Global Health MA

The Global Health MA is offered only as an accelerated degree for ASU undergraduates majoring in global health. 

Different from international public health, the School of Human Evolution and Social Change's unique approach to global health acknowledges that major challenges stem from many factors well beyond disease itself – factors that are ecological, political, cultural, institutional, historical, evolutionary, social and technological. This one-of a kind program will equip you to create effective, sustainable solutions that take all of these factors into account.

Unique advantages of this program versus other leading universities includes:

  • A program that places primacy on how to address the broader bases of ill-health in low-resource community settings and a globalizing world.
  • Faculty combine social and life science theory with on-the-ground research and application.
  • A strong emphasis on collaborative action through ongoing interdisciplinary global health projects that address complicated, multifaceted challenges without easy fixes (such as reemerging infectious diseases, obesity or climate-change-related disease).

These experiences combine to provide those planning to enter health or related (e.g., environmental, social) fields with the interdisciplinary orientation, team-skills and social and cultural acuity that the Pew Health Professional Consortium identified as critical, but often lacking, in current health workforce training.

11 core faculty
9 laboratories
3 global internships

Degree Overview

Students accepted into the program are tied to ongoing interdisciplinary global health projects that address complicated, multifaceted health challenges that defy easy fixes. Students develop an applied project to contribute to the team goals. The degree also emphasizes experiential learning as a way to gain mastery and requires participation in a global internship program based in one of the international partnering communities.

How to apply


This degree is only offered as an accelerated degree with the global health BA program.

The accelerated BA/MA in global health program allows the most talented global health undergraduates to acquire advanced skills in this field.

Students must apply to this program their junior year – admission is competitive. Students work closely with faculty and student peers, gaining supervised practical experience in the application of core skills to the solution of basic global health problems.

Students accepted into the accelerated BA/MA program apply three credits of 400-level coursework from the BA to the MA, and six credits of 500-level coursework from the MA to the BA. This "saves" nine credit hours of work for the degrees combined.

Prospective students must submit an application for graduate admission, the application fee and the following required materials:

  • official transcripts
  • personal statement outlining educational and professional goals
  • current curriculum vitae or resume
  • two letters of recommendation
  • proof of English proficiency

Applicants may also submit an optional scholarly writing sample not to exceed 20-30 double-spaced pages. More information on submitting your materials is available from the Graduate College.

Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of a student's first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

Admission is competitive and based on student academic excellence, additional relevant experience and fit with available faculty. Value will be placed on foreign language skills, practical, cross-cultural and international experiences, and prior social science and life science research.

Our program has more than 75 affiliated faculty members across Arizona State University.


The MA in global health program requires a total of 30 credit hours. It is entirely possible for students to complete the master’s requirements in one calendar year, but they have the option of completing it in two years.


Core courses


Internship or practicum


Approved elective courses


Applied project


     Total credits


Courses and electives

Students entering the MA in global health do so with diverse backgrounds and with varied career goals, so we recognize the need to be flexible in planning the most appropriate path for each student. Core courses build a unifying foundation, and electives provide an opportunity to individualize your course of study.

All students will take the following courses:

ASB 510 Health: Social and Biocultural Theories (3 credits)
ASB 500 Ethnographic Research Methods (3 credits)
ASB 503 Medical Anthropology (3 credits)
ASB 512 Social Science Applications in Community Health (3 credits)

Students will complete at least six credits.

ASB 580 Practicum (1-6 credits)
ASB 583 Fieldwork (1-6 credits)
ASB 584 Internship (1-6 credits)

Choose from the following courses (6 credits):

ASB 443 Cross-cultural Studies in Global Health
ASB 410 Poverty, Social Justice & Global Health 
ASB 462 Medical Anthropology: Culture & Health
SSH 402 Community Partnerships for Global Health
ASM 414 Urban and Environmental Health
ASB 502 Health of Ethnic Minorities
ASB 512 Social Science Applications in Community Health
ASB 580 Practicum
ASB 583 Fieldwork
ASB 584 Internship
ASM 546 Principles of Human Genetics
ESS 513 Institutions
ESS 514 Urban and Environmental Health
SGS 531 Global Health Governance
SSH 511 Ethics in Health Social Science Research
SSH 584 Instructional Internship
SSH 514 Infectious Disease and Human Evolution
WST 710 Women and Health

All students are required to complete six credit hours of an applied project in consultation with their faculty advisor. Students must successfully complete one of the following options in order to fulfill this requirement.

Students can choose to take their applied project hours as part of an approved practicum/internship. The practicum is an intensive, fieldwork opportunity. We encourage students to complete this option at an international field site through our summer global internship/practicum program, but students can also complete this requirement with a local group/organization.

Research Project
In this option, students take a substantial role in a current faculty-led research project (overseen by approved global health faculty, usually their faculty advisor). Note: This is not an independent, student-led research project. Students interested in carrying out their own research should speak with their faculty advisor about writing a scholarly research paper.

Scholarly Research Paper
Students who choose this option will write a scholarly research paper between 7,000-10,000 words in consultation with their faculty advisor.

Outreach Project
Students may choose to carry out an outreach project with a group/organization (locally or internationally) in order to engage individuals and foster community participation in addressing global health issues. Activities can include, but are not limited to, the following: creating educational/informational materials, creating a website, organizing an outreach event, developing a strategic plan or participation in a museum exhibit, to name a few.

SSH 593 Applied Project (6 credits)