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MS in Global Health Equity

About our program

The new Masters of Science in Global Health Equity program consists of 36 credits including a 6-credit thesis work experience which students may complete with one of our many international or local partners. This highly interactive program offers courses primarily in person and allows for full-time or part-time study. Most students will complete the program in three semesters and one summer.
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Message from the Director

lauradcassidymsphdLaura D. Cassidy, MS, PhD

Director, PhD Program in Public and Community Health; Director, MS in Global Health Equity

(414) 955-4517

There are so many things to contemplate when choosing a career path and graduate degree. It is important to consider coursework, opportunities for field work, faculty mentorship, community engagement and job placement. Here at MCW we have listened and are responding to learner feedback. The Masters of Science in Global Health Equity program was developed to prepare students to be global health leaders who will learn by engaging with diverse local and global populations. We have designed an experiential learning program that is hands on and project based. The program provides a mixture of in-person and online courses. A common theme is health equity with an emphasis on community engaged approaches. The online courses taught by our international colleagues provide a unique lens into disease surveillance, health inequities, community assets, and collaboration on novel research projects. We look forward to welcoming students to be a part of this new and exciting program!

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Program Faculty

MCW has one of the lowest student-to-faculty ratios in the world. Our faculty are highly supportive and dedicated to educating and training the next generation of Global Health professionals. Read more about our faculty’s research interests and backgrounds.

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Global Health Equity (MS) Program

About the Program

About the Program

The Institute for Health and Equity is excited to welcome the first cohort of students to the Global Health Equity MS program in the Fall of 2020. This new program was created to meet the growing demand of global health professionals. Students will learn from faculty with extensive and diverse Global Health experiences and will have hands on opportunities to put their knowledge into practice. All students will have a faculty advisor to guide them through their thesis work project and publication development. Our individualized program offers students hands on experience and is tailored to student’s specific global health interests.

Graduates of the MS in Global Health Equity program will be prepared to work in a variety of settings with many career opportunities including but not limited to:

  • Government Agencies
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Disaster relief organizations
  • International aid and development agencies
  • International health organizations
  • Research and academic institutions
  • Refugee Resettlement
  • Health Policy


GHE_Photo 4 newIndividuals interested in the Masters of Science degree program must apply on the Application webpage. The MCW Graduate School operates on a rolling admissions basis, which means there is never a time that we do not accept applications and related materials. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications/materials in advance of the priority deadline to ensure that they receive full consideration.

The priority deadline for Fall admission is March 1 followed by rolling admissions through a final deadline of July 1. No GRE is required for admission to the program.

Students should satisfy the minimum requirements for admission:

  • Baccalaureate degree- official transcripts required
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA preferred
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement describing career goals and reasons for interest in the program
  • Strong foundation in quantitative, behavioral, and biological sciences
  • TOEFL scores for students who do not use English as their primary language of communication is required. A TOEFL score of 100 or higher is deal, the Institution Code is 1519.
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Current Students

Current Students

Find out more about the current Global Health Equity students.
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Courses for the program were developed using the competencies toolkit from the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. Our 36-credit program can be completed in 18 months and can accommodate both full time or part time students. The program requires a 6-credit thesis work experience which students can complete with one of our local or global partners. The thesis work can be spread out throughout the semesters and/or the summer.

GHE MS Program Outline

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Core Courses

PUBH 18219 Introduction to Global Health Equity. 3 credits

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that ten great public health achievements worldwide in the last decade have been their science and programmatic role in global health including the prevention of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis control, access to safe water and sanitation, control of neglected tropical disease, reductions in child mortality, vaccines, malaria prevention and control, and tobacco control. In seeking to address and understand complex global health concerns, the MS GHE Program is uniquely positioned to enlist multidisciplinary faculty to present the world’s burden of disease and propose solutions to decrease health disparities.


A focused approach to local and global health issues adds value to public health professionals’ roles. As the Unites States becomes increasingly more globally diverse, there is a growing need to understand and serve the global populations in our own neighborhoods and communities. By training our future public health professionals to be culturally sensitive and world thinkers they can better understand the unique distinctions each culture brings.

19225 Introduction to Statistical Analysis Using Stata. 3 credits

This course will provide an introduction to the foundations of using Stata for data analysis through an applied format. Statistical analyses covered will include descriptive statistics, univariate and bivariate analysis, and basic regression. Students will become acquainted with the basics of cleaning and organizing datasets, completing descriptive analysis, coding and interpreting results of univariate and bivariate analyses, as well as, linear and logistic regression. By the end of the course students will be able to analyze data independently and interpret results. Coursework will include weekly reading, in-class Stata analyses, and completion of a focused course project developed throughout the semester. Course projects will allow students to develop their skill set and experience independently coding in Stata to complete statistical analyses and interpreting results within the context of strengths and limitations of their data. The final project will also incorporate both literature review and developing a research question that can be analyzed using existing data.

Bioethics 10203 Justice and Healthcare 3 credits

This course will provide an overview of Justice and Health Care. The first part of the course focuses on an overview of several philosophical perspectives on distributive justice, including Aristotle, John  Rawls, Robert  Nozick, John  Stuart  Mill  and Utilitarianism,  etc.  In  the  second part, we will give a close look at the concept of justice specifically in relation to health care and examine issues such as the nature of a just health care system, health care and human rights, and the social determinants of health and justice. The third part of the course will focus on the practice of justice in health care with regards to rationing and health care allocations, the  uninsured, the  latest  national  effort  to  make  access  to  health  care more  equitable  and affordable through “Obamacare”, and global health.

29150 Global Environmental Health 3 credits

Global Environmental Health will examine environmental problems that manifest at a global scale, with implications for human health and health equity. This course provides (1) a survey of major global environmental issues impacting human health, and (2) a focused examination of global climate change, related health impacts, and approaches to environmental sustainability, mitigation, and resilience. Issues to be considered include urbanization, air quality, water and sanitation, energy, food systems, biodiversity, waste, drivers of emerging diseases, climate change, and green infrastructure. The course will consider relevant social, economic, and political factors and approaches to controlling or eliminating risks. We will apply a global health equity perspective, examining causes and effects of environmental issues and implications for vulnerable populations. Environmental health issues in both developed and developing countries will be presented.

29230 Epidemiologic Research Methods in Global Health Equity 2 credits

The overall focus of the course is on quantitative methods of epidemiology that can be applied globally. The course provides: 1) an overview of epidemiologic concepts; 2) the importance of determinants of health, theoretical models and how they apply globally, 3) practical steps to study design, and 4) dissemination of results.

29279 Thesis Work Prep course 1 credit

Experiences in global health have proven to be invaluable in shaping the interests and careers of students. Participation in global health educational and research activities is associated with increased likelihood of addressing health disparities and the social determinants of health. However, there are also potential pitfalls associated with sending students to research arenas in which they are unfamiliar- processes are different, the resources available for research may be limited, there are language and cultural barriers, and students face safety issues pertaining to travel and occupational exposures.  This type of experience is a means for professionals-in-training to learn important lessons about health disparities and cultural diversity. This course will provide a step by step guide to prepare students for successful thesis work.

29299 Thesis Work 6 credits

Thesis work is a required component of the MS in Global Health Equity program. It is a planned, supervised, and evaluated practical experience designed to enhance and complement the educational training. Students will engage in research or a community engagement project. Students are encouraged to choose a thesis placement that aligns with their career interests. Global and local placements are available with MCW’s established partners.

Methods Courses (Pick One)

19230 Qualitative and Mixed Methods 3 credits

Qualitative and mixed methods can be highly useful in the conduct of community-based population health research. This course will provide introductory classroom and field-based learning experience in qualitative and mixed methods research. Students will receive training in the design, implementation, analysis, and synthesis of qualitative and mixed methods. Emphasis will be given to the appropriate uses of commonly-used methods in community-based health research. Course participation will provide students with the basic foundation necessary to develop a research study using qualitative or mixed method designs.

19226 Regression Analysis Using Stata II 3 credits Prerequisite: Stata 1

This course will provide an introduction to the foundations and principles of regression through hands-on training in advanced regression techniques using Stata. Statistical analyses covered will include multiple linear regression, analysis of variance, logistic, ordinal logistic regression, and mixed models. Students will become acquainted with the basics of coding and interpreting results of regression analyses, as well as, diagnostics to confirm correct model fit. By the end of the course students will be able to conduct regression analyses independently and interpret results. Coursework will include weekly reading, in-class Stata analyses, and completion of a focused course project developed throughout the semester. Course projects will allow students to develop their skill set independently coding in Stata to complete statistical analyses and interpreting results within the context of strengths and limitations of each test. The final project will also incorporate both literature review and developing a research question that can be analyzed using existing data.

19229 Survey Research Methods. 3 credits.

Survey Research Methods is a course that introduces students to the broad concepts of survey design, conduct, and analysis. Students will gain a detailed and comprehensive understanding of questionnaire design, sampling, data collection, survey nonresponse, and analysis of survey data. The course will include lectures, reading assignments, class discussions, individual and group presentations, and exams.

Elective Courses

19202 Community Health Improvement II: Health Disparities and Underlying Determinants of Health. 3 credits.

This course is for students enrolled in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. This course will provide students with an in-depth introduction to health disparities and social determinants of population health. The course will help clinicians and other public health students and professionals develop and strengthen their knowledge, skills and ability to critically examine issues of health disparities and to develop a better understanding of some of the underlying social determinants of health disparities, from a multidisciplinary perspective. The ultimate goal of the course is to help students develop the skills needed to apply knowledge and theory of health disparities and determinants of health in designing health services and epidemiological studies and interventions to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities.

19203 Community Health Improvement III: Principles and Practices of Community-Academic Partnerships. 3 credits.

This course will examine concepts and techniques for organizing partnerships for health improvement at the community level. Students will learn about major models and methods of practice, analytical skills, and roles of partnership and coalition building in improving health outcomes. Through readings, case studies, and a community-based project, students will identify forces that facilitate and limit community partnerships and will develop action principles for work with communities. Additionally, course content will encourage students to consider the implications of health disparities in community organizing and partnerships.

19210 Health and Medical Geography. 3 credits

Geography and physical and social environments have important implications for human health and health care.  This course will explore the intersections among geography, environments and public health, with an emphasis on geographical analysis approaches for health data, to address two key questions: (1) How can concepts from geography help us to better understand health and well-being? (2) How can geographic tools, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) be used to address pressing questions in health and medical research? Students will become acquainted with theories and methods from health and medical geography through readings, discussion, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) laboratory exercises, and the completion of a focused course project. Throughout the semester we will use the concepts and techniques of the discipline of geography to investigate a variety of health-related topics, and laboratory exercises will center on common health and medical geography research questions. Course projects will allow students to develop a deep understanding of the geographical nature of a health problem of their choosing, and will incorporate both literature review and the analysis of geographical data.

19290 Critical and Analytic Writing 3 credits

Critical and Analytical Writing provides hands-on training, practice, and feedback in the construction of clear, well-written documents and arguments. With a focus on critical analysis and rhetorical situations, the successful student will be able to effectively write to any audience.  Interactive sessions and structured assignments highlight the importance of developing these skills you will use throughout your professional life.

29245 Health and Forced Migration 2 credits

Introduction to displaced populations and refugee health with special attention to: vulnerable populations; the intersection of human rights, health policy, and health systems; and the health consequences of forced migration.  This course will describe some aspects of the causes for populations to flee their homelands, common ways refugee camps are set up and structured, frequently seen health effects of displaced populations, specific vulnerable sub-groups within displaced populations, and the legal and ethical challenges of the displaced. This course is suitable to anyone interested in the effects of forced migration on population health.

29240 Multicultural Mental Health Guidelines in Native American Populations 3 credits

This course is designed to familiarize students with essential, and largely Pan-cultural information about the mental health issues facing the First Nations populations of North America.  First Nations persons include those also generally referred to as American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native American Indians.  Demographic, historical, sociopolitical, and inter- and intra-ethnic contexts critical to understanding the First Nations will be addressed.  Specific knowledge constructs such as historical context, identity formation, acculturation, enculturation, language, family and community values, religion and spirituality. Traditional beliefs about health and illness, gender role socialization, and social class are emphasized. Attention will be given to contemporary issues facing the First Nations that influence service delivery and the receipt of care. Culturally relevant interventions are presented. 

29250 How to Build Health Research Partnerships with Native American Communities 2 credits

Working with Native American communities to conduct health research presents unique challenges. Many of these challenges align with community-based participatory research principles. However, the unique socio-political context of Native American tribal groups requires that health professionals reach beyond standard best practices. This course will provide the contextual information to navigate cultural competency, historical distrust, and government-to-government policy necessary to build durable health research partnerships with Native American groups.

29325 Maternal and Child Health in Developing Countries 2 credits

Global Maternal and Child Health provides students with an introduction to underlying health challenges as they pertain to women and children in a global setting. Students will develop a broad understanding of the factors that shape the health of populations and understand how healthcare system shortfalls might be effectively addressed. The goal of this course is to prepare students with knowledge and skills to improve the health of women and children, through primary prevention, interventions strategies, broadening accessibility to quality health care, and enhancing public awareness of special needs among vulnerable populations.

29295 Readings and Research 1-2 credits

This is an independent study course; the student is to independently conduct research in their chosen thesis topic. The number of credits selected by the student determines the number of hours per week that must be dedicated to working on the Readings and Research plan. The student is responsible for finding a faculty member who is willing to work with the student; together they will establish learning goals, deliverables, resources, timeline, and mechanism for feedback.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and Fees

GHE_Photo 5 newIf you have questions regarding tuition or your account, please contact the Office of Student Accounts, at (414) 955-8172 or mcwtuition@mcw.edu. Please refer to the All Student Handbook (PDF) for tuition payment policies and information.

Masters, Certificate & Non-Degree Students
Students seeking financial aid for MPH, MS or MA degree programs, visit the Financial Aid Office website.

Current MCW Employees
Tuition Course Approval Form - Human Resources (PDF)

Late Fees
There will be a $100 late registration fee for anyone not completing registration by the date indicated on the schedule each semester.

There is also a $250 late payment fee for tuition not paid on time according to the Tuition Payments policy in the All Student Handbook PDF).

Late payment fee is in addition to any late registration fee.



What is Global Health Equity?

The global view of health equity is defined by Healthy People 2020 as the “Attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and health care disparities.”

Do I need a degree in a specific field to apply to the program?

No, we encourage students from all undergraduate backgrounds to apply. We are looking for students with an interest in Global Health studies and Public Health and do not require a degree in a specific field.

Are there any prerequisite courses required in order to apply?

No, there are not prerequisite courses required to apply to the program. However, it is encouraged that students have strong writing skills as that is essential for success in the program. 

How often do classes meet in person?

The primary mode of instruction is in person, courses meet once a week for 2 or 3 hours each. Some elective courses such as those taught by our international faculty partners are taught online.

Is there financial aid available?

Students may qualify for federal or private loans, additionally all U.S. citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to complete the FAFSA online to be considered for government loans. Funding through the Medical College of Wisconsin is not available to Masters degree seeking students.

Is the GRE required to apply to the MS Global Health Equity program?

No, the GRE is not a required component of the application. 

What is the difference between a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree and the MS Global Health Equity degree?

Masters of Public Health degrees focus on a broad public health curriculum which introduces students to the many disciplines of public health. MPH students typically complete a field work or capstone experience and write a paper on that experience. The MS Global Health Equity degree provides a global lens to the core public health subject areas. The elective course options focus on the health concerns of global populations. The culminating experience with the MS Global Health Equity degree is a thesis work experience where students focus on a research project and prepare a manuscript which would be ready for publication to further advance the career of the student and the knowledge of the global health community.

What organizations are the program a member of?

The MS Global Health Equity program at the Medical College of Wisconsin is a proud member of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. As a member we are connected to Universities and organizations around the world doing global health work. We are also a member of the Milwaukee Consortium for Global Health which provides global connections within the local community.

Do you offer application fee waivers?

The graduate school will waive your application fee if you meet one of the following requirements:

Within the last three (3) years you have:

  • Attended a MCW Expo (Open House) event or Virtual open house
  • Participated in a MCW-sponsored research program (i.e. SPUR, PURE, DSHREP)
  • Attended and presented at a local, regional or national conference (i.e. NCUR, ABRCMS)
  • Participated in a program that supports pursuit or graduate/professional programs for students from underrepresented programs (i.e. McNair, PREP, WiscAMP)
  • Received, or can provide proof of eligibility for, a GRE Fee Reduction Certificate

International Students

I received my degree from a University outside of the United States but the instruction was in English, do I still need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores?

The graduate school requires that the applicant prove the degree was completed in English. This could be a letter from the Registrar from the University you attended stating that the language of instruction was English or if the University’s website states instruction is in English. The graduate school will review the information and decide on a case by case basis.

Are International students eligible for financial aid?

International students are not eligible to apply for FAFSA to receive government funded grants or loans. There may be private loan options available, students are encouraged to contact the MCW Financial Aid office to discuss their options.

Will the University issue me a student visa upon acceptance into the degree program?

The graduate school will work with you to obtain a F1 visa. The graduate school provide students the I-20 form after students complete a certification of finances. It is the responsibility of the student to meet the requirements of their country’s embassy to receive their visa in a timely manner. Visas are valid through the duration of stay.

Can an international student complete the program part-time?

International students are required to be full time students (9 credits per semester). During the summer term, international students are not required to take courses but if they decide to take credits, they must take a minimum of 6 credits during the summer.

Can I take online classes as an international student?

International students may take no more than one course per semester where the primary mode of instruction is online. This is a restriction of the student visa.

For any additional questions regarding international students please contact: gradschool@mcw.edu

Learn More

Learn more about our local and global partners!

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University of Basel

Makerere University

Makerere School of Public Health

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Great Lakes Native American Research Center for Health

AEGIS Preventing Crimes Against Humanity

Aegis Trust

Milwaukee Global Health Consortium

Milwaukee Global Health Consortium


Contact Us

Global Health Equity (MS)
Medical College of Wisconsin
Institute for Health & Equity
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226

Kelli Brown, MPH
GHE Program Coordinator

Please send program inquiries to:
(414) 955-4105

Financial Aid
(414) 955-8208

Graduate School
(414) 955-8218

Medical College of Wisconsin Google map location