Students enrolled in any Vanderbilt graduate program who receive the approval of their academic advisor and fulfill the certificate requirements eligible for the certificate. Students must 1) submit an Intent to Enroll form upon their decision to pursue the certificate; 2) complete 12 credit hours of global health coursework, and 3) submit the Certificate Application at least two months prior to graduation. 

Please note: Only Vanderbilt University degree-seeking graduate-level students are eligible for this certificate.

Global health is not limited to clinical health professionals. Practitioners from various fields, including business, education, and engineering, are vital to global health work. This interdisciplinary graduate-level certificate program promotes joint training opportunities in global health between various departments and schools at Vanderbilt. Students earning this certificate learn basic knowledge and skills that will help them make positive contributions in global health. Any Vanderbilt professional or graduate student who fulfills all requirements will be granted the certificate when they receive their graduate degrees.

Objectives of the Certificate

  1. To equip students with analytic and problem-solving skills that can be applied to current and emerging global health challenges.
  2. To prepare students for internationally-focused careers in academia, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, immigrant health agencies, philanthropic foundations, and industry.
  3. To help students assess public health challenges within international cultural and socioeconomic contexts.
  4. To instruct students in the fundamental principles of research, planning, and management methodology in resource-constrained settings.
  5. To facilitate student synthesis and analysis of global health data from existing and de novo sources.
  6. To ensure student acquisition of core competencies in global health care and prevention, including the mastery of a basic vocabulary in these disciplines.


For students interested in pursuing the certificate in global health, please follow these steps:

  1. Review requirements and information on this page.
  2. Complete and submit the VIGH Intent to Enroll form.
  3. Complete one core course (3 credit hours):
    • Foundations of Global Health (offered in the Fall)
    • Essential Skills in Global Health (offered in the Spring)
    • Fundamentals of Global Health (offered online course in the Fall & Spring)
  4. Complete at least 9 additional credit hours of graduate-level coursework in global health.
  5. At least two months prior to graduation, submit the Certificate Application.You may initiate the form at any time during your graduate program to track your progress toward the certificate using the “Save and Return Later” feature.
  6. Contact Jessica Howard (email or 615-322-9374) to discuss any questions or concerns, and to discuss a possible field experience.

Certificate Requirements

Students will be granted a global health certificate at the time of graduation from their respective graduate degree-seeking program if they have successfully completed the requirements stipulated below:

  1. At least one 3-credit-hour core global health course: Foundations of Global Health; Fundamentals of Global Health; or Essential Skills in Global Health
  2. At least 9 credit hours of additional global health electives.
    • These credit hours may be a combination of VIGH global health courses or other approved courses that have relevance to global health.
    • Students may individually tailor and/or design electives in consultation with faculty mentors.
    • Practicum, thesis, research immersion, and individual learning courses that have relevance to global health may be approved for Certificate credit.
    • Global health fieldwork can satisfy up to 6 elective credit hours (see Field Experience section below for more information).
    • Students wishing to count a non-VIGH course towards the Certificate should complete the Course Proposal form in which they explain how the course relates to the Certificate objectives (listed above in a previous section) and describe their final course deliverable, which must relate to global health.
    • All courses for the Certificate must be taken for graduate credit and involve global health content.

This checklist will help you to plan and track your global health credits.

To fulfill the 9 elective credit hours, you can take global health courses taught both by VIGH and other programs at Vanderbilt. Elective courses must relate to health, low-resource settings, foreign-born populations, economics, community development, and similar topics to be considered for certificate credit and your main projects/assignments should focus on an aspect of global health. For example, in a course on international economic development, an appropriate term paper would be a literature review on the economic impact of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

To be considered for the Graduate Certificate in Global Health, complete and submit the Certificate Application form. Students may initiate the form at any time during their graduate program to track their progress toward the certificates using the “Save and Return Later” feature. The form must be completed and submitted at least two months prior to graduation.

Deadlines for submission (approximately two months before your graduation date):
  • May graduates: March 1
  • August graduates: June 1
  • December graduates: October 1

The online application form requires students to provide the following:

  1. Information on global health coursework, including an unofficial transcript, detailed academic record, or courses report from YES.
  2. Information on global health field work and final product (if a field experience was completed).
  3. A 1-paragraph bio and professional headshot to be used on our alumni pages.

View past recipients of the Graduate Certificate in Global Health from the following years:

2020 - Coming soon!










I'm not a Vanderbilt student, what are my options?

Only individuals who are degree-seeking graduate students at Vanderbilt are eligible for the Certificate. If you are interested in earning credentials in global health, Unite for Sight's Global Health University has a variety of certificates available. Additionally, the Consortium of Universities for Global Health has educational resources on global health and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health has a wide range of open courseware available in public and global health topics. 

Where can I find course descriptions?

Visit the course description page for general overviews. Log into YES for the most up-to-date information on faculty and times.

Do VIGH courses require faculty approval?

Due to limited class sizes, all students outside of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine will require approval from VIGH and course faculty. Please contact the course professor prior to enrolling and explain that you are a candidate for the Graduate Certificate in Global Health and wish to enroll in the course as part of the certificate.

How does tuition work?

Students should discuss tuition concerns with their home departments. In general, courses that student take for the certificate fulfill core or elective requirements in the student's primary program, thus not incurring additional tuition costs.

Can I propose a course to count towards the certificate if the course does not have a health or global health focus?

Yes. Courses that are not listed as VIGH global health courses but do relate global health, low-resource settings, low- and middle-income countries, undeserved populations, economic development, and the like can be considered for certificate credit. Your final deliverable for the course must focus on an aspect of global health (ex: the course is about economic development in low- and middle-income countries and your final deliverable is a literature review on the long-term economic impact of child feeding programs). To have a non-listed global health course be reviewed and considered for the certificate requirements, please submit the course proposal form.

What if I have already taken a global health-related course and I would like it to count towards the certificate?

If the course relates global health, low-resource settings, low- and middle-income countries, undeserved populations, economic development, and the like, and your final deliverable focused on an aspect of global health, you may submit a course proposal for consideration. You will need to upload the course syllabus as well as your final product.

What if I cannot fit a global health core courses into my schedule?

Contact Jessica Howard (email or 615-322-9374) to discuss other options.

Where can I find more information about Graduate Certificates at Vanderbilt?

More information can be found at

For additional information on the Graduate Certificate in Global Health, please contact:

Jessica Howard by email or phone (615-322-9374)