• About this Program
    • Program Overview
    • On Location In Manipal
  • Academics
    • Semester Curriculum
    • Faculty
    • Credits, Grades, and Transcripts
  • Field Component
    • Directed Research
    • Friday Public Health Visits
  • Calendar and Fees
    • Program Calendar
    • Program Fees
  • Daily Life
    • Housing and Meals
  • Activities and Excursions
    • Local Activities
    • Field Study Trip
  • Already Accepted?
    • Already Accepted?
  • Photos

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Global and Public Health

Program Overview

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.  

Students may enroll for the fall or spring semester. All students are encouraged to consider spending an academic year in India, whether continuing in their current program to deepen their knowledge of Manipal, or at a different Alliance program to broaden their understanding of India’s regional diversity. 

Meet our on-site staff members!


To be eligible for this program, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at an accredited U.S. institution. No previous academic or language coursework is required.

Academic Structure

For a total of 15 credits per semester students take the following curriculum:

  • Core Course: Contemporary Indian Culture
  • English-taught public health elective courses
  • English-taught South Asian studies courses
  • Optional Directed Research field component or Hindi language

Academic Year

All students are encouraged to consider a full academic year abroad with the Alliance, whether continuing in the same location or trying a new city (or even country!). Deepen your linguistic and cultural immersion and explore your internship or research interests further – and to help you do so, you will receive a $500 continuer’s discount, for any combination of programs, countries, or terms.

On Location In Manipal

Manipal is a small but active university town of roughly 30,000 people located in southwest Karnataka. Situated near lush backwaters and just five miles from the Arabian Sea, Manipal’s setting combined with its up-to-date infrastructure and thriving local economies make Manipal a perfect base to study India’s public health challenges and cultural heritage. Manipal’s student population comes from all over India and the world. There are weekly lectures, movie screenings and workshops, numerous student-coordinated campus events and clubs, and many local meeting places for students to study and socialize on campus. 

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

View Alliance On Location: Manipal in a larger map.

The neighboring town of Udupi (population approx. 125,000) 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. 

The nearest large city and airport is Mangalore (population approx. 485,000) located roughly 40 miles south of Manipal. Regular state transport corporation buses to Mangalore depart from Manipal every 30 minutes throughout the day, and students can take advantage of ample shopping and entertainment venues as well as its international airport.

Manipal University

The Global and Public Health program is based at Manipal University, a premier private university known throughout India and around the world for its strong medical college and health science programs. With 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’s world-class faculty bring a dynamic approach to the classroom.

The Manipal campus is modern, with state-of-the-art facilities including numerous colleges and institutes, classrooms, libraries, student hostels, food courts, athletic fields and swimming pools, and a brand new indoor sports complex. For more information on Manipal University, visit their website:

Semester Curriculum

Students take the required core course and choose four 3-credit electives from Public Health and/or Indian Studies offerings (15 credits total).  

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. Students are encouraged to identify alternative electives when they complete their Course Preference Form. 

Core Course

Click the hyperlinked course titles to view syllabi

SOCI 350 Contemporary Indian Culture

This required 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.  

Public Health and Ayurveda Electives

The Global and Public Health program capitalizes on Manipal University's medical and health science programs' long-standing reputation, offering students direct-enroll course options addressing rural public health, global public health, national health policy, and Ayurveda.

These courses include a field-based practicum alongside other Manipal students, with regular visits to the university’s hospital and rural health clinics. Past students have shadowed doctors in various departments at Manipal University Hospital, visited a leprosy hospital and rehabilitation center, learned how to screen and diagnose tuberculosis patients, and participated in local rural implementation of WHO organized India-wide polio eradication project.

Indian Studies Electives

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

IAFF 360 Regional Security in South Asia

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 will understand the salient features and relevance of the complex issues relating to threat perceptions affecting regional security in South Asia.

IAFF 365 Strategy and Practice of Indian Foreign Policy

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

This course will address 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.

FILM 345 Cinema in India

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.

ENVI 400 Environment and Development Communication

When the world is faced with the dangers of global warming due to overproduction and consumption, paradoxically, all parts of the world do not enjoy an equitable share of development. The course will introduce students to the basics of environmentalism, ecosystem, threats to biodiversity and resources, international legal framework, movements and issues such as global warming and ozone layer depletion.

POLS 380 Contemporary Indian Politics

The ongoing debate on politics and government in India can best be understood when considering the history and changing nature of its political systems. In this course, students will develop an introductory competence of Indian Government functions and its various existing systems and institutions.

HIND 100 Beginning Hindi

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

DIRR 380 Directed Research in International Relations, Public Health and Humanities

Students are paired with Manipal University Faculty Guides in order to conduct research with local organizations. Guided readings and one on one meetings with Faculty Guides and the Directed Research Adviser provide students with instruction pertaining to the development of articulate and comprehensive research that remains respectful to the sensitivities of local culture. The course culminates in student completion of a specific pilot study based upon his or her time in the field.

DANC 200 Indian Classical Dance

This course is focused upon basic disciplines and performance of Bharatanatyam. The Bharatanatyam dance form originated many centuries ago in the temples of Tamil Nadu in South India. It is known for its strong lines that make geometric and symmetrical shapes as well as its 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.  


Public Health

Dr. Sanjay M. Pattanshetty, Interim Coordinator,  Department of Public Health
Dr. Varalakshmi Chandrasekaran, PUBH 300: Basic Epidemiology
Dr. Sameer Phadnis, PUBH 225: Global Health Problems
Prof. Rajesh Kamath, PUBH 230: Surveillance of Infectious Diseases
Dr. Ramachandra Kamath, PUBH 220: Maternal and Child Health
Dr. Derek Lobo, PUBH 250: Public Health Systems and National Health Policies


Dr. K. J. Malagi, Head, Department of Ayurveda
Dr. Shripathi Adiga
Dr. Basavaraj Hadapad
Dr. Kamath Madhusudhan
Dr. Anupama Nayak

Indian Studies

Dr. Arvind Kumar Director, Study Abroad Programme (SAP) and Head, Department of Geopolitics & International Relations
IAFF 360: Regional Security in South Asia
IAFF 365: Strategy and Practice of India Foreign Policy
POLS 380: Contemporary Indian Politics
DIRR 380: Directed Research 

Varadesh Hiregange Director of Gandhian and Peace Studies
SOCI 350: Contemporary Indian Culture

Maitreyee Mishra Assistant Professor, Manipal Institute of Communication
FILM 345: Cinema in India

Thiru Jeevarathinam Visiting Professor, Manipal University  
HIND 100: Beginning Hindi

Mrs. Manasi Sudhir
DANC 200: Indian Classical Dance

Credits, Grades, and Transcripts

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 an accredited U.S. university. All Alliance programs from Summer 2014 and beyond receive transcripts issued by Butler University.   For all Alliance programs through Spring 2014, transcripts were issued by Arcadia University.

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 a student’s responsibility to work with their study abroad or academic advisor and home school 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 Program in Shanghai—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 they take while enrolled on an Alliance program. Withdrawals (W) 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 for Alliance courses is as follows:


At the conclusion of a program, an official transcript is sent to the participant's home school, with an unofficial copy forwarded to the participant. 

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. 

Students in Alliance programs through Spring 2014 can request additional copies of transcripts online or in writing at any time from the Arcadia University Registrar's Office.

If you have a question about the transcripting process or timeline, please feel free to contact your Student Services Manager.

Directed Research

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. 


Friday Public Health Visits

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. 

Program Calendar

Program dates roughly follow the U.S. 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 section of the Accepted Students Portal 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.

2015 Spring Semester Calendar

18 January 2015           Flight departure from U.S.
19 January 2015           Arrival in Mumbai
20 January 2015           Flight to Mangalore - Orientation begins
22 January 2015           Classes begin
7 - 15 March 2015       Field Study Trip
11 May 2015                Closing Ceremony
12 May 2015                Leave for USA after 05:00 p.m. 

2015 Fall Semester Calendar

10 August 2015          Flight departure from U.S.
11 August 2015          Arrival in Mumbai
12 August 2015          Group flight to Mangalore - Orientation begins
17 August 2015          Classes begin
17-25 October 2015   Field Study Trip
30 November 2015     Closing Ceremony
1 December 2015       Leave for USA after 5:00 PM 

Program Fees

Fall 2015 Program    $ 16,900
Spring 2015 Program    $ 16,780

What’s Included

The program price includes tuition and fees, housing, all meals, pre-departure materials, student visa authorizations, orientation, organized activities, field study trips, course materials, the services of a full-time resident director, and medical/evacuation insurance.

The program price does not include airfare to India, passport and consular visa fees, independent travel, and other items not mentioned as included.

Our breakdown of fall 2015 and spring 2015 program fees include an itemized list of additional expenses that students will encounter while abroad.

Multiple Term or Academic Year Discount

The Alliance encourages students to enroll for more than one term and to consider studying with more than one Alliance program. Students who continue into a second or third term with the Alliance receive a $500 discount on the program fee for this subsequent term. Some students choose to spend fall term in one location and spring term in another; others continue in our summer term after completing spring.

Housing and Meals

Alliance 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)

Local Activities


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, Indian Culture and Society, 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.

Field Study Trip

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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