An estimated 2 billion people in developing countries do not have reliable and secure access to essential medicines, a concern that is considered a global health high priority as stated by the World Health Organization’s Sustainable Development Goals, Target 3.8.  As key members of the healthcare world, pharmacists play an essential role in the advancement of global health through clinical practice, education, policy and research, a vocation that has a long standing history at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.

In collaboration with the University of Toronto Global University Program, the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy has developed the Certificate in Global Studies in Pharmacy to provide students an opportunity to further their knowledge and experience on the intersection of pharmacy with global and/or Indigenous health. Open to all Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) students entering their third year, this certificate will teach foundational competencies in global health education, along with exposure to caring for diverse, vulnerable populations.


Core Learnings
  • Describe the major causes of morbidity, mortality and disability around the world, and how the risk of disease varies with regions.
  • Advocate for advancing population health and patient-centered care according to local needs of communities.
  • Employ prevention and treatment strategies for communicable and non-communicable diseases globally.
  • Describe different national models or health systems for the prevention/provision of healthcare and their respective effects on health and healthcare expenditure.
  • Describe how global trends in healthcare practice, commerce, multinational agreements and multinational organizations contribute to the quality, availability and inequities of health and healthcare locally and internationally.
  • Describe how cultural context influences perceptions of health and disease.
  • List major social, economic and environmental determinants of health and their impacts on the equitable access to and quality of health services and on differences in morbidity and mortality between and within countries.
  • Integrate community assets and resources to improve the health and equitable access of resources for individuals and populations.
  • Exhibit interprofessional values and communication skills that demonstrate respect for, and awareness of, the unique cultures, values, roles/responsibilities and expertise represented by other professionals and community groups that work in global health.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of and an ability to identify common ethical issues and challenges that arise in working within diverse economic, political and cultural contexts as well as working with vulnerable populations and low resource settings to address global health issues.
  • Articulate barriers to health and healthcare in low-resource settings locally and internationally.
  • Demonstrate the ability to adapt clinical or discipline-specific skills and practice in a low resource setting.
  • Co-create and Implement strategies to engage marginalized and vulnerable populations in making decisions that affect their health and well-being.
  • Describe the roles and relationships of the major institutions influencing global health and development.
  • Develop a widened world view, sense of global citizenship and social responsibility of health and disease locally, nationally and internationally.
Additional Learnings
  • Describe major public health efforts to reduce disparities in global health (such as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)).
  • Recognize the health status of populations using available data (e.g., public health surveillance data, vital statistics, registries, surveys, electronic health records and health plan claims data).
  • Describe how travel and trade contribution to the spread of communicable and chronic diseases.
  • Describe general trends and influences in the global availability and movement of health care workers.
  • Describe the relationship between access to and quality of water, sanitation, food and air on individual and population health.
  • Apply leadership practices that support collaborative practice and team effectiveness.
  • Demonstrate authentic partnering, humility, integrity, regard and respect for others in all aspects of professional practice.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the relationship between health, human rights, and global inequities.
  • Critically analyze and evaluate evidence-based programs and policies at a local, international and global level.

Enrollment Requirements

This certificate is available for all PharmD students. Students who are interested in obtaining the Certificate in Global Studies in Pharmacy will need to request eligibility at the beginning of their third year of the PharmD program. 

To declare participation in the certificate program, please email

Please note:

  • Request for eligibility must be made prior to September 15 of the calendar year.
  • This certificate must be taken in conjunction with the PharmD program.
  • It is up to the student to ensure that all elective courses fit within their course schedule in order to complete the certificate.
  • Successful completion of the certificate is recorded on student transcripts.
  • All eligible certificate holders will be considered University of Toronto Global Scholars.

Certificate Requirements

In order to obtain the Certificate in Global Studies in Pharmacy, students must successfully complete a total of 1.5 credits as follows:

In the third year of the PharmD program:

1. One of the following electives in the Fall Term (0.5 credits)

PHM 320H Global Pharmaceutical Policy

Access to essential medicines remains a key global public health priority and is included in the globally endorsed Sustainable Development Goals. Despite decades of global efforts, evidence indicates that there is an inconsistent pattern in the availability of essential medicines globally. High prices, poor purchasing and distribution programmes, uncertain product quality and the falsification of medicines, and inappropriate prescribing practices, are but some of the potential factors that undermine availability and equity of the global population to essential medicines.

This course is designed for students who are curious about global health issues and global pharmaceutical policy issues in particular and can engage in critical analysis. There are no prerequisites required but it does require consistent and meaningful student commitment. This includes but is not limited to the following: keeping up with assigned class readings, participation in class discussions, the preparation of a research paper, and a class presentation that is based on the research paper.

In terms of content, we start the class with an introduction to the concept of global health and the stakeholders within the global health community. We then examine specific pharmaceutical policy issues, such as equity issues related to access to medicines, the research and development of new drug therapies, with a particular focus on research & development during the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of corruption within the health and pharmaceutical sectors, and the role of global organizations in the health system.

PHM 325H Indigenous Health

This course examines the many issues surrounding the health of Indigenous people living in Canada. During the 13 weeks of class, students will come to understand the present day health issues of Indigenous peoples from the perspective of their historical and political context and the effects of health care policy. The many highly qualified speakers from the Indigenous community and its focus on health and healing process make this course unique in the university. Optional, but strongly recommended, field trips include a “medicine walk” on the Six Nations reserve in which students will be able to see firsthand the source of some of the herbal preparations that are used in healing, and a purification (sweat) lodge ceremony outside the city. The course is enriched by its association between students of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and the Indigenous Studies program in the Faculty of Arts and Science, many of whom are of Indigenous origin.

2. One of the following electives (0.5 credits)

PHM 387H Global Health

Global health is defined as “an area for study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide” by “reducing avoidable diseases, disabilities, and deaths” This course will introduce students to selected foundational competencies in global health education such as the global burden of disease, social and economic determinants of health, the globalization of health and healthcare, global health governance, human rights and equity.  Students will discuss practical and ethical challenges in delivering care in low-resource settings, describe tools and strategies that are relevant to pharmacists to address the needs of specific vulnerable populations and examine cultural competencies and its importance in caring for diverse vulnerable populations.  Clinical topics will include the pharmacotherapeutic management of selected communicable and non-communicable diseases in low resource settings: HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, Neglected Diseases, Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes among others.

PHM 389 Research Project

This course is designed to introduce to students the philosophy, methodology and performance of research in scientific fields offered by staff members with graduate faculty status at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. The research will involve the review of pertinent scientific literature and generation of new information. Depending upon the project and the supervisor, the research may be conducted in a laboratory at the Faculty, in a hospital, community pharmacy, pharmaceutical company, etc. Fields of study are wide-ranging, e.g., drug delivery, drug metabolism, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacy administration and pharmacoeconomics, clinical pharmacy, pharmacy practice, radiopharmacy, receptor biology, therapeutics, and toxicology. Students are required to obtain prior written consent of the supervisor and course coordinator. Academic credit will not be given for research/work which contributes to the course if remuneration is received for such work.

Students must complete a research project on a topic related to Global Health.

One Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotation

International rotations provide students with an opportunity to practice in cross-cultural settings, enhancing cultural competencies, global health literacy and global citizenship. They will also provide a solid understanding of global health issues and exposure to various international, global policies and regulations, allowing students to gain perspective of the role of the pharmacist, within the overall global health context.

Eligible APPE rotations must have a focus on Global/ Indigenous/ Migrant and or Refugee health. The rotations may be local/ provincial, national or international. Please note that students would complete two approved rotations in total when following this pathway.

In the fourth year of the PharmD program:

3. One Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotation (0.5 credits)

  • International rotations provide students with an opportunity to practice in cross-cultural settings, enhancing cultural competencies, global health literacy and global citizenship. They will also provide a solid understanding of global health issues and exposure to various international, global policies and regulations, allowing students to gain perspective of the role of the pharmacist, within the overall global health context.
  • Eligible APPE rotations must have a focus on Global/ Indigenous/ Migrant and or Refugee health. The rotations may be local/ provincial, national or international.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to submit an application for the Certificate in Global Studies in Pharmacy?

No application form is required for the Certificate. Students who are interested in the Certificate will need to request eligibility at the beginning of their 3rd year of the PharmD program. This should be done no later than September 15 of the eligible year. If the Certificate requirements are met, then the completion will be reflected on their transcript.

Is there financial support available for international APPE rotations?

Students may apply to the Shaping Student Life and Learning Fund (SSLL) to offset some of the travel costs of international APPE rotations.

Is there a minimum grade point average (GPA) cut off to be included in the Certificate program?

There is no minimum GPA cutoff to be eligible to participate in the Certificate.

Are there any exceptions to the courses required for the certificate?

There are no exceptions to the courses at present for the courses required to be completed. All Certificate requirements outlined above must be completed in order to obtain the Certificate. The APPE rotations may be local or provincial, national or international depending on availability and preference. The rotations must focus on Global/ Indigenous / Migrant and or Refugee health.

What happens if I fail one of the required credits for the certificate?

Failure to successfully complete all required courses listed above will result in a forfeit of the Certificate.

How will COVID-19 impact any in-person activities this fall?

Due to COVID-19, some in-person activities scheduled for the fall semester must be temporarily cancelled. When it is safe to do so, these activities will resume. More information related to the pause of in-person activities will be addressed by your professor.

What is the connection between Global and Indigenous Health in the Global U program?

Indigenous Studies is almost always international and often global by nature. Most Centre for Indigenous Studies courses look at more than one Indigenous nation and even in instances where a single nation is explored, most Indigenous nations interact with other Indigenous nations as well as one or more settler nation states. Furthermore, Indigenous Studies in a North American context is almost always an exploration and examination of Global Indigeneity. The term "Indigenous" as it is applied speaks to global trends in migration, establishment of settler states, and the contemporary place of Indigenous peoples in global governance. Indigenous peoples represent the bulk of linguistic diversity found in Canada and the world today.
Source: Susan Hill, Director of the Centre for Indigenous Studies; Associate Professor, Indigenous Studies & History, University of Toronto


For specific questions related to the Certificate in Global Studies in Pharmacy, please email

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