Center for Socially Engaged Design

Developed by the Global Health Design Initiative, the Specialized Study Program in Global Health Design (PGHD) is an academic program that allows undergraduate students to focus their elective courses and upper-level design coursework on the topic of global health to earn the following notation on their transcript: “Specialized Study in Global Health Design”. The specialized study program can be completed without exceeding the 128 credits required for a BS/BSE/BA. Students from all disciplines are invited to complete the program.


To complete the Program in Global Health Design, students must declare the program and complete all of the requirements. Declaring the program does not guarantee notation on a student’s transcript. There are three main components to the program:

Project-based Design Foundations Course with Global Health Themed Project 

  • Students must complete a design course at the 300 or higher level in which they work on a project that falls within the theme of global health. The course should expose students to problem definition, concept generation, analysis, prototyping, and/or evaluation. A list of pre-approved courses is available under “Approved Course Lists.”

Global Health Foundations Course

  • Students must complete one course from the list of approved global health courses under the “Approved Course List.” The global health foundations course is meant to broaden the student’s knowledge of global health outside of a design context. This requirement must be fulfilled by completing a course outside of the College of Engineering.

Depth Course

  • The depth course is meant to deepen the student’s understanding of the thematic area of their Design Foundations Course project and/or to strengthen their global health design skillset. This requirement can be fulfilled with courses within or outside of the College of Engineering.  Examples of depth courses are provided under “Approved Course Lists.”

Approved Course Lists

Project-based Design Foundations Courses

Multiple courses allow students the opportunity to work on a global health project and would fulfill this requirement; the list below is not exhaustive.  However, the course project must be related to the theme of global health.

  • MECHENG 450: Capstone Design and Manufacturing (co-listed as ENGR 450)
  • BME 450: Senior Capstone Design
  • ME 455: Analytic Product Design
  • ARTDES 342.1: Responsible Design
  • MSE 489: Energy and Water Sustainability

Global Health Foundations Courses

This is a list of pre-approved courses to fulfill this requirement.  There are many more courses that could fulfill the requirement.  Send petition requests to

  • HBEHED 516: Global Health Anthropological Perspectives
  • HISTORY 302: History of Global Health
  • INTMED 387: Implementation Solutions for Global Health Equity
  • PUBHLTH 350: Global Public Health; Challenges and Transformations
  • PUBHLTH 554: Introduction to Globalization and Health

Depth Course Examples

Due to the wide variety of global health projects students may work on, there are many courses which could fulfill this requirement across multiple departments. This is not an exhaustive list, but instead a list of example courses that could fulfill this requirement.

Global health design skillset

  • BIOMEDE 499.102 Clinical Observation and Needs Finding
  • ME 499/599: Front End Design
  • SI 422: Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation
  • IOE 430: Global Cultural Systems Engineering
  • ME 589: Sustainable Design of Technology Systems
  • STRAT 562/TO 563: Innovation in Global Health Delivery
  • BME 350: Intro to Biomedical Design (This will not fulfill the requirement if you are a BME student)

Project-related thematic areas

  • AAS 409: Maternal/Child Health & Environmental Pollution in Africa
  • ANTHRUCUL 325: Childbirth & Culture
  • WOMENSTD 365: Global Perspectives on Gender, Health, & Reproduction
  • ANTHRCUL 212: The Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic
  • ENVIRON 308: Sustainability and Health

How to Declare

To declare PGHD, complete this form.  Students are advised to declare prior to or during their junior year.

If you are petitioning to use an alternate course to fulfill any of the requirements (i.e., a course not listed on the approved list) please be prepared to paste or upload the course syllabus and a brief paragraph of why you feel the course is an acceptable alternative to fulfill the select requirement in the declaration form.

Advising and Oversight