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M.P.H. Concentration: Global Health

Global health addresses the worldwide health needs of people living in developing countries and resource-poor immigrant communities here in the United States.

Image of a OB-GYN clinic

A regional hospital in Kanaga, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Saint Louis University students complete the global health Applied Practice Experience in the United States and abroad.

Health concerns in these populations include infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and STDs, or various chronic diseases related to aging populations, mental illness, war, famine and displacement.

At Saint Louis University, you can tailor your experience to focus on maternal and child health, environmental health, global health or epidemiology.

Our hands-on, team-based learning experience includes opportunities to work abroad with our partners around the globe or right here in St. Louis’ diverse communities.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

In addition to the admission criteria for all M.P.H. programs, the following is needed for admission to the M.P.H. in global health program:

  • Bachelor's degree in a social science, biomedical science, or a closely related field preferred.
  • A working proficiency in a language other than English is strongly recommended for individuals considering a career in global health. CPHSJ will assess applicants' proficiency skills and provide guidance on how to improve foreign language skills.

    With questions related to language proficiency, contact Laura Schrubb, applied practice experience and professional development director, at

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until classes are full. No GRE is required. Applications are reviewed holistically and are accepted on a rolling basis until classes are full. Apply using the centralized application services or

Joint Concentration Options

The joint concentrations require just six additional hours and can still be completed in two years. Blending concentrations enables you to combine your interests and provides additional skills that future employers will value. You can choose these additional joint concentration options at SLU (all require 54 credit hours):

  • Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness
  • Epidemiology
  • Maternal Child Health
Concentration Competencies

SLU's strong jobs placement rates are based largely on its competencies-based training, collaborative faculty and a team-based experience. In this concentration area, you will:

  • Assess major forces that influence the health of vulnerable populations from a global perspective.
  • Prioritize health programs for communicable and non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries with limited resources.
  • Utilize a multidisciplinary approach to evaluate programs in low- and middle-income countries, and in poor communities in the U.S., that provide health programs.
  • Respond to urgent health problems in low- and middle-income countries, including humanitarian crises and epidemics.
  • Plan programs, policies and/or specific interventions to improve health services, or health status of individuals and communities.
  • Effectively utilize the tools and channels of diplomacy to implement health programs across cultures, and across borders.
  • Utilize appropriate cultural competency and communication skills via a mentored global health practice experience in a developing country.

What Our Faculty Investigate

  • Community interventions to improve maternal and reproductive health
  • HIV prevention
  • Infectious disease prevention
  • Impact of environmental pollutants on infant and child health
  • Impact of microfinance on community health
  • Policy development related to contamination of toxic metals
  • Portable water filters for prevention of diarrheal disease
  • Promoting evidence-based assessments and solution to environmental health problems
  • Relationship between breastfeeding, infant sleep, and infant sleep arrangement

Applied Practice Experience (APEx)

As a Master of Public Health student at SLU, you will be required to complete an internship, referred to as the Applied Practice Experience, or APEx, with an approved organization and preceptor. This 320-hour experience is designed to enhance your educational experience and promote professional competence in global health.

We strongly recommend that domestic students do their practice experience outside of the United States, although exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis if approved by your faculty mentor.

During your practicum, you may be involved in planning, developing, implementing, and/or evaluating tools and programs of importance in an international setting.

Our students have engaged in practice experiences at: 

  • Microfinancing Partners for Africa (Uganda)
  • FHI 360 (Nepal)
  • Predisan (Honduras)
  • Hillside Clinic (Belize)
  • Belize 2020 (Belize)
  • International HELP (United States)

Careers in Global Health

Students with a master's degree in global health may find employment opportunities in a wide variety of settings, including:

  • Disaster relief organizations
  • Governmental agencies (United States Agency for International Development, in-country ministry of health, etc.)
  • Immigrant or refugee health organizations
  • In-country field consultants
  • International agencies
  • Lending agencies that do work in developing countries
  • Multi-lateral agencies, such as the World Health Organization
  • Other non-governmental agencies (NGOs)
  • Research and academic institutions