The Specialized Study Program in Global Health Design (PGHD) is an academic program that allows undergraduate students to focus their elective courses and upper-level design coursework on the topic of global health to earn the following notation on their transcript: “Specialized Study in Global Health Design”. The specialized study program can be completed without exceeding the 128 credits required for a BS/BSE/BA. Students from all disciplines are invited to complete the program.


To complete the Program in Global Health Design, students must declare the program and complete all of the requirements. Declaring the program does not guarantee notation on a student’s transcript. There are three main components to the program:

  1. Project-based Design Foundations Course with Global Health Themed Project
    Students must complete a design course at the 300 or higher level in which they work on a project that falls within the theme of global health. The course should expose students to problem definition, concept generation, analysis, prototyping, and/or evaluation.
  2. Global Health Foundations Course
    Students must complete one course from the list of approved global health courses. The global health foundations course is meant to broaden the student’s knowledge of global health outside of a design context. This requirement must be fulfilled by completing a course outside of the College of Engineering.
  3. Depth Course
    The depth course is meant to deepen the student’s understanding of the thematic area of their Design Foundations Course project and/or to strengthen their global health design skillset. This requirement can be fulfilled with courses both within and outside of the College of Engineering.

Approved Project-based Design Foundations Courses
Note: Multiple courses allow students the opportunity to work on a global health project and would fulfill this requirement; the list below is not an exhaustive list. Additionally, enrollment in any of the courses below does not guarantee fulfillment of this requirement as many projects within these courses are not focused on global health. The following is a list of courses that students have used to fulfill this requirement.

  • MECHENG 450: Capstone Design and Manufacturing (co-listed as ENGR 450)
  • BME 450: Senior Capstone Design
  • ME 455: Analytic Product Design
  • ARTDES 342.1: Responsible Design
  • MSE 489: Energy and Water Sustainability

Approved Global Health Foundations Courses

  • HBEHED 516: Global Health Anthropological Perspectives
  • HISTORY 302: History of Global Health
  • INTMED 387: Implementation Solutions for Global Health Equity
  • PUBHLTH 350: Global Public Health; Challenges and Transformations
  • PUBHLTH 554: Introduction to Globalization and Health

Additional courses may be considered upon request.

Approved Depth Course List
Note: Due to the wide variety of global health projects students may work on, there are many courses which could fulfill this requirement across multiple departments. This is not an exhaustive list, but instead a list of example courses that could fulfill this requirement. Students should follow the instructions below to petition for an alternate course to fulfill this requirement.

Example courses to strengthen a student’s global health design skillset

  • BIOMEDE 499.102 Clinical Observation and Needs Finding
  • ME 499/599: Front End Design
  • SI 422: Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation
  • IOE 430: Global Cultural Systems Engineering
  • ME 589: Sustainable Design of Technology Systems
  • STRAT 562/TO 563: Innovation in Global Health Delivery
  • BME 350: Intro to Biomedical Design (This will not fulfill the requirement if you are a BME student)

Example courses related to possible thematic areas of a student’s global health design project

  • AAS 409: Maternal/Child Health & Environmental Pollution in Africa
  • ANTHRUCUL 325: Childbirth & Culture
  • WOMENSTD 365: Global Perspectives on Gender, Health, & Reproduction
  • ANTHRCUL 212: The Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic
  • ENVIRON 308: Sustainability and Health


How to declare Program in Global Health Design

To declare PGHD, complete this form.  Students are advised to declare prior to or during their junior year.

If you are petitioning to use an alternate course to fulfill any of the requirements (i.e., a course not listed on the approved list) please be prepared to paste or upload the course syllabus and a brief paragraph of why you feel the course is an acceptable alternative to fulfill the select requirement in the declaration form.

Advising and Oversight

Program Director: Professor Kathleen Sienko; sienko@umich.edu

Global Health Design Academic Advisor: Caroline Soyars; csoyars@umich.edu. Schedule a advising appointment about global health design.

Interested in this Opportunity?

To declare PGHD, fill out the form at the link here.

Apply for this opportunity

What to Know About The Global Health Design Initiative

Program History

Program History

GHDI has been working with stakeholders for more than eight years to identify and address global health design challenges. Learn more about our history and core values.

Learn More →
Project Outcomes

Project Outcomes

Since inception, we have worked on projects in maternal health, family planning, minimally invasive surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and more. Explore our past and current projects.

Learn More →
Get Involved

Get Involved

There are many ways to get involved in global health work with GHDI. From taking on a need statement, to participating in an opportunity, or becoming a partner.

Learn More →