USU is pleased to offer a Graduate Certificate in Global Health and Global Health Engagement via distance learning. This program is currently enrolling over 200 students per year from all four Services spread across six continents, plus international students and faculty from four partner countries. 

Students earn an accredited graduate certificate upon successful completion of 15 credit hours of coursework as per the requirements below. Graduate certificates are an increasingly recognized and valued credential in global health and are often earned by mid-career professionals interested in obtaining formal education in this diverse and rapidly changing field. Prospective students who are interested in expanding their knowledge and skill set by taking only one or two courses are also welcome and encouraged to apply.

Each course in the program consists of a certain number of modules. Modules are single web (html) pages of information with embedded lectures, faculty-authored text, links to required readings, and sometimes embedded panel discussions or other features. The courses are designed so that students (as a class-cohort) complete approximately one module per week. Students read the materials and watch the lectures on their own time, and then convene as a class once per week online (via live video teleconference) for seminar with course faculty and their fellow students. Individual courses may also require discussion board participation, a term paper, and possibly a final exam.

Most courses run for approximately 11 weeks each. The first two courses each have a live component (via video teleconference) that occurs once per week. While attempts are often made to accommodate students in different time zones, the most popular day/time for these sessions has always been weekday evenings, U.S. Eastern Standard Time.



This is a graduate program and therefore all students must already have at least a baccalaureate degree before applying to the program. No exceptions can be made to this policy for several reasons, including the fact that this is a requirement of the program’s accreditation.

Otherwise, the program has wide latitude to admit students from disparate backgrounds and levels of experience. Students in USU’s graduate programs have typically included physicians, nurses, dentists, medical planners, veterinarians, medical technicians and health administrators; but a background in the health professions is not a requirement for matriculation into this program. Particularly for our distance-learning courses, faculty are actively seeking students from a wide variety of non-health backgrounds to enhance the understanding of global health engagement across the Department of Defense and beyond, and to help our students from health backgrounds appreciate alternate perspectives.

In addition to students who take this coursework early or midway through their careers, students also enroll in our program who already possess significant academic credentials and an impressive amount of field experience in global health. We welcome these students into our program, too, as they add expertise, diversity, and valuable insight to class discussions, among many other benefits. Often these are highly motivated, fast-tracked individuals who smartly choose to “brush up” on global health material prior to assuming leadership positions at some of the highest levels of the DoD and other departments of the U.S. government.

While this program primarily serves U.S. active duty and reserve military personnel and members of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, the program now also welcomes applicants from the USAID, the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of State, and other U.S. government employees whose work involves global health.

How to Apply 

The program is full for 2022. Applications will open again in February 2023 for an August 2023 start. If you might be interested in starting in August 2023, you may add your information here to receive notifciations and other information when it becomes available.


How long does it take to complete the program and earn the certificate?

A typical student who progresses straight through will earn the certificate in a year-and-a-half. A typical academic plan is to begin in August with the GH1 course in the fall term (mid-August through early November), followed by GH2 in the winter term (mid-November through early February), and followed by GH3 in the spring term (mid-February through early May).

Students should then enjoy a full two months off for summer break (mid-May through mid-August). Most students then take GHD (Global Health and Development) in the fall term, followed by an elective in the winter term. A student who follows the above schedule will have earned the certificate in 18 months by taking one course at a time and enjoying the summer off. This program is also designed to be maximally flexible to students who would like to go through at a slower pace, too. Taking even one course per year is perfectly acceptable. Students must complete all requirements within seven years, however, to earn the certificate.

May I take coursework via distance learning at USU and then transfer the credit elsewhere?

Yes. Students will have a formal transcript maintained by the University Registrar. Upon successful completion of each distance learning course, there will be a letter grade recorded on the student’s transcript along with the credit value of each course. Any student may, at any time, request a transcript be sent and credits transferred to any other university or program that accepts transfer credits.

I might want to apply (or I am applying) to one of USU’s in-residence degree programs (i.e. MPH, MHAP, etc.). May I take a course or two now via distance-learning and then apply those credits toward my degree program at USU?


I am not a member of the U.S. military; may I apply to take global health courses at Uniformed Services University?

This program primarily enrolls members of the U.S. armed services who are on active duty or reserve status, as well as members of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. We also now welcome select U.S. government employees from the USAID, the Department of Health and Human Services (to include the CDC), and the Department of State. Select members of partner-nation militaries (in coordination with the relevant combatant command) and country point-of-contact are enrolled on a case-by-case basis.

May I take only one or two courses?


The first course is specifically designed to provide a broad base of knowledge and key concepts to advance the students' education in this field. Students who have elected to take just this one course, or the first two courses, have found it beneficial to their education and careers. There is no expectation, implied or otherwise, that students need to complete all 18-credits. The global health leadership from the Services (the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Public Health Service) look very favorably upon the completion of any coursework by students within this program. While the full graduate certificate is a nice achievement, successful completion of individual courses also has a lot of value in terms of both personal growth and professional advancement.

What if I have a question that is not answered by one of these FAQs?

Browse the Program Handbook. You may need to be on a non-government computer to view it. If that does not answer your question, email globalhealth@usuhs.edu.

Additional Resources