Global Health Courses


Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health offers traditional and online courses to Vanderbilt undergraduate seniors, medical students, nursing students, and graduate-level students in programs across campus. Log in to YES (Your Enrollment Services) for additional course details and to enroll. For more information, contact Elizabeth Rose.

VIGH has also developed a comprehensive series of online global health video modules to supplement your global health learning.

Course Descriptions

Case Studies in Tropical Diseases 

This online course will introduce tropical diseases and parasitology in a clinical case study format. It is designed for clinicians who wish to refine their diagnostic and therapeutic skills in dealing with diseases not seen often in the US, but prevalent in tropical environs. Non-clinical graduate students in other disciplines who have advanced medical/clinical vocabularies also can be considered. [1 credit hour, online, summer semester, PUBH 5549]

Essential Skills in Global Health

Core field tools, needs assessment, implementation techniques and methodologies in global health program implementation. Management and leadership of global health programs and organizations in complex and challenging environments. Underpinnings of health systems, data collection, and analysis, program design and management. [3 credit hours, spring semester, PUBH 5541/MHS 7306/IGHM 5241]

Foundations of Global Health

This course introduces students to key topics, concepts and methods in global health, examining determinants of complex issues and exploring multidimensional approaches and interventions with a particular emphasis on low resource settings. Health and developmental issues across nations and cultures that require collective (partnership-based) action are highlighted by an interdisciplinary faculty using didactic, interactive and practical elements of instruction. At the conclusion of the course, students should be able to discuss research and evaluation methodologies commonly used in the field, identify key global health questions and design suitable projects that address the question. [3 credit hours, fall semester, PUBH 5542/MHS 7305/IGHM 5240]

Fundamentals of Global Health: Addressing Global Health Disparities 

This course is designed for graduate students interested in global health and will consist of seven units: Introduction to Global Health, Health Disparities, Health Care Delivery Systems, Evidence-based Practice, Non-communicable and Communicable illnesses, Trauma and Violence and Effective, Ethical Models for Global Health Engagement. The course will focus on best practices for allocating scarce resources and engaging in interdisciplinary global health work with diverse communities from a cultural, ethical, and clinical perspective. Students will engage in learning through readings, synchronous and asynchronous discussions, case studies, and written assignments. This course is designed for students interested in caring for and empowering underserved populations locally and abroad. [3 credit hours, online, summer semester, NURS 8072/IGHM 5272]

Global Health Politics and Policy

Global Health Politics and Policy introduces core global health problems facing the world’s populations today and examines the efforts taken to improve health at a global level. We will focus on the social and political movements of global health issues and how these forces created and shaped global health policy both in the U.S. and among the G8 nations from 2000‐2011. [1 credit hour, spring semester]

HIV/AIDS in the Global Community

This course discusses the medical, social, political, economic, and public policy dimensions of HIV/AIDS. Prevention and treatment strategies, social stigma, and discrimination are reviewed. [3 credit hours, fall semester, MHS 5410]

Leadership and Management in Global Health

This course introduces students to principles of management and leadership of global health programs and organizations in complex and challenging environments. Students will explore diverse health systems, organizational behavior, health policy, program design, and core management techniques. [3 credit hours, spring semester, PUBH 5540]

Local Applications of Global Health

This course is designed for graduate students interested in the local context of global health applications. This course will consist of weekly discussions led by interdisciplinary experts in global health, within and outside of VU. Topics will focus on interdisciplinary innovations that alleviate health disparities in diverse settings locally and abroad. Students will engage in learning through readings, attendance and participation in discussion and debates at weekly seminars and assignments. This course is designed for students interested in reciprocity in global health and caring for underserved populations locally and abroad, and builds on a diverse base of prerequisite knowledge in interdisciplinary fields pertaining to health, social justice, sustainable development, and working in interdisciplinary teams. [1 credit hour, spring semester, NURS 6080]

Planetary Health, Policy and Social Justice

This course is designed for students interested in exploring the intersections between primary care, planetary health and climate change (according to WHO, currently the greatest threat to global health), social justice and policy. The causes of climate change and the resulting primary, secondary and tertiary impacts on people and communities will be examined through the lens of global health and policy. Students will work with local agencies to develop evidence-based and targeted adaptation and mitigation strategies as well as policy-based solutions, all incorporating science and engineering, political science and policy, law and economics as well as nursing and medicine to address healthspan disparities related to climate change and social vulnerability. [3 credit hours, spring semester, NURS 6084]

Courses open to medical students only