The Division of Nutritional Sciences offers a minor in global health. The Global Health Minor is intended to complement any academic major offered at the University and to provide students with basic knowledge about global health as well as the necessary skills and experience to begin to build their own unique global health career. The minor is open to all undergraduate students in all colleges.

The Global Health Minor is designed around three specific educational objectives for students: to learn more about the problems of global health in a classroom setting; to experience the issues in global health firsthand in a field setting; and to be exposed to the variety of careers available in global health by working with graduate and medical students and faculty who are currently engaged in the field.

Upon completion of the Global Health Minor, students are able to:

  • Analyze global health problems, issues and controversies using multiple disciplinary perspectives and conceptual frameworks,
  • Integrate knowledge from academic study and experiential learning toward being active and informed citizens in a global community,
  • Demonstrate the capacity to critically reflect on one's own values, ethics, assumptions and actions in the context of cultures, collaborations and institutions,
  • Demonstrate the capacity to collaborate across differences (e.g. cultural, social, personal, economic, values, religious).

Global Health Minor Requirements (15 credits total):

  1. Core Course 1 (3 credits): NS 2600 Introduction to Global Health (must be completed before field experience)
  2. 3 Elective Courses (9 credit min.): Distributed across three of the five Elective Course categories. While it is recommended that you complete this coursework prior to embarking on your field experience, it is not required.
  3. Experiential Learning Opportunity: Meet with the Global Health Program Staff to discuss your 8-week Field Experience.
  4. Core Course 2 (3 credits): NS 4600 Explorations in Global and Public Health.

To read more about the Global Health Minor and view the course list, please visit the Minor Fields and Pre-Professional Paths section of the current DNS Roadmap. In addition, be sure to join the Global Health Mailing List to receive important information about field experience opportunities and deadlines. To join the mailing list (please send/include your NetID with your request), or for any questions, please contact the Global Health Program at

NS 2600: Introduction to Global Health (Spring, 3 credits), must be taken before the student embarks on their Experiential Learning Opportunity. Enrollment priority is given to freshmen and sophomores. Juniors should contact the Director or Fellow to be placed on the waitlist and come to the first day of class.

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). This course will be offered each Spring.

NS 4600: Explorations in Global and Public Health (Fall, 3 credits), must be taken in the Fall semester immediately after completing the Field Experience and NS 2600. While it is recommended that students complete their Electives before this course, it is not required.

Note: All courses used to fulfill the minor requirements must be taken for a letter grade.

This capstone course for global health minors assists students in exploring their topical interests in global health and integrating these interests with their field experiences, core knowledge in global health, ethical frameworks, and personal values. Course content is driven largely by student topical interests and experiences, and selected guest speakers. Explorations are done through individual work, team projects, and classroom discussions.

This 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.

Students must complete Electives from three of the five following categories:

Category I. Biomedical & Epidemiological Approaches to Global Health
Category II. Social & Ethical Approaches to Global Health
Category III. Political, Economic & Food Systems Approaches to Global Health
Category IV. Health Systems & Programmatic Approaches to Global Health
Category V. Area-Specific Studies (Petition-Only)

See the courses in each category in the List of Elective Courses.

If you learn about other upper level courses that would be appropriate for our list of elective courses, please contact the Global and Public Health Fellow (Mia Haller - for an Elective Petition Form.

This petition can be used for Category 5 electives or any other course that you find that you think should count for your minor coursework. Petitions must be approved by Global Health Program staff to count for the minor.

Note: All courses used to fulfill the minor requirements must be taken for a letter grade.

A critical element of the Global Health Minor is an approved, eight-week experiential learning opportunity (ELO) during which students live and work abroad in a resource-poor setting. Students are challenged to apply their classroom learning to a field setting and deepen their understanding of the health problems that disproportionately affect the resource-poor.

Students in the Global Health Minor have the option of participating in a Cornell Global Health Summer Program (India, Tanzania, or Zambia), or in an independently-arranged experiential learning opportunity.

Prior to an ELO, students must:

  • Complete NS 2600: Introduction to Global Health.
  • Apply to a Global Health Summer Program or submit an Independent ELO Petition form.
  • Enroll in NS 4620/ILR4260 if completing a Cornell GH Summer Program or attend one Health & Safety Seminar and one Ethics, Culture, & Diversity Seminar if completing an Independent ELO.

After completing an ELO, students must:

  • Complete a final report detailing the experience.
  • Submit a student story and photos for the GH website.
  • Attend a mandatory post-field experience meeting.
  • Complete NS 4600.
  • Student Funding