Global Health Program

[ courses ]

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 may be found on the Academic Senate website: http://senate.ucsd.edu/catalog-copy/approved-updates/.

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. Two senses of the term global structure the program’s curriculum: The first defines a geographical space that is planetary and international; the second is an intellectual scope that is holistic and interdisciplinary. Undergraduate degrees in the Global Health Program (BA and minor) are designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of factors related to illness, health, and healing from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective that transcends national borders and regional interests and takes cultural difference and cross-cultural diversity fully into account. Global health is directly concerned with achieving equity in health for people worldwide. It is a synthesis of population-based prevention, individual-level clinical care, health policy and program development, and cross-cultural understanding of variations and commonalities in the experiences with and causes of illness, the process of becoming and staying well, and the practices of healing. 

The Global Health Program covers a wide range of topics, 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. The program’s degrees are designed to be intellectually comprehensive, integrating the social sciences, biological sciences, and humanities. In addition, they combine academic and experiential learning, as well as strike a pedagogical balance between the acquisition of hard skills, theory, and real-world knowledge. An important feature of the program is a Global Health Field Experience at a research, service, or clinical site either in the United States or abroad, which for majors culminates in a capstone seminar and senior thesis. 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.

The Bachelor of Arts in Global Health

All courses applied to the major must receive a letter grade of C– or better. The major will require ten core courses, the primary function of which is to ground all students in the hard skills, analytic tools, and fluency in the debates expected of someone with an expertise in global health.

I. Lower Division Core Requirements:
(12 units/3 courses)

All students will take the following:

II. Upper-Division Core Requirments:
(28 units/7 courses)

All students will take the following:

In their senior year, graduating students will participate in a two-quarter seminar open only to Global Health majors. The seminar will reflect the unique resources of UC San Diego’s college system by treating the relation between global health and each of the themes highlighted by the colleges: international relations, environmentalism, law/ethics, technology, humanities, and public service. The seminar will also provide an opportunity to expand, deepen, and share the insights of their Global Health Field Experience with members of their cohort. The first quarter will consist of intensive reading and discussion in fields related to each student’s primary interest and building on their field experience. The second quarter will be a workshop with critical input from all participants focused on preparing a senior thesis that will provide an important credential for students in the next stage of their careers and as they prepare applications for graduate academic or professional training. A capstone conference in the spring quarter of each year will assemble all Global Health majors and minors and be open to the campus community. The conference will feature a guest speaker with a distinguished reputation in global health along with presentations of theses by graduating participants in the BA Global Health.

III. Field Experience Requirement:

The Field Experience project will be carried out at a research, service, or clinical site either in the United States or abroad. Field Experience will be approved by the Advisory Committee, along with the UC San Diego Programs Abroad Office (for international placements) and Academic Internship Program (for domestic placements). The project will focus on issues relevant to global health, including health care, health education, environmental effects on health, infectious disease, mental health, health disparities, medical sequelae of natural disaster or political violence, indigenous healing practices, nutrition, and reproductive health. In accord with the campus’s Education Initiative, 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.

Field Experience Requirement:

Minimum one hundred hours in one program

Minimum five weeks in one program

May be completed domestically or abroad upon approval

May be noncredit or credit bearing (see below)

The Field Experience must meet the following criteria:
Credit-bearing field experience:

Upon approval by petition, a student may enroll in an Independent Study (GLBH 199) or Directed Group Study (GLBH 198) under mentorship of an affiliated faculty member. This 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. When credit is granted either through the program itself or through our GLBH Independent Study/Directed Group Study, this credit will count as an elective toward the major.

IV. Electives:

There are seven required electives. Five of these must be upper division. The elective requirement is designed to reinforce the interdisciplinary character of the field of global health. Students must have course work across the major disciplines, including one in ethics and another in global processes.

Biological Sciences:

(Choose two.) Not all courses are taught every year.

Lower Division: (nonmajor courses)

Upper Division: (prerequisites listed in parentheses)

Medical Social Sciences:

(Choose three; prerequisites listed in parenthesis.)

Not all courses are taught every year.

Anthropology

Communication

Economics

Ethnic Studies

Family and Preventive Medicine

Political Science

Sociology

Scripps Institute

Urban Studies and Planning

Medical Humanities:

(One course)

History

Philosophy

Anthropology

Critical Gender Studies

Literature

Global Processes:

(One course)

Anthropology

Communication

Ethnic Studies

Political Science

The Global Health Minor

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.

The 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 Minor Field Experience

The Field Experience project will be carried out at a research, service or clinical site either in the United States or abroad. Field Experience will be approved by the advisory committee, along with the UC San Diego Programs Abroad Office (for international placements) and Academic Internship Program (for domestic placements). The project will focus on issues relevant to global health, including health care, health education, environmental effects on health, infectious disease, mental health, health disparities, medical sequelae of natural disaster or political violence, indigenous healing practices, nutrition, and reproductive health. In accord with the campus’s Education Initiative, the Global Health Field Experience component will enhance knowledge, skills, and sensitivities, thus engaging “mind, hands, and heart” to create a learning outcome that is scientific, pragmatic, and humanistic.

FIELD EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENT

The Field Experience must meet the following criteria:

Credit-bearing field experience:
Upon approval by petition, a student may enroll in an Independent Study (GLBH 199) or Directed Group Study (GLBH 198) under mentorship of an affiliated faculty member. This 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. When credit is granted either through the program itself or through our GLBH Independent Study/Directed Group study, this credit will count as an elective toward the minor.

4) Elective Course Work

Depending on credits received for field experience and whether or not the health-related biological science course was upper or lower division, students will take three or four additional elective courses 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)