The interdisciplinary curriculum of the one-year master's program is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to important topics, methods, and skills necessary for careers in global health. Courses emphasize hands-on global health practice through lectures, seminars, case studies, debates, and team-based projects. The learning environment is dynamic and emphasizes faculty involvement, peer teaching, problem-solving, and discussion.
The master's curriculum is divided into thematic blocks organized over four academic quarters. All courses are required, with the exception of a single elective opportunity offered in the winter quarter.
Master's classes follow the quarter schedule. Although the days of instruction differ slightly from the UCSF academic calendar, all UCSF holidays are observed.
A centerpiece of the academic program is the capstone project—a unique opportunity for students to focus on a particular area of interest. The capstone project allows students to apply rigorous scholarship to active projects in global health.
The qualifying exam occurs at the end of the winter quarter and is based on a written protocol that describes all aspects of a student's planned capstone project. The comprehensive exam occurs at the end of the summer quarter and includes both written and oral components. The Student Handbook provides detailed information on the exams.
Teaching faculty come from the four UCSF schools, in addition to other UC campuses and the broader community. Advising and mentoring are a fundamental component of the master's program.
Grades are assigned for all courses in accordance with Graduate Division requirements.
In rare circumstances, students may waive a course already taken and passed (e.g. epidemiology or biostatistics) and elect independent study instead. This exemption must be approved, in advance, by the Program Director and appropriate course faculty.
A curriculum committee reviews and adapts the curriculum each year based on evolving knowledge in global health, as well as faculty and student feedback. These modifications aim to enhance learning, be responsive to student needs, and reflect the current academic discipline and trends of global health scholarship.