Master of Science in Global Health

The path to realizing your global vision

The Duke Master of Science in Global Health (MSc-GH) is offered jointly by the Graduate School and the Duke Global Health Institute, an interdisciplinary unit that leverages outstanding faculty from across Duke to take on the most complex health challenges facing the world today.

Our unique approach to global health offers:

  • A small cohort of diverse students from around the world
  • Individual attention from dedicated faculty and staff through small classes and one-on-one mentoring
  • A strong culture of innovation and collaboration
  • Duke’s commitment to knowledge in service of society
  • Exceptional student services and resources
  • A beautiful campus in a thriving city

As a student in the MSc-GH, you will learn:

  • How to identify and assess current and emerging global health challenges
  • The influence of environmental, economic, social and political factors on health
  • Culturally and ethically informed research methods and technologies that can aid health interventions
  • The role of health policy and systems at local, national and international levels

The Duke Difference

Why there's no better place to study global health

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Program Features

Flexible Interdisciplinary Coursework

MSc-GH coursework is guided by the principle that complex global health challenges require a multidisciplinary, multisector approach that leverages diverse perspectives. Our faculty include experts in medicine, engineering, the environment, public policy, law, business, social sciences and the humanities.

Through a tailored, flexible curriculum, you will examine the larger context of global health. The 38-credit curriculum, requiring at least three full-time terms of study, focuses on:

  • An understanding of key global health concepts and challenges
  • A solid foundation in core methodologies used in global health research
  • Ethics training and considerations applicable across cultures
  • Core concepts to help students evaluate and understand health systems
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MSc-GH Coursework Infographic

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Accelerated MSc-GH Program: For select Duke undergraduates interested in global health, we also offer an Accelerated MS program that allows you to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years. Read more on the Undergraduate Programs page. 

Guidance from Caring Experts

Our global health faculty are innovative thinkers and problem solvers. But most of all, they are invested in your learning and professional development. You’ll receive one-on-one mentoring from a faculty advisor, as well as opportunities to learn alongside experts from a range of disciplines.

Meet Our Faculty

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Experience in the Field

Hands-on learning is a hallmark of our global health education. In the MSc-GH program, you’ll work closely with a faculty mentor to develop an original research project that includes at least 10 weeks of field experience. Field research typically occurs between the first and second years of the program.

MSc-GH students have done fieldwork in more than 30 countries. Your field experience will be fully funded, including travel and research expenses. We’ll also help you prepare, with workshops on ethical engagement and respect for local cultures and practices.

Fieldwork Basics

The nuts and bolts of DGHI field experiences

Where We Work

See the global locations where we have longstanding partnerships

Project Examples

Learn what current M.S. students are working on

Careers with Impact

By the end of our two-year program, you will have a unique combination of skills, knowledge and hands-on experience necessary to make an impact in improving the health and well-being of people around the world.  In addition to coursework, mentorship and field research, you will interact with visiting global health professionals and receive career advising, skills-based workshops and professional development support.

Our alumni have become researchers and leaders in NGOs, academia and private industry. Many pursue further education at top-rated institutions while others forge successful careers in healthcare. Among our graudates who have pursued careers, 82% are working in global health. 

Assumpta Nantume MS’19: From Pharmacist to Global Health Researcher

Assumpta Nantume envisioned a career as a clinical pharmacist, but during her second year of college, a field research experience in a rural village in Uganda nudged her in a different direction: global health research.

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Assumpta Nantume
Assumpta Nantume MS'19

Where can an MSc-GH take your career?

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Program Requirements

35 credits of academic coursework

Core courses (required)
  • GLHLTH 701 – Global Health Challenges (Fall), 3 credits
  • GLHLTH 702 – Global Health Research: Design and Practice (Fall), 3 credits
  • GLHLTH 705 – Biostatistics and Epidemiology for Global Health I (Fall), 4 credits
  • GLHLTH 700 – Global Health Field Research: Planning and Skill Development (Spring), 1 credit
  • GLHLTH 707 – Biostatistics and Epidemiology for Global Health II (Spring), 4 credits
  • GLHLTH 740 – Ethics for Global Health Research (Spring), 2 credits
  • GLHLTH 750 – Health Systems & Policy in Global Health (Spring), 3 credits
Electives (five courses, including two focused on research methods)
4 credits of research
10-week field-based project
Academic thesis

Costs and Financial Aid

DGHI provides financial support to 100% of students enrolled in the MSc-GH through:

  • Merit-based scholarships, awarded on the basis of your program application
  • Paid graduate teaching and research assistant positions
  • Guaranteed funding for field research
  • Guaranteed funding for professional development
  • A tuition-free fourth semester for regularly-enrolled students in good academic standing

Annual tuition and fee rates are established by the Duke Graduate School.

If you would like to explore U.S. federal financial aid/student loan options, the Duke Graduate School Financial Aid Office can assist. 

Scholarships and Fellowships

We award merit-based scholarships ranging from 10-75% of program tuition. International and US students are eligible for these departmental awards, and you are automatically considered for scholarships based on your Graduate School application – no additional application materials are required.

Duke University Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship in Global Health

DGHI partners with the Peace Corps to offer targeted scholarships to returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs). Through the Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship, eligible RPCVs enrolled in the MSc-GH receive a 50% tuition scholarship, as well as funding to pursue field-based research and professional development activities. As part of the Coverdell fellowship, you will undertake a research or service project of value to underserved populations in the United States. 

If you are eligible for and interested in this opportunity, please notify your DGHI coordinator when submitting your application. 

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship

Funded by the US Department of Education, the Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies offers a competitive Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship. These fellowships require language and area studies coursework in addition to global health requirements and are an excellent way to increase your preparedness to undertake a career in global health in that region of the world.

Application deadlines typically fall in January/February. If you are interested in applying, notify your DGHI coordinator before submitting your application.

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Ready to Apply?

Applications for the Fall 2020 MSc-GH class are now closed. We will begin accepting applications for the Fall 2021 class in September 2020. When applications are open, you can begin or continue your application through the Duke Graduate School.

Here’s what you’ll need to complete your application:

  • Statement of purpose
  • Three academic letters of recommendation
  • Transcript(s) from each post-secondary institution attended
  • Official GRE or MCAT scores
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores (international applicants only)

Questions? Contact:

Sarah Martin

Sarah Martin

Assistant Director for Graduate Admissions and Special Projects