PhD in Global Health

Global Health

Global Health has become critical both in Kazakhstan, Central Asia, and internationally. Global Health is an expanded field of study, practice, and scientific development that addresses the root causes of disease that address the broad determinants of health with population-based efforts. In recent years, the role of Global Health professionals has evolved in response to the needs of an interconnected world and to respond to complex societal needs.

Global Health problems will require in the next years an increasing number of professionals that coming from multiple disciplines enlarge their world view and expand their skills and competencies.

Ph.D. graduates in Global Health will be in the ideal position to bridge the gap between the production of knowledge and its application in decision-making and eventually improve health and achieve equity in health in Kazakhstan, Central Asia, and worldwide.

The mission of the Ph.D. Program in Global Health is to train the next generation of global health researchers and to prepare them to provide leadership in the field. Our graduates will pursue research careers in top-tier universities, research and policy-making organizations, the healthcare industry, international institutions, and non-government organizations.

About the program

Through a combination of courses, seminars, and research activities, the Ph.D. program aims to provide students with advanced training in independent, rigorous, and timely scientific measurements to accelerate progress on global health by identifying the world’s major health problems, assessing how well society addresses these problems, as well as on the systematic application of scientific approaches to ask and answer questions regarding evidence of intervention efficacy to implementation. The program will offer opportunities to those who choose to pursue a career in academia, international organizations, public health institutions, or the private sector.

The core elements of the program are to pass a comprehensive examination and the submission and defense of a Global Health Ph.D. A thesis that presents the advances of the research to the discipline. Students will be expected to conceptualize, design, and implement research for their projects independently, identifying the ethical concerns of their proposal, deciding together with their supervisor the direction that future work will take based on the results.

Core courses:

  • Foundations of Global Health
  • Health Policy and Systems Perspectives on Global Health
  • NUSOM Global Health Seminar
  • Global Health into Action
  • Methods in Global Health Research
  • Advanced Methods in Global Health Research
  • Critical appraisal of scientific literature in Global Health
  • Writing for biomedical sciences


Admission to the Ph.D. program is highly competitive and will be handled on a case-by-case basis evaluating candidates’ undergraduate curricula, master thesis or grades in MD program, English-language proficiency, motivation, and references. Admissions decisions will be based on consideration of evidence provided by the candidate for the following areas:

  • Evidence of successful completion of the 1st and 2nd cycle of higher education in a relevant discipline (including completion of a two-year master’s degree with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale), or completion of an MD program with prior research experience.
  • Prior coursework in biostatistics and epidemiology.
  • Evidence of any professional and/or voluntary experiences related to population health or healthcare-related activities.
  • Sufficient English language skills to be able to function effectively at Ph.D. level, English-language environment, provided by:
  1. Proof of a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS test with no less than a 6.0 in any subject or the TOFEL equivalent; OR
  2. Proof of completion of an academic degree in a university taught in the English language.
  • Cover letter with the motivation to enroll on the Ph.D. in global health.
  • Two (2) Reference letters of recommendation.

Selected applicants will be invited for personal interviews with the Ph.D. Committee.