• Does the MMSc-GHD have an online option?

    Due to COVID-19, fall 2020 courses will occur online. We are considering adding a hybrid track for the MMSc-GHD program which would include both in-person and online content. For now, the program is officially residential: students complete courses in Boston, MA during year 1, conduct research at their sites, and then return to Boston to analyze their thesis date, write their thesis paper and present their thesis results. 

  • I am interested in the field of global health—is the MMSc-GHD the right program for me?

    The MMSc-GHD program is designed for mid-career professionals who have experience in global health settings. Many applicants have a clinical degree (e.g., medicine, nursing) but a clinical degree is not required to enter the program. The prerequisites are an undergraduate degree and two or more years of health care delivery experience in a resource-limited setting. That experience can include patient care, or non-clinical experience such as program management.

    Choosing to pursue a master's program is a very personal decision. We advise prospective students to consult with their current mentors and advisors for advice and feedback. You may also consider the following:

    1. Your experience - do you have two or more years of experience in health care delivery in a resource-limited setting? The experience could include managing a health care delivery program or delivering social services in such a program. A resource-limited setting can be anywhere in the world.

    2. Your research focus - what research project would you undertake within the MMSc-GHD? All MMSc-GHD students must complete a research project in health care delivery in a resource-limited setting. The resulting thesis is of publishing caliber.

    3. Your future career - what are your career goals? The MMSc-GHD aims to assist those who seek leadership positions in global health delivery in resource-limited settings. These positions may have a research element to them, involve clinical, research, and/or management, or be purely leadership roles.

    The admissions committee considers how well an applicant's experience, research interests and future plans match the purpose of the program.

  • Are there special prerequisites I need to complete prior to applying?

    The prerequisites for the MMSc-GHD program are an undergraduate degree and two years of experience in health care delivery in a resource-limited setting. While many applicants have attained a clinical degree, a clinical degree is not required to apply to the MMSc-GHD program.

  • I have a non-clinical degree. Am I eligible to apply?

    The prerequisites for the MMSc-GHD program are an undergraduate degree and two years of experience in health care delivery in a resource-limited setting. While many applicants have attained a clinical degree, a clinical degree is not required to apply to the MMSc-GHD program.

    The admissions committee considers how well an applicant's experience matches the purpose of the program.

    The MMSc-GHD program will prepare people specifically for health care delivery in resource-limited settings. Applicants to the program often have experience working in resource-limited settings, as a clinician, administrator, community health worker, or policy maker. Past students have included lawyers, public health professionals, activists, PHD-trained scientists, NGO leaders, and people with significant experience working with marginalized populations.

  • I already have attained a Master in Public Health (MPH), should I apply?

    If you already have an MPH, you are welcome to apply-we expect that the two degrees will complement each other. However, you may also find overlap in some of the courses. You should be certain that you are interested in health care delivery, as that is the focus of the program.

  • How is the MMSc-GHD different from an MPH or MS in international health?

    The MMSc-GHD focuses on health care delivery in resource-limited settings. The MMSc-GHD is based around an eight month mentored field project. The MMSc-GHD will offer courses on epidemiological methods, social medicine, and ethics, as a MPH might, but the focus for the MMSc-GHD will focus on how to deliver excellent care to populations in places such as Haiti, Liberia, Malawi, the Navajo Nation, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and others.

    The MMSc-GHD differs from a MPH or MS in the following ways:

    • The main difference is the focus. The MMSc-GHD focuses on health care delivery in resource-limited settings, whereas an MPH or MS might focus more broadly on other issues. The focus is important because it stems from Dr. Paul Farmer and Dr. Joia Mukherjee's work with Partners In Health on how to deliver excellent health care to populations in resource-limited settings such as Haiti, Liberia, Malawi, the Navajo Nation, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and others.
    • The MMSc-GHD requires a mentored project with the result being a publishable paper or grant proposal. This involves intensive work on an eight month on-site project.
    • The MMSc-GHD includes courses at Harvard Medical School as well as at other Harvard schools.
  • Is financial aid available?

    The Harvard Medical School MMSc degree programs are "need-blind" in their applicant selection process and have no knowledge of an applicant's financial situation nor do they consider ability to pay in the evaluation of an applicant's application.

    The Department of Global Health and Social Medicine (DGHSM) does have limited funding that students can apply for after they have been admitted to the MMSc-GHD program. In addition, eligible students may apply for Federal Loans and private loans through the Harvard Medical School Financial Aid Office website for masters programs

    Due to limited resources, the DGHSM cannot guarantee that an applicant or admitted student will receive any funding. We strongly urge applicants and admitted students to pursue scholarship and loan opportunities beyond those available through our department to ensure they secure enough funding for the program.

  • What is the cost of the program?

    A budget/Cost of Attendance for the program is available on the program details page.

  • Are there scholarships and/or fellowships available beyond what the MMSc/GHSM can offer?

    There is very limited financial aid available directly through the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. We urge potential applicants to research other potential opportunities as well. Below are some funding ideas you may consider as you seek funding:

    • Information for finding fellowships, scholarships, and grant opportunities may be found online.
    • The Fulbright Program offers funding for students from abroad seeking to pursue a master's degree in the U.S.
  • What are the program dates?

    Please find a program schedule at the end of the "apply to the MMSc-GHD" page. 

  • May I complete the program on a part-time basis?

    Yes, we do have a part-time option for the MMSc-GHD program. Please email mmscghd@hms.harvard.edu for details on this opportunity.

  • May I work during the program?

    The MMSc-GHD is an intensive program requiring a significant time commitment. It is technically an "80% time" program, so students who are eligible to work in the US may choose to work during the program.

    Students who do their on-site project at a place where they have been employed may be able to work part-time during the project, but those students must ensure that they continue to complete all requirements for the MMSc-GHD program in good time.

    The MMSc-GHD program cannot assist students in finding employment, nor make any special allowances for students who choose to work while completing the program. 

  • Will courses from the MMSc-GHD transfer to other Harvard schools?

    Harvard schools do not allow credit used to complete one program to count toward credits required for another program. In addition, most Harvard schools (HMS, HSPH, etc.) do not allow students to transfer credits from programs at other schools, even those within Harvard. An exception is made for the GHDI program, from which students may transfer credits within one year of completing the program.