Doctor of Global Health Leadership and Practice


The DrGH program is a three-year program. Students spend the first year (9-12 months) at UW in Seattle focused on coursework. Years 2 and 3 are spent completing a minimum of two-four leadership and practice experiences (LPEs) at different global health organizations, over a period of 18 months. Students complete a practice product for each LPE, pass a preliminary exam, and complete a culminating practice doctoral meta-project.

The DrGH degree is highly individualized for each student, as there is flexibility to tailor the program to individual personal and professional goals. Beyond the core curriculum, students customize their experiences by choosing areas of emphasis for study, as well as organizational settings for the LPEs.


All students admitted to the DrGH program complete a minimum of 93 credits, including 44 credits of core requirements, 12 credits in areas of emphasis study, 24 LPE credits, and 12 credits for the practice doctoral meta-project and 1 credit PHI 500.

Leadership and Practice Experiences (LPEs)

Students engage in at least two-four (6-12 month) mentored work experiences in settings that provide exposure to a range of US and international agencies and organizations. These leadership and practice opportunities, or LPEs, may arise from the student’s existing professional network, from organizations previously identified by the DrGH program, from the networks of the student’s faculty supervisory committee, or a combination. The task of securing LPE placements will be a collaborative effort between the student and their UW faculty advisors. The focus of each placement is negotiated by the DrGH student and their LPE host site mentor, in consultation with the DrGH faculty committee.

Practice Products

Students will be required to produce a practice product for each LPE whereby they demonstrate the integration of classroom and workplace learning. Illustrative examples of LPE products include:

  • A stakeholder analysis in preparation for the launch of a new health intervention;
  • A scope of work for an evaluation that involved negotiation across multiple parties;
  • A policy brief outlining evidence of cost-effectiveness of a behavioral change intervention; or
  • A strategic planning document for an organizational unit or program initiative.

Doctoral Meta-Project

Students complete a practice doctoral meta-project incorporating all prior LPE practice products, with integrative analysis and reflection. Students are also required to complete an oral presentation of the doctoral meta-project and to disseminate their work (e.g., publish in practice-oriented journal, present a formal report to stakeholders).

Preliminary Examination
Students will complete a preliminary exam as a virtual, “take home” exam at the end of Year 2, in the September – October time frame, during a window of approximately 6 weeks.

Faculty Supervisory Committee
DrGH students form a faculty supervisory committee of 3-5 members, which may also include members of the global health practice community. Over the course of the program, the committee reviews and provides feedback on the student’s coursework, advises their leadership and practice experiences, serves on the student’s general exam panel, and reviews and evaluates the student’s LPE product portfolio and doctoral meta-project.