UWM. Of these 12 residence credits, 9 must be taken at the 300 level or above. A minimum of 6 credits must be taken in the College of Letters and Science. A minimum of 6 credits must be taken in the College of Nursing. No more than 9 credits from any one department may count toward the certificate. A maximum of 6 credits of independent study may count toward program requirements. Courses for the certificate may not be taken on a credit/no credit basis.

Independent study courses focusing on global health issues may be accepted with the approval of the Certificate Program Coordinator. Other courses not on this list but relevant to the study of global health may be accepted with the approval of the Certificate Program Coordinator.

Credits earned at other institutions equivalent to courses in the certificate program may be accepted in partial fulfillment of the program requirements, subject to review by the Certificate Program Coordinator. Students currently enrolled at UWM who have fulfilled some of the program’s requirements prior to the approval of this program may count those courses toward completion of the certificate requirements.

The following are required:

NURS 301Introduction to Global Health3
PH 101Introduction to Public Health3
World Regions
Select one of the following:3
Lifeways in Different Cultures: A Survey of World Societies
The World: Peoples and Regions
World History Since 1500
Politics of the World's Nations
World Society
Select a minimum of 6 credits6
Select one of the following:3
Study Abroad
Independent Study
NURS 575Global Health: Ethics and Human Rights3
Total Credits21


AFRIC 329Economic Growth and Sustainable Development in Africa3
AFRIC 351Sexuality, Gender, and Health in Africa and the Diaspora3
ANTHRO 102Introduction to Anthropology: Culture and Society3
ANTHRO 104Lifeways in Different Cultures: A Survey of World Societies3
ANTHRO 440Medical Anthropology3
ANTHRO/GLOBAL 443Medicine and Pharmaceuticals in the Global Age3
ANTHRO 447The Global Politics of Human Rights3
CES 210Introduction to Conservation and Environmental Science3
ECON 353Economic Development3
ETHNIC 375Global Violence, Disease, and Death3
NURS 204Global Maternal and Child Health: From Evidence to Action3
NURS 401Global Patterns of Disease3
NURS 497Study Abroad:3
NURS 620Global Food Security and Systems3
NURS 690Global Health Governance: Key Players, Financing and Challenges3
PH 303Climate Change, the Environment and Human Health3
POL SCI 374Health, Wealth, and Democracy3
SPANISH 388Health Issues in the Hispanic World3


Students are required to do an internship, self-designed research project, or study abroad (for a minimum of 3 credits at the 300-level or above) in the field of global health. The purpose of this requirement is to enable the student to engage in global health work through "practical" experience or research. The area of study must be approved by the coordinator of the Global Health Certificate and must meet the requirements of the department through which it is being completed. 

The fieldwork requirement can be fulfilled in one of three ways:

  • Internship – A number of global health internships are available through the International Studies Major (INTLST 450), as well as other departments and organizations. 
  • Study Abroad – UWM offers a number of Global Health study abroad programs, through several departments.
  • Independent Study – The student may propose a global health research project to a professor in an area of interest. The independent study also must be discussed with and approved by the Global Health Certificate Coordinator.