Global Health Studies

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Undergraduate major: global health studies (BA, BS)

Undergraduate minor: global health studies

Graduate certificate: global health studies



The Global Health Studies Program (GHS) offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the complex factors influencing health and disease locally and around the world.

The academic curriculum builds upon the humanities, social sciences, and health sciences to help students understand underlying forces—such as history, culture, gender and sexuality, economics, politics, race and ethnicity, the environment, law, and technology—which lead to health disparities worldwide. The Global Health Studies Program offers a BA and BS degree, an undergraduate minor, and a graduate certificate.

The Global Health Studies Program recognizes the importance of opportunities for students to be involved in ethical activities outside of the classroom to reinforce and apply knowledge and skills obtained within the classroom. These experiences help students define and achieve their post-graduation goals. The faculty and staff help connect students to local, regional, and international academic and cocurricular opportunities.

The Global Health Studies Program is one of the academic units in the Division of Interdisciplinary Programs. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences awards the undergraduate degrees and the minor; the Graduate College confers the graduate certificate.

Local Health is Global Health

There are many ways for GHS students to support local and global organizations that are working for health equity. GHS students intern and volunteer with organizations, such as Proteus, Grow: Johnson County, the UI Food Pantry, the UI Mobile Clinic, UI Student Wellness, the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa, IC Compassion, and Johnson County Public Health. Additionally, as part of the GHS capstone and certificate curricula, students have collaborated with community organizations such as Haiti Community Health Initiative, the World Food Prize Foundation, and the Special Olympics.

Faculty Research and Outreach

GHS-affiliated faculty members conduct research at a variety of sites worldwide, including India, Haiti, the Caribbean, Germany, Colombia, Tanzania, rural Iowa, and Southeast Asia. Interested students work with faculty and staff to integrate international study and research opportunities into their graduation plans. As experts in their field, GHS faculty are often asked to be part of public programming activities. Recent examples include an International Programs webinar on "Pandemic, State, and Society" in Asia; an Iowa City Foreign Relations Council presentation on refugees, immigrants, and higher education in Iowa; and a campus collaboration on a speaker series addressing environmental justice at the University of Iowa.