The lack of a non-communicable disease curriculum threatens the relevance of global public health education

Henry Greenberg, Stephen R. Leeder, Stephanie Shiau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancer, lung disease and diabetes are major public health challenges for emerging economies. However, Masters of Public Health (MPH) curricula in the USA do not provide germane coursework. Methods To assess the availability of global NCD courses in MPH curricula, we searched the websites of the 50 schools accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health as of 1 July 2013. Our questionnaire queried availability of a global or international health department or track, availability of an NCD track, and the presence of courses on NCD, NCD risk factors, CVD or global NCDs as well as global health infrastructure. Results All schools had online course coursework available. Thirty-one schools (62%) offered a global/international health track or certificate; 38 (76%) offered an NCD course but only 4 (8%) offered a global NCD course. Of the schools with a global health program, none required an NCD course but all offered courses on global health economics or infrastructure. Conclusion For public health schools to be aligned with global realities and to retain a leadership role, curricular initiatives that highlight the NCD epidemic and its societal complexities will need new emphasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1-e4
JournalJournal of Public Health (United Kingdom)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Chronic disease
  • Education
  • Employment and skills
  • Public health


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