Spring, 1 Credit, 5-week Session 1 

Instructor: Evan Thomas

Course Information

Global Health, a multidisciplinary academic and professional discipline, works to address the unequal distribution of disease determinants and burden in low income communities. The Consortium of Universities for Global Health defines the discipline as, “an area for study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. Global health emphasizes transnational health issues, determinants, and solutions; involves many disciplines within and beyond the health sciences and promotes interdisciplinary collaboration; and is a synthesis of population-based prevention with individual-level clinical care.”

Public Health, and Global Health, are purposefully multidisciplinary sectors. Successful Global Health practice requires familiarity with community health, behavioral health, epidemiology and biostatistics principles, while also incorporating public policy, environmental engineering, program management, social enterprise and business skills. 

In this course, engineering students engaged in Global Engineering, poverty reduction efforts, technology and intervention design will be introduced to the conditions, context, and professional activities and standards of global health practice. 

Learning Goals

  • 1.1 Students will be able to recognize the global health challenges in developing countries. Students will identify emergent methods and interventions designed to address these challenges. 
  • 1.2 Students will be able to describe interventions and evaluations designed for and with developing countries, including community water supplies, household water treatment, sanitation, and energy systems. Students will identify design requirements, standards and evidence based practice. 
  • 3.2 Students will be able to use the Global Burden of Disease data to describe and interpret health disparities between and among low, middle and high income countries.  

Textbooks and Materials

All required readings will be provided through Canvas.


Critical Responses (Graded as pass / fail / partial credit, each are 5% of final grade, 25% total)

The weekly critical responses are Zoom-based in-class discussions. The discussions are are not meant as a summary of the readings, but rather as an opportunity to engage with and explore key questions or concepts in the readings. Students are expected to come prepared having read and reflected on all materials.

Lab Reports and Assignments (25% total)

There will be one lab assignment.

Lab 1: Global Burden of Disease Analysis

Your results from laboratory exercises should be presented in the form of a laboratory report that includes the following sections:

  • Introduction (statement of objective and relevant theory)
  • Methodology (description of procedure)
  • Results (analysis section that includes your findings)
  • Discussion (explanation and interpretation of results, comparison to standard or typical values, potential sources of error or uncertainty)
  • Conclusion (brief summary)
  • References (properly formatted)
  • Appendices (raw data when appropriate, sample calculations, tables or figures that couldn’t fit in main report)

The main document (excluding appendices) should not exceed five pages (1” margins, 12 point font, single spaced). Lab reports are due at the beginning of class according to the schedule outlined in this syllabus.

Case Study: There will be a case study review (25%)

Group Work

Some of the assignments will be completed on an individual basis, but some will involve group work. For group efforts, all group members will receive the same grade. Each student will also receive a participation grade for the course that will be based in part on that student’s contributions to the group efforts. Peer evaluations, instructor observations, and other related methods may be used when determining the participation grade.

Late Policy

The grade for late assignments will be reduced by 10 percentage points (on a 100 point scale) per day that the assignment is late. We may agree to make exceptions to this policy on a very limited basis, provided that the reason is very compelling and provided that you ask us in advance.

Extra Credit (TBD points)

Extra credit assignments are not anticipated but may arise as the course progresses.

Quizzes (each are 5% of final grade, 25% total)

Reading quizzes are posted in Canvas.


Grades will be recorded in Canvas throughout the semester. At the end of the term, the scores on all assignments are weighted by the percentages given above to determine a semester score. Student grades will be determined as follows based on their semester score rounded to the nearest single decimal place:

A+: 100 to 97.0 percent

A: 100.0 to 93.0 percent

A-: 92.9 to 90.0 percent

B+: 89.9 to 87.0 percent

B: 86.9 to 83.0 percent

B-: 82.9 to 80.0 percent

C+: 79.9 to 77.0 percent

B: 76.9 to 73.0 percent

C-: 72.9 to 70.0 percent

D+: 69.9 to 67.0 percent

B: 66.9 to 63.0 percent

D-: 62.9 to 60.0 percent

F: 60.0 to 0 percent




The most up to date course calendar, readings and assignments will be posted in Canvas. Critical responses and assignment submissions will be through Canvas. 

Accommodation Statement

If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit your accommodation letter from Disability Services to your faculty member in a timely manner so that your needs can be addressed.  Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities in the academic environment. Information on requesting accommodations is located on the Disability Services website. Contact Disability Services at 303-492-8671 or dsinfo@colorado.edu for further assistance.  If you have a temporary medical condition or injury, see Temporary Medical Conditions under the Students tab on the Disability Services website.

Religious Observances

Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort to deal reasonably and fairly with all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments or required attendance.

Classroom Behavior

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Those who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation or political philosophy.  Class rosters are provided to the instructor with the student's legal name. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun. Please advise me of this preference early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records. For more information, see the policies on classroom behavior and the Student Code of Conduct.

Discrimination and Harassment

The University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) is committed to fostering a positive and welcoming learning, working, and living environment. CU Boulder will not tolerate acts of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault, exploitation, harassment, dating or domestic violence, and stalking), discrimination, and harassment by members of our community. Individuals who believe they have been subject to misconduct or retaliatory actions for reporting a concern should contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) at 303-492-2127 or cureport@colorado.edu. Information about the OIEC, university policies, anonymous reporting, and the campus resources can be found on the OIEC website.

Please know that faculty and instructors have a responsibility to inform OIEC when made aware of incidents of sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment and/or related retaliation, to ensure that individuals impacted receive information about options for reporting and support resources.

Honor Code

All students enrolled in a University of Colorado Boulder course are responsible for knowing and adhering to the Honor Code. Violations of the policy may include: plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, lying, bribery, threat, unauthorized access to academic materials, clicker fraud, submitting the same or similar work in more than one course without permission from all course instructors involved, and aiding academic dishonesty. All incidents of academic misconduct will be reported to the Honor Code (honor@colorado.edu); 303-492-5550). Students who are found responsible for violating the academic integrity policy will be subject to nonacademic sanctions from the Honor Code as well as academic sanctions from the faculty member. Additional information regarding the Honor Code academic integrity policy can be found at the Honor Code Office website.