Global Health Minor

329 Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building
(858) 534-9864

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice. Updates to curricular sections may be found on the Academic Senate website:

The Minor

The Global Health (GH) minor is administered by Eleanor Roosevelt College (ERC) and operates with the support and collaboration of the UC San Diego Global Health Initiative (GHI) and the International Center (IC). Global health is at once an increasingly popular new field of study, an urgent social concern, and a powerful interdisciplinary intellectual synthesis aimed at understanding and productively intervening in processes of health, illness, and healing across the globe. The minor is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of factors related to illness, health, and healing from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective that 1) transcends national borders and regional interests, and 2) takes cultural difference and cross-cultural diversity fully into account.

The Global Health minor covers a wide range of topics relevant to global health including health care, health education, environmental effects on health, infectious disease, mental health, health inequalities, medical sequelae of natural disaster or political violence, indigenous healing practices, nutrition, and reproductive health. This program of study helps to prepare students for a career in research and teaching, immigrant service-providing organizations, government agencies, health sciences, or law. The unique research and writing opportunities offered by this minor also make it an excellent preparation for medical and graduate school.


Requirements for the Minor

The Global Health minor consists of a total of seven courses (twenty-eight units), at least five of which must be upper-division courses. All courses applied to the minor must receive a letter grade of C– or better.

1) Required Core Courses

All students will take the following required courses, which will introduce them to the field of global health from the dual perspective of public health and the health sciences on the one hand and the medical social sciences on the other.

HILD 30. History of Public Health (4)

Explores the history of public health, from the plague hospitals of Renaissance Italy to the current and future prospects for global health initiatives, emphasizing the complex biological, cultural, and social dimensions of health, sickness, and medicine across time and space.

ANSC 148. Global Health and Cultural Diversity (4)

Introduction to global health from the perspective of medical anthropology on disease and illness, cultural conceptions of health, doctor-patient interaction, illness experience, medical science and technology, mental health, infectious disease, and health-care inequalities by ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. Prerequisites: upper-division standing.

2) Health-Related Biological Science

All students will take at least one biological science course relevant to global health, selected from the approved list of electives for the minor:

BIBC 120. Nutrition (4)

BIEB 176. Conservation and the Human Predicament (4)

BICD 134. Human Reproduction and Development (4)

BICD 136. AIDS, Science, and Society (4)

BILD 26. Human Physiology (4)

BILD 36. AIDS, Science, and Society (4)

BILD 30. The Biology of Plagues: Past and Present (4)

BILD 18. Human Impact on the Environment (4)

BILD 22. Human Nutrition (4)

BILD 28. Dementia/Science/Society (4)

BIMM 110. Molecular Basis of Human Disease (4)

BIMM 124. Medical Microbiology (4)

BIMM 166. Environmental and Molecular Toxicology (4)

Taking any of these courses to fill this requirement of the minor does not preclude a student from taking another course in this list as an elective for the minor.

3) Global Health Field Experience

All students will participate in a field project at a research or clinical site either in the United States or abroad approved by the Global Health Minor Steering Committee and, for international placements, the UC San Diego Programs Abroad Office. The global health field experience will enhance knowledge, skills, and sensitivities, thus engaging “mind, hands, and heart” to create a learning outcome that is scientific, pragmatic, and humanistic.

The field experience can be credit bearing or not credit bearing, may be paid or unpaid, and must meet the following criteria to be counted for the minor:

  1. Provide students with an opportunity to become knowledgeable about aspects of global health and see global health issues in practice
  2. Require a minimum of one hundred hours over a minimum of five weeks
  3. Provide the student with direct contact with clients or those who directly serve clients
  4. Require meaningful, challenging work from the student while serving the agency’s clients and goals
  5. Include on-site orientation, training, and supervision by a designated person in the agency

Students must demonstrate adequate health insurance and participate in a predeparture orientation. 

For a credit-bearing field experience, up to four credits can count toward the GH minor. For a field experience that is not credit bearing, students will have two options:

  1. Enroll in an Independent Study (GHFE 199) or Directed Group Study (GHFE 198) under mentorship of an affiliated faculty member in the minor. This course will provide academic credit for the noncredit-bearing field experience, through required readings, reflective journals, papers, etc., as determined by agreement between the student and faculty member. The academic result will be to place their field experience in the context of the interdisciplinary scholarly literature on global health.
  2. Complete one additional Global Health minor elective in order to fulfill the requirement of twenty-eight total units of credit.

4) Elective Course Work

Depending on credits received for the field experience, students will take three or four additional courses, at least three of which must be upper division, from the following list:

ANTH 21. Race and Racisms (4)

ANBI 132. Conservation and the Human Predicament (4)

ANSC 129. Religion and Healing (4)

ANSC 140. Human Rights II: Contemporary Issues (4)

ANSC 143. Mental Health as Global Health Priority (4)

ANSC 144. Immigrant and Refugee Health (4)

ANSC 149. Gender and Mental Health (4)

ANSC 164. Anthropology of Medicine: Introduction to Medical Anthropology (4)

ANSC 168. The Human Condition

BIBC 120. Nutrition (4)

BIEB 176. Conservation and the Human Predicament

BICD 134. Human Reproduction and Development (4)

BICD 136. AIDS, Science, and Society (4)

BILD 22. Human Nutrition (4)

BILD 38. Dementia/Science/Society (4)

BILD 36. AIDS, Science, and Society (4)

BILD 30. The Biology of Plagues: Past and Present (4)

BILD 18. Human Impact on the Environment (4)

BILD 26. Human Physiology (4)

BIMM 110. Molecular Basis of Human Disease (4)

BIMM 124. Medical Microbiology (4)

BIMM 166. Environmental and Molecular Toxicology (4)

CGS 111. Gender and the Body (4)

COMM 167. Reproductive Discourse and Gender (4)

COMM 179. Global Nature/Global Culture (4)

COMM 108G. Politics of Bodies: Gender and Biomedicine (4)

COMM 156. Colonialism and Communication (4)

ETHN 142. Medicine, Race, and the Global Politics of Inequality (4)

HISC 116. History of Bioethics (4)

LTCS 165. The Politics of Food (4)

PHIL 163. Biomedical Ethics (4)

POLI 127. Politics of Developing Countries (4)

POLI 140A. International Law and Organizations (4)

REV 160 and 165 GS. Public Health and Epidemiology I and II

SOCI 107. Epidemiological Methods (4)

SOCI 147. Organizations, Society, and Social Justice (4)

SOCI 185. Globalization and Social Development (4)

TWS 198. Contemporary Issues in Global Health (4)

USP 144. Environmental and Preventive Health Issues (4)

USP 145. Aging: Social and Health Policy Issues (4)

USP 147. Case Studies in Health Care Programs/Poor and Underserved Population (4)