UW Courses

Led by Dr. Christopher J.L. Murray, IHME has attracted a core of talented researchers who have worked in senior-level positions at the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and in governments all over the world. Over the years, they have created the concepts that have become the foundation for global health, including the disability-adjusted life year, the Global Burden of Disease, and effective coverage. Their work has been cited by researchers more than 32,000 times and has helped guide significant health reforms in Iran and Mexico. Throughout the school year, IHME faculty members teach classes at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Washington campus and at IHME in downtown Seattle. 

Global Health Challenges (GH415/515) - Professor Christopher J.L. Murray

Introducing the principal health problems of the world's populations and the major challenges to improving health worldwide, this interdisciplinary course explores physiological, economic, social, and political factors that shape the global health landscape. An emphasis is placed on what we know about global health problems and how we know it.

Offered: Spring Quarter
Course website
Lecture Screencasts - Spring 2011


Methods, Tools, and Data in Health Metrics and Evaluation (GH539) - All IHME Faculty

This intensive two-week course introduces analytical methodologies, quantitative concepts, and statistical packages applied to specific global health challenges. It also instructs students in the software used in health metrics research. Enrollment limited to Post-Bachelor Fellows and students in the HME track of the MPH.

Offered: Autumn Quarter
Course website


IHME Seminar (GH590) - Clinical Associate Professor Bernardo Hernández Prado

Seminars are intended to provide an opportunity for students to engage in a dialogue about the methods, results, and implications of current research. In addition, the series exposes students to the broad array of issues in completing research projects and the magnitude of work involved in producing salient results.

Offered: Autumn/Winter/Spring Quarter
Course website



HME Track Seminar (GH592A) - Clinical Associate Professor Bernardo Hernández Prado

Each week, IHME Post-Bachelor Fellows evaluate a selected journal article about a current global health issue and discuss its research design, analytical methodologies, and policy implications. Each fellow is assigned a particular seminar session and is responsible for selecting the article and leading the discussion during that weekly session. Enrollment limited to PBFs and students in the HME track of the MPH.

Offered: Autumn/Winter/Spring Quarter
Course website


Supply and Demand of Health and Health Services in Developing Countries (GH490E/590F) - Assistant Professor Mike Hanlon and Acting Assistant Professor Joe Dieleman



This course examines the demand, supply, and financing of health and health service in developing countries. Each class period is divided into two distinct portions. During the first portion, students will be (1) introduced to a thematic topic; and (2) use theoretical frameworks from the field of economics to interpret that evidence. During this portion of the class, our objective is to identify what we know about these issues. The second portion of each class period will focus on the empirical methodology used to generate and test evidence from data. During this portion, our objective is to understand how we know what we know. Special attention is devoted to drawing causal inference from observational data.

Offered: Spring Quarter



Mortality Analysis for Global Health (GH590A) - Assistant Professor Haidong Wang


This course is designed to introduce students in public health to the fundamentals of demographic analysis on the subject of mortality. Mortality indictors such as child mortality rate, adult mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, infant mortality rate, and life expectancy are routinely used in public health and often used as key benchmark in evaluating public health programs. Thus, it is essential for public health practitioners to understand how these mortality indictors are constructed and how to properly utilize them. This course provides a thorough overview of the conceptual, methodological, and empirical basis for quantifying health among individuals and populations. Students of this course will learn the strengths and limitations in applying the mortality analysis methods introduced in this course, especially in developing countries with limited empirical data.

Offered: Winter Quarter


Global Burden of Disease (GH590G) - Associate Professor Mohsen Naghavi


This course is designed to introduce students to the concepts, technical components, and quantitative methods for burden of disease measurement. This course focuses predominately on constructing aggregate measures such as years of life lost (YLL), years lived with disability (YLD), and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). Furthermore, this course will discuss a range of measurement techniques that combine information on mortality and nonfatal health outcomes for a host of different diseases. This course will provide students with an understanding of the methodological and empirical basis for quantifying burden of disease estimates for national and global health priorities. Students will learn how to use sparse data covering mortality, morbidity, causes of death, individual health status, and condition-specific epidemiology to determine levels of health within different populations, particularly in developing countries.

Offered: Summer Quarter


Quantitative Impact Evaluations (GH590) – Assistant Professor Marie Ng

This course focuses on the application of quantitative techniques for impact evaluation. Special emphasis will be placed on learning when, why, and how methods are applied. The topics covered include classic methods such as instrumental variable, double-difference, regression discontinuity, and matching. In addition, alternative methods such as quantile regression will be introduced.

Offered: Spring Quarter



Interactive Data Visualizations (GH590C) – Assistant Professor Abraham Flaxman


This course is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of interactive data visualization for global health. It will provide an overview of the breadth and history of statistical graphics and data visualization, as well as an introduction to user interface and web design and development. It will include substantial hands-on experience building interactive data visualizations through a project-based approach. The course will also touch on the cognitive psychological theories of what works and what does not in statistical graphic communication and how empirical methods can investigate these claims. IDV4GH will give students a broad exposure to the technologies, implementations, and cultures of interactive data visualizations in global health.

Offered: Spring Quarter


Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
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