Course Work

Global Health Program Requirements can be found here:

Learn More About the Core Courses:

HILD 30. History of Public Health

Course Description: 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.

Common Instructor: Claire Edington, PhD, is an assistant professor in the department of History. Professor Edington’s research interests include the history of medicine and public health. She is currently completing a book manuscript on the social history of psychiatry and mental illness in French colonial Vietnam. Read more about Dr. Edington plus tips for success in this course.

GLBH 20. Introduction to Global Health

Course Description: Provides a foundational interdisciplinary understanding of complex global health issues and introduces major concepts and principles in global health. The course surveys the range of problems contributing to the global burden of disease and disability including infectious disease, mental illness, refugee and immigrant health, natural disasters, climate change, and food insecurity.

Main Instructor: Rotates

GLBH/ANSC 148. Global Health & Cultural Diversity

Course Description: 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.

Common Instructor: Saiba Varma, PhD, is a medical and cultural anthropologist working on questions of violence, medicine, psychiatry, and politics as they pertain to Indian-controlled Kashmir and South Asia more generally.Her research focuses in how medicine and psychiatry, as forms of knowledge and relations, are not only ways of shoring up “facts” about illness, the body, or health, but also spaces where mistrust, doubt, and suspicion proliferate. Read more about Dr. Varma plus tips for success in this course.

GLBH 181. Essentials of Global Health

Course Description: This course will provide an overview of global health as a field of research and practice, with an emphasis on use of surveillance methods to understand health and determinants of health, evidence-based program development and evaluation of programs in the field, and engagement with governments and advocacy groups to elicit evidence-based policy change. Topics of focus will prioritize infectious diseases, maternal child health, substance use and gender-based violence, as case examples of global health research and programmatic approaches. By the end of this course students should have acquired an understanding of the global burden of major diseases and population health concerns, how to understand and intervene upon the determinants of disease and other health concerns, and how to develop and implement monitoring and outcome evaluations for use in low resource settings.

Main Instructor: Eileen V. Pitpitan, PhD, is a Social Psychologist by training and an Assistant Professor in the Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine. Her research focuses on the social and structural factors associated with behavioral risks for HIV. Some of the social and structural factors she examines in her work include syndemic conditions (poor mental health, substance use, violence), stigma, and gender roles.

Read more about Dr. Pitpitan plus tips for success in this course.

What are Global Health Students Saying about GLBH 181?

“Having been the first upper division core class I took in the major, GLBH 181 gave the foundation for understanding the dynamics of this field from both an academic, theoretical perspective and a practical one. Dr. Anita Raj is a brilliantly inspiring global health professional who crafts the class specifically to give us tangible skills to aid us in our diverse paths to creating changes in the global health sphere. My favorite aspect of this course is the final project, in which students are tasked with the assignment of developing an intervention program for a topic of their choice, with the help of a full quarter of research-focused assignments and experienced guest speakers. Through my entire undergraduate career thus far, no class has challenged me and pushed for my development as a young professional as much as GLBH 181.” -Arielsela Holdbrook-Smith, Global Health major

“I think my favorite part of global health and the class in general is how multi-faceted and interdisciplinary it is. Personally I’m more interesting in health psychology, so I’m looking at careers more in therapy-based community health interventions. My favorite assignment was probably the assignment where we got to choose 3 countries and a WHO health topic because it really put the power in our hands to choose what we wanted to explore and to find a region and topic suited to our interests. My favorite lecture was Dr. Peter Davidson’s lecture about heroin use in San Francisco. That is where I want to go for grad school and live, so it was really awesome to see public health interventions happening in the place I want to end up. It definitely made the future look promising.”      -Zack Tarro,  Psychology major, Health Care & Social Issues minor

“GLBH 181 has been the perfect class for me to explore the depth and variety of global health while giving me the confidence and knowledgeable foundation to think critically about world issues and ways in which I can engage in research to address issues that matter to me. The guest lecturers are by far my most favorite part as they illustrate the real world applications of research techniques and information we learn from our readings, while also giving us the opportunity to network and connect with leaders already in the industry. Overall, GLBH 181 has challenged me to look at all the different ways in which I can make a difference as I pursue a career in global health.” -Erica Settlekowski, Global Health major

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