The GHD PhD course curriculum is designed to provide broad expertise in several aspects of global health and development including:

  • Basic understanding of health systems, micro- and macro- economic factors and political processes in diverse settings
  • Evidence-based approaches to assess global health policy, programs and research
  • Methods and theories of implementation sciences
  • Development theories and practice
  • Knowledge translation skills to develop context-appropriate global health and development interventions
  • Solid quantitative and qualitative methods skills for the implementation and evaluation of global health and development initiatives
  • Leadership skills applicable to different global settings
  • An understanding of these factors and their application in global settings at different development stages
  Fall I / II (12+ credits) Spring I/II (12+ credits)
Global Health and Development: Theories, Approaches and Policy GHD 702 (2) Introductory Graduate Seminar on the Role of Partners in Global Health and Development
GHD 703 (2) Ethics in Global Health and Development
GHD 704 (1) Advanced Graduate Seminar in Global Health and Development
GHD 705 (2) Leadership in Global Health and Development
GHD 707 (2) Global Development: Theory and Practice
Implementation Sciences GHD 701 (1) Public Health Sciences; discover to practice GHD 706 (2) Advanced Topics in Implementation Science and Evaluation
Health Systems and Policy Studies GH 524 (2) Health Systems Performance and Health Systems Financing Methods and Evidence  
Development and Economics MDP 502 (3) Development Economics
GH 561 (3) Applications of Public Health Economics in Low- and Moderate-Income Countries
MDP 514 (3) Applied Development Practice
ANT 585 (3) Development and Change**
HPM 522 (3) Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programs
Research Methods and Design BSHE 710 (3) Research Designs in the Behavioral and Social Sciences
GH 525 (3) Qualitative Data Analysis
EPI 530 (4) Epidemiologic Methods I
BIOS 500 (3) Statistical Methods I
GH 522 (3) Qualitative Research Methods for Global Health Sciences
Research Experience GHD 597 (VC) GHD Research Rotation GHD 597 (VC) Research Rotation

* Students who have previously taken the courses indicated in italics will be waived from taking them again. For example, students with a Masters of Public Health would have already taken introductory biostatistics and epidemiology courses whereas those with a Masters in Development Practice or in the social sciences would have taken courses in development and/or qualitative methods.

** offered every other year

While students may enter the program with interest in a specific area of emphasis, the core curriculum is designed to encourage students to explore different areas of global health and development and provide them with flexibility to pursue areas that match their career interests and goals. During the first two years, students take formal course work and participate in seminars, discussion groups, and lectures by faculty members and/or visiting scientists that will expose them to theory and issues in global health and development coupled with courses that focus on the various types of research design and methods used in implementation science, policy studies, development studies, behavioral and social science research.

The core curriculum will use case-based teaching to facilitate experiential and applied learning. Most cases describe retrospective interventions, events, policies, and programs. The case topics and descriptions of circumstances are realistic representations based on existing evidence and current projections and will be used to promote critical thinking and understanding the realities and challenges of working in global health and development. Most case scenarios are complex and do not necessarily have a correct or perfect solution and a variety of themes will be incorporated in the courses to emphasize the interdisciplinarity of the program faculty and interests.

All students will have a doctoral mentoring committee comprised of at least 2 faculty members who will guide them during the first two years with the selection of courses, rotation opportunities, selection of doctoral research topics and mentors, identify opportunities that may not be at Emory but available with existing partners and organizations such as the CDC/ Carter Center/ University of Georgia and Georgia Technology. They may also begin research by working with different faculty members as part of the Research Rotation requirements and should be ready to pass the qualifying exam and identify an area of research that matches his/her interests and career goals by the end of the second year.

All students will select suitable electives that will help them prepare for independent research based on their areas of interest with guidance from their doctoral mentoring committee during the first two years and subsequently by their dissertation advisor and/or members of their dissertation committee. For example, additional courses may be taken in other fields, such as environmental health, non-communicable diseases, reproductive health, sociology, anthropology, law genetics, immunology, biostatistics and epidemiology. Before graduation (usually in years 2 - 3) students will be required to take at least 4 advanced elective courses, totaling at least 12 credit hours.

All students will also participate in the GHD Doctoral Seminar Series throughout their training and will be encouraged to start research rotations by the spring semester of the first year.

The purpose of the GHD Doctoral seminar is to provide students with experience in preparing lectures, conveying scientific principles to an audience, and learning to provide and receive constructive feedback. All students are expected to attend seminar on a weekly basis and make at least 3 presentations throughout the duration of their career at Emory. First year students will take the Introductory Graduate Seminar on the Role of Partners in Global Health and Development (GH 702) in the fall semester followed by the Advanced Graduate Seminar in Global Health and Development (GH 704) when they will be required to present a seminar related to their area of research and/or interests as a stand-alone lecture in the spring of the first year and both the fall and spring semesters of the second year.

Research rotations will be an integral part of the doctoral program in Global Health and Development. One purpose of the research rotation is to expose students to current research in different topics and/or disciplines, thus allowing them to make a more informed decision about which area of emphasis in the Program they wish to pursue. A second purpose is to assist the student in deciding on a mentor by providing an opportunity to sample the research environment, assess the available research projects, and determine if the mentor will be suitable as a PhD dissertation advisor.

Each student will be required to complete 3 research rotations. Ideally these should be completed by the end of the summer of the second year in the program. Each rotation will be coordinated with individual faculty members selected by the student and will involve a time commitment of approximately 10 hours per week for a semester or 3-4 months. A typical research rotation will be equivalent to a course of 3 credit hours. Students who are planning to work more than 15 hours a week may be advised to register for more credit. Credits in excess of 3 per rotation should not be in lieu of course credits, but can be used to meet the minimum of 12 credits per semester.

The TATTO (Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunity) Program is administered by the Laney Graduate School to provide teacher training and experience for students enrolled in the Doctoral Program in Global Health and Development.

All four stages of the TATTO program will be required for GHD students which are designed to provide them with credible training and optimal teaching experience, while ensuring that they are not overtaxed with teaching responsibilities. With few exceptions, no student may serve more than a total of four semesters in any combination of teaching assistant and associates positions during his or her first four years at Emory. The first three stages of the TATTO requirements must be completed before applying for candidacy.

The Qualifying Exam will be administered at the end of the second year in the GHD Doctoral Program (during the summer following the Spring semester). In certain cases, students will have the option to take the qualifying exam earlier, but this will have to be reviewed and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) in advance.

All students must pass the Qualifying Exam before taking the General Doctoral Exam. A Master’s degree will not be granted without a thesis. The purpose of the General Doctoral Exam is to assess a student’s ability to conceptualize, articulate and justify an original research question. Independent of admission status, ALL STUDENTS in the GHD Doctoral Program are required to take and pass the Qualifying Exam.


All PhD students are required to complete and defend a dissertation, following the Laney Graduate School’s Degree Completion requirements for formatting of the dissertation and required paperwork.