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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.

Goal 5: Develop skills in career planning to succeed in incorporating global health opportunities and/or develop a niche in global health.​



Fall: IDPT 6665: Introduction to Global Health (classes are 2 hours each):

This one-­credit course is designed to introduce clinicians in training to critical topics in global health. The course consists of lectures given and group discussions lead by experts in a variety of global health­‐related diseases, public health priorities, and health policy issues. This includes:  

  • Millennium Development Goals
  • Health Organizations and Structure
  • Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene 
  • Maternal and Infant Mortality
  • Malnutrition 
  • Ethics 
  • Communicable/ Infectious Diseases
  • Oral Health Parasitic Diseases​ 

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

This seminar series is open to medical students and CHA/PA students in the Global Health Track. Topics include pre-travel health and safety considerations, ethical issues in global health, human rights and health, as well as research and philosophical tools for culturally appropriate care in a sustainable fashion.  The class is required of Global Health Track Students.  The University of Colorado requires that all medical students planning a global health project for their MSA be in the global health track and participate in this course.​

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 6090: (If completing an MSA requirement and using financial aid)

This experience, as described above, will be completed as part of the MSA 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. Participation in IDPT 6623: Refugee and Immigrant Health I. This course addresses the very timely issue of refugees and immigrants. The course includes lectures and panel discussions by experts who directly deal with refugees. Students will learn the integration and screening process of refugees, the common physical and mental issues that are prevalent in the refugee community, the role of various players as well as opportunities to get involved.​

  3. 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.


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 the Global Health and Underserved Populations Course​. This 4-week course will cover approaches to optimize medical care of vulnerable groups living in developed (global health without travel) and underdeveloped settings (global health) taking into account large scale forces (social, economic, political) that determine who falls ill and who has access to adequate healthcare. This course includes both classroom activities and clinical rotations. 

2. Track students are also encouraged to spend elective time at the Longitudinal Project/MSA site accessed Summer of Phase 1 or working on it domestically. 

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.