The interdisciplinary curriculum of the one-year Master of Science in Global Health program provides a comprehensive introduction to important topics, research methods, and skills necessary for careers in global health. Students learn multiple perspectives on global health problems and solutions in a dynamic learning environment that emphasizes active participation, peer teaching, problem-solving, and discussion. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared for careers in research, policy, organizational leadership, academia, and program management and evaluation.

In addition to mastering the content and process of global health as a field of study and scholarship, students learn leadership and communication skills and have ample opportunities to practice their skills in the classroom and in the field. Professional development activities include career panels and guidance on CV preparation and interviewing.

The centerpiece of the academic program is the capstone project — an opportunity for students to focus on a particular area of interest and apply rigorous scholarship to active projects in global health.

All classes are held on the UCSF Mission Bay campus and the capstone research projects are conducted in the US and around the world during one quarter of the program. Students work closely with the teaching faculty, advisors, capstone mentors, and program leaders, and study alongside diverse classmates who represent a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds, interests, and countries of origin.


The master's curriculum is divided into thematic blocks organized over four academic quarters:

  • Foundations of Global Health
  • Scientific Methods
  • Diseases and Determinants
  • Systems and Policy

Coursework includes lectures, seminars, case studies, debates, and team-based projects. All courses are required, with the exception of a single elective opportunity in the winter quarter. Elective options are announced in early December of each academic year. Courses listed below are subject to change.

Fall Quarter

Winter Quarter

Spring Quarter

Summer Quarter

Class Schedule

Independent Study

In rare circumstances, students may waive a course already taken and passed (such as epidemiology or biostatistics) and elect independent study instead. This exemption must be approved in advance by the Program Director and appropriate course faculty.