Master of Science in Global Health

Master of Science
WPI professor working with a student visualizing data on a computer screen.

Leverage Technology to Improve Global Health

Prepare to Address Real-World Challenges with Hands-On Experience

Today, the pursuit of improved health outcomes and equitable healthcare access for all people worldwide has never been more critical—or more possible. In WPI’s MS in Global Health, you’ll learn how to use innovations in data analytics, cloud computing, biomedical devices, mobile apps, AI, and other emerging technologies to solve urgent health challenges at home and abroad.

Value Proposition Description

Program Highlights 

Build in-demand technical skills that meet growing trends in telemedicine, personalized healthcare and precision medicine, cloud-based health systems and data management, retail healthcare, AI-assisted medical treatments, and more.

Combine technology and social science approaches to address global health crises related to climate change, socioeconomic instability, food insecurity, poor infrastructure, and other factors.

Gain hands-on experience through real-world internships and field research at WPI’s distinctive Global Project Centers and partner sites. Complete your practicum as far away as South Africa, Armenia, Ghana, or Puerto Rico—or right here in Massachusetts.

Develop fundamental knowledge of public health regulations, global policy studies, cross-cultural literacy,
and qualitative and quantitative methodologies, as well as the myriad forces that shape healthcare access worldwide.

The MS in Global Health program is offered on campus only.

Career Outcomes

$105K to $181K

Median salary range in the global health field 

(Glassdoor, 2023)


Job growth for biostatisticians through 2032 

(Lightcast, 2023) 


Job growth for medical and health services managers through 2032

 (Lightcast, 2023) 


Job growth for bioengineers and biomedical engineers through 2032 

(Lightcast, 2023) 


Preview WPI Professor Haichong (Kai) Zhang works with an MRI device in his lab in the Life Sciences and Biotechnology Center (LSBC).

AI at WPI: New Applications for Global Health

Artificial intelligence (AI) is applied across disciplines at WPI, and it’s increasingly relevant to many health fields. In WPI’s MS in Global Health, you’ll learn about the global health applications of breakthrough technologies being enabled by the rapid development of AI, including AI-assisted surgical treatments. In our Mobile Applications for Global Health concentration, you also have the option to take courses that include “Artificial Intelligence” (CS534) and “Artificial Intelligence in Design” (CS540). And because we are committed to AI for all, you can work with the technology at a range of skill levels.

Curriculum for Master of Science in Global Health

Through WPI’s MS in Global Health, you’ll gain interdisciplinary expertise in the specific areas global health management and practice increasingly rely on, including biology and biotechnology, biomedical engineering, data analytics, computation, mobile data, and AI. 

With four possible concentrations, the Master of Science in Global Health has a common core curriculum integrating fundamental concepts that all global health professionals need to master, regardless of specialty. 

Core requirements for all concentrations (12 credits)
  • IGS502 Perspectives on Global Health (3 credits)  
  • DEV540 Research Design Methods for Development (3 credits)  
  • IGS555 Collaboration for a Better World Seminar Series (0 credits)  
  • IGS595 Graduate Qualifying Project (6 credits) 
Total credits required: 30
  • In addition to the core curriculum, each concentration requires 9 core credits from concentration-specific courses, plus 9 elective credits.  
  • Any core course not chosen can serve as an elective.  
Graduate Qualifying Project (GQP)
  • Your GQP will be related to your concentration and completed as a practicum at a health-related organization or company, either in the US or at one of WPI’s Global Project Centers and university research partner sites around the world. 
  • You will build awareness of cultural values and practices and learn how to apply them to the design and implementation of health policies or programs in diverse, cross-cultural contexts.  
  • You will have hands-on practice in professional communication and ethical conduct.  
  • You will gain awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues in global health management, policy, and data analytics.   

4 Concentrations for Master of Science in Global Health

WPI’s MS in Global Health will prepare you for a career that changes lives. Depending on your concentration, you might explore a career in: 

  • Health system management 
  • Health technology policy and advocacy 
  • Global access initiatives 
  • Biostatistics 
  • Environmental health  
  • Clinical research 
  • Health and safety engineering 
  • Biomedical science 
  • Governmental and nongovernmental health organizations  
  • Multinational medical and pharmaceutical corporations  
  • International organizations such as the WHO, EU, African Union, and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)  
  • Local health departments and field research  
  • Technical innovation and social entrepreneurship 

Global Health Management and Assessment

Are you interested in business development or large-scale program assessment? This MS in Global Health concentration is for students who want to deepen their understanding of the operational and managerial challenges specific to global healthcare systems. 

Concentration objectives:
  • Understand key challenges in global health that require better management and assessment of complex systems. 
  • Apply the basic principles and tools of management across diverse cultural domains. 
  • Develop a team-oriented approach to managing large projects, whether in a nonprofit, government, or industry setting in urban or rural environments. 
  • Gain skills in managing complexity, risk, and dynamic systems in relation to global health. 
  • Be able to manage people and programs in teams as well as through cooperative agreements. 
Choose 3 core courses for this concentration (9 credits):
  • MIS576 Program Management (3 credits) 

  • SD553 Model Analysis and Evaluation Techniques (3 credits) 

  • SD562 Project Dynamics (3 credits) 

  • SD550 System Dynamics Foundation: Managing Complexity (3 credits) 

  • BUS500 Business Law, Ethics, and Social Responsibility  

Choose 3 elective courses for this concentration (9 credits):
  • BUS500 Business Law, Ethics, and Social Responsibility 

  • IGS510 Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change 

  • MIS573 System Design and Development 

  • MIS584 Business Intelligence 

  • OBC505 Teaming and Organizing for Innovation 

  • OIE549 Sustainable Supply Chain and Operations Management 

  • OIE501 Operations Management 

  • OIE542 Operations Risk 

  • OIE558 Designing and Managing Lean Six Sigma Processes 

  • SS510 Principles of Epidemiology 

Analytics and Modeling in Global Health

Are you interested in learning how data analytics and quantitative models can be applied to solve global health challenges? This MS in Global Health concentration provides an introduction to data and model analysis (including data mining, data science, and applied statistics), along with courses in biology and epidemiology.  

Concentration objectives:
  • Understand key challenges in global health that would benefit from data analytics, modeling, and other new techniques in machine learning and AI.  
  • Interpret results of data analysis for health research, policy, or practice.  
  • Understand key global health policies surrounding data privacy, transferability, and accessibility.  
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics and computational methods and tools, as appropriate.  
  • Identify the quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given global health context.  
Choose 3 core courses for this concentration (9 credits): 
  • DS517 Mathematical Fundamentals for Data Science  
  • SD553 Modeling Analytics and Evaluation Techniques  
  • DS501 Introduction to Data Science  
  • SS510 Principles of Epidemiology  
  • IGS505 Qualitative Methods for Community Engaged Research   
Choose 3 elective courses for this concentration (9 credits): 
  • MA511 Applied Statistics for Engineers and Scientists  
  • SD550 System Dynamics Foundation: Managing Complexity  
  • CS5007 Introduction to Programing Concepts.    
  • CS582 or BCB502 or CS573 Data Visualization    
  • CS542 Database Management  
  • IGS510 Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change  
  • MIS573 System Design and Development  
  • ETR500 Entrepreneurship and Innovation  
  • SD500 Introduction to System Dynamic  
  • BCB501 Bioinformatics  
  • BCB504 Statistical Methods in Genetics and Bioinformatics  
  • DS595 Machine Learning for Engineering and Science Applications  
  • SD553 Model Analyses and Evaluation  
  • BUS500 Business Law, Ethics, and Social Responsibility  
  • MA547 Design and Analysis of Observational and Sampling Studies  
  • MA542 Regression Analysis  
  • MA559 Time Series Analysis  

Mobile Applications for Global Health

Do you have a background in computing, gaming, design, or AI in Design? Exciting frontiers in applications for global health are open to you. This MS in Global Health concentration builds primarily on programs in computer science and interactive media and game design. It includes courses like Ubiquitous Computing, Human-Computer Interaction, Interactive Design, and Serious and Applied Games.  

Concentration objectives:
  • Understand key challenges in global health that would benefit from mobile applications and from innovative approaches to interactive and serious gaming.  
  • Identify the human factors involved in the process of software app design.  
  • Create solutions based on an iterative process that incorporates human factors and user-centered design related to specific global environments.   
  • Develop safe and effective mobile apps for use in global health care delivery and disease prevention.   
  • Be able to develop and deliver global healthcare apps and games that are effectively tailored to the end-user’s environment.  
Choose 3 core courses for this concentration (9 credits):
  • CS5007 Introduction to Applications of Computer Science   
  • IMGD5300 Design Interactive Experience   
  • CS 528 Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing  
  • CS546 Human-Computer Interaction  
  • CS582 or BCB502 or CS573 Data Visualization  
  • IMGD5500 Serious and Applied Games  
Choose 3 elective courses for this concentration (9 credits): 
  • BCB581 Bioinformatics  
  • CS582 or BCB502 or CS573 Data Visualization   
  • IMGD5010 IMGD Fundamentals  
  • IMGD5100 Tangible and Embodied Interaction  
  • CS540 Artificial Intelligence in Design  
  • CS534 Artificial Intelligence  
  • CS542 Database Management  
  • CS5003 Foundations of Computer Science  
  • MIS502 or MIS587 Business Applications for Machine Learning  
  • OBC505 Teaming and Organizing for Innovation   
  • ETR500 Entrepreneurship and Innovation  
  • BUS500 Business Law, Ethics, and Social Responsibility   

Engineering Solutions for Global Health

Do you want to elevate your engineering or technical degree with a deeper understanding of how diverse global settings affect engineering solutions? This MS in Global Health concentration focuses on biomedical device design and regulation, incorporating aspects of physical, chemical, and environmental engineering that are relevant to human health.  

Concentration objectives:
  • Understand key challenges in global health that require better engineering solutions.    
  • Develop tools for healthcare and medical device integration in diverse settings and global contexts.  
  • Develop new devices and equipment for improving healthcare in remote or developing regions of the world.  
  • Develop skills, knowledge, and mindset necessary to collaborate with community partners in addressing engineering solutions for global health challenges.   
  • Understand the interaction of technology, society, and environment in the innovation process.   
Choose 3 core courses for this concentration (9 credits):  
  • BME531 Medical Device Design   
  • BME532 Medical Device Regulation  
  • ETR500 Entrepreneurship & Innovation  
  • BME592 Healthcare Systems and Clinical Practice (1 credit)    
  • BME533 Medical Device Innovation and Development (1 credit)  
  • DEV530 Ethics and Social Justice in Development  
Choose 3 elective courses for this concentration (9 credits): 
  • BME532 Biomedical Instrumentation    
  • CE560 Advanced Water Treatment  
  • CE561Advanced Principles of Wastewater Treatment  
  • CE563 Industrial Waste Treatment  
  • CE590 Environmental Health and Engineering   
  • CE572 Physical and Chemical Treatment Process  
  • BME560 Physiology for Engineers  
  • IGS510 Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change  
  • MIS576 Program Management  
  • OIE505 Teaming and Organizing for Innovation  
  • BME520 Biomechanics  
  • ETR593 Technology Commercialization   
  • SS510 Principles of Epidemiology  
  • BUS500 Business Law, Ethics, and Social Responsibility   

Important Dates

Next Start: August 22, 2024  

Application Deadline: Apply anytime!  

Meet the MS in Global Health Advisory Committee

Emmanuel Agu
Emmanuel Agu
Professor, Computer Science

Emmanuel Agu is currently a professor in the computer science department at WPI having received his Masters and PhD in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His research interests are in the areas of computer graphics, mobile computing, and wireless networks. He is especially interested in research into how to use a smartphone as a platform to deliver better healthcare.

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Diana Alatalo
Diana Alatalo
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Diana Alatalo is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Her research focuses on engineering solutions for maternal-child health while training the next generation of engineers.

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Laureen Elgert
Laureen Elgert
Professor & Department Head,
The Global School

I joined WPI in 2011 as a scholar and teacher with training in public health, environmental policy, and international development studies. My research and teaching interests focused on the environment-development nexus, where tensions between sustainability and livelihoods often lead to contentious policy debates.

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Lane Harrison
Lane Harrison
Associate Professor, Computer Science

Information visualization is a powerful means for understanding data and informing human minds. As people begin to rely on visualizations to make high-impact and even life-critical decisions, there is a growing need to ensure that information can be perceived accurately and precisely.

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Robert Krueger
Robert Krueger
Professor & Department Head of Social Science and Policy Studies, Social Science & Policy Studies

Robert Krueger is a human geographer whose scholarship and teaching focus on creating sustainable, socially just, improvements to development projects in the global north and south. His work has taken him around the world. He has worked in countries in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, on issues of economic development and institutional change. His scholarship and teaching challenge conventional notions of economic development, economy-environment relationships, and social change.

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Tsitsi Masvawure
Tsitsi Masvawure
Assistant Professor,
The Global School

I am a medical anthropologist, global health researcher and feminist scholar, whose research focuses on issues of gender, sexuality and health. I am primarily interested in the HIV pandemic and have conducted research on HIV prevention and treatment in various countries in Africa.

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Solomon Mensah
Solomon Mensah
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Understanding the role of the vascular endothelial glycocalyx in the pathogenesis of cardiopulmonary-related diseases is the prime focus of my research. The vascular endothelial glycocalyx layer which covers the luminal side of blood vessels is a good indicator for vascular health. This layer is suspected to be degraded during the onset and progression of cardiopulmonary diseases including acute respiratory distress syndrome and lung cancer.

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Reeta Rao
Reeta Rao
Professor & Department Head, Biology & Biotechnology

A member of the WPI faculty since 2004 and chair of the Department of Biology and Biotechnology since 2022, Reeta Rao is a leader in the field of molecular genetics and genomics. Her primary research activities are focused on emerging infectious diseases, specifically understanding and managing fungal diseases. Students and research associates in her laboratory are trained to use a variety of biochemical, molecular-genetic, and genomic tools to study host-microbe interactions to explore fungal virulence strategies and identify novel therapeutics in a high through

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Carolina Ruiz
Carolina Ruiz
Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences, Computer Science

Carolina Ruiz is the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Harold L. Jurist ’61 and Heather E. Jurist Dean's Professor of Computer Science. She joined the WPI faculty in 1997. Prof. Ruiz’s research is in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Mining, and their applications to Medicine and Health. She has worked on several clinical domains including sleep, stroke, obesity and pancreatic cancer. Prof.

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Diane Strong
Diane Strong
Professor & Department Head, The Business School

WPI provides an environment that values both teaching and research, which is ideal for me. I enjoy teaching at WPI because students are interested in learning and willing to work hard. My teaching focuses on how business, healthcare, and nonprofit organizations can best use computing technologies, such as database systems, electronic health records systems, and mobile apps. Students in my classes learn to design computing applications that meet the needs of organizations.

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