Course work

In addition to their 6 units of foundation coursework, students are required to complete 6 units of Global Health coursework.

The list of courses below is not all-inclusive.  The student, research advisor/mentor, and co-directors will design a program tailored to the student’s interests, goals, and background.

  • GH students are required to complete a core course requirement. This requirement can be fulfilled by any one of the following eight core courses:
    • EDUC 291X: Introduction to Survey Research (EDUC 191X)
      Planning tasks, including problem formulation, study design, questionnaire and interview design, pretesting, sampling, interviewer training, and field management. Epistemological and ethical perspectives. Issues of design, refinement, and ethics in research that crosses boundaries of nationality, class, gender, language, and ethnicity.
      Units: 3-4
    • HRP 225. Design and Conduct of Clinical and Epidemiologic Studies.
      Intermediate-level. The skills to design, carry out, and interpret epidemiologic studies, particularly of chronic diseases. Topics: epidemiologic concepts, sources of data, cohort studies, case-control studies, cross-sectional studies, sampling, estimating sample size, questionnaire design, and the effects of measurement error. Prerequisite: A basic/introductory course in statistics or consent of instructor.
      Units: 3-4
    • HRP 241: Measuring Global Health (HUMBIO 129M, MED 231)
      Open to MD, graduate, and undergraduate students. Assessing the global burden of disease, its distribution among and within countries, its causes, and appropriate interventions requires rigorous quantitative approaches. This course develops skills in these areas by critically examining questions like: How do we know who is sick and where? How are risk factors incorporated into our projections of future disease trends? How do we combine mortality and morbidity in a meaningful way? What works for improving health efficiently? Workshops build familiarity with relevant data and their analysis. Prerequisite: coursework in statistics, biostatistics, quantitative epidemiology, econometrics, or equivalent.
      Units: 4
    • HUMBIO 129S. Global Public Health.
      The class is an introduction to the fields of international public health and global medicine. It focuses on resource poor areas of the world and explores major global health problems and their relation to policy, economic development and human rights. The course is intended for students interested in global health, development studies, or international relations, and provides opportunities for in-depth discussion and interaction with experts in the field.
      Units 4
    • MED 108Q: Human Rights and Health
      Preference to sophomores. History of human-rights law. International conventions and treaties on human rights as background for social and political changes that could improve the health of groups and individuals. Topics such as: regional conflict and health, the health status of refugees and internally displaced persons; child labor; trafficking in women and children; HIV/AIDS; torture; poverty, the environment and health; access to clean water; domestic violence and sexual assault; and international availability of drugs. Possible optional opportunities to observe at community sites where human rights and health are issues. Guest speakers from national and international NGOs including Doctors Without Borders; McMaster University Institute for Peace Studies; UC Berkeley Human Rights Center; Kiva. PowerPoint presentation on topic of choice required.
      Units: 3
    • MS&E 185: Global Work
      Issues, challenges, and opportunities facing workers, teams, and organizations working across national boundaries. Topics include geographic distance, time zones, language and cultural differences, technologies to support distant collaboration, team dynamics, and corporate strategy. Limited enrollment. Admission by application.
      Units: 4
    • PEDS 223: Human Rights and Global Health
      Open to medical students, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates. Examines the newly emerging field of human rights and global health, beginning with the essential background into the field of human rights, and the recent emergence of health as a human right. Emphasis is on the pioneering work of Dr. Paul Farmer and Partners in Health and the challenge he and his organization have posed to the conventional wisdom about approaches to combating poor health and disease worldwide. Topics include the "big three" infectious diseases -- tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS -- as well as emerging infectious diseases, clean water and sanitation, and malnutrition and famine.
      Units: 3
    • SURG 250: Global Humanitarian Medicine (SURG 150)
      Open to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. Focus is on understanding the theory behind medical humanitarianism, the growing role of surgery in international health, and the clinical skills necessary for students to partake in global medical service. Internship opportunities are available for interested students. Guest speakers include world-renowned physicians and public health workers.
      Units: 2-3
  • Alternatively, the GH core course requirement can be fulfilled by completing at least three of the following five core seminars:
    • MED 204: Access and Delivery of Essential Medicines to Poor and Underserved Communities (1 unit)
    • MED 228: Physicians and Social Responsibility (1 unit)
    • MED 229: Introduction to Global Health (1 unit)
    • MED 232: Discussions in Global Health (2 units)
    • MED 242: Physicians and Human Rights (1 Unit)
  • GH students can complete the rest of their GH coursework with at least one elective course (to complete 6 total units in Global Health) in a GH-related area. There are many courses relevant to GH at Stanford. Discussion with your Foundation and Application directors is advised to best develop the coursework plan that fits your interests. Interdisciplinary courses related to Global Health, including some selected from business, economics, anthropology, engineering, and epidemiology are welcome; many examples are noted below:


AFRICAST 151. AIDS in Africa Units: 3
AFRICAST 212. AIDS, Literacy, and Land: Foreign Aid and Development in Africa Units: 5
ANTHRO 279A: Health, Illness, and Healing in South Asia (ANTHRO 179A) Units: 5
ANTHRO 282: Medical Anthropology (ANTHRO 82) Units: 3-5
ANTHRO 283: Ecology, Evolution, and Human Health (ANTHRO 183) Units: 3-5
CEE 277S: Design for a Sustainable World (CEE 177S) Units: 1-5
CEE 265D: Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries Units: 1-3
COMPMED 84Q: Globally Emerging Zoonotic Diseases Units: 3
EARTHSYS 106: World Food Economy (ECON 106, EESS 106) Units: 5
EARTHSYS 144: Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science (GIS) (EESS 164) Units: 4
EASTASN 217. Health and Healthcare Systems in East Asia Units: 3-5
ECON 118: Development Economics Units: 5
ECON 127. Economics of Health Improvement in Developing Countries Units: 5
EDUC 291X: Introduction to Survey Research (EDUC 191X) Units: 3-4
HRP 225. Design and Conduct of Clinical and Epidemiologic Studies Units: 3-4
HRP 226: Advanced Epidemiologic and Clinical Research Methods Units: 3-4
HRP 231: Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases Units: 3
HRP 241: Measuring Global Health (HUMBIO 129M, MED 231) Units: 4
HRP 259: Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Epidemiology Units: 3-4
HUMBIO 119: Demography: Health, Development, Environment (BIO 102) Units: 3
HUMBIO 129. Critical Issues in International Women's Health Units:4
HUMBIO 129S. Global Public Health Units: 4
HUMBIO 153. Parasites and Pestilence: Infectious Public Health Challenges Units: 4
ME 177: Global Engineers' Education Units: 3
MED 108Q: Human Rights and Health Units: 3
MED 157: Foundations for Community Health Engagement Units: 3
MED 204: Access and Delivery of Essential Medicines to Poor and Underserved Communities Units: 1
MED 228: Physicians and Social Responsibility Units: 1
MED 229: Introduction to Global Health Units: 1
MED 232: Discussions in Global Health Units: 2
MED 235: Designing Research-Based Interventions to Solve Global Health Problems (AFRICAST 135, AFRICAST 235, EDUC 135X, EDUC 335X) Units: 3-4
MED 242: Physicians and Human Rights Units: 1
MED 256. Global HIV/AIDS Units: 3
MED 271: Global Biodesign: Medical Technology in an International Context (BIOE 371)
(Same as OIT 587)  Units: 1-2
MED 277: Health and Development at the Food-Water Nexus (CEE 277G, EESS 277G) Units: 1
MS&E 185: Global Work Units: 4
PEDS 212: Challenges of Human Migration: Health and Health Care of Migrants and Autochthonous Populations (HUMBIO 122M)  Units: 3
PEDS 213: Critical Issues in Child Health
PEDS 223: Human Rights and Global Health Units: 3
POLISCI 247G: Governance and Poverty Units: 5
PUBLPOL 184: Poverty and Policies in Developing Economies Units: 5
PUBLPOL 228: International Problem-Solving Through NGOs: Policy, Players, Strategies, and Ethics (INTNLREL 128B, PUBLPOL 128) Units: 2
SURG 231: Haiti and Healthcare Units: 1
SURG 250: Global Humanitarian Medicine (SURG 150)  Units: 2-3