In-Person & Synchronous Online, Fall, 1 Credit, Third 5-weeks, Tu/Th 2:30-3:45pm, SEEC N126

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.