Advanced Certificate Program in Global Health

Global Health

The Advanced Certificate in Global Health is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge in understanding the determinants of health beyond national boundaries and an overview of research and practice that will improve health worldwide, reduce disparities and address global challenges. Students will develop the skills needed to analyze the global burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases and considerations in developing programs that are sustainable. Students will also understand ethical approaches to global health research and practices. This program is designed to provide skills for future employment in a number of organizations, such as government agencies (in the U.S. and abroad), international organizations such as the World Health Organization, private research, academia, and international charitable foundations.

Students who complete the Advanced Certificate program will be equipped to:

  1. Understand the factors that contribute to or affect health in environments around the world. They will be able to explain and use basic demographic concepts and measures and describe how these factors influence the occurrence of public health issues.
  2. Propose sustainable and evidence-based multi-sectoral interventions, considering the social determinants of health specific to the local area. They will assess the benefits and the potential negative effects of a health intervention and apply monitoring and evaluation techniques to global health programs, policies, and outcomes.
  3. Recognize the importance of one's own standpoint and positions while working collaboratively with diverse communities and constituencies (e.g., organizations, agencies, practitioners, policymakers, and researchers). This includes an understanding of the interaction of race/ethnicity/gender and health and disease. 
  4. Display critical self-reflection, cultural humility, and ongoing learning in global health and apply ethical approaches in global health research and practice. They will be able to critically analyze a proposed health program for potential discrimination and/or stigmatization.

Component Courses

All components of the Advanced Certificate Program in Global Health are online in distance learning format. These include five courses that each span a semester. The five courses include:

CHSC 5315: Public Health and Human Rights (3 credits)

Global Health

The World Health Organization Constitution (1946) recognized that the highest attainable standard of health is a fundamental right of every human being. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted on December 10th, 1948 and established a human rights foundation for public health. By understanding health as a human right, there is a legal obligation to ensure that all people have access to timely, acceptable, and affordable health care of appropriate quality. In addition, every person should have access to underlying determinants of health, including safe and potable water, sanitation, food, housing, health-related information and education and gender equality. This course will review human rights concepts and the linkages between human rights and ethical practices in public health. By reviewing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, students will gain an understanding of human rights as critical to the practice of public health. This course will follow the evolution of human rights in global health and apply lessons learned to current and future challenges. 

CHSC 5317: Disease Burden and Priorities in Global Health (3 credits)

Over the past few decades, there has been a shift in the prevalence of communicable and non-communicable diseases worldwide. Non-communicable diseases are the leading causes of death and disability globally and are responsible for more than half the global burden of disease. In recent decades, deaths from communicable diseases, including enteric infections, tuberculosis and respiratory infections have declined, with the steepest declines in low and middle-income countries. At the end of this course, students should be able to describe trends and patterns of incidence and prevalence for major diseases and factors affecting the health status of global populations. This course will review the etiology and distribution of diseases globally, including injuries, and their public health significance. By the end of this course, students should understand the global burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases. 

CHSC 5205: Urban Health Issues (3 credits)

The goal of this course is to prepare public health professionals to analyze and intervene in urban health issues. The course explores the health of urban populations around the world, with a special focus on New York City, from historical, economic, social, spatial, and medical perspectives. Key concepts include social capital, social cohesion, social hierarchies, social networks, public health infrastructure, healthy neighborhoods, health disparities, globalization, and micro-geographic analysis. Each semester the class will explore three health topics in depth and will organize a neighborhood mini-conference on one of these topics in collaboration with local stakeholders. In addition, each student will perform weekly analyses of his/her neighborhood of residence and periodic analyses of the neighborhood surrounding SUNY-Downstate.

CHSC 5206: Program Design and Evaluation (3 credits)

Global Health

This course provides students with a foundation in program design and evaluation of health promotion strategies in urban, hard to reach populations. Students will work on an existing NYC public health intervention as a case study of how program design and evaluation is approached in the real-world. The course begins with a strong emphasis on the development of a logic model which serves as a unifying language for evaluators, program managers and stakeholders alike. Then, students will learn how to identify and critically apply behavioral/social scientific theory and evidence-based approaches to all phases of program design and evaluation. At conclusion, students will be able to articulate the importance of and a framework for examining program sustainability and translation. Students will acquire key public health foundational competencies that they can build upon to effectively address the urban health challenges of today.

EPID 5200: Principles of Epidemiology (3 credits)

Epidemiology is the study of patterns of disease in human populations and the application of this study to the control of health problems. Epidemiology forms the backbone of public health. You will need to have a strong understanding of the basic principles of this discipline to be able to read and understand published public health literature. Epidemiology helps biomedical and public health researchers understand whether their findings are real or due to chance alone. This course will provide you with the basic epidemiologic tools needed to conduct population-based health research.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions requirements do not differ from the institution’s minimum admissions requirements. Applicants for admission to the SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University Certificate program must have completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited program in the United States or its equivalent.  

Applicants must meet the requirements outlined below:

  • Baccalaureate degree from a Council for Higher Education (CHEA) regionally accredited college or university.
  • An undergraduate record with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or better (on a 4.0 scale) is preferred.
  • Personal Statement. The essay is a personal statement in which the applicant explains his or her reasons for pursuing the advanced certificate in public health and hopes for what he or she will achieve with that degree. The essay should be on separate, numbered sheets of paper for and include the applicant’s name at the top of each sheet. The essay should be no more than 500 words.
  • One (1) letter of recommendation must be submitted addressing the applicant's academic ability and professional experience or interest as it applies to public health issues. A Letter from a professor or work-related supervisor is preferred.
  • The TOEFL is required for ALL applicants for whom English is a Second Language and who have not completed at least one year of full-time study in a regionally accredited college or university in the United States (at least 24 semester credits, including two courses in English composition). A minimum score for the paper exam of 536 (undergraduate programs) and 564 (graduate programs); a minimum score for the computer exam of 208 (undergraduate programs) and 223 (graduate programs; and a minimum score for the Internet-based exam of 65-78 (undergraduate programs) and 79-95 (graduate programs) is required on the TOEFL.