Global and Public Health

The Global and Public Health program at Manipal University offers students a comprehensive overview of public health in India, as well as a multi-disciplinary array of courses focused on Indian culture, politics and society. Based at one of India’s premier private universities, this program provides an integrated Indian campus experience and the unique opportunity to live and take courses with Indian peers.

As part of their coursework, students visit local health clinics to understand health promotion, infectious disease treatment and prevention, and traditional and contemporary medical practice, as well as explore India’s traditional culture and contemporary ascendance on the world stage. Field visits integrated with the core course provide exposure to the regional complexity of Karnataka and its local religions, landscapes, livelihoods, and economies.

Program Terms Fall Semester, Spring Semester
Credit Hours 15
Subjects Offered Dance, Environmental Studies, Film, Hindi, International Affairs, Political Science, Public Health
Language Pre-Requisites None
Field Components Directed Research
Housing Dormitory
Excursions Week-Long Field Study Trip
Application Deadlines April 15 (Fall), November 1 (Spring)

All students are encouraged to consider studying abroad for an academic year in India, whether continuing in their current program to deepen their knowledge of Manipal, or at a different Alliance program center to broaden their understanding of India’s regional diversity.

The Global and Public Health program provides a comprehensive overview of public health in India, as well as a multi-disciplinary look at Indian culture, politics, and society. The 15-credit semester is comprised of a required core course and four electives.


SOCI 350 Contemporary Indian Culture (3 credits)

This core course provides a political, historical, religious, philosophical, and social overview of contemporary Indian society and creates a shared intellectual context that promotes the integration of coursework with students' personal observations.  


Some courses are designed especially for international students, while others may be integrated with Manipal University students. Not all electives may be offered in a given semester depending on enrollment and faculty availability.


These courses include weekly field-based practicums alongside other Manipal students. Past students have shadowed doctors at Manipal University Hospital, visited a leprosy rehabilitation center, learned how to screen tuberculosis patients, and participated in rural implementation of the WHO polio eradication project.

AYUR 300 Ayurveda and Indian Traditions of Healing (3 credits)

PUBH 210 Environment and Occupational Health (3 credits, fall semester only)

PUBH 220 Maternal and Child Health (3 credits)

PUBH 225 Global Health Problems (3 credits, spring semester only)

PUBH 230 Surveillance of Infectious Diseases (3 credits)

PUBH 240 Epidemiology in Developing Countries (3 credits)

PUBH 250 Public Health System and National Health Policies, Systems and Programs (3 credits, fall semester only)

PUBH 300 Basic Epidemiology (3 credits)


The following courses provides a multi-disciplinary look at India’s past, present, and future. The university has drawn its most talented faculty from geopolitics, philosophy, European studies, and communications to teach direct-enroll and specially-designed courses focusing on India and South Asia.

DANC 200 Indian Classical Dance (3 credits) 

This course focuses on basic disciplines and performance of Bharatanatyam, which originated many centuries ago in the temples of Tamil Nadu. Known for its strong lines and signature turn-out position, Bharatanatyam is embellished with intricately expressive hand gestures and elaborate facial expressions that lend to the story-telling aspect of this style.

DIRR 380 Directed Research (3 credits)

Students may conduct research with local organizations in the areas of international relations, public health, and the humanities. Guided readings and one-on-one meetings with faculty guides provide instruction pertaining to the development of articulate and comprehensive research that remains respectful to the sensitivities of local culture. The course culminates a specific pilot study in the field.

FILM 345 Evolution of Cinema in India (3 credits, fall semester only)

Best known through the powerhouses of Bollywood, Indian films are produced in over 17 languages with a wide and diverse range of subjects and genres. Students become familiar with the basic elements of cinema and film appreciation, the origins of Indian cinema, influential Indian film directors, and the corporatization of the film industry.

HIND 100 Beginning Hindi (3 credits)

With a focus on practical application of Hindi language, this course emphasizes speaking proficiency and listening comprehension, as well as elementary reading and writing of the Devanagari script.

IAFF 360 Regional Security Scenario in South Asia (3 credits)

In today’s world, the strategic implications and inter-related security issues involved with current problems of communications and information must be dealt with in a holistic sense. Students examine the salient features and relevance of the complex issues affecting regional security in South Asia.

IAFF 365 Strategy and Practice of Indian Foreign Policy (3 credits, fall semester only)

The history and changing nature of India’s foreign policy continues to inform the strategy and choices that India weighs while formulating its policies in dealing with foreign nations. This course is geared toward students who have a limited background in the strategy and practice of foreign policy in the Indian context.

IAFF 375 India's World View (3 credits, fall semester only)

This course addresses the views of the world on India and the reciprocal Indian view of the world. The uniqueness of conceptualizing and constructing a world view of India is essential in the context of India’s rising power and how the traditional and stagnant views of India have been transforming and reconstructed in the light of India’s rise.

IS379-01 Exploring Community & Culture in a Global Context (3 credits)

In addition to required and elective courses, Alliance students may participate in an exciting online course with a global cohort from IFSA-Butler locations around the world. Enrolling in this course brings your course load to, or above, 18 U.S. semester credit hours and requires approval from your study abroad advisor.

Through a creative online format, this course facilitates active engagement with your host community, exploration of cultural identity and examination of diversity in the context of political, economic and sociocultural structures. Students cover topics such as intercultural communication skills, intercultural learning theories, tools for intercultural analysis and the development of personal strategies for engaging with differences of any kind following the study abroad experience. This course is ideal for students who seek transferable skills and specific competencies for successful work in the global marketplace. The asynchronous course format allows you to take part in online discussions, post responses, review peer contributions, submit your assignments, read materials and watch instructor videos at the time of day (or night) that best suits your personal schedule.

Download the course outline or course syllabus to learn more.

Every Friday, a public health professor from Manipal University leads Alliance students on excursions that are directly linked to the curriculum. This hands-on exposure to India’s system at the village, town, and district level helps Alliance students gain a 360-degree understanding of the successes and challenges of global public health. 

  • Seeing firsthand the issues of the Maternal and Child Healthcare at the Anganwadi in Malpe, a public health initiative which combines education and a nutritional program for children ages 3-6 years old. 
  • Learning about India’s national Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme at the Udupi District Surveillance Unit, where infectious diseases are monitored.
  • Comprehending the complexities of Tuberculosis treatment in India at the DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment, Short-Course) Center at Udupi. 
  • Visiting a Leprosy Hospital and its associated leprosy colony to meet with some of the last people affected by this disease.
  • Observing the process that milk goes through from cow to lassi at a milk pasteurization plant. 

Students who choose to pursue directed research as an elective are paired with a faculty member appropriate to their academic area of interest, such as international relations, public health or the humanities, and are expected to produce a formal research paper. Research students have regular meetings with faculty guides in their subject area to discuss the formation and execution of their research plans. All directed research projects are subject to the interest and availability of faculty and may require prior relevant coursework.

Browse a list of sample directed research projects. For more information, consult the Directed Research in International Relations, Public Health and Humanities syllabus. 

Featured Directed Research Project

Claire Karlsson (American University)

Claire researched the menstrual hygiene of adolescent girls for her project, Teacher Perspectives on Menstrual Hygiene Practices in Rural Government Schools of Udupi District.

“I partnered with eight rural government schools in the Manipal-area [and] wrote an analysis on the role of the schoolteacher in implementing Indian female hygiene policy. I met incredibly committed and knowledgeable female science and health teachers that gave me insight into India's health education and school system, particularly in rural areas. The project positively impacted almost every aspect of my time in India because it brought me in contact with so many diverse people and places. I would say that my research experience laid the foundation for my career goal, which is to support international organizations' programs on adolescent girls' and women's reproductive health.”

Public Health

Dr. Sanjay M. Pattanshetty
Interim Coordinator, Department of Public Health

Dr. Varalakshmi Chandrasekaran

Dr. Aarthy Ramaswamy
PUBH 300 Epidemiology in Developing Countries

Dr. Kumar Sumit 
PUBH 225 Global Health Problems

Prof. Rajesh Kamath
PUBH 230 Surveillance of Infectious Diseases

Dr. Arati Rao
PUBH 220 Maternal and Child Health

Dr. Kumar Sumit
PUBH 250 Public Health Systems and National Health Policies, Systems and Programs

Dr. Kumar Sumit / Dr. Prakash Narayanan Vasudevan Potty
PUBH 300 Basic Epidemiology

Dr. Sameer Phadnis
Environment and Occupational Health


Dr. K. J. Malagi
Head, Department of Ayurveda

Dr. Shripathi Adiga
Dr. Kamath Madhusudhan
Dr. Anupama Nayak
Ayurveda and Indian Traditions of Healing

Indian Studies

Dr. Prakash Narayanan Vasudevan Potty / / Dr. Arvind Kumar
DIRR 380 Directed Research 

Prof. Varadesh Hiregange
SOCI 350 Contemporary Indian Culture

Prof. Thiru Jeevarathinam  
HIND 100 Beginning Hindi

A study abroad experience is first and foremost an academic experience. All Alliance for Global Education courses have undergone a faculty review and approval process, and are transcripted by Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. While in most cases students who have received approval from their home institution to study on an Alliance program can be assured of credits transferring, it is each student’s responsibility to work with the home school study abroad advisor and faculty or academic departments to ensure credit transfer for specific courses.  

Credits and Accreditation

Credits granted for Alliance courses are identified in course listings on the Curriculum page for each program, and appear on the official transcript issued at the completion of a student's term. Credit is issued in U.S. semester hours, ensuring that students continue to make progress toward their degrees and verifying the full-time course load they completed while abroad.

All Alliance courses have been reviewed and approved by Butler University’s Undergraduate Academic Programs Committee. Butler University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Programs approved by the Butler University College of Business—which include the Alliance’s International Business in China Program—are accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


Students receive a letter grade on a scale from A to F for every course taken while enrolled on an Alliance program. Withdrawals may be granted due to exceptional circumstances. Although policies at students' home institutions may differ, the Alliance does not permit students to take courses on a credit/no credit or pass/fail basis. Student grades are determined by criteria set forth in course syllabi. The grading scale used in determining letter grades is as follows:

Excellent      A 93-100% Acceptable C+ 77-79%
A- 90-92% C 73-76%
C- 70-72%
Good    B+ 87-89% Unsatisfactory D+ 67-69%
B 83-86% D 63-66%
B- 80-82% D- 60-62%
Failing F < 60%


At the conclusion of a program, an official transcript is sent to the participant's home campus and to the student's permanent address. Please use this form if the Alliance has accepted you into a program and you have changed your home, school or billing address. Federal regulations require official documentation and a signature for address changes.

Because timelines for final evaluation may vary due to respective program calendars or administrative structures of partner universities abroad, transcripts may take longer to issue than they do at U.S. institutions. While the timeline varies by program, a general timeline for issuing transcripts is:

  • Fall programs - transcript issued in late February
  • Spring and Summer programs - transcript issued in late September

Transcripts are not released for students with an outstanding balance of program fees or other charge incurred while on the program. Students enrolling in consecutive terms with the Alliance do not receive their first term transcript until their second term fees are paid in full.

Students in Alliance programs from Summer 2014 and beyond can request additional transcripts of their transcripts online at any time from Butler University's online transcript ordering service provided by the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit organization serving the higher education community. 

For all Alliance programs through Spring 2014, transcripts were issued by Arcadia University. Students enrolled during that time can request additional copies of transcripts online or in writing from the Arcadia University Registrar's Office.

If you have a question about the transcripting process or timeline, please contact your Academic Records Coordinator.

Academic Record Appeal

The Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University (IFSA-Butler) can assist you with your academic record appeal for any IFSA-Butler or Alliance program by contacting the host institution you attended and/or program instructor as well as our staff abroad for further information.

Academic record appeals can be varied in nature, including grade appeals, credit appeals, courses missing from the transcript, course title, etc.

Students may appeal the content of their academic records according to the official procedures set by the host university and/or program. All appeals must be submitted to IFSA-Butler promptly after receipt of the Butler University transcript via our online Academic Record Appeal Form. IFSA-Butler allows students one year from the program end date to submit appeals, however it is the student’s responsibility to be aware of and meet the deadlines set by the host university and/or program attended. The earliest deadline takes precedence.

No appeals will be undertaken for those students who have taken early examinations, have arranged to submit any course work outside the scheduled dates, have a financial hold on their account or have been accused of academic dishonesty for the course in question.

The appeals process may be lengthy due to differences between universities abroad and the U.S. academic systems and calendars. Therefore, you should expect that an appeal may take three weeks to three months to resolve.

What constitutes a valid academic record appeal?
You must have reason to believe that an error has been made in calculating your grades or credits (i.e. submitted work was not received; an error may have been made in marking your final exam, etc.) or that you were exempt from a portion of the coursework due to a documented medical or personal emergency.

The following arguments, on their own, are insufficient reason for an appeal:

  • “My home university requires a higher grade for transfer of credit.”
  • “I feel I deserve a better grade.”
  • “I was over my head in this class.”
  • “I worked hard and spent a lot of time, effort and money on this class.”

Complete the IFSA-Butler Academic Record Appeal form, clearly describing the nature of your academic record appeal. Upload any supporting documentation. You must be polite, specific, and when appropriate, substantiate your well-written logical appeal by providing relevant documentation. Upon receiving a response from your host institution and/or program instructor, your academic records coordinator will notify you of the results as soon as they are available.

All decisions made by the host university and/or program instructor are final. An academic record appeal may result in a higher or lower grade. IFSA-Butler reserves the right to withhold the submission of those appeals that do not meet the above criteria and to issue a final decision.

Click here for the academic record appeal form.

Academic Calendar

  • Spring semester begins in mid-January and concludes in mid-May
  • Fall semester begins in mid-August and concludes in mid-December

Specific program dates are posted below. All flights should be booked according to these dates. Please consult the Booking Your Flights page of our Pre-Departure section for instructions on how to book your flights. Remember that flights from the U.S. arrive in India the day after they depart from the U.S. Be sure to confirm that you are departing the U.S. on the first date listed below.

Semester Structure

The 16-17 week semester begins with an orientation. Students are acclimated to their new environment through introductory lectures on Indian culture, training on health and safety, and given an introduction to campus life. Once students have settled into their dorms, they begin their coursework. Field excursions and site visits are woven into the semester schedule. The semester concludes with a final seminar where experiences are discussed and students are prepared for their return home.

Given the program’s busy academic schedule, weekly local activities and excursions, and field study trips, the Alliance STRONGLY DISCOURAGES students from hosting visitors until the end of the semester. Please encourage family and/or friends to visit AFTER the program has ended. Students should make their travel plans accordingly.

2017 Fall Semester Calendar

8 August 2017                   Flight departure from U.S.
9 August 2017                   Arrival in Mumbai
10 August 2017                 Group flight to Mangalore - Orientation begins
14 August 2017                 Classes begin
30 Setember-8 October     Field study travel week
6 December 2017              Closing ceremony
7 December 2017              Return flight to U.S. (after 5 p.m.)

2017 Spring Semester Calendar

10 January 2017           Flight departure from U.S.
11 January 2017           Arrival in Mumbai
12 January 2017           Group flight to Mangalore - Orientation begins
13-14 January 2017     Orientation
16 January 2017           Classes begin
18-25 March 2017        Field study trip
8 May 2017                   Closing Ceremony
9 May 2017                   Leave for USA after 05:00 p.m. 

Alliance study abroad programs emphasize cultural immersion, experiential learning opportunities, and extensive interaction with students and faculty in the host context. Your housing arrangements at Manipal are thus an important component of your experience abroad, and we want you to be able to make the most of this opportunity.

Alliance students at Manipal are housed in air-conditioned rooms in student hostels on campus. Students may choose to live in single rooms or in double rooms with an Indian roommate. All rooms include attached, private bathrooms. Please note that the hostels at Manipal University impose a curfew on student residents, a common practice at colleges and universities across India. Curfews may vary depending on the hostel, but often range from 10 pm to midnight. Students should be aware that curfews may also change at any time without prior notice.

All meals are included and provided in the campus canteens. Additional multi-cuisine restaurants in the two university food courts and off-campus are readily available at the student’s expense. There are several coffee shops on and nearby to the campus as well.

What Students Have to Say:

"When I’m not buying fruit or walking to class, quite often I can be found hanging out with my room mate. Your roommates are the best people to ask about fun things to do, cultural norms, schoolwork, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask–it will help so much as you transition and most people here are super friendly." 

– Erica Cross (University of New Hampshire)


Public health students will visit rural health clinics once a week with Manipal students as part of the course requirement. The core required course, Contemporary Indian Society, includes a number of field visits to locations relevant to the course curriculum. In addition, two long weekends will be set aside for trips to locations such as Mysore, Bangalore, and Kerala.


Students are acclimated to their new environment through introductory sessions on Indian culture, university life, program policies, health and safety, and through social events with Manipal University faculty and students. Excursions into the local area include visiting the Krishna Temple for an elephant blessing and local restaurants to experience regional food. Orientation culminates with a Yakshagana performance, a regional form of traditional dance-theatre, followed by dinner with faculty, students, and performers.

In and Around Manipal

Local activities and excursions are built into the curriculum throughout the semester. The core required course, Contemporary Indian Culture, integrates the course material with weekend activities and trips. Numerous other optional activities are made available to the students and may include:

  • Screening of Bollywood movies on campus
  • Tour the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station and Cobra Sanctuary
  • Visits to Cashew Factories as well as Tea and Coffee Plantations
  • Cooking demonstration and class at Manipal's Institute of Hotel Management
  • Backwater boat tour in remote Kerala
  • Visit to Hindu pilgrimage sites at Gokarna and Murudeshwar
  • Participation in various Manipal University campus festivals
  • Tour of Udupi Harbor and its fishing industry, as well as St. Mary’s Island
  • Visit to Sringeri Math, Karkala and Moodibidri
  • Excursion to Goa for the annual International Film Festival of India

Expressive Culture Classes

In addition to vibrant campus life, Alliance students in Manipal are given the option of taking classes in expressive culture. Choices may vary depending on the availability of instructors, but yoga and bharatnatyam (dance) are commonly offered.

Program Fees

Total Tuition Housing
Spring 2018 $16,900 $14,650 $2,250
Fall 2017 $16,900 $14,650 $2,250

What’s Included

The program price includes tuition and fees, housing, university meal-plan, pre-departure materials and advising, student visa authorization documents, orientation, organized activities, field study trips, course materials and basic stationery supplies, phone and internet set-up assistance, the services of a full-time resident staff, and medical/evacuation insurance.

what's not included

The program price does not include airfare to India, the cost of your student visa, some meals, transportation, phone and internet, travel week, and other items not mentioned as included.

out of pocket expenses

When making your budget, think about your spending habits – are you a “Just the Essentials” Traveler, happy to eat all meals at the canteen, doing “time-pass” with your roommate? Or are you more of the “Everything Extra” Traveler, who wants to experience everything – nights out, ordering takeout, and traveling every weekend?

Estimated Out of Pocket Expenses for One Semester

Roundtrip airfare to India $ 950-1,400
Flight to Mangalore $ 80
Visa processing and shipping $ 255
Meals (outside of meal-plan) $ 250-500
Local transportation (varies by distance) $ 250
Phone usage $ 30
Internet usage $ 100
Indian clothing $ 100
Incidentals and personal care items $ 50
Entertainment $ 100-500
Weekend travel $ 100-500
Estimated Total $ 2,265-$3,765

*Estimated in-country expenses based on 1.00 US Dollar = 62 Indian Rupees


Remember to check in with your home university and visit our Finances pages to learn more about financial aid and study abroad scholarships.

Continuer's DISCOUNT

The Alliance encourages students to consider studying abroad with more than one Alliance program. The Alliances offers a $500 scholarship to repeat students who choose to study on our programs a second (or third!) time to help you get there faster!

The first program can be any Alliance opportunity, and your participation can be in non-consecutive terms. The scholarship does not apply to semester students who choose to extend to a year-long program, as a discount is already included in our full-year program fees.

Our program center is based at Manipal University, known internationally for its strong medical college and health sciences department, situated in the South Indian town of Manipal. Meet our on-site staff!


Manipal is a true college town, with a population of roughly 30,000 and an active campus community. Located near the Arabian Sea, it has a relaxed coastal feel and boasts an abundance of natural beauty.

The neighboring town of Udupi is significantly larger than Manipal yet still remains relatively quiet. Udupi’s famous Krishna temple is over 800 years old and attracts hundreds of thousands of annual visitors for during the numerous Hindu festivals throughout the year, and local organizations regularly sponsor traditional concerts and theater performances. Udupi is also home to a number of friendly markets, shops, and eateries and can be accessed easily and cheaply via local transportation.

Manipal University

Enrolling over 18,000 graduate and undergraduate students, including 3,500 students from countries in the Middle East, Europe, Australia, and other parts of Asia, Manipal University has an international student body and world-class faculty. The Manipal campus is modern, with state-of-the-art classrooms, library, food court, and a huge indoor sports complex all within walking distance of our program center. You also have access to a number of student clubs, festivals, and sports competitions—allowing you to maintain your active student life halfway around the globe.

Check out this interactive map of the Alliance's resources across Manipal:

View Alliance On Location: Manipal in a larger map.

One week during the semester is set aside for an extended field visit. Travel itineraries are subject to change, and highlights may include:

  • Bicycle tour of Hampi, haunting ruins of the 15th-century Vijayanagara Empire
  • Explore environmental issues at Agumbe Rainforest Research Station and on a jeep safari at Nagarhole National Park
  • Visit to the Assembly building in Bengaluru and a look at state level politics
  • Tour of Infosys, India’s premier IT industry, and the Palace in Mysore

In past semesters students traveled with the Manipal Resident Director on a nine-day study tour exploring major urban and rural sites in Karnataka.

In Bengaluru, the center of India’s IT and outsourcing industries and political strong-hold, students took a private tour of the state capital building, known as the Vidhana Soudha, and attended a discussion of India's political system with a local politician and professor from the renowned Indian Institute of Management. The group also explored the city's prime shopping district and beautiful Lal Bagh gardens.

The students then caught a train to Mysore where the visited Infosys', India’s premier IT company and world famous business success story, largest training facility. Touring the sprawling campus in a golf cart, students were able to visit the board room and peek into the classrooms where top students from top universities train for future careers at the company. While in Mysore, students also toured the beautiful palace of the Mysore royal family.

Third on the itinerary was a visit to a Kabini wildlife preserve. Though students may not always be lucky enough to see a tiger, the park is home to many other animals, including wild elephants that the students spotted. Next the group stopped in Ooty, a popular hill station in Karantaka, while making their way to the Adivasi tribal areas of the Nilgiri Hills. In the Adivasi villages students accompanied a Manipal professor and were able to interact and learn more about traditional crafts and local customs.  

Next the group headed to Kerala for a backwater boat ride through the inland canals lined with small rural communities before finally visiting the synagogue of what was once a thriving Jewish community in Koshi and catching the train home to Manipal.

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