Global Health Pathway


Receive mentorship and support for longitudinal global health projects

UCLA medical students with a strong interest in global health are encouraged to join the Global Health Pathway. This Pathway is a longitudinal commitment to pursuing global health activities throughout medical school, during which students receive mentorship and support for research or other types of global health projects, career planning, networking, and the development of leadership skills.

Pathway students may be interested in a variety of careers, including global health research, clinical work, education and/or training at academic medical centers, and working in U.S. government agencies, multilateral organizations, or nongovernmental organizations. 

Students are encouraged to join the Pathway as soon as possible, but by no later than August 15th of their second year of medical school, to maximize benefit from the program.   


Pathway requirements

1) Scholarly global health project 

All Pathway students are required to complete a scholarly global health project prior to graduation.

Students will have a primary mentor to guide them in their project(s), which can include, but is not limited to, a research or policy/advocacy project, or participation in a longitudinal program or quality improvement effort. The project can be based on work initiated during the Global Short-Term Training Program, or arise from other projects designed with mentor(s).

Each student will complete a scholarly deliverable that can range from an abstract presented at a conference, to a brief report of their activities, to one or more formal publications. The scholarly project must be approved by the Pathway Director to ensure it meets requirements.

We value the experience students gain from presenting their scholarly work at relevant domestic or international conferences, and offer funding to help Pathway students cover expenses associated with conference attendance. Students can apply for funding to attend one conference each year that they are part of the Pathway, as long as they are presenting at the conference (oral or poster presentation).

  • More information and the application for conference funding can be found HERE.

2) Participation in Work-in-Progress Meetings (WIPs)

We are committed to providing students in the Pathway with opportunities to build or fine-tune their global health skills, and to network with other students and global health faculty and staff. Through our Work-in-Progress Meetings (WIPs), students and mentors come together to discuss research/scholarly projects and focus on developing skills in specific areas such as data analysis, data management, data visualization, presentations, etc. During these meetings, second-year Pathway students present their ongoing scholarly projects and discuss challenges or bottlenecks; mentors (and peers) provide advice and targeted teaching. Pathway students who are not presenting are encouraged to participate actively in the dialogue and to contribute to a supportive environment. WIPs are held during lunch throughout the year. In order to meet Pathway requirements, students are required to attend at least two and present at one WIP. WIPs are also open to third- and fourth-year medical students in the Pathway. 

3) Participation in at least two of four additional global health activities:

  • MS1/MS2: Global Health Selective, which includes attendance at a variety of lunchtime lectures and evening events. Requirements vary by year.
  • MS1/MS2: Global Health Leadership Role, which may include serving as a leader of the Global Health Selective, the Global Health Interest Group, and/or the planning committee for the Los Angeles Global Health Conference. Selective leadership is available to MS2 students who enrolled in the Selective as first-year students.
  • MS1-MS2 SUMMER: Global Short-Term Training Program, which provides the opportunity for students to have mentored summer research or public health experiences at a UCLA-affiliated partner site abroad. Applications for our funded global health summer research experiences are open to all medical students and are not guaranteed for Pathway students. Participants are required to attend a pre-departure orientation program, present a poster at the annual Josiah Brown Poster Fair, and participate in a debrief upon return.
  • MS4: Senior Clinical Elective in global health, which exposes students to the practice of medicine in low- and middle-income countries. Applications for our funded global health clinical electives are open to all medical students and are not guaranteed for Pathway students. All students participate in a mandatory orientation program prior to departure, as well as two debrief sessions upon return home (one site-specific debrief and one larger debrief with all students).

Additional opportunities

Some Pathway students may elect to pursue additional study (e.g., Master in Public Health) or research training (e.g., University of California GloCal Health Fellowship, UCLA SAPHIR, Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowship) that can help them to further prepare for a career in global health. Our faculty and staff can help interested Pathway students identify and apply to the most appropriate and relevant opportunities. For information on available opportunities, please visit our Resources & Opportunities page. 


Application and information

The Global Health Pathway application can be downloaded as a word document here.

Students who successfully complete the Pathway program will receive a “Certificate of Completion of the Global Health Pathway.” Participation in the Pathway may also be highlighted in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE, or “Dean’s Letter”). For more information, please contact Dr. Daniel DeUgarte, Global Health Pathway Director, at