Master of Science

International Development and Global Health

Two youth washing hands at an outdoor sanitation station.

Support more equitable development and health outcomes for communities around the world

Gain the interdisciplinary perspective required to address significant barriers to sustainable development and social justice around the world. The intensively interdisciplinary program is designed to address widening gaps in human health globally through the socioeconomic, environmental and geopolitical arenas of international development.

Man talking, motioning with his hands and standing next to a table of students while they listen to his direction.

The Global Innovation Challenge takes on the topic of communicating science in a complex world.

With this program, UB is reimagining the global health landscape, redefining the way we look at health inequities facing communities today, and the methods and partners we engage to address such inequities.

Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah, PhD
Associate Professor, Urban and Regional Planning
MSIDGH Program Co-director

Interdisciplinary and experiential learning

Become an agile problem-solver attuned to the path-dependent, broken and unjust systems behind global health disparities.

Prepare for potential employment across an array of career pathways including government agencies, think tanks and international and local non-governmental organizations, including:

  • World Health Organization
  • U.S. Agency for International Development
  • United Nations
  • World Bank

A new approach to education and training in global health

From water stress and poor sanitation to inadequate housing for refugees, and from the looming crisis of drug-resistant pathogens to the rise of novel viruses, the factors behind global health inequity are highly complex, requiring coordinated action across sectors at every scale.

Our curriculum is like no other

The only full master's program in the U.S. that combines the arenas of global health and international development, the MSIDGH is jointly hosted by UB’s Schools of Public Health and Health Professions and Architecture and Planning.

Coursework is as diverse as refugee health, the politics of water, epidemiology and infectious disease, the built environment and health, and environmental planning.

A signature of the 36-credit program is a semester-long field placement where students will conduct focused research through direct engagement with community stakeholders in diverse settings around the world.

Gain experience in the field

Before heading into the field experience, you spend a month studying research questions at the local scale, here in Buffalo, to understand how to view problems in an interconnected way. Upon completion of field work, you codify and present your findings for dissemination through academic and professional networks in global health and international development.

Anyone with an undergraduate degree can apply

All undergraduate majors are eligible to apply, particularly those with backgrounds in public health, environmental design and international development.

The program also serves as a post-professional path of study for those working domestically or overseas in the global health and international development arena.

Annika Smith: Meet our Ambassador

Annika Smith.

Annika completed her BA in Global Affairs and French and spent the last year studying abroad in Lyon, France.   Having grown up in Buffalo, UB has provided her with a lot of opportunities to get involved and have new experiences.  With her graduate path in International Development and Global Health, she hopes to able to work with an organization for women’s health among refugee populations.  She has previous experience working with Journey’s End Refugee Services and AmeriCorps, and currently works with the WNY Women’s Foundation.  Annika has a love to travel, try new restaurants around Buffalo, play board games, and hike.

Study with faculty scholars across disciplines of public and global health

Students engaging in collaborative brainstorming around a white board with colorful sticky notes.

There are opportunities to align field experience with ongoing faculty research in settings as diverse as Ghana, Kashmir, Bangladesh, Uganda, Nepal, Jamaica and Colombia. Study with faculty who are pioneering scholars and thought leaders in fields including urban planning, epidemiology, inclusive design, land use planning and environmental health.

Pursue pioneering research in global health

The MSIDGH provides a key educational platform to translate UB’s pioneering scholarship as training for tomorrow’s global health and development workforce. The program is the curricular outgrowth of a nearly decade-long research, education and community engagement effort in global health equity at UB.

Since its founding in 2015, the Community for Global Health Equity (CGHE) has mobilized internationally funded research on sustainable and equitable food systems, refugee health and housing, environmental health including safe and accessible water and sanitation, and child and adolescent health. 

Following the same transdisciplinary model, UB’s CGHE convenes experts in the health sciences with architects, urban planners, engineers and social workers to develop innovative policy solutions and tools that improve global health equity. 

Among the pioneering lines of research being pursued at UB is Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah’s research on urban health and planning, environmental governance and public policy in the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa. His belief in an interdisciplinary approach to urban planning and studies, specifically, and social science research, generally, drives his research, teaching, and community service agenda.

Areas of research in global health

Environmental governance and sustainable urbanism
Inclusive Environments
Plan-REFUGE team in Kerala, India.
Food Equity
Settlement site in Uganda, 2016.
Refugee Health

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