M.S. in Global Health

Beginning in August 2011, the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics began offering a master of science in Global Health, a 36-credit hour graduate program that is a key component of the educational programs making up the College’s signature in public health.

The M.S. program offers students an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing the health and well-being of children and families in the context of the global community. The program will examine a broad spectrum of factors, including infectious and chronic diseases, genetics and disabilities that require families to interface with medical care providers, service agencies, and policy decision makers in their communities.

Many threats to children’s health exist today—from biomedical challenges, such as infectious diseases, chronic illnesses and disabilities—to psychosocial challenges, such as child abuse and neglect. Ecological and cultural factors shape the meanings that health practitioners and families attribute to children’s health and illness, and how these connotations influence choices made regarding care practices, children’s exposure to potential dangers, requests for assistance, and responses to interventions.

The M.S. in Global Health is a unique interdisciplinary academic program in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics that builds on expertise in areas including public health, child and family development, social work, nutrition, inclusive education and law. The faculty come from diverse backgrounds with extensive experience in the U.S., Caribbean, Canada, East Asia and the Middle East that will offer students valuable exposure to issues and lifestyles of these cultures. The varieties of faculty disciplines offer students more than the traditional perspective that will add in-depth knowledge from multiple perspectives.

This degree is designed to prepare graduates for health careers in a variety of local, national and international settings. The graduate training includes education in and outside the classroom. Students gain an in depth understanding of health related factors that limit  performance in schools and access and use of legal and health systems, for all individuals including those with physical disabilities. Our students will be well trained professionals in health and social policies, program development and implementation and program evaluation, which will allow them to work in policy, research, and service settings.

Overall this program seeks to develop a new group of health care professionals who are trained to meet the needs of the local, national, and international community. The global perspective of the program will be invaluable for graduate students interested in meeting the needs of the increasingly diverse population of New York State and the United States.

The new program has many unique features, including its focus on prenatal and postnatal health disparities and their impact on life-long health; a focus on developmental and ecological transitions along the life course; the inclusion of intervention models from  selected fields to address the needs of children and families with special health concerns, and a focus on the challenges of children and families with disabilities. This academic offering leverages established practicum sites at more than 200 agencies including the ‘Say Yes Project,’ in the Syracuse City School District, the College of Law’s Children’s Rights and Family Law Clinic and Disability Rights Clinic.