Global Health

Global Health (minor only)

Changes effective Spring Term 2016

Faculty teaching Global Health include members of the Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences Divisions in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Communications Department in the College of Professional Studies. Please see the schedule of classes for each academic term for specific assignments.

The global health minor focuses on issues effecting community health at home and around the globe, revealing that health and poverty are frequently linked and that health issues may not respect political boundaries. The program draws courses from anthropology, biology, communication studies, critical media and cultural studies, economics, English, environmental studies, history, pre-medicine studies, mathematics, physical education, political science, and psychology to explore health related issues from a variety of methodological and topical perspectives.


Six (6) courses are required: three (3) core courses and three (3) elective courses. Two (2) of the required three (3) electives must be at the 300 level or higher.

It is recommended, but not required, that students take PED Health and Wellness to meet their BPE requirement.

It is recommended, but not required, that students take a statistics course such as BIO 342, MAT 219, ECO 221, PSY 250, or INB 236.

CORE COURSES (required)

  • GBH 200 Introduction to Public Health
  • GBH 300 Introduction to Epidemiology
  • GBH/ANT 310 Introduction to Global Health

Three (3) of the following courses


  • ANT 301 Nutrition and Health
  • ANT 305 Women's Global Health
  • ANT 306 Medicine and Culture
  • BIO 117 Bacteria, Viruses and Humans with Lab
  • BIO 229 Microbiology
  • BIO 246 Human Physiology
  • BIO 340E Medical Microbiology
  • BIO 342 Biostatistics
  • CMC 320 Political Economy of Body and Food
  • COM 330 Health Communication
  • COM 340 Health Policy and Advocacy Communication
  • COM 350 Global Health Communication
  • ECO 285 Introduction to Health Economics
  • ECO 305 Health Economics
  • ENG 190 Literature and Medicine
  • GBH 305A Environmental Health
  • PED 201 Physiology of Exercise and Performance
  • PHI 308L Topic: Medical Ethics
  • POL 223 Power and Diplomacy - The United Nations
  • POL 316 Social and Political Applied Ethics
  • POL 335 Global Health and Human Rights
  • PSY 217 Psychology of Drugs and Addictions with Lab
  • PSY 334 DEV: Foundations of Maternal and Child Health and Wellness
  • SOC 311M Societies and Health through the Life Course


GBH 200 Introduction to Public Health: Introduces health and disease at the population level. Students will learn the concepts and methods for measuring health in populations. They will consider the impact of health care systems, public health systems and broad governmental policies on health and disease patterns.

GBH 300 Introduction to Epidemiology: Introduces the theory methods and practice of epidemiology. Students will learn to interpret epidemiological data and to use epidemiological approaches to investigate communicable and non-communicable diseases and other health problems. Prerequisite: GBH 200 or GBH 310.

GBH/ANT 310 Introduction to Global Health: Examines the roles of biological and social factors in global health issues, paying particular attention to the health needs and concerns of poor and disadvantaged populations. Students will learn about some of the major health concerns of the developing world and look critically at how local and international communities attempt to address those problems.


ANT 301 Nutrition and Health: A course about what people need to eat, how those needs have evolved, and how peoples' choices across cultures effect their health and the health of the environment. Discusses basic human nutritional requirements, and how evolution and culture have both worked to shape traditional and modern diets resulting in different disease patterns in different cultures. Some attention given to current U.S. practices, including fast food and factory farming, and their implications for the health of U.S. populations. Prerequisite: One ANT course.

ANT 305 Topics: Women's Global Health: Examines the plight of women's health, globally, in both developed and underdeveloped countries. Our exploration will utilize a combination of conceptual approaches including political economy, feminism and alternative (non-Western) medical perspectives. Examines how culture, poverty, ethnicity, social class, migration, location, diseases enhanced by development projects, sexually transmitted diseases, pollution and environmental degradation, domestic violence, and reproduction affect women's health. Analyzes the rule and impacts of existing public policy on women's health, and explores human-rights based approach to women's health.

ANT 306 Medicine and Culture: Examines how different cultures view disease and illness, how they explain illnesses, what they do about them, and how they use disease and illness as social controls. Discusses these issues in general and then as they apply to several specific cultures -- including our own. Prerequisite: One ANT or BIO course.

BIO 117 Bacteria, Viruses and Humans with Lab:Introduces world of microorganisms and their impact on human life. Presents basic principles of biology while probing diversity, genetics, and ecology of microorganisms; their uses in food, agriculture, and industry; and their ability to produce disease. Lab exercises include quantitative and qualitative analysis of bacterial nutrition and procedures for identification and control of microbes. Lab course for nonmajors.

BIO 229 Microbiology: Emphasizes metabolism, genetics, reproduction, and ecology of bacteria and viruses and their relationship to infectious disease and immunology. Develops basic research and microbiological lab skills. Lab required. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 246 Human Physiology: Studies the function of human systems (cardiovasular, musicle, nervous, etc.) related to homeostasis. Designed primarily for students preparing for the study of physical therapy, occupational therapy, other allied health professions, and those biology or other students not planning to attend medical, dental, or graduate school. Laboratory involves physiological studies on humans and other mammals. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 340E Medical Microbiology: Introduces the basics of medical microbiology by applying basic microbiological principles to specific bacterial and viral pathogens. While the focus will be on the epidemiology and pathegenicity of specific diseases, discussions will also cover treatment and prevention. Student will gain detailed knowledge of one specific pathogen and the skills necessary to investigate disease origins, causes, treatment, and prevention.

BIO 342 Biostatistics: Applies principles and practices of statistics to biological problems. Covers experimental design, descriptive statistics, parametric and nonparametric testing of hypotheses, regression, correlation, and interpretation of results. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

CMC 320 Political Economy of Body and Food: What's wrong with the ways we relate to our bodies, to others' bodies, to eating, and to food - and what can we do about it? This course examines the political and economic interests behind body and beauty ideals, body image, body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, steroid abuse, our cultural fear and hatred of fat, anti-fat prejudice, and inequalities related to the current food system.

COM 330 Health Communication: Introduces theory and research on communication in health and illness contexts, focusing on how messages from interpersonal, organizational, and media sources affect health and belief and behavior.

COM 340 Healthy Policy and Advocacy Communication: Introduces concepts and strategies for policy changes to improve health, based on current health issues. Includes situational analysis, communication strategies, and messaging to advocate for policies affecting health.

COM 350 Global Health Communication: Introduces important issues and key concepts of communication in global health. Focuses on determinants of health, the burden of disease, health disparities, risk factors, and communication strategies.

ECO 285 Introduction to Health Economics. Provides students with an understanding of the microeconomic approach to resource allocation specifically in relation to the health sector. Introduces students to the use of economic tools in the analysis of the 'market' for health care, in terms of efficiency and equity. Provides an analytical framework for assessment of the U.S. health care system, and health policy generally, from an economic perspective.

ECO 305 Health Economics: Uses concepts and tools to examine production, delivery and cost, access and utilization of healthcare services in the United States. Includes demand for health care, the market for health providers and health insurance, and the role of government in the health care market. Also discusses the relative merits of national reform efforts and current individual state reform efforts.

ENG 190 Body Snatchers - Literature and Medicine: Examines the ways that storytelling and medicine have shaped each other. For centuries, literature and visual culture have snatched from medicine thrilling or moving stories of death, illness, and god-like doctors. More recently, developments called "the medical humanities" or "narrative medicine" have infiltrated medical training, in which doctors read novels and are encouraged to write stories themselves in order to more fully connect with their patient's humanity. Explores both of these intersections to ask what reading fiction might bring to medicine and what the universal experience of having a body--a body that gets sick and will die--brings to the study of literature.

GBH 305A Environmental Health: Introduces students to environmental health topics with a primary focus on environmental factors impacting human health, sources of these factors, methods of identification, and regulatory measures. Topics include health hazards associated with contaminated water, food and air; vectors of disease; exposure to toxic chemicals; solid and hazardous waste; environmental justice; regulations; safety in the work place; and emerging global environmental health problems.

PED 201 Physiology of Exercise and Performance: Explains physiological fundamentals of physical fitness and training techniques. Discusses human energy systems, aerobic exercise, muscular fitness, and training techniques. Encourages students to design individualized programs

PHI 308L Topic: Medical Ethics: Examines a number of ethical dilemmas that arise in the practice of medicine – i.e.  abortion, euthanasia, human experimentation, new reproductive technologies, confidentiality, and respect for patient autonomy.  Some attention will be paid to issues arising from the practice of medicine in a multi-cultural context.  We will conclude by exploring in a little more depth the contemporary question of bio-medical enhancement – where the intention is not to prevent or to cure disease but to “improve” people who are medically sound.

POL 223 Power and Diplomacy - The United Nations: Familiarizes students with the operations of the United Nations, its agencies and its affiliated organizations, introduces international relations focusing on selected countries and issues, and teaches how to develop and present oral and written proposals in the U.N. vernacular. Special focus is placed upon the work of ECOSOC, the UNDP, and the WHO, and the interconnected issues of sustainable development, health population, and rights. Current needs and programs are evaluated; best practices are considered.

POL 316 Social and Political Applied Ethics: Focuses on particular social and political problems of actual societies. Studies moral judgments for and against particular issues such as abortion, the death penalty, affirmative action, immigration, the ethics of voting, food politics and genetically modified products, multiculturalism and women’s rights, (redistributive) taxation, the justness of war, world hunger relief, and healthcare as a right. These are all issues that motivate heated debates in current liberal democracies. Students will try to understand the analytical and reasoned arguments often invoked to justify or reject them.

POL 335 Global Health and Human Rights: Discusses the policy implications of viewing health care as a human right. Examines the legal, moral, historical, political and economic debates surrounding the question of whether health care should be deemed a fundamental human right. For example, does Obamacare expand poor people's access to a basic right, or does it take away American citizens' fundament freedoms? Students will investigate the practical application of the right to health through case studies at the local level (e.g., through the work of the NGO Partners in Health), at the national level (e.g., by comparing the U.S. health system with European social models), and at the international level (e.g., through the work of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights). Prerequisite: POL 130.

PSY 217 Psychology of Drugs and Addictions with Lab: Questions whether chemical addiction (drugs and alcohol) is a disease or an attempt to adapt to inner needs and external pressures.

PSY 334 DEV: Foundations of Maternal and Child Health and Wellness: This course introduces the major issues affecting the physical and mental health and well being of mothers, infants, children and adolescents around the world, and describes major international development efforts to improve their lives. Prerequisite: PSY 150 or instructor permission.