Undergraduate minor: global health studies
Undergraduate certificate: global health studies
Graduate certificate: global health studies
The Global Health Studies Program 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 B.A. and B.S. degree, an undergraduate minor, and an undergraduate and graduate certificate.
The program promotes experiential learning opportunities such as study abroad, internships, research, service learning, and capstone courses which allow students to develop real world skills related to major global health issues. These experiences help students define and achieve their post-graduation goals.
Global health studies graduates find employment in a range of global health-related sectors such as nonprofit organizations, immigrant and refugee health, community-based health education, governmental agencies, health policy, and advocacy. Global health studies alumni also have gone on to graduate and professional programs in public health, international development, medicine, pharmacy, nursing, law, planning and public affairs, sustainable agriculture, nonprofit management, and public administration.
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, the certificate, and the minor; the Graduate College confers the graduate certificate.
Activities and Resources
University of Iowa global health studies faculty members conduct research at a variety of sites worldwide, including South India, Haiti, South Africa, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Students in the program are eligible to participate in experiential learning activities at those locations, as well as at other sites. A variety of funding resources are available, including the Stanley Award for undergraduate and graduate research. Contact the Global Health Studies Program for details.
Undergraduate Programs of Study
- Major in Global Health Studies (Bachelor of Arts)
- Major in Global Health Studies (Bachelor of Science)
Graduate Program of Study
In addition to courses offered by the Global Health Studies Program (see "Global Health Studies Courses" below), students may use the following courses to complete requirements for the certificate or minor.
|Aging and Longevity Studies|
|ASP:1800/CSD:1800/NURS:1800/SSW:1800/TR:1800||Aging Matters: Introduction to Gerontology||3|
|ENGL:2560||Topics in Culture and Identity (when topic is stories about HIV/AIDS)||3|
|HIST:1016||The History That Made Our World (when topic is health in the Global South)||3|
|NURS:3655||Community and Public Health Nursing Practicum (B.S.N. students only)||2|
|Occupational and Environmental Health|
|OEH:4240||Global Environmental Health||3|
|CPH:2230||Finding Patient Zero: The Exploration of Infectious Disease Transmission and Pandemic Threats||3|
|CPH:2400||The U.S. Health System in a Global Context||3|
|CPH:3400/GEOG:3210||Health, Work, and the Environment||3|
|CPH:4200||Agriculture, Food Systems, and Sustainability||3|
GHS:1029 First-Year Seminar 1 s.h.
Introduction to intellectual life of the University; opportunity to work closely with a faculty member or senior administrator; active participation to ease transition to college-level learning.
GHS:1100 Contraception Across Time and Cultures 3 s.h.
Methods and history of contraception and abortion; issues of unwanted pregnancy and birth control in fiction, film, and media around the world. Taught in English. Same as CLSA:1100, GRMN:1100, GWSS:1100, WLLC:1100.
GHS:1181 Ancient Medicine 3 s.h.
Thematic examination of theories and practices of Greco-Roman physicians, which in turn became the medical tradition of medieval Islamic world and European medicine until mid-19th century; historical medical terms, theories, and practices. GE: Historical Perspectives. Same as CLSA:1181.
GHS:1200 Disabilities and Inclusion in Writing and Film Around the World 3 s.h.
Exploration of human experiences of dis/ability and exclusion/inclusion as represented in recent international film and popular writing from Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East; how these experiences contribute to and reflect awareness of the challenges of disabilities as well as public policy; strategies that filmmakers and authors deploy to contain, complicate, and challenge cultural preconceptions of the disabled body; how disability intersects with other major identity categories (i.e., sexuality, nationality, race); tools for researching history, policy, and activism. Taught in English. GE: Diversity and Inclusion. Same as DST:1200, GRMN:1200, WLLC:1200.
GHS:1290 Native American Foods and Foodways 3 s.h.
Native Americans as original farmers of 46 percent of the world's table vegetables; examination of food as a cultural artifact (e.g., chocolate, tobacco); food as a primary way in which human beings express their identities; environmental, material, and linguistic differences that shape unique food cultures among Native peoples across the Western Hemisphere; close analysis of Indigenous foods, rituals, and gender roles associated with them; how colonization transformed Native American, European, and African American cultures. GE: Diversity and Inclusion. Same as AMST:1290, HIST:1290, NAIS:1290.
GHS:2000 Introduction to Global Health Studies 3 s.h.
Global health as a study of the dynamic relationship between human health and social, biological, and environmental factors that drive the spread of disease; core areas of global health research that may include health inequalities, maternal and child health, infectious diseases, nutrition, environmental health, and health interventions. GE: International and Global Issues. Same as ANTH:2103.
GHS:2080 The Cultural Politics of HIV-AIDS 3 s.h.
Complex historical shifts in cultural perceptions about HIV-AIDS in the U.S. and transnationally; controversies around HIV-AIDS and their links with questions of gender and sexuality; how HIV-AIDS subsequently became the basis of a transnational industry comprising nongovernmental organizations, donors, and activists across the global north and south, starting from 1980s in the U.S. when HIV-AIDS first emerged into public sphere as a gay disease; link between HIV-AIDS and ideologies of development or progress, neocolonialism, and emergence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning (LGBTIQ) movements in many parts of world. Recommendations: background in gender studies, and completion of rhetoric or at least one social sciences course. Same as GWSS:2080.
GHS:2090 Medical Spanish in Contemporary Society 4 s.h.
Vocabulary related to medical field; grammatical concepts; health-related cultural competence; discussion of health issues concerning Hispanic communities in the U.S. and abroad. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: SPAN:1502 or SPAN:1503. Same as SPAN:2090.
GHS:2110 Seven Billion and Counting: Introduction to Population Dynamics 3 s.h.
How dramatic changes to the size of population has changed fundamental characteristics of populations and processes, such as food and water scarcity, climate change and biodiversity, rise of megacities, health and disease, migration, social networks, economics, environment, and household structure. GE: Social Sciences. Same as GEOG:2110.
GHS:2164 Culture and Healing for Future Health Professionals 3 s.h.
Health professions increasingly focused on how to best provide health care to culturally diverse populations; introduction to key cultural and social influences on sickness and healing; worldwide examples. Same as ANTH:2164.
GHS:2181 The Anthropology of Aging 3 s.h.
Comparative anthropological perspective on aging; ethnographies from diverse contexts used to examine intersections of kinship, religion, health, and medicine in later life. Same as ANTH:2181, ASP:2181.
GHS:2182 Africa: Health and Society 3 s.h.
Cultural, political, and economic diversity of African societies from precolonial period to present day; relationship between lived experiences of African people and understanding of their societies from afar; why Africa, more than any other region, is associated with warfare, hunger, and disease; idea of "Africa" in the world today; shared misunderstanding of life on continent contrasted with everyday lives of people who are not so different from ourselves. Same as ANTH:2182.
GHS:2260 Hard Cases in Healthcare at the Beginning of Life 3 s.h.
Exploration of ethical impact that advances in biotechnology—including genetic, reproductive, and neonatal technology—are having in the medical arena and on humanity; consideration of the powerful influence that religion and spirituality have on most people's thinking about life and death. Same as RELS:2260.
GHS:2265 Hard Cases in Healthcare at the End of Life 3 s.h.
Preparation for future healthcare providers to make difficult ethical decisions regarding the end of life; interactive course. Same as RELS:2265.
GHS:2320 Origins of Human Infectious Disease 3 s.h.
Origin and evolution of important infectious diseases in human history; biological evolution of infectious agents and biocultural responses to emerging infectious diseases; primary focus on viruses and bacteria; selected world problems from an anthropological perspective; current dilemmas and those faced by diverse human groups in recent times and distant past. Same as ANTH:2320.
GHS:2415 Bioethics 3 s.h.
Recent developments in biotechnology and medicine; designer babies and cloning, genetic screening for disease, distributive justice in health care, animal experimentation, physician-assisted suicide, and euthanasia. Same as PHIL:2415.
GHS:2570 Introduction to Islamic Psychology 3 s.h.
Psychology in Islamic civilization; the nature of the human being; pathology, illness, healing, and therapies in the Islamic tradition; Islamic models compared with Euro-American frameworks. Recommendations: basic knowledge of psychology and Islam. Same as IS:2570, RELS:2570.
GHS:2650 Global Reproduction 3 s.h.
History of birth control and work of activists and organizations that emerged to promote it; troubling connections that spawned between reproductive rights and population control movements. Same as GWSS:2650.
GHS:2674 Food, Body, and Belief: A Global Perspective 3 s.h.
GHS:3010 Identifying and Developing a Global Health Project 2-3 s.h.
Review of major components of global health related research process; preparation for a local or international project which addresses a global health issue in a systematic way. Same as IGPI:3011.
GHS:3011 Global Research: Strategies and Skills 1 s.h.
Skill development in international research; academic projects; work with research librarian; activity-based introduction to article, statistical, and governmental databases; research and popular materials; information discovery process (tools and search strategies); enhancement of critical thinking skills. Same as IS:3011, ULIB:3011.
GHS:3012 Community-Based Global Health Research 3 s.h.
Introduction to community-based participatory research methods; ethical engagement with a local/global organization addressing the social determinants of health.
GHS:3015 Transnational Sexualities 3 s.h.
How ideas about normative and nonnormative sexuality, gender/sexual identities, and related social movements travel across geographical, political, and cultural boundaries; potentials and limits of using conceptual frameworks (i.e., sexuality, gender, LGBT, queer) across the west and global south; how sexuality always intersects with race, class, nationhood, and transnational systems of power; power structures that shape gender/sexuality through a transnational approach; connection of inequalities within the United States with those across the world. Same as GWSS:3010.
GHS:3030 Global Health Today 1 s.h.
Attendance at diverse on-campus, local, and regional global health events. Same as CPH:3240.
GHS:3034 Doing Harm by Doing Good: The Ethics of Studying, Volunteering, and Working in Global Communities 1 s.h.
Exploration of complex ethical issues involved in engaging in experiential learning (e.g., study abroad, volunteering, internships, research) in global communities; topics may include patient rights versus the promise of "hands-on" experience for untrained undergraduates; pitfalls of voluntourism and substituting "free" foreign labor for paid local employees; commercial aspects of study abroad—incentives and recruiting on campus by external contractors; how to select a reputable internship provider; online resources which help students become global ambassadors for patient safety; basic tools for thinking critically about outcomes.
GHS:3035 Engaging in Global Health 1 s.h.
How to become a participant in promoting health throughout the world; student peers and global health professionals share their experiences in global health; how professionals and volunteers work in a broad variety of settings; working with government-based programs, international organizations (e.g., UNICEF, World Vision), health care agencies, faith-based organizations, industry, and academic institutions; various ways to become engaged and be involved in global health.
GHS:3036 Ethics, Politics, and Global Health 3 s.h.
Ethics of health care policies, delivery systems, and interventions examined globally and locally.
GHS:3037 Technology to Improve Global Health 3 s.h.
Examination of existing, new, and future technologies used to revolutionize global health promotion through a variety of unique and often low-cost tools (e.g., mobile phones, drones, artificial intelligence).
GHS:3040 Health in Mexico 3 s.h.
Use of anthropological perspectives to examine disease, healing systems, and ideas about health and the body in Mexico and its diaspora; relationships between structural conditions and historical and political transformations; ideas about gender and race; chronic and acute disease in Mexico; conquest and disease; racialized bodies; sexual health; biomedicine; shamanism; immigration and health; pollution and narcoviolence; readings in English. Same as ANTH:3111, LAS:3111.
GHS:3050 Global Aging 3 s.h.
Demographic factors that contribute to the worldwide phenomena of population aging in context of WHO Active Aging and the United Nation's Principles for Older Persons frameworks. Same as ASP:3135, SSW:3135.
GHS:3060 Studies in Complementary and Alternative Medicine 3 s.h.
Rotating topics related to complementary and alternative medicine.
GHS:3070 Hungry Planet: Global Geographies of Food 3 s.h.
Societal and environmental implications of past, current, and future global food supply examined from a geographical perspective; focus on questions of who eats what, where, and why; transformative history of agriculture, modern agribusiness and alternative food supplies, geopolitical implications of food production, food scarcity and rising food costs, urban versus rural agriculture, the obesity epidemic versus malnutrition, and the future of food. Same as GEOG:3070.
GHS:3102 Medical Anthropology 3 s.h.
Major theoretical, methodological approaches; international health and development; biomedicine as a cultural system; ethnomedicine; anthropology and AIDS, human reproduction, epidemiology, ethnopsychiatry. Prerequisites: ANTH:1101 or ANTH:2100 or ANTH:2164 or GHS:2000. Same as ANTH:3102, CBH:3102.
GHS:3110 Health of Indigenous Peoples 3 s.h.
GHS:3111 Geography of Health 3 s.h.
Provision of health care in selected countries, with particular reference to the Third World; focus on problems of geographical, economic, cultural accessibility to health services; disease ecology, prospective payment systems, privatization, medical pluralism. Same as GEOG:3110.
GHS:3113 Religion and Healing 3 s.h.
GHS:3120 Global Maternal and Child Health 3 s.h.
Interdisciplinary approach to health of women and children locally and around the world.
GHS:3131 Health Care and Health Reforms in Russia 3 s.h.
Societal changes and their continuing effect on the Russian health care system since 1991; guest lectures from public health, nursing, medicine, cultural anthropology. Taught in English. Same as RUSS:3131.
GHS:3150 Media and Health 3 s.h.
Potential and limits of mass media's ability to educate the public about health; research and theory on the influence of information and entertainment media; theories, models, assumptions of mass communication in relation to public health issues. Same as CBH:3150, JMC:3150.
GHS:3151 The Anthropology of the Beginnings and Ends of Life 3 s.h.
Examination of diverse understandings of birth and death, drawing on anthropological analysis of personhood, kinship, ritual, and medicine; how social inequality and new technologies shape human experience at life's margins. Prerequisites: ANTH:1101 or ANTH:2100. Same as ANTH:3151, ASP:3151.
GHS:3152 Anthropology of Caregiving and Health 3 s.h.
GHS:3170 Visualizing Global Health Through Popular Fiction and Film 3 s.h.
Prominent global health issues visualized through the lens of popular film and fiction; books and film will be used to explore how the public understands various global health topics such as human trafficking, emerging infectious diseases, post-apocalyptic societies, and population control.
GHS:3191 Sustainable Development: India and the Global Context 3 s.h.
Introduction to development in India; critical examination of current discourses on domestic sociological, economic, and ecological environmental effects of the current model of development; taught in Mysore, India.
GHS:3192 Environment and Health in Modern India 3 s.h.
Introduction to India's environmental and health traditions; major contemporary scenarios; taught in Mysore, India.
GHS:3230 Health Experience of Immigrants, Migrants, and Refugees 3 s.h.
Interdisciplinary exploration of the unique health concerns, challenges, and health care experiences of the diverse populations on the move around the world and new to this country; issues to be explored include four overlapping sections—broad overview (definitions, populations, and significant health challenges); health risks and needs of specific sub-populations; patterns of public and private resources and responses; and the local picture (Iowa and Midwest), programs, cases, and concerns.
GHS:3300 Envisioning Future Worlds: Sustainable Development and Its Alternatives 3 s.h.
Sociocultural, geopolitical, and environmental implications of sustainable development and its alternatives investigated from a geographic perspective; geopolitical history of sustainable development; measures of sustainability in development; major critiques of sustainable development; alternative visions of development from different geographical contexts including ecofeminism, Buen Vivir, food sovereignty, degrowth, commoning, and the People's Health Movement. Same as GEOG:3300.
GHS:3325 Global Epidemics 3 s.h.
Case studies of several prominent global epidemic episodes; examination of the biology of the disease, how such epidemics came into being, how they were combated, and the relationship between the science, sociocultural, and political consequences of the disease.
GHS:3327 The Politics of Progress: NGOs, Development, and Sexuality 3 s.h.
How nonprofit sector increasingly plays a significant role in countering socioeconomic inequalities in the United States and global south; role of nonprofit organizations in relation to governmental policies of development, transnational funders, and ideas of sexual progress; critics of development institutions' arguments that western ideas of progress impose and adversely affect groups they claim to empower, yet also may foster struggles for social justice that go beyond development policy; examination of transnational nonprofit sector in relation to gender/sexuality and how it impacts women and gender/sexual minorities around the world. Recommendations: background in gender studies or social sciences. Same as GWSS:3326.
GHS:3420 Health and Healing in Early Modern Europe 3 s.h.
Health, healing, and medicine (1200-1700); transmission of medical knowledge from medieval Islam and ancient Greece; healers including physicians, midwives, surgeons, apothecaries, and ordinary people; epidemic disease; diet and the body; sex and reproduction; health in the colonial Atlantic world; healing and religion including prayer, magic, and witchcraft. Same as HIST:3420.
GHS:3500 Global Public Health 3 s.h.
Exploration of historical, current, and forecasted trends in global public health, the factors influencing health demographics in human populations, sources of health inequalities, and appropriate policy and intervention approaches for addressing global public health challenges. Same as CPH:3500.
GHS:3508 Disease and Health in Latin American History 3 s.h.
GHS:3555 Understanding Health and Disease in Africa 3 s.h.
GHS:3560 Global Garbage and Global Health 3 s.h.
Exploration of the fate of waste products as they are burnt, decomposed, landfilled, treated, recycled, reused, dumped on minority communities, or shipped abroad; definition of social and cultural aspects of garbage; students develop an understanding of the link between garbage, human health, and environmental health.
GHS:3600 Development in a Global Context I: Preparing for an Internship in Health, Gender, and Environment 1 s.h.
Students work with a UI faculty mentor to articulate an international development project and apply to an international development organization for an internship; students are matched to an organization/project and begin preparation for their internship by communicating with onsite mentor/supervisor.
GHS:3700 Development in a Global Context II: Reflections on Real World Interventions 2 s.h.
Students produce a research paper analyzing their personal internship in an international development program.
GHS:3720 Contemporary Issues in Global Health 3 s.h.
Local and global dimensions of health and disease.
GHS:3732 Global Health Nursing 3 s.h.
Complexity of health and nursing in a global context; overview of biological, social, epigenetic, and environmental contributors to health and diseases in populations around the world and nursing's role in improving health; includes case studies of various global organizational and educational structures and systems relative to population health, selected infectious diseases, nutritional deficiencies, and health effects of environmental change. Same as NURS:3732.
GHS:3760 Hazards and Society 3 s.h.
Examination of the impact and societal responses to natural and technological hazards; using case studies from around the world, students explore relationships between extreme events, human behavior, disaster management, public policy, and technology to understand what makes people and places vulnerable to hazards. Same as GEOG:3760.
GHS:3780 U.S. Energy Policy in Global Context 3 s.h.
GHS:3850 Promoting Health Globally 3 s.h.
Major global health threats in the United States and abroad; impact of culture, history, economics on health disparities; approaches, programs, policies to remedy them. Same as HHP:3850.
GHS:4000 Global Health Studies Service Learning: Local Health is Global Health 4 s.h.
Service-learning projects with local community organizations; domestic opportunities which offer global health insights.
GHS:4001 Social Entrepreneurship and Global Health 3 s.h.
Fundamentals of social enterprise and innovative approaches to improving lives and communities combined with a Global Health Studies focus on social determinants of health; student teams apply their knowledge and skills to projects which support the global health mission of a community partner. Recommendations: one approved global health studies course.
GHS:4002 Working in Global Health 3 s.h.
Development of skills needed for careers in global health. Recommendations: junior or higher standing.
GHS:4003 Case Studies in Global Health Inequities: Challenges and Interventions 3 s.h.
Series of multidisciplinary case studies focusing on health issues and solutions locally and globally.
GHS:4100 Topics in Global Health 1-3 s.h.
Special topics related to global health studies.
GHS:4140 Feminist Activism and Global Health 3 s.h.
How female gender intersects with culture, environment, and political economy to shape health and illness; reproductive health, violence, drug use, cancer; readings in anthropology, public health. Prerequisites: ANTH:1101. Same as ANTH:4140, CBH:4140, GWSS:4140.
GHS:4150 Health and Environment: GIS Applications 3 s.h.
GHS:4162 History of Global Health 3 s.h.
Foremost problems of health and disease in colonial and postcolonial societies; topical approach. Same as HIST:4162.
GHS:4180 Climate Change and Health 3 s.h.
Addressing global health issues affected by climate change through an interdisciplinary lens, drawing from medicine, human psychology, law, history, business, religion, and environmental science; exploring health and disease risk patterns as they vary around the world; examining the major social, economic, political, and related factors contributing to our changing climate and health and security threats; introducing the basic public health and human rights concepts and policies necessary for reducing morbidity and mortality rates among at-risk populations; preparing students to work internationally or domestically to address threats of a changing climate.
GHS:4205 Culture, Language, and Health 3 s.h.
Exploration of health, wellness, and illness from a perspective of language and culture; languages we use to describe our mental and physical health that are situated within culture-specific ideas of human bodies, minds, disease, and wellness; understanding where beliefs about health and wellness come from and exploring other systems of belief on their own terms prepares students to be better informed health care practitioners, more aware patients within health care systems, and more sensitive caregivers in health related settings; emphasis on observation, asking questions, and analyzing health care worlds. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: two courses in Spanish numbered 3000 or above. Same as SPAN:4205.
GHS:4260 Global Water and Health 3 s.h.
Overview of global water and health; microbial and toxicant identification, water-related adverse health effects, risk assessment, approaches to reduce water-related disease, distal water-related influences (e.g., global warming), and historic cases. Same as OEH:4260.
GHS:4530 Global Road Safety 3 s.h.
GHS:4600 Global Health and Human Rights 2-3 s.h.
Requirements: sophomore or higher standing.
GHS:4770 Environmental Justice 3 s.h.
Introduction to the field of environmental justice; understanding and addressing the processes that lead poor and marginalized communities to face a disproportionate degree of environmental risks and hazards. Same as GEOG:4770.
GHS:4900 Approaches to Global Health Studies 3 s.h.
Global health as a study of the dynamic relationship between human health and social, biological, and environmental factors that drive the spread of disease; core areas of global health research that may include health inequalities, maternal and child health, infectious diseases, nutrition, environmental health, and health interventions.
GHS:4990 Independent Project in Global Health arr.
Independent work completed under the supervision of global health studies faculty.
GHS:4991 Honors Thesis in Global Health Studies 3 s.h.
Completion of honors thesis in consultation with a faculty mentor. Prerequisites: GHS:3010.
GHS:4992 Global Health Studies Honors Cohort 0 s.h.
Students complete all requirements for honors in the global health studies major; supervision by global health studies honors advisor. Corequisites: GHS:4991.
GHS:5000 Graduate Seminar in Global Health 2 s.h.
In-depth discussion and analysis of rotating topics pertinent to global health studies.
GHS:5300 Envisioning Future Worlds: Sustainable Development and Its Alternatives 3 s.h.
Sociocultural, geopolitical, and environmental implications of sustainable development and its alternatives investigated from a geographic perspective; geopolitical history of sustainable development; measures of sustainability in development; major critiques of sustainable development; alternative visions of development from different geographical contexts including ecofeminism, Buen Vivir, food sovereignty, degrowth, commoning, and the People's Health Movement. Same as GEOG:5300.
GHS:5455 Health Insurance and Managed Care 3 s.h.
History and theory of insurance, comparative health systems, health systems and networks, HMOs, public health insurance, care for uninsured; emphasis on public policy. Prerequisites: HMP:5005. Corequisites: PHAR:6330 or HMP:5410. Same as HMP:5450.
GHS:6550 Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases 3 s.h.
Underlying epidemiological concepts of infection disease, including causation and surveillance; prevention and control; case studies. Offered fall semesters. Prerequisites: EPID:4400. Same as EPID:6550.
GHS:6625 Seminar: Religion and Health 3 s.h.
GHS:7160 Global History of Race, Science, and Medicine 3 s.h.
Examination of the history of social construction of race in scientific and medical thought; use of science and medicine to conceptualize race, as well as how race was used by scientists and physicians in their practice; primary focus is on the Atlantic World—Europe, Africa, and the Americas—and touches briefly on the construction of race in other parts of the world. Same as HIST:7160.