The Sparkman Center for Global Health offers courses in Global Health for any UAB degree-seeking or non-degree seeking graduate students.  The courses on this page also fulfill requirements for students enrolled in the global health certificate students. For more information about how to enroll in the certificate program, click here. 

The School of Public Health offers a global health concentration for all undergraduate Public Health majors.  Click here for more information. 

Fall Courses

GHS 600: Fundamentals of Global Health (online)

This course is one of three integrated core courses in the UAB Certificate in Global Health designed to introduce students to the foundations of global health programs, policies and practices. This course is a 7-week course, offered during the first half of the fall semester.

GHS 601: Global Health Partnerships & Development (new course, anticipated to start in Fall 2021)

Global health is an emerging and evolving field of health research and practice.  Working in global health means that researchers, practitioners, and advocates work alongside and within a complex system of governance that has emerged over time and in response to very significant global health events. This course offers a critical analysis of global health programs and partnership initiatives over time and their impact on health and development. Using a historical lens to examine the growth of global health as a field of research and practice, this course examines the very significant paradigm shift from the field of international health to global health. By exploring key historical events and interventions, this course also explores why global health diplomacy is so important to cooperation among countries as well as global health security and how global health programs are funded, and programs and initiatives are implemented in various bilateral, multilateral, and private-public partnerships.

GHS 603: Immigrant, Migrant, and Refugee Health (new course, anticipated to start in Fall 2021)

This course will introduce students to the inter-relationships between migration and health, focusing on the myriad of health issues experienced by migrant populations. The course will focus on both communicable and non-communicable health issues among migrating populations. The course will examine health issues among all types of migrant populations with a particular focus on the categories of ‘displaced peoples’, and the resultant state and humanitarian responses surrounding health and social (public health) services.  This course frames global health in broad terms to include the underlying social and economic conditions, including climate change, economic underdevelopment, and political instability, which displace people, or motivates them to migrate, and which present barriers to achieving health, mental health, and wellbeing in immigrant, migrant, and refugee communities. We explore how violence, social suffering, health, disease, and mental health are intertwined with displacement and migration.

Spring Courses

GHS 604: Infectious Diseases of Global Health Significance (online)

The purpose of this course is to equip participants with up-to-date- knowledge on major infections of global importance, and prevention and control strategies so that infections and large disease outbreaks can be prevented and/or easily contained.

GHS 606: Critical Issues in Global Maternal Child Health (online)

This course is an elective module for students enrolled in UAB Certificate in Global Health program. Mothers and children in developing countries are among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged sectors of the world's population. This course defines the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) discipline, describes the current practices and challenges, and compares global strategies and potential solutions.

GHS/HCO 645: Comparative Health Systems and Policy (new course, anticipated to start in Spring 2021)

This course provides a comprehensive survey of a number of healthcare systems from low-, middle-, and high-income countries, situating the U.S. and other national experiences in a comparative cross-national frame. The course provides frameworks for students to analyze in diverse settings the different ways that health policy is developed and implemented, given the resources, capacities, and systems of each country.  The course will also examine the ways in which health care is organized and delivered, along with underlying global public health principles and impacts. By comparing health systems and policies, globally, students will reflect on how a country’s social-historical context and values, geography, polity and economy influence the way that health care is provided and its relationship with population health, as well as how health policies influence the quality of life.

Summer Courses

The course electives are offered in the summer are offered on a rotating basis depending on instructor resources and student interest. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dr. Meredith Gartin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for upcoming offerings. 

GHS 605: Disabilities and Global Health (online)

This course explores current paradigms and models for defining and categorizing disability based on various international agreements and documents.

GHS 607: Global Health and Gender (online)

Sex and gender are both important determinants of health. Biological sex and socially constructed gender interact to produce differential risks and vulnerability to ill health, differences in health seeking behavior, in health care providers' response and in health outcomes for women and men. Gender differences in morbidity and mortality represent avoidable and/or unfair inequalities in health. Because gender is socially constructed, gender-based inequities in health are amenable to policy and program interventions. This course is designed to help public health students, policy makers, health care providers and health researchers understand concepts related to gender and to apply them in an analysis of specific policies and programs. The course will enable participants to identify the gendered nature of issues like violence and sexuality and how these affect health. The course provides participants with support to apply a gender perspective to program planning, policy analysis, or a research design as part of their final assignment.

GHS 608: Food and Nutrition in Resource Limited Settings (online)

This course will provide to graduate and professional students a general overview of the facts, research finding underlying nutrition and the relationships to acute and chronic diseases worldwide and their impact productivity and economic development.

GHS 690: Special Topics in Global Health

This special topic course will be used in the graduate global health certificate program to cover emerging issues or specialized content not represented in the main curriculum.

Summer Field and International Programs:

GHS 430/630: SIFAT Maymester (hybrid – online and in-person)

This course is a field program (travel required) in partnership with the The Southern Institute for Appropriate Technology (SIFAT).  The program provides opportunities to learn hands-on skills in the development and use of appropriate technologies around the world. Facilitated by professionals with extensive field practice experience, practical training at SIFAT emphasizes the subjects of water and sanitation, food and nutrition, alternative energy, primary health care, microenterprise development, and participatory community development. The course runs through Maymester but only 2-weeks are required at the SIFAT program. Click here for more information about the program.

Additional Summer Options

Click on the links below to learn more about other summer options with an international experience. 

PUH 496/696: Exploring Population Health (Travel Seminar)

Public health is what we do together as a society to ensure the conditions in which everyone can be healthy. This course will provide students an opportunity to learn about both historical and contemporary public health issues, their effects on population health, and how public health systems are working to solve the health issues affecting our communities today. This course requires travel and is offered through Education Abroad.  The School of Public Health rotates locations each year – past trips have included trips in the US, UK, and Latin America.  For more information go to the program webpage.

Sparkman Internships

Each year, the Sparkman Center for Global Health (Sparkman Center) announces international global health-related summer internships and practicum opportunities for eligible UAB students.  These travel awards provide elite educational experiences that enrich UAB students. Internships come with a $3,000 stipend to cover airfare and some living expenses. Click here for more information.