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Global Health Protection and Security

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Global Health Protection and Security

Office of Public Health Studies
Biomedical Sciences D204
1960 East West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8577

Graduate Faculty

A. Katz, MD (Interim Chair)—infectious disease
E. Hurwitz, PhD—epidemiology
Y. Lu, PhD—environmental health
W. Zhang, PhD—sociology

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

J. Campbell, PhD, MPH—global health security

Adjunct Faculty

J. Hii, PhD—global health and vector-borne disease

Certificate Offered: Graduate Certificate in Global Health Protection and Security

Program Purpose and Goals

Purpose: To promote awareness, knowledge, skills and attitudes conducive to protecting the health of populations and managing global health security issues.

Goals: Within a global context, health protection is broadly linked to global security since emerging, re-emerging and pandemic infectious diseases, major chronic diseases, natural disasters and various forms of resource scarcity including food, water and energy pose innumerable threats to human health. These public health challenges slow developmental progress, disrupt or even reverse national economic development, abrogate cooperation on treaties and agreements, exacerbate civil unrest, de-stabilize regional security and lead to the collapse of governments. The GHPS certificate provides the framework for students to critically assess the effects of major global health protection challenges on demographic trends, examine the threat and intent in bioterrorism, and how the public health sector can better monitor, plan, respond and prepare for health security events.


The GHPS was first established in 1969 as a graduate certificate in population studies, but shifted its focus to global health in 2009 and to global health security in 2014. The certificate appeals to students interested in how major global health challenges impact national, regional, and health security. Students find the global perspective and flexible educational approach of the GHPS a fascinating departure from more traditional public health disciplines.

The GHPS graduate certificate is used by public health and health protection professionals who seek to pursue a career in health protection or who choose to remain in their field, to further develop knowledge and skills in health protection and security. Practitioners in health protection commonly come from varied backgrounds including doctors who practice international medicine, nurses in local health protection units, epidemiologists at regional and national units and environmental health officers at local, regional, and national levels, and health security specialists. Those interested in health protection and security often complete public health training, but the health security aspect of this program is not often included. Furthermore, the health protection workforce is aligned with other professional groups whose roles include an element of health protection, but who are not health security specialists. For instance, nurses who specialize in hospital infection control, occupational health, health emergency planners, environmental health scientists, microbiologists, outbreak controllers, etc. This certificate also provides a means to qualify those already working within the sector.


A total of 15 credits are required to graduate, 9 of which are at the graduate level

Required Courses (9 credits):

  • PH 653 Global Health and Human Security (3 credits-available online)
  • PH 690 Global Health Challenges (3 credits-available online)
  • GHPS 695 Independent Study Project (3 credits)

Elective Courses (6 credits)

  • Graduate courses from public health or other departments may be used as electives provided that they are relevant to global health security such as emerging infectious diseases, climate change, displaced populations, transnational health, national instability, disaster management, humanitarian aid, global economics, and food security are recommended.

Double Counting Credits

Students enrolled in a graduate degree may double count approved major and elective credits in their masters or doctorate towards this graduate certificate.

GHPS Courses