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The Global Health Initiative

Global Opportunities Through UMD

Whether you are a prospective student or current undergraduate or graduate student in the School of Public Health or in another UMD college, there are many opportunities to expand your scope of study and to prepare for careers related to global health. 

The Global Public Health (GPH) Scholars program, sponsored by the School of Public Health, offers an interdisciplinary examination of the complex connections between health, culture, economic growth and development and environmental sustainability. First and second-year College Park Scholars students who participate in the GPH program gain an understanding of the conceptual and practical foundations of community health, explore global public health challenges and consider ways to improve population health within diverse contexts. Dr. Elisabeth Maring directs the GPH Scholars program. Visit the GPH Scholars website for more info. 

Interested in exploring public health and human rights in cross-cultural contexts?

The multidisciplinary Bachelor of Science in Global Health, launching at UMD in Fall 2024, introduces students to social, cultural and scientific factors affecting health outcomes around the world, preparing them for careers in policy and practice, applied research, and social services.

Based in the School of Public Health, the Global Health major draws on the expertise of faculty from several colleges and schools across the University of Maryland, College Park, including Behavioral and Social Sciences, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Arts and Humanities and Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences. 

Learn more about the Global Health major

Peace Corps Prep is a certificate program for undergraduates that centers on preparing yourself to be an engaged, global citizen. Any UMD undergraduate student is eligible to enroll regardless of major or citizenship.This program will provide you with the pre-requisites necessary for applying to the Peace Corps post-graduation (admittance not guaranteed). 

Students can gain independent study credit studying aspects of global health. Craft and propose research or study, and earn one, two or three credits per term. Contact Dr. Dina Borzekowski ( for more information.

The Graduate Certificate in Global Health is designed to provide basic knowledge in global health delivery to enable individuals who may not have public health backgrounds to work effectively in agencies and programs providing global health services. This 12-credit post-baccalaureate program emphasizes translational health issues and combines population-based prevention methods with evidence-based, community-supported initiatives. The program prepares students to identify and analyze major health problems in the global society and to develop skills for designing targeted programs, interventions and campaigns to address those challenges. Students collaborate with leading global health experts to design solutions and prepare for careers implementing global health strategies.

For more info, email Maurice Rocque at

UMD's global classroom courses do not require a passport or additional fees. Some of these courses may fulfill general education requirements or SPH major requirements. Talk to CASA or your major advisor to learn more.

Through the Global Fellows in Washington, DC fellowship program, you can learn from global policy practitioners in fall seminars , then intern with a globally focused organization in the spring. Applications open in February for the following fall.

  • Application deadlines apply for Fall 2023 seminars

These Federal and Global Fellows seminars align with major requirements (e.g., approved for PHSC Options credit). For other SPH majors, check with your advisor.

  • FGSM320 Public Health Policy
  • FGSM340 Energy and Environmental Policy
  • FGSM370 Science Diplomacy: Foreign Policy & Science, Technology, and Innovation
  • FGSM380 Responses to Global Challenges
  • FGSM390 Water Security and Global Health Challenges

Experiential Global Opportunities

A study abroad experience can be an enriching, exciting part of your education. We encourage all students who are able and interested to investigate study abroad opportunities. Experiences can range from full semesters abroad to three week winter term courses.

The GHI can help you figure out ways to study abroad. We can connect you with Education Abroad at the University of Maryland, which has hundreds of short and longer term study programs.  We can also assist you with program advisors who can ensure that your desired study abroad experience fits into your plan for graduation.

Check out the Global Maryland and Education Abroad websites and explore the following programs hosted by the School of Public Health in partnership with Education Abroad below.

Join Professor Kerry Tripp on a summer adventure to Cuba for a truly unique opportunity in this comparative family law, public health/medicine and impacts of poverty course. During this blended travel and on-line learning course, you will be among the first in a generation to travel to exotic Havana for eight days of dialogue, educational experiences and cultural events as we contrast Cuba's socialized health care and legal systems with our own. FMSC486 4 credits

India and the U.S. represent the world's two largest democracies. Based on culture, history, governance and politics, these two countries have adopted similar and unique ways of addressing public health concerns. This East Meets West: Contrasting Public Health Priorities, Pragmatics and Polemics in the US and India course, designed for students who are interested in public health in a global context, will expose you to policy and programmatic frameworks for the delivery of public health services in these two cultures.

Meet with indigenous community members and experts in eco-health, protected areas management and agroecology as well as health professionals who provide care in remote areas of the Bolivian Amazon. Activities include learning about medicinal plants and how indigenous communities maintain their health, visiting a sustainable golf course, and learning about the work of one of Bolivia’s most effective conservation organizations. The Bolivia: Global Health Lessons in Ecotourism and Community Health is open to UMD undergraduate and graduate, and non-UMD undergraduate and graduate students. Sign up by March 1st. 


Sport Commerce and Culture in the Global Marketplace (KNES 342) is a three-week immersion into the sports culture of Australia. Visiting Australia’s three largest cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane), students will actively participate in Australian sports culture in many different ways.  Students will learn about the development of elite athletes, physical activity in the lives of Australians, and the provision of public recreation through visits to training sites, meetings with public officials, and lectures from prominent Australian academics.  Students will experience Australian physical culture through participating in activities such as netball, surfing, and lawn bowling. Students will engage with the Australian sports industry through meeting with sport managers and executives and by attending major sports events.

This special topics in public health course, SPHL389, is planned to take place in January 2023, and in partnership with the UMD Incentive Awards Program. 

A course description, application deadline and notification dates, and instructor information will be posted here soon. 

Public Health Beyond Borders (PHBB)

Public Health Beyond Borders (PHBB) is a student organization of globally minded students aiming to address health needs in partnering communities. The overall mission of the organization is to reduce health disparities around the world and increase awareness about good health practices, while exposing undergraduate and graduate students to opportunities for responsible global development work through faculty-mentored international trips.

In addition to international trips, members engage in local public health projects in the DC and Prince George's County area during the semester, fundraise for travel and to meet local needs. PHBB members have also sought to engage the UMD campus community in discussions of critical global health concerns by co-sponsoring screenings of documentaries. While these projects and events occur during the semester, the winter and summer breaks are utilized for international travel.

All majors, undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty welcome!


Financing Your Travel

Thanks to the generous support of several funders, there is now a SPH-Global Health Initiative Fellowship! 

Up to $500 will be awarded to support UMD undergraduate and graduate students (with an SPH affiliation) in their travel and educational, service, or research work abroad.  Additionally, students can apply this funding for domestic conferences where the application is the primary presenter of global health content. Please send an email with questions or notification that you are applying for this funding to either Dr. Borzekowski at or Dr. Maring at

Apply for the SPH-Global Health Institute Fellowship.

Education Abroad is allocating $20,000 in additional resources specifically for SPHL students to support access to study abroad for spring 2020. 

  • $500 guaranteed travel grants for any HLTH student participating in the spring 2020 Tanzania and the NEW Kenya internship programs.
    • How to access: Students who apply and are accepted to these programs will work with EA and STA travel to book their flights. EA will pay upfront for $500 of the cost of the itinerary and the student will be responsible for the remaining amount. 
  • $12,000 in study abroad scholarships exclusively for SPHL majors to study abroad in the spring 2020 semester on an SPHL-sponsored or endorsed program.
    •  All SPH students who apply for the spring 2020 EA scholarship (app deadline September 24th) will be considered for these scholarships.     
    • These are need-based awards, with preference given to students from underrepresented backgrounds. 
    • Additional preference will be given to students for whom we receive an SPH faculty or staff endorsement. SPH faculty and staff may endorse students for this scholarship by sending the name and UID of prospective candidates to Lauren Ruszczyk:

School of Public Health students are also eligible for EA and other scholarships and grants upcoming terms, including winter and spring break: 

  • $1,000 EA Gilman Application Grants guaranteed for all qualified students* who work with the National Scholarships Office to submit a complete application for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.  
    • *Pell Grant recipients and US citizens studying abroad for 21 days or longer on a UMD approved program.
    • The $1,000 award will be distributed to UMD students regardless of whether or not they are awarded a Gilman scholarship and students are still eligible to apply for the EA Scholarship and other funding.   
  • EA Flight Voucher (by faculty/staff nomination) 
    • Campus colleagues can nominate exceptional students for EA's flight voucher program, which covers the cost of international airfare (up to $2,000) for study abroad any time between fall 2020 and spring 2022. A letter of endorsement from a university faculty or staff member for each student by the Sunday, December 1st nomination deadline is required. Students cannot nominate themselves. Please send all nominations to Education Abroad Advisor, Conrad Zeutenhorst  at     
  • Additional scholarship opportunities sponsored by off-campus organizations.