Online Master’s Degree in Global Health

Global health is focused on worldwide public health concerns. This field is dedicated to addressing health issues that cross international borders, such as communicable diseases or nutritional deficiencies that are common to certain regions and populations. Global health also entails devising policy solutions to global health problems and encouraging preventative measures for international health issues. A masters degree in global health is a good fit for students who are interested in helping to meet the health needs of developing countries, preventing the spread of tropical diseases, educating international populations on health and wellness, and promoting equity in global health.

As online learning becomes more common at accredited universities, students may be able to complete an online masters degree in global health. Online masters programs may combine distance education with hands-on field work that allows students to work with organizations that are making a difference in global health. An online masters degree program in global health could take between one to two years to complete, depending on how many credit hours are required for the degree, how many classes a student takes at once, and whether the student must complete any prerequisites before beginning their course work.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Global Health

Online master degree programs in global health provide a range of courses designed to give students a clear picture of the root causes of many global health issues, such as socioeconomic factors, access to health care, and availability of health education programs. Students also have the opportunity to hone their research skills in research methods courses. Research courses are invaluable because global health policy is often shaped by data regarding the effectiveness of certain global health initiatives. While required courses can vary greatly from program to program, students may encounter the following courses:

  • Global Health Economics
  • Diseases of Global Importance
  • Global Health Policy and Development
  • Health Systems in Low and Middle Income Countries
  • International Nutrition

A key component of many masters programs in global health are practicum experiences, also known as fieldwork experiences. This entails students being placed with a partner organization or global health mentor at an international or domestic site where students can tackle a specific global health project of their choosing. At the conclusion of the fieldwork project, students may be asked to submit a scholarly paper detailing their project and their experience working in a global health setting.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Global Health

Students with a masters degree in global health can pursue a broad range of careers in government, nonprofits, healthcare organizations, and international organizations. Depending on their previous professional education and background, global health practitioners may serve as physicians, nurses, epidemiologists, and other healthcare practitioners, scientists, and researchers overseas, working to alleviate healthcare needs in other countries while drawing from their global health knowledge to devise solutions and conduct research. Employers might include international organizations such as the World Health Organization or the Red Cross, international government agencies, nonprofits and emergency aid organizations, and even private businesses concerned with global health issues, according to an article by Oliver Subasinghe for Devex International Development that was published on the University of Washington’s School of Public Health website. For careers in global health, employers generally prefer a graduate degree in public health, global health, or health economics, the article explained.

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