Master of Science in Global Health (MScGH)

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Required Courses

Foundations in Global Health (3 credits)
This course introduces students to key global health topics and issues. Each week students are exposed to different social, economic, political, and environmental factors that affect global health. Students explore global health organizations and major players in global health. Focused on interventions that address health disparities, social justice, and low-income settings, students learn to appraise global health problems and suggest innovative solutions. At the end of the course, students will be able to identify key global health questions, and suggest projects to address these questions.

Public Health Policy (2 credits)
The students will learn about the important role policy plays in public health and governmental responses to public health issues. Social justice and health access are discussed, as well as integrative medicine strategies to address these concerns. Guest lecturers from numerous entities provide perspective on the issues facing public health, including addiction, mental health, vaccination, obesity, and tobacco use. The course compares public health topics at local, national, and international levels. Recent journal and news articles are utilized for a current range of topics.

Principles of Epidemiology (3 credits)
Concepts in epidemiology such as multivariate causality, relative risk, odds ratio, sampling error and different types of bias (selection, information, definition biases) and confounding factors will be introduced and applied to integrative medicine. Students discuss study designs, survey and sample selection, cross-sectional, cohort, case-control; prospective and retrospective designs will be discussed from the epidemiological and integrative medicine perspective. A review and discussion of current literature will be used in the class to highlight epidemiological issues.

Biostatistics I (2 credits)
This course will cover different statistical designs, concepts and procedures that are commonly used in clinical and integrative medicine research. This will also equip students to understand the statistical rationale and analysis presented in medical literature. They will be introduced to basic concepts of probability, random variation, common statistical probability distributions, and understand the roles of descriptive versus inferential statistics. They will also understand the different statistical designs, concepts and analysis.

Global Health Discussion Series (2 credits x 2 quarters)
Each session in the series will have a thematic frame that guides facilitated discussion. Themes will be recommended by students and by participating faculty. Formats might include: presentations, showing and discussion of a documentary, discussion of a news report, discussion of a book chapter or article, or, attending a special campus speaker's presentation or event. Students will present their proposed projects in this forum for feedback from other students and faculty.

Global Health Practicum (1 credit x 2 quarters)
Students will use the practicum credit to identify a global health question they wish to address, propose a project, develop a plan, a project tree, identify collaborators, and prepare for the Fieldwork component of the program. Students will be expected to work with an existing NGO for their fieldwork.

Social and Behavioral Foundations of Health Care (2 credits)
This course addresses the multi-level influences on health and wellness. Students learn to understand how individual, community, and organizational behaviors affect health care in developing countries and underserved communities. This course prepares students to develop culturally appropriate global health projects.

Biostats – Secondary Data Analysis (3 credits)
In this advanced course, students will learn techniques appropriate for handling a single outcome variable and multiple predictors. They will also develop skills in the use of appropriate statistical procedures for estimation and inference, according to underlying assumptions and type of study design. The interpretation of statistical analysis and understanding the limitations of the data and its consequences will also be discussed. The other component of this course includes the developing of basic skills for analyzing data using statistical computing software packages.

Global Health Seminar (2 credits)
This course examines global health issues through journal and news articles and discusses challenges to practicing medicine and targeting research to different areas. Experts in global health from various medical backgrounds bring their perspectives to international health policy and medicine.

Program Evaluation and Health Administration (2 credits)
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the fundamentals of evaluation and research as applied to public health programs, global health programs, policies and other types of interventions. The course covers impact, outcomes, process and participatory evaluation, and a number of research designs common in public health evaluation research. Students will gain skills in framing evaluation questions. In addition, students will gain skills needed to understand and critique published evaluation literature, and skills in measurement/data collection strategies. Class format includes lecture, discussion articles, and small group exercises. For final project, students will design and write and evaluation plan in the format of a proposal for funding.

Fieldwork (8 credits)
Students will conduct a project in the field, either with a non-profit, a university, or a community group. These credits are designed to be spent in a Global Health setting for 6-8 weeks, either locally or internationally. Students will be responsible for conducting the project, and evaluating it. They will complete weekly reflections on the process. At the end of the quarter, students will present their project to the Global Health faculty in a conference format.

*Note: The 6 elective credits need to be completed in one of the following ways: 1)  students can complete 6 elective credits through attending one of the Global Health trips – Haiti, Nicaragua, or Tanzania over the summer prior to the fall quarter above; 2) students can take some of the credits in earlier quarters; 3) students can take a weekend course and online curriculum to complete 6 electives during Spring quarter; or 4) students in a second degree program may have these credits transfer into the program.


Vaccinations (2 credits)
This course is designed to bring students up to date with the most recent science and issues surrounding vaccinations. The course will discuss new vaccine strategies, current vaccines: components and schedules, and vaccine safety.  Students will be able to identify types of vaccines, ingredients of each vaccine, predicted immune responses to those vaccines, and potential side-effects of each vaccine. This course emphasizes critical evaluation of vaccines from current research, public health, and medical sources such that students will be able to assess future vaccine studies and apply them directly to their medical or public health practice.

International Public Health (2 credits)
This course is currently only offered on global health trips. It provides a daily discussion of public health initiatives with international relevance. It will address childhood nutrition programs, maternal survival programs, environmental studies, refugee health, water systems and safe water, food systems, and health education.

Intro to Tropical Disease (2 credits)
This course is currently only offered on global health trips. The course provides a basic overview of tropical disease in developing nations. Students differentiate between the microbiology, pathology, and clinical symptoms of different microbes. Students are exposed to conventional and natural treatments for each disease.

Global Health Experience (2 credits)
In this course, students travel with a faculty member to a foreign country to learn how research and healthcare is conducted internationally. Country, faculty member, and research topic varies. Student is responsible for paying tuition for the course, as well as for their own airfare, food, lodging, and visa expenses.

Global Health Skills (2 credits)
This weekend course trains students who plan to travel abroad independently or as part of a course. It covers tropical travel risks and recommendations, travel vaccinations, state department recommendations, waterborne infections, mental health, ethics and cultural competency.

Health Disparities (2 credits)
All health professionals need to recognize and understand how to deal with health diversity and disparities. Partners from worldwide non-profits will lecture on their experience and discuss how research can target these populations most effectively. Students visit clinics that serve low income and underserved populations.

Global and Ecological Food Issues (2 credits)
The course will explore global and federal organizations participating in the food system; global food policy and trade agreements; food production, processing, and distribution; food security and access; and sustainability a global perspective. Students will be able to choose a subject to study more in depth such as: Certifications and labeling; how healthy are organic, local, and natural foods; marketing food to children; GMOs; food health claims; should you eat local products; cultural traditions and religious impacts of food choice; and linking food accessibility and the obesity epidemic.

Cultural and Traditional Diets (2 credits)
This course provides a practical approach to various cultural and traditional diets such as vegetarian, vegan, Halal, and Kosher including weekly preparation of specific foods to complement dietary concepts.

Global Cuisine (2 credits)
Students will be exposed to delicious cuisine from around the world. The course will demonstrate how food availability, local ecosystems, cooking traditions, and cultural differences vary from region to region.  Preparation of regional cuisine each week will support these concepts.

Food Policy (2 credits)
In this course, students will investigate the public policy behind food production and distribution and the factors that influence policy development. Topics covered include food systems, food needs and food safety, environmental sustainability, accessibility, and food labeling.

Environmental Research and Skills (2 credits)
In this course, environmental medicine is discussed, including toxicology, air and water quality, food standards and other issues. Environmental psychology and enviro-sociology are also topics discussed in this course.

Environmental Health Policy (2 credits)
This course examines how environmental issues become policy, how legislative bodies become informed about health issues, and how lobbyists influence this process. Topics covered include international issues surrounding pesticides in imports, GMOs, green spaces, pharmaceuticals in the water supply and other current events.

Nutrition Research and Skills (2 credits)
Conducting nutrition research is a challenge because study participants must learn how to eat differently, and be compliant to a study diet. In this course, students learn to evaluate published nutrition research. They evaluate nutritional intervention strategies that are effective and those that fail. Students also develop skills to conduct nutrition studies, including how to teach a cooking class to research study participants. Students will cook (and eat) weekly in this course.

Medical Academic (2 credits)
Many physicians and researchers become faculty at colleges and universities. This course prepares students with practical skills and teaching strategies. Students learn how to develop course outcomes and competencies, syllabi, and notes. Educational theory, teaching, and assessment strategies and techniques are discussed and practiced.

Grant Writing (2 credits)
The aim of this course is to teach skills in communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking in order to write successful grant proposals. It will introduce students to types of grants, as well as the process of submitting a grant to NIH and other potential funding sources. Students will learn the skills to write and submit a successful NIH grant.

Medical Anthropology (2 credits)
Medical Anthropology compares different cultures' ideas about illness and curing. Although disease is a concept referring to a pathological condition of the body in which functioning is disturbed, illness is a cultural concept: a condition marked by deviation from what is considered a normal, healthy state. Treatment of illness in Western industrial societies focuses on curing specific diseased organs or controlling a specific virus. In many so-called "traditional" societies greater emphasis is placed on the social and psychological dimensions of illness. In this course we will learn that different cultures, even in the United States have different ways to talk about illness, and that the American medical community is at times as "culture bound" as anywhere. "Science" does not stand outside culture. This course will explore traditional healers, shamans, and witch doctors as well as conventional biomedical physicians.

Maternal and Child Health (2 credits)
This class focuses on improving the health of mothers, children, youth and families, including socially vulnerable populations and the environments and policies that affect their wellbeing. Students learn of nonprofit organizations, research organizations, public health agencies, and healthcare organizations that focus on Maternal and Child Health.

Leadership Development in Global Health (2 credits)
This course prepares students for leadership positions by combining leadership skills with population-level knowledge and cross-cultural sensitivity. Students learn leadership theory and styles, identify their own style, and build their leadership skills.

Seminars in Global Health (1 credit)
Students attend one conference in Global Health, or at least 10 hours of Global Health seminars locally. A reflective paper summarizing the experience is required.

Qualitative Data Analysis and Mixed Methods (2 credits)
In this course, participants will become familiar with multiple methods of data collection and how to combine them within a single research project. We will focus on collecting data using unstructured or in-depth interviews, focus groups, participant observation, archival research, survey interviews, and hybrid methods. We will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, and we will focus on how each different method can contribute to the research question in unique ways. This course is designed for those with a specific research question in mind, but who are new to collecting data (or new to multi-method approaches to collecting data). Throughout the course, participants will be asked to design and present multi-method data collection approaches for a research question of their choice. By the end of this module, participants will have an overview of a multi-method data collection project that will enable them to design, understand, and evaluate multi-method approaches within a single project.

Ethnography (2 credits)
Research is a craft requiring methods fitted to each researcher's unique research situation and questions. This seminar on the craft of research will consider a mix of (a) conceptual issues like what is distinctive to the anthropological practice of ethnography and (b) practical and ethical challenges of fieldwork including getting research permission, choosing where to stay, presenting one's research to the community, reciprocating assistance, anticipating and mitigating research risks, selecting proper equipment, budgeting money and time, negotiating conflicts and power dynamics, recording and transcribing, and preparing to write.

Policy Studies and Analysis (2 credits)
This course introduces students to the field of policy studies and the methods of policy analysis. Faculty, students, and guests discuss policy problems facing diverse communities; explore models of social change, social justice, and market justice; and incorporate ideas of sustainability and "outcomes-based" assessment into comparative analyses of issues facing international policymakers and global communities. Students apply knowledge of multiple disciplines to analyze case studies of complex policy issues.

Disaster Relief (2 credits)
Disaster management studies are recognized as a trans-disciplinary field that combines decades of proven record in responding to disasters and other humanitarian actors and core principles of humanitarian action and draws on theoretical perspectives and conceptual understanding from a variety of academic disciplines. The scope of disaster response has grown tremendously from the initial focus on natural hazards to now include a broad range of human-induced disasters, complex emergencies and crises. The emerging dynamics of economic globalization and competition for resources and resulting displacement, forced migration, conflict, and environmental refugees have added considerable complexity to the realm of disaster management. This course provides an integrated approach to all stages of Disaster Management in a comprehensive and holistic manner; including (i) pre- disaster preparedness and mitigation, (ii) rescue and relief in the context of disaster and (iii) post disaster rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery.

African Herbal Medicine (2 credits)
Tanzania is one of the most ethno-botanically diverse countries on the planet. With more than 10,000 species of plants, the soils of Tanzania grow many herbal medicines. Students will work with a traditional healer in Tanga to learn how the herbs are used in the villages. A naturopathic faculty member is present to discuss western uses of the herbs and how western uses relate to the Tanzanian uses. Students also have the opportunity to visit with herbal medicine researchers in Tanzania.

Peruvian Herbal Medicine (2 credits)
This course will combine ethnobotanical field studies, with lecture and discussions with NCNM faculty and guest speakers, and include hands on activities aimed at exposing students to the medicinal plants of the Andes and Amazon, concepts on health and disease, spiritual ideas of the local cultures, and exposure to the Peruvian culture, economic realities, and lifestyles disparate from the typical US cultures.

Midwifery in Remote Settings and Emergency Childbirth (3 credits) Pre-reqs:
Midwifery program at NCNM. Description coming soon.