Distance Learning Program in Global Health

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USU Distance Learning Program in Global Health

USU is pleased to begin offering coursework in global health via distance learning. 

The University is currently accepting applications from students interested in taking courses in this field for academic credit; application instructions are detailed below.

There are two global health courses currently available for interested students to take via distance learning: Global Health 1 and 2 (formally PMO 528 and 539). The University is now building distance-learning versions of additional courses and will soon offer a full 20-credits of coursework in this field. Students who successfully complete all 20-credits will earn a graduate “Certificate in Global Health and Global Health Engagement.” Graduate certificates have become an increasingly recognized and valued credential in Global Health and are often earned by mid-career professionals interested in obtaining formal education in this diverse and rapidly-changing field.

The next running of the first course ("Global Health 1") will begin January 2017. Due date to apply for this course is Dec 1st 2016!  Apply now if interested. 

To apply for admission into the program, complete the following steps.

1.       Complete the online application linked here.

2.       Order an official/certified copy of your undergraduate transcript sent from your university to either:

globalhealth@usuhs.edu (for electronic delivery)


USUHS Global Health Distance Learning Program
4301 Jones Bridge Road, box #867
Bethesda, MD 20814-4712


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What happens after I’ve applied to the program?

Within one to two weeks of submitting your application you will receive notification by email that your application has been received, is being processed, and likely waiting for arrival of your undergraduate transcript(s).  Once complete, your application will then be forwarded to the Masters Subcommittee that reviews all applications to the graduate programs at USU. Formal letters of acceptance or declination will then be sent to students from the Graduate Education Office at USU.


What do the courses entail?

Each course in the program consists of a certain number of “modules”; modules are single “web” (html) pages of information with embedded lectures, faculty-authored text, links to required readings, and sometimes embedded panel discussions or other features. The courses are designed so that students (as a class-cohort) complete approximately one module per week. Students read the materials and watch the lectures and panel discussions on their own time, but then convene as a class once per week online to converse (via live video teleconference) with course faculty and their fellow students. Individual courses may also require discussion board participation, a term paper, and possibly a final exam.


When are the courses offered?

Most courses will run for approximately 11 weeks each. The stop and start dates, the days of the week, and time of day for each of the courses will vary from course-to-course in order to offer maximal flexibility to students and faculty. Dates and times of upcoming courses will be posted on this page as they are announced.


Can I take coursework via distance learning at USU and then transfer the credit elsewhere?

Yes. Students will have a formal transcript maintained by the University Registrar. Upon successful completion of each distance learning course there will be a letter grade recorded on the student’s transcript along with the credit value of each course. Any student may, at any time, request a transcript be sent and credits transferred to any other university or program that accepts transfer credits.

However, it is important for students to understand, of course, that earned credits can only be applied toward one (1) program for degree or certification purposes. In other words, students who transfer credits earned in USU courses and apply them toward degree requirements at another university will not be able to then apply those same credits also toward the University’s “Certificate in Global Health and Global Health Engagement” or any other degree or certification from the University. This is not meant to discourage students from transferring credits; USU serves a unique military population and students are actively encouraged to apply their credits to whichever degree or program best suits their own needs and academic pursuits. It is standard practice at all universities, however, that individual credits earned for coursework cannot be applied to more than one degree.


I might want to apply (or I am applying) to one of USU’s in-residence degree programs (i.e. MPH, MHAP, etc.). May I take a course or two now via distance-learning and then apply those credits toward my degree program at USU?



I am not a member of the U.S. military; can I apply to take global health courses at the Uniformed Services University?

At present, the Uniformed Services University is admitting only members of the U.S. armed services who are on active duty or reserve status, as well as members of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. 


What are the prerequisites for applying to this program?

This is a graduate program and therefore all students must already have at least a baccalaureate degree before applying to the program. No exceptions can be made to this policy for several reasons, including the fact that this is a requirement of the program’s accreditation.

Otherwise the program has wide latitude to admit students from disparate backgrounds and levels of experience. Students in USU’s graduate programs have typically included physicians, nurses, dentists, medical planners, veterinarians, medical technicians and health administrators; but a background in the health professions is not an absolute requirement for matriculation into this program.  Particularly for our distance-learning courses, faculty are actively seeking students from a wide variety of non-health backgrounds in order to enhance the understanding of global health engagement across the Department of Defense and beyond, and to help our students from health backgrounds appreciate alternate perspectives.

In addition to our students who take this coursework early or midway through their careers, a number of students also enroll in our program who already possess significant academic credentials and an impressive amount of field experience in global health. We welcome these students into our program, too, as they add expertise, diversity, and valuable insight to class discussions, among many other benefits. Often times these are highly motivated, fast-tracked individuals who smartly choose to “brush up” on global health material prior to assuming leadership positions at some of the highest levels of the DoD and other departments of the U.S. government.


Is there any tuition or other costs associated with the program?

There is no tuition charge for eligible personnel to take distance-learning courses at USU. Depending on the course, there may be a variable (although always minimal) number of expenses that students will have to cover on their own. This would include the purchase of a headset (approximately $35) if a student does not already own one, and possibly some texts or other materials.


Is there any service commitment associated with this program?



What if I have a question that is not answered by one of these FAQs?

           Email globalhealth@usuhs.edu