Global and Public Health Sciences Major

Available to First-Year Applicants only

The Global & Public Health Sciences major is intended for students who are interested in the health problems of communities and the actions that will protect or improve the lives of large numbers of individuals within communities.  The Global & Public Health Sciences major teaches the tools of public health research and action, and their application to population health issues in the U.S. and around the world. Within this major, students explore multidisciplinary solutions to population-level health issues, with a focus on disease prevention and health promotion; epidemiology and biostatistics; and resource-challenged environments. Sustained improvement of the health of populations often requires a multidisciplinary approach involving the biomedical, social, behavioral, political and environmental sciences, and careful consideration of the importance of cultural and ethical contexts.

The work of public health professionals is distinct from the work of clinical professionals, who typically treat individuals after they have become sick or injured. Public health actions often involve educational and/or governmental approaches that influence many persons simultaneously, for example, in order to address issues such as obesity and diabetes, food security, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, quality of food, water and air, and access to health care.

The major is especially appropriate for students who wish to pursue advanced study that would lead to leadership positions in governmental or non-governmental organizations that deal directly with current and emerging health concerns in the U.S. or internationally.

Employment Fields

  • Global and Public Health Sciences majors will be prepared to pursue careers domestically and globally in public health, public service, research, social entrepreneurship, medicine, and other health careers.

What recent graduates are doing

Because this year is the first year Global and Public Health has been offered as a CALS Major, no data is available.

Sample Classes

NS 1600: Introduction to Public Health

Provides the basic principles, practices, and policies of public health, including an introduction to the infrastructure and organization of public health; methods of data collection and surveillance; disease promotion and prevention; health disparities; and the achievements, challenges, and controversies in the field.

NS 2600: Introduction to Global Health

Explore contemporary issues, problems, and controversies in global health through an interdisciplinary perspective. Introduces the global burden of disease and then examines complex social, economic, political, environmental, and biological factors that structure the origins, consequences, and possible treatments of global health problems. A limited number of problems are explored in depth (e.g., HIV, maternal mortality, malaria).

NS 3600: Epidemiology in Context

This course introduces students to the principles and methods used in epidemiologic research. Through a combination of didactic lectures, in-depth case studies, and applied projects, students will explore epidemiologic research, including disease occurrence, measures of association, and causal inference. Epidemiologic principles in the design, conduct, and interpretation of findings from observational and experimental studies will be explored in detail, including the strengths and limitations of study designs and applications to global and public health.

NS 4600: Explorations in Global and Public Health

This capstone course provides guidance, conceptual tools, feedback and a dedicated space in the schedule for students to design, complete and communicate a capstone project on a topic of their choosing that allows them to demonstrate their mastery of the learning outcomes for the global and public health sciences major or global health minor.

More about Global and Public Health Sciences from the Department