The doctoral program curriculum provides students comprehensive global health knowledge and research skills to prepare for diverse careers and leadership in the field of global health.

Research Methods

Students receive core training in research methodologies critical to conducting and comprehending global health research, including:

  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Implementation science
  • Demography
  • Qualitative research

Students then take advanced coursework in at least one methodology most applicable to their research interests.

Global Health Topics

Students take foundational coursework in the principles and challenges of global health and study the key institutions, frameworks, and approaches for facing those global health challenges through a doctoral-level global health Proseminar Series, which serves as the backbone of the curriculum. Students explore and analyze in-depth the topics that are cross-cutting to all work in the field of global health.


In addition to the core curriculum, students tailor their coursework and choose electives that provide further depth of training in the methodology and content areas appropriate for their chosen field of study. Students may select electives from any department across UCSF. The list below is not exclusive, and students are encouraged to seek any courses of interest to them at UCSF.

Elective Course List

Students also may register for certain courses at other Bay Area universities through the University of California Intercampus Exchange Program and the San Francisco Consortium.

Doctoral Seminar

Throughout the two years of coursework, students participate in Doctoral Seminar, which serves to further their professional development and provide them opportunities to engage with important global health faculty within and beyond UCSF.

Core Curriculum

Students take required coursework in research methods training and global health content, including:

  • GHS 201A: Foundations of Global Health
  • GHS 201C: Social and Behavioral Research Approaches in Global Health
  • GHS Proseminar: Global Health Development and Inequity
  • GHS Proseminar: Global Health Policy
  • GHS Proseminar: Global Health Systems and Financing
  • GHS Proseminar: Research Ethics and Practice
  • GHS Proseminar: Global Health Economics
  • GHS Proseminar: Global Health Governance, Diplomacy, and Architecture
  • EPI 203: Epidemiologic Methods I
  • EPI 207: Epidemiologic Methods II
  • EPI 214: Systematic Review
  • EPI 263: Demographic Methods for Health
  • BIOSTATS 200: Biostatistical Methods I
  • BIOSTATS 208: Biostatistical Methods II
  • IMS 245: Introduction to Implementation Science Theory and Design

In addition, students choose their own electives to form individualized areas of concentration. Below are sample electives tailored to a student’s focus.

A student interested in implementation science research of infectious diseases may take the following electives:

  • GHS 202A: Communicable Diseases of Global Importance
  • IMS 242: Program Evaluation in Clinical and Public Health Settings
  • IMS 246: Designing Individual-centered Implementation Strategies
  • IMS 247: Designing Interventions to Change Organizational Behavior
  • IMS 248: Community-Engaged Research
  • IMS 249: Translating Evidence to Policy
  • EPI 205: Clinical Trials
  • EPI 253: Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • EPI 261: Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • SOC 254: Social Science Dimensions of HIV/AIDS
  • SOC 260: Policy and Politics of Health

A student interested in qualitative research of global maternal and child health may take the following electives:

  • GHS 202D: Socio-cultural and Behavioral Determinants of Health
  • SOC 254: Social Science Dimensions of HIV/AIDS
  • SOC 260: Policy and Politics of Health
  • SOC 286: Sex, Gender and Health
  • SOC 285A: Qualitative Methods I
  • SOC 285B: Qualitative Methods II
  • IMS 242: Program Evaluation in Clinical and Public Health Settings
  • IMS 248: Community-Engaged Research
  • EPI 223: Advanced concepts in research on health disparities and social determinants of health
  • NUR 260J: Global Women’s Health: From Research to Action
  • NUR 212A: Qualitative Data Collection and Ethics