Global Health Studies Program Requirements

Global Health Scholars complete an interdisciplinary course of study that includes required and elective courses, field work, and independent research with faculty guidance. The required curriculum has been designed to address fundamental and applied economic, political, social, cultural, biological and scientific issues relevant to global health. Any substitutes for required courses must be approved by the Global Health Studies Program Director. 

In the summer after junior year, Scholars carry out an experiential learning project, for which they receive support in the form of coursework, designated funding, and advising on selection of their projects from global health faculty.

During their senior year, Scholars will undertake a capstone project. The capstone, which is separate from a student’s senior thesis, will be informed by the student’s experiential learning project and developed in consultation with a faculty mentor and the GHS Program Director.

Global Health Scholars conduct fieldwork related to a variety of health topics, including infectious disease, non-communicable disease, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, and neglected tropical diseases.  

Required Curriculum for Class of 2020 Scholars
  1. HLTH 230: Global Health: Challenges and Responses (spring)
    Instructor: Kristina Talbert-Slagle
  2. HLTH 240: Epidemiology and Public Health (spring)
    Instructor: Marney White
  3. HLTH 325: Methods and Ethics in Global Health Research* (fall of junior year)
    Instructor: Leslie Curry
  4. Elective (must be approved by the Global Health Studies Program Director)
  5. Elective (must be approved by the Global Health Studies Program Director)
  6. Senior Capstone Course: fall or spring of senior year: all GHS seniors must choose one of the two following options:

Option 1: HLTH 490: Global Health Research Colloquium (fall of senior year)
Instructor: Leslie Curry

Option 2: Global Health Justice: Advocacy, Power, and Change (spring 2020)
Instructor: Alice Miller in collaboration with Steve Whittaker
This course will replace HLTH 450: Grand Strategy and Global Health and will provide GHS seniors the opportunity to comprehensively interrogate critical topics at the intersection of global health, policy and justice with a focus on advocacy as a tool, and health equity as a goal.


*As of Fall 2018, this course is no longer a GHS MAP requirement for all Global Health Scholars. Only students who are intending to conduct research and/or who are interested in principles and practices of developing empirical studies should enroll in HLTH 325. Please note that HLTH 325 seeks to build each student’s capacity for generating scientific evidence to support problem solving in global health. Upon completion of HLTH 325, each student will have developed a research proposal that may be used to pursue funding to carry out the study. If you opt not to take HLTH 325, you will not be permitted to conduct any kind of data-driven research project to complete your Global Health Studies fieldwork requirement over the summer.

Required Curriculum for Class of 2021 Scholars and onward
  1. HLTH 230: Global Health: Challenges and Responses (spring)
  2. Four electives that will, together with the student’s major, allow the student to achieve the six global health competencies, which are:
    • Biological & Environmental Influences on Health
    • Health & Societies
    • Historical Approaches
    • Performance, Representation & Health
    • Political Economy & Governance in Health
    • Understanding & Interpreting Quantitative Data
  3. Global Health Colloquium and Capstone Project (senior year)

Two global health competencies will be satisfied by courses taken to fulfill the student’s major requirements, and the remaining four competencies will be fulfilled via GHS elective coursework.

At least one of the four GHS electives must help to prepare the student for their experiential learning project, such as:

  1. An appropriate methods course for students planning to conduct field research, or
  2. An area studies, politics, or history course if doing a project in a particular geopolitical context, or
  3. A course that considers the ethical issues that may arise or be relevant to the student’s project.

Students are expected to participate in the planning of their course selections in close consultation with the GHS Program team. Students will submit a Global Health Scholar Plan through an online form each semester in the program. The online form will enable students to identify the two global health competencies fulfilled by their major, as well as the remaining four competencies to be fulfilled though elective coursework. After submitting the form, students will meet with a member of the GHS Program team to review their program plan, seek advising on learning goals and course selection, and discuss any concerns or questions.

View Recommended Courses for Global Health Competencies
Fall 2019
Spring 2019