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GHT Curriculum

Our Curriculum

Education & Service: As One

The GHT consists of a four-year curriculum of didactics, small group activities, journal club gatherings, skills workshops, and experiential/hands-on global health experiences abroad. It culminates with completion of a Mentored Scholarly Activity (MSA), which is a four-year project intended to foster self-directed, scholarly activity within the field of global health. A more detailed description of the track curriculum and the related goals are listed below. 


Goal 1: Develop a knowledge base in global health-specific topics
Goal 2: Encourage critical thinking regarding ethics of global health clinical work, research, and disaster response 
Goal 3: Develop skills, knowledge, and practices needed in caring for refugee and immigrant populations
Goal 4: Develop skills, knowledge, and practices needed in providing care and public health education in resource-constrained settings, particularly abroad



Fall: IDPT 6665: Intro to global health course (7 classes, 2 hours each):

This class provides an introduction to salient topics in global health, taught mainly in lecture format by experts in the field of global health. The objective of the course is to introduce students to the field of global health and provide basic information on various health topics, as well as allowing students to meet and network with experts in the field. It is available to first year medical and physician assistant students who are interested in global health and mandatory for those thinking of applying to the global health track. Previous topics have included the Millennium Development Goals, Dengue, Parasitic Infections, Dental Care, Malnutrition, Maternal and Child Health, and HIV and TB in Africa. 

Spring: IDPT 6669: Global Health Seminar: Research, Ethics, and Clinical Experiences (9 classes, 2 hours each):

This class will focus on preparing the GHT students for global health work. The focus will be on research methodologies (survey design, literature review, databases and library resources, epidemiology), ethics and ideas of cultural awareness when working abroad (culture shock, improvisation, adaptation to new environments for the global health worker, ethical pitfalls of GH research, intro to the Institutional Review Board), and social and cultural determinants of health (climate change, complex humanitarian emergencies, global burden of disease shifts). The class is taught primarily with small group activities, role-play and occasional didactics.

Another objective of the class is to prepare the students to complete the Mentored Scholarly Activity (MSA) in global health. Students will have individual meetings with the global health track director to work towards this goal, formulate an MSA plan that is approved by the track director, and organize work towards the MSA for the summer between first and second years. For most students, the work will include travel to another country to participate in a global health project. For the few who cannot travel due to financial or personal constraints, a global health-based project will be pursued domestically (literature review, population-based or epidemiological studies, refugee health work). Second year track students also present their previous summer MSA work to the class. 

Summer: Longitudinal project within global health, either abroad or domestically. 4-8 weeks minimum. Includes registration for: 

IDPT 6667: Global Health Studies (domestic projects)

IDPT 6668: Global Health Study Abroad (abroad projects)

This experience, as described above, will be completed as part of the Mentored Scholarly Activity requirement. Project sites generally are those currently offered and vetted through the University of Colorado School of Medicine and/or Center for Global Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. Students must identify both on-site and local mentors and register with the University of Colorado's Office of International Affairs to ensure safety and security while abroad​ (this includes travel insurance, liability coverage, and registering with the State Department). Student may elect to pursue a project that is not offered through the University specifically but this will require approval by the Deans office (medical students) or PA program director (CHA/PA program), the track director, and the Office of International Affairs. 



  1. Phase 2 student are required to give brief presentations on their summer longitudinal project to an audience of their peers as well as complete online self-guided modules in global health.
  2. Ongoing data analysis and editing of the MSA.


  1. Students will present their summer longitudinal project to Phase 1 students and continue work on the MSA.
  2. Participation in IDPT 6623: Refugee Health I. Students learn about the integration process that refugees go through and common medical and mental health diagnoses they receive. (This course will not be offered Spring 2017).


GHT students will have minimal time to participate in the global health track during this year of clinical rotations. They should keep regular contact with mentors/supervisors from the longitudinal project if possible. 



  1. Participation in IDPT 8018: Global Health and Disasters Course. This is a two-week capstone course required for Phase 4 GHT students, administered by the Center for Global Health.
  2. Completion of a rough draft of the MSA is due in December of the Phase 4 year. 


  1. Track students are encouraged to spend elective time at the Longitudinal Project/MSA site accessed Summer of Phase 1 (IDPT 8015) or working on it domestically (IDPT 8014). 
  2. Students are also encouraged to complete the Refugee Health Elective II, which is a clinical elective at the Refugee Wellness Center in Aurora, Colorado. 
  3. Completion of a final draft of the MSA and capstone presentation is due in January and March of the Phase 4 year.

Students who meet the requirements set forth in the global health track will receive a certificate at graduation recognizing participation in the track. Final approval and verification of completion is the task of the track director in cooperation with the School of Medicine Longitudinal Curriculum Director (for medical students) and the Program Director and global health track director of the CHA/PA program (for CHA/PA students).

Note: Clinical Health Associate/Physician Assistant students may also participate in the global health track. Two students per year from the CHA/PA program are selected for admission. These students complete the same coursework described above, but will finish the Phase 4 requirements during their third year. Of note, CHA/PA students do not complete an MSA but are encouraged to complete a similar project as a "capstone" experience within their own program.