Distance Education Courses

The innovative distance education courses for graduate students were developed by Professors Mellissa Withers, APRU Global Health Program Director, and Shubha Kumar, Director of the USC Online MPH Program. First offered in 2015, the courses extend global health theory to real-world practice from an international, inter-disciplinary perspective.

To date, hundreds of students of public health, biomedical engineering, law, medicine, philosophy, anthropology and several other disciplines from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, the Philippine, and the U.S. have participated. 

The Model

    • Graduate-level, offered for credit. Courses are organized and managed by APRU.
    • At least four universities (approximately 60 students) participate in each course.
    • Universities sign on simultaneously once a week for two hours over 10 weeks through Zoom in the fall semester.
    • Students interact with live guest lectures by renowned global health leaders.
    • Analyze real-world case studies.
    • Students work in international teams on a final project.
    • Use a shared course website for announcements, readings, discussion boards, etc.

“Distance education technology allows us to give students a truly global, collaborative experience without the time and expense of travel.”

— Mellissa Withers, USC Associate Professor (Clinical) 

Examples of former guest speakers:

    • Jeffrey Koplan (Former Director, Centers for Disease Control, US)
    • Hiroki Nakatani (former Assistant Director General, WHO)
    • Lorraine Shamallah-Hannah (Polio Training Specialist, UNICEF)
    • Mauricio Hernandez-Avila (Previous Director General of the Institute for Public Health of Mexico)
    • Jennifer McCleary-Sills (Senior Program Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
    • Robin Smalley (Founder of NGO “Mothers2Mothers”)

Courses Offered