Pillars of Global Health:

Building Competencies for Global Health Engagement

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Building on CFHI’s 30+ years of expertise in ethical community-based global health educational programs, CFHI and Aperian Global are very pleased to announce the launch of Pillars of Global Health, a series of online modules for students and academic institutions. The full set of self-paced, fully asynchronous modules takes an average of 8-10 hours to complete. The modules can be used by individuals or purchased by academic institutions and embedded into classes, pre-departure trainings, Global Health Tracks, and more. Upon successful completion of the modules and comprehensive quiz, students will receive a Certificate of Completion. Purchase information and FAQs are below.


  1. Global Health Definitions and Discourses
  2. Planetary and One Health
  3. Global Health Ethics
  4. Social Determinants of Health
  5. Diversity, Equity, and Health Disparities
  6. Cross-Cultural Effectiveness and Adaptability*
  7. Global Burden of Disease
  8. Health Systems

*Includes free embedded access to a cultural intelligence tool, GlobeSmart by Aperian and the Intercultural Effectiveness Scale by the Kozai Group.

Pillars of Global Health is a series of online modules for students and academic institutions to build competencies for global health engagement.

Fully Online

The full set of self-paced, fully asynchronous modules takes an average of 8-10 hours to complete. They can be taken in any order and work is saved after each session.

Flexible & Interactive

The modules can be accessed by individuals or purchased by organizations and academic institutions, and easily embedded into classes, pre-departure training, Global Health tracks, and more. The modules include highly interactive and engaging learning content.

Verified Curriculum

Module content was developed by faculty members and practitioners, drawing from the global health competencies for 21st century health professionals published research. Included are evidence-based self-assessment and reflection tools.

Certificate Upon Completion

Upon successful completion of all the modules and comprehensive quiz, students will receive a Certificate of Completion and a Credly digital badge.

Access Fee


Discounted rate for LMIC countries $75.

Please reach out to students@cfhi.org for details.

Discounts available for
  • Group and bulk access
  • Academic Institutions
  • CFHI partners

For more information, or to obtain preview access, contact jsamaan@cfhi.org

“By adopting the Pillars of Global Health modules, we finally have a standardized, consistent, and high-quality training for our institution and academic partners.”

-Kimberly Connelly, Senior International Officer, Director Office of International Programs, The University of Kansas Medical Center
Institutions currently transforming their curriculum with Pillars of Global Health

FAQs for Institutions

What is the best way to begin completing the Pillars of Global Health modules right away?

Click here to quickly set up a TalentLMS account (our e-learning platform) and purchase the course. Use the “got a coupon” link during checkout if you have a coupon to apply.

Once purchased, how long will an institution have access to the modules?

For one year based on a pre-agreed start and end date.

If an institution only wants to use a few of the modules, is there a reduced fee?

No, the fee is for access to all of the modules but you are free to access whichever ones you want or to assign only specific ones to students.

What if we overestimate the number of students/faculty for whom we need access?

An institution will be able to carry over unused access for up to six months into a renewal contract.

What if we underestimate the number of students/faculty for whom we need access?

We can work with you to amend the initial estimate and provide you with access for  more individuals.

Does CFHI give academic credit at the end of module completion?

Not at this time.

Will a student obtain evidence of successful completion of the modules?

Yes, after completing all modules, a student who achieves 80% or better on the  comprehensive quiz will receive a Certificate of Completion.

If we decide to promote these modules on our website can CFHI provide us with a logo and a link directing students to the module registration link?

Yes, we will be happy to work with you to facilitate a seamless process.

Will CFHI be developing other modules in the future?

We anticipate creating new modules and will look to our user community to guide us in the topics of most interest.

Will there be a way for users to provide CFHI feedback on the modules?

Yes, contact robin@cfhi.org with feedback.

Does CFHI provide discounted pricing for institutional and student access for those located in low and middle-income countries (LMIC)?

Yes, we do! We are happy to provide those details, upon request.

Who can I contact to learn more about Pillars?

For interested/potential CFHI partners and collaborators and for general information about Pillars of Global Health, contact Jenny Samaan, Ph.D. Sr. Medical Education Consultant, CFHI: jsamaan@cfhi.org.

How can I sign up for CFHI's newsletter to stay up to date with announcements?

To learn more and to stay updated, please sign up to receive the CFHI Newsletter. If you’re not subscribed, you can do so here.


For general information about Pillars of Global Health, contact Jenny Samaan, Ph.D. Sr. Medical Education Consultant, CFHI: jsamaan@cfhi.org.

Learn more!

Watch a previous webinar about Pillars of Global Health here: Pillars of Global Health New CFHI Online Course  Passcode: Qfg6sz%T

Upcoming Webinars

Mark your calendar for our next webinar. Learn more. 

FAQs for Students/Scholars

Is this course fully online with no live lectures I have to attend?

That is correct.   It is a fully online course you can fit into your schedule when you have time. There is no fixed start date or time.

How much do the Pillars modules cost?

The price is $125 for students located in High-Income countries and $75 for students in Low and Middle-Income countries.  If your institution has purchased access directly from CFHI then they have paid for your access.  You will need to get the access code from your institution administrator.

What topics are covered in the Pillars course?

Since we will keep adding modules, over time, for the most updated list, please visit: https://www.cfhi.org/pillars-of-global-health/

Is there any kind of assessment at the end of the modules?

Yes, there are knowledge checks throughout the modules, a quiz at the end of each module and an overall comprehensive quiz at the end. Additionally, there are two intercultural competency assessments that will provide you with valuable information about yourself as you navigate new cultures, in both local and global contexts.

My institution will only allow me to take Pillars as an elective if an MD at CFHI can complete an evaluation. Is this possible?

Please ensure your institution understands that this is a fully online, unsupervised course.  If they agree, CFHI’s  global medical director, a medical doctor and the Pillars lead author,  can complete an evaluation after you have successfully passed the course with a score of 80% or higher.

Do I need to submit an application on cfhi.org in order to access the Pillars course?

No, you do not need to submit an application on cfhi.org. You can purchase the course directly here: https://cfhi.talentlms.com/catalog/info/id:195

Who can I or my institution contact if we still have questions?

An email can be sent to: students@cfhi.org or to jsamaan@cfhi.org.

How long does it take to complete all the modules?

On average it takes 8-10 hours in total, but it depends on how thoroughly you want to read additional resources provided. 

Do I have to complete a module in one sitting or can I stop and return to it?

You can take as long as you need to complete a module and your work will be saved.

I have no background in global health. Is there any prerequisite requirement to take the course?

No.  These modules are intended to provide a foundational and comprehensive overview to global health issues and competencies.

Does CFHI grant academic credit for the Pillars online course?

CFHI does not offer academic credit. Those who receive a score of 80% or higher on the final quiz will earn both a Certificate of Completion and a Credly digital badge that can be uploaded to LinkedIn and other social media, included in applications, and added to your resumé.

How long will I have access to the course after purchase?

You will have access for one year from the date of purchase.

If I have access to electives through the AAMC VSLO program, can I apply for the Pillars course there or do I have to apply from the CFHI website?

You may apply through either platform, but please do not apply on both of them.