Global Child Health Master’s Program

An exceptional degree from one of the world's leading institutions in pediatric global health.

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Earn a unique Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Global Child Health from the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Developed in collaboration with the St. Jude Department of Global Pediatric Medicine, the program is designed to offer students a transformative education needed to enhance the treatment and care of childhood cancers and catastrophic illnesses in an evolving world.

Students will learn to identify evidence needed to improve child health in target environments and generate the required evidence. By learning to apply systematic, scientific, evidence-based approaches, students will be able to facilitate delivery of timely, comprehensive and effective health care programs to children who need it. The Global Child Health program equips students to work with leaders across disciplines, critically examine assumptions and beliefs, and engage in an invigorating, collaborative quest for learning and personal development.

Throughout the program, students are supported with exceptional benefits, an integrated online and on-campus experience, and mentorship by world-renowned faculty and thought leaders in pediatric global health and education. Students can also leverage partnerships St. Jude has formed with collaborators around the globe.

The 30-credit program is offered as a two-year, interdisciplinary degree program, based on flexible learning.

  1. Students at orientation in meeting room.

    Applications are open between August 30 and December 1, 2019. The program begins in July 2020.

    Currently, the program can only accept applications from Tennessee residents and international (non-US) residents. 

    How to Apply

    Submit an online application and additional supplemental materials, including:

    • a curriculum vitae describing in full detail your academic background, including degrees, work experience, awards, publications, presentations and other achievements
    • three-page personal statement outlining:
      • your academic and professional preparation, strengths and weaknesses in your ability to pursue the degree program, and your aptitude to undertake the expected enhanced professional responsibilities
      • reasons for pursuing the graduate degree and how you determined that the program is the best way to attain those goals
      • professional plans upon completion of the program
    • unofficial transcripts, copies of academic records, and degrees or diplomas from all post-secondary schools attended. These must be submitted via the online application. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified word-by-word, English translation and uploaded online during the application process.
      Please note: Official transcripts of academic records will be required for admitted candidates upon matriculation; these must be sent directly from the institution’s registrar’s office to the registrar of the Graduate School
    • letters of reference from three mentors, professors or supervisors. The letters must be submitted directly via the online application system and should describe your academic successes, professional background, potential for achievement at the graduate level and capacity for creative, self-directed study.

    Applications that are incomplete or missing supporting documents will not be considered.

    Admissions Timeline (2020 Entering Class)

    Dates Admission Process
    August 30, 2019 Application period opens
    December 1, 2019, 11:59 p.m. PST Applications must be submitted with all supporting materials
    January 31, 2020 Review of applications completed by Admissions Committee
    February 1-28, 2020 Candidate interviews conducted online
    March 6, 2020 Accepted candidates notified 


    Applicants must have one of the following combinations of academic credentials and work experience:

    • an advanced degree in a health-related field and at least two years of relevant work experience
    • bachelor’s degree and at least five years of relevant post-baccalaureate work experience in a relevant health-related field (eg. epidemiology, global health, health and social behavior, health management or health policy).

    Degrees must be awarded from an accredited institution from the U.S. or abroad.

    Environment of Equal Opportunity

    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences encourages diversity on campus and does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, sex, genetic information, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, veteran’s status, disabled veteran’s status or any other status protected by federal or Tennessee state law. The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Graduate School is committed to creating an inclusive learning environment that provides cultural and ethnic diversity. Underrepresented minorities are encouraged to apply to the program.

  2. Exterior of Marlo Thomas center and Kay research tower

    The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences offers a highly competitive package for accepted candidates. Institutional funding for the duration of the program includes:

    • a full tuition scholarship to cover the cost of the program
    • airfare and lodging expenses for on-campus visits
    • stipend for travel days to campus
    • laptop and IT support for the duration of studies
    • access to online learning resources
  3. An Integrated Learning Environment

    Shaloo Puri, assistant dean, in front of white board

    The Global Child Health program will maximize student potential through guided learning with mentorship by world-renowned faculty. Students will find the program integrates academic training and experiential learning, with online classes blended with on-campus programming. Students will build an understanding of current and future developments in global child health.

    During the program, students will learn to:

    • identify evidence needed to improve child health in target environments
    • collect, analyze and synthesize relevant data to generate evidence using scientific analytical frameworks
    • demonstrate knowledge of child health issues, socioeconomic and political determinants and approaches to the management and control of diseases
    • conduct analyses of disease burdens, and evaluate intervention strategies and approaches that address major child health issues, characterizing them within the context of health systems
    • demonstrate an understanding of the concepts, structures and implementation principles of global health systems, and application of lessons learned in different countries
    • develop evidence-based programs and policies from conception through innovative thinking and solutions that will strengthen health systems and address catastrophic childhood illnesses
    • apply leadership and management tools to effectively and efficiently implement programs and policies
    • enable positive change to strengthen health systems, improve health of children globally and reduce health inequities

    The program will provide students opportunities to learn to identify and implement the necessary changes to improve the treatment and care of childhood cancers and catastrophic illnesses. These competencies will empower the students to apply their education at the local, regional and global level, across multiple settings, and to accomplish identified goals in complex settings.

    Core Competencies

    The competency-based curriculum will focus on basic and applied research skills, global health systems and innovation and population sciences, tailored to the context of child health. Students are trained in three core competency domains: foundational knowledge, translational tools and implementation skills. The program will equip students with a distinctive blend of:

    • knowledge, tools and skills to assemble and assimilate scientific evidence
    • applied analytical tools and integrative thinking to develop evidence-based policies and programs
    • leadership and management skills to bring about positive change

    Foundational knowledge includes training in the fundamentals of biostatistics and epidemiology, social sciences and child health issues in the context of global health and health systems. Students will translate their foundational knowledge into applied research, evidence-based policies and programs. Implementation skills ultimately guide students toward becoming agents of change by strengthening their communication, leadership and management abilities.

    Foundational Knowledge Translational Tools Implementation Skills
    Concepts and Theories Methods, Analysis and Synthesis Execution
    • Biostatistics and epidemiology
    • Social sciences
    • Global health and health systems
    • Global disease burden of childhood
    • Quantitative, qualitative and mixed research methods 
    • Analytical frameworks and critical thinking
    • Evidence-based innovative thinking and solutions
    • Leadership, management and communication skills
  4. Year 1
    On-Campus Orientation
    (4 weeks; July-August 2019)
    Introduction to Online Learning and Math Preparation
    Ethical issues in Global Child Health and Research
    Leadership and Communication Workshops
    Fall Semester
    (September-December 2019)
    Principles of Biostatistics 
    Introduction to Epidemiology
    Foundations of Global Health 
    On-Campus Winter Intercession
    (2 weeks; January 2020)
    Leadership and Management Workshops
    Spring Semester
    (January-May 2020)
    Research Methods in Global Health
    Global Health Economics
    Introduction to Health Systems
    Year 2

    On-Campus Summer Intercession
    (4 weeks; July-August 2020)

    Global Child Health Practice and Leadership Workshops
    Thesis Seminar

    Fall Semester
    (September-December 2020)

    Child Health and Burden of Disease
    Political Economy of Global Health
    On-Campus Winter Intercession
    (2 weeks; January 2021)
    Workshops and Mid-term Thesis Report

    Spring Semester
    (January-May 2021)

    Strategic Management of Child Health Programs
    Innovation and Global Health Systems
    May-June 2021 Examinations
    June 2021 Graduation
    August 2021-Beyond Postgraduate Capstone


    Credit-bearing courses

    Man and woman talking in hallway

    Each course is delivered through two weekly sessions of direct instruction and an estimated six hours per week of out-of-class preparation over 15 to 16 weeks. Assignments are posted online, and students complete and upload them to the course website within a stipulated time. Some courses may include group activities and team projects to foster a sense of community and collaboration.

    Instructors are available during open hours and by appointment. Multiple ways of communicating are available, although the primary mode is through emails with occasional video chats.

    Non-credit courses, on-site programming

    Students have mandatory non-credit seminars during their on-campus visits to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, including orientation and thesis seminar.

    Students are on campus during orientation for the following workshops and seminars:

    1. Learning to Learn Online, which will include components of online learning, analyze different types of learning environments and help students plan for a personal learning environment. It will help identify areas of personal adjustment and time management required for success in online learning.
    2. Ethics in Global Health, with presentations on ethical principles of scientific research, clinical care and global health care. Students are exposed to ethical frameworks, theories and historical references, linking theory to practice in research, experiential learning and delivery of global child health.
    3. Communication Workshops, which will focus on public speaking and persuasive presentations, effective scientific writing and the basic principles of memo and policy writing.
    4. Leadership and Management Workshops will address issues related to self-mastery, team building and conflict management.

    The thesis seminar supports students in producing a thesis of high academic standard, guiding them through structured and collaborative approaches to develop a project idea. Students are introduced to the challenges of writing and presenting a thesis and provided resources to support them through the process. They learn to review scientific literature, design action plans, develop proposals and write a final thesis.   

    Individual academic advisers are assigned to each student to provide supportive supervision.

    Master's Thesis

    The thesis is the culmination of studies and the primary locus for translation of the knowledge and skills students acquired through the program. A selection of theses are considered for funding by the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine after successful degree completion.

    The thesis will have two main components:

    • A project proposal addressing a global health issue, with background, justification, process and measurable results expected to make significant contributions to positive change. Impact may be achieved through direct action to improve outcomes in populations and organizations or the creation of significant translational action that has potential to influence the change. This includes creating, implementing or evaluating a global health initiative; managing and enhancing existing initiatives; developing an organization’s strategy or policy initiatives; or conducting applied research in select locations.
    • A personal journey statement designed to be an opportunity for the student to reflect on personal growth and development that has occurred throughout the program.
    • Stephen White, DPhil
      • Dean

      Stephen White is from London, England and obtained his BSc in Biochemistry from Bristol University and his DPhil in Molecular Biophysics from Oxford University. Following postdoctoral fellowships at Oxford and the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, he moved to Brookhaven National Laboratory as a staff biophysicist in 1984. In 1990, he moved to Duke University Medical Center as an Associate Professor, and in 1996 was recruited to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to establish the Department of Structural Biology. In 2015, he was asked to establish the new St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. He now serves as the first Dean of the school.  His wife, Dr. Miguela Caniza, is an infectious disease clinician at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and a faculty member of the Graduate School and the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine.

    • Shaloo Puri, MBBS, DTCD, MPH, MPA
      • Assistant Dean

      Shaloo Puri is a global health leader with more than 24 years of progressive experience and transformational impact in multi-sectoral settings at national and global levels. She has held leadership positions in organizations that include Harvard University, World Economic Forum and World Health Organization (WHO), working in collaboration with USAID, Global Fund, Gates Foundation, World Bank, and public and private sectors. She is a thought leader with expertise in innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships across global health and health systems. In July 2018, Shaloo moved to St. Jude from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she headed the Doctor of Public Health Program.

      Shaloo is assistant dean of the Master of Science in Global Child Health Program. She directs the St. Jude Global Graduate Studies for the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine. She also guides and supports other Global Pediatric Medicine teams and transversal programs.

    • Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, MD

      Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, MD


      • EVP and Director, St. Jude Global
      • Chair, Department of Global Pediatric Medicine

      Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, MD, serves as director of St. Jude Global and chair of the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine. He is also an executive vice president and holds the Four Stars of Chicago Endowed Chair in International Pediatric Research.

      Rodriguez-Galindo is leading an effort by St. Jude to ensure childhood cancer patients have access to quality care no matter where they live.

      A native of Barcelona, Spain, Rodriguez-Galindo first came to St. Jude in 1994 as a postdoctoral fellow. He went on to serve as a clinical researcher and faculty member for more than a decade before accepting a position in Boston. At the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital, he was director of the Pediatric Solid Tumor Program, medical director of the Clinical and Translational Investigations Program, and director of the Global Health Initiative in Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders. He also served as professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

      In 2015, Rodriguez-Galindo returned to Memphis to lead a new program and approach, called St. Jude Global, to address pediatric cancer worldwide. Currently, St. Jude has 24 partner sites in 17 countries and addresses 2.4 percent of the global childhood cancer burden. Under Rodriguez-Galindo’s leadership, the program aims to expand St. Jude’s reach to 30 percent in the next decade and to develop the intervention models to ensure access to quality care for all children with cancer in the world.

      Rodriguez-Galindo earned his medical degree from the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is authorized for operation as a postsecondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. In order to view detailed job placement and graduation information on the programs offered by the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, please visit