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Certificates & Minors
Sustainability & Global Health Biotechnologies

The Sustainability & Global Health Biotechnologies (SGHB) certificate prepares students for careers deploying biotechnology to address healthcare access and sustainability challenges in low and middle income countries (LMIC). The certificate consists of three components: course work, research and an immersion internship.

Through the certificate, you will gain knowledge and experience on LMIC markets that are currently the largest drivers for growth in Pharma. You will learn to work in a cross-cultural, multidisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians, and business associates. Finally, you will learn and apply a skill set for evaluating the commercial viability and societal impact of technologies.


The course listed below is required. Students should take this course to complete the SGBH certificate. If the required course (CHEM_ENG 395 or the newly renumbered class) is not offered, the certificate director and MBP program director may approve an alternate course.

CHEM_ENG 395 Global Health and Biotechnology (this class is likely to receive a dedicated CHEM_ENG course number in the next year or two)

Students should complete one course from the list below.  These courses relate to the global health component of the certificate. Certificate director and MBP program director may add additional courses to this list in the future.

BMD_ENG 395 Global and Ecological Health Challenges (may get course number)
GBL_HLTH 390 Managing Global Health Challenges 
GBL_HLTH 301 Intro to International Public Health 
CIV_ENV 361 Public and Environmental Health 

Students should complete one course from the list below. These courses relate to the sustainability component of the certificate. Certificate director and MBP program director may add additional courses to this list in the future.

CIV_ENV 368 Sustainability: Issues and Actions, Near and Far
CIV_ENV 442 Processes in Environmental Biotechnology 
BIOL_SCI 347 Conservation Biology
BIOL_SCI 332 Conservation Genetics


MBP maintains a standard research requirement of 1,000 hours. Students earning this certificate must select a research project that concerns widening access to healthcare or improving environmental sustainability.


The three-month immersion internship will be during the fall or winter quarter in Cape Town, South Africa. The internship will give students first-hand experiences identifying opportunities in global health and sustainability with collaborators at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

During the internship, students will evaluate new technologies in tuberculosis diagnosis and mine waste bioremediation and determine the economic, health, environmental, and societal changes associated with implementing the new technology. Facilitated by the UCT faculty, students will visit work sites (clinics and mine waste sites), interview stakeholders (doctors, nurses, patients, environmental engineers, and regulatory agencies), and perform background literature research, and as necessary, measure key parameters experimentally.

The students will quantitatively estimate the economic, environmental, and social impacts of identified problems and will evaluate several novel innovations that rely on biotechnology.

The MBP students who participated in the 2016 immersion internship are pictured below.