The Division of Nutritional Sciences offers a Global Health Minor for undergraduate students. The Global Health Minor is intended to complement any academic major offered at Cornell and provide students with basic knowledge about global health as well as offer opportunities in experiential learning.

The Global Health Minor is designed around three specific educational objectives:
1) to learn more about the problems of global health in a classroom setting;
2) to experience the issues in global health firsthand in a field setting;
3) and to be exposed to the variety of careers in global health by working with graduate students and faculty 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 (offered every spring semester, must be completed before your experiential learning opportunity)
  2. 3 Elective Courses (9 credits): Students must take three elective courses distributed across the five Elective Course categories. While it is recommended that you complete this coursework prior to embarking on your experiential learning, it is not required.
  3. Experiential Learning Opportunity: ELOs must be at least 8 weeks in duration, located/working with a resource-limited or underserved setting/population, and relevant to a global health issue of interest to the student. The Global Health Program offers three summer programs that meet these criteria in Tanzania, Zambia, and India. Some students opt to complete an Independent ELO, which requires review by the Global Health Program staff.
  4. Core Course #2 (3 credits): NS 4600: Explorations in Global and Public Health (offered every fall semester).

Be sure to join the Global Health Mailing List to receive important information about experiential learning opportunities and deadlines. To join the mailing list, or for any questions, please contact the Global Health Program at DNSglobalhealth@cornell.edu.

NS 2600: Introduction to Global Health (Spring, 3 credits), must be taken before the student embarks on their Experiential Learning Opportunity (ELO). 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 ELO. While it is recommended that students complete their electives before taking this course, it is not required.

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.

Note: Both core courses must be taken for a letter grade.

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)

Approved Electives for the Global Health Minor
Last updated: October 30, 2019
*Not offered during the 2019-2020 Academic Year

Category I. Biomedical & Epidemiological Approaches to Global Health
Includes courses encompassing a ‘hard science” approach to the study of disease and epidemiology.  Surveys both communicable and parasitic vectors commonly occurring in resource-poor as well as nutritional and environmental foundations of increasingly prevalent non-communicable disease.

FALL
BIOMI 2500  Public Health Microbiology (3 credits)
BIOMI 2600  Microbiology of Human Contagious Diseases (3 credits)
BIOMI 2950  Biology of Infectious Disease: From Molecules to Ecosystems (3 credits)
BIOMI 3210  Human Microbes and Health (3 credits)
BIOMI 4090  Principles of Virology (3 credits)
BIOMI 4310  Medical Parasitology (2 credits)
BIOMS 4150  Essential Immunology (3 credits)
ENTOM 2100  Plagues and People (2-3 credits)
NS 3060  Nutrition and Global Health (3 credits)
NS 3600  Epidemiology (3 credits)
NS 4410  Nutrition and Disease (4 credits)
NS 6140  Topics in Maternal and Child Nutrition (3 credits)
PLBRG 4070  Nutritional Quality Improvement of Food Crops (2 credits)

SPRING
BIOMI 2600  Microbiology of Human Contagious Diseases (3 credits)
BIOMI 4040  Pathogenic Bacteriology (2-3 credits)
BIOMS 4340  Cellular and Molecular Microbial Pathogenesis: The Host/Pathogen Interplay* (3 credits)
BIOMS/VETMI 7190  Immunology of Infectious Diseases* (2 credits)
FDSC 4220  Functional Foods and Dietary Supplements for Health (2 credits)
NS 3150  Obesity and the Regulation of Body Weight (3 credits)
NS 3030  Nutrition, Health, and Vegetarian Diets (3 credits)
NS 4200  Diet and the Microbiome (3 credits)

Category II. Social & Ethical Approaches to Global Health
Studies of cultural and social issues affecting the health of global populations including the interplay between a society’s dynamics and the disease and nutritional profile of its populations. Includes courses covering macro and micro community health as well as ethics and human rights which aids in forming a foundation upon which students can build effective policies and frameworks tailored to a population.

FALL
AMST 2225/DSOC 2220  Controversies about Inequality (4 credits)
AMST 2280  What is Public Health? (3 credits)
ANTHR 2245  Health and Disease in the Ancient World (3 credits)
ANTHR 2421  Worlding Sex and Gender (4 credits)
ASIAN 2262  Medicine and Healing in China (4 credits)
BSOC 2051  Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine (4 credits)
BSOC 3011  Life Sciences and Society (4 credits)
CRP 3011  Ethics, Development, and Globalization (3 credits)
DSOC 2010/SOC 2202  Population Dynamics (3 credits)
DSOC 2200  Sociology of Health and Ethnic Minorities (3 credits)
DSOC 3111  Sociology of Medicine (3 credits)
DSOC 4230  Gender and Health: Concepts, Data, Theories and Evidence (3 credits)
EDUC 2610  The Intergroup Dialogue Project (3 credits)
HD 3570  Social Inequalities in Physical and Mental Health* (3 credits)
HD 4570  Health and Social Behavior* (3 credits)
NS 2450  Social Science Perspective on Food and Nutrition (3 credits)
NS 3610  Hot Topics in Global and Public Health (2 credits)
NS 4420  Implementation of Nutrition Care (3 credits)
PAM 3180  Health Disparities* (3 credits)
PAM 3280  Fundamentals of Population Health (3 credits)
STS 4751  Science, Race, and Colonialism (4 credits)

SPRING
AMST 2722  History of Mental Health and Mental Illness in the United States (3 credits)
ANTHR 2468  Medicine, Culture and Society (4 credits)
ANTHR 3465  Anthropology of the Body* (4 credits)
ANTHR 4041  What is (an) Epidemic?* (4 credits)
ANTHR/ASRC 4682  Healing and Medicine in Africa* (4 credits)
ASRC 4602  Women and Gender Issues in Africa* (4 credits)
BSOC 2061  Ethics and the Environment (4 credits)
BSOC 2071  Introduction to the History of Medicine (3 credits)
BSOC 2201  Society and Natural Resources (3 credits)
CRP 3011  Ethics, Development, and Globalization* (4 credits)
DSOC 3700  Comparative Social Inequalities (3 credits)
DSOC 4380  Population and Development* (3 credits)
EDUC 2610  The Intergroup Dialogue Project (3 credits)
HD 2510  Social Gerontology: Aging and the Life Course* (3 credits)
NS 4500  Public Health Nutrition (3 credits)
PAM 3280 Fundamentals of Population Health* (3 credits)
PHIL 2450 Ethics and Healthcare* (4 credits)
PLHRT 2350 Food, Fiber, and Fulfillment: Plants and Human Well-Being* (2 credits)
SOC 4120 Health and Social Context (3 credits)
STS 4751 Science, Race, and Colonialism* (4 credits)

WINTER/SUMMER
AMST 3141 Prisons (4 credits)

Category III. Political, Economic, Environmental & Food Systems Approaches to Global Health
Addresses local and global economic and political forces which influence the healthcare system of a region and its development. Educates students on subjects ranging from studies of agriculture and food system regulations to formulating balanced policy recommendations. This category focuses mainly on nutritional public policy from its basis in agro-economic theory to specific application to developing political systems.

FALL
AEM 1600 The Business of Modern Medicine (1 credit)
AEM 2000 Contemporary Controversies in the Global Economy* (3 credits)
AEM 3385 Social Entrepreneurship Practicum: Anabel’s Grocery (3 credits)
AEM/NS 4450 Towards a Sustainable Global Food System: Food Policy for Developing Countries* (3 credits)
ANSC 4000 Feeding the World: The Biological and Quantitative Analyses of Livestock and Crop Systems* (4 credits)
DSOC 2030 Global Garbage* (3 credits)
DSOC 3400 Agriculture, Food, Sustainability and Social Justice (3 credits)
ENTOM/TOX 3070 Pesticides, the Environment, and Human Health* (2 credits)
IARD 1100 Perspectives on International Agriculture and Rural Development (3 credits)
IARD 4140 Tropical Cropping Systems: Biodiversity, Social & Environmental Impacts (4 credits)
ECON 3710/PAM 4280 The Economics of Risky Health Behaviors (4 credits)
ECON 3910/NS 4570 Health, Poverty, and Inequality: A Global Perspective* (3 credits)
ECON 4640 Economics of Agricultural Development* (3 credits)
ECON 6410 Health Economics I (3 credits)
ECON 7711 Microeconomics of Development: Applications to Health, Nutrition, and Education (3 credits)
FDSC/IARD 4020 Agriculture in Developing Nations I (2 credits)
PAM 2350 The U.S. Healthcare System (3 credits)
PAM 3870 Economic Evaluations in Health Care* (3 credits)
PAM 4140 Global Health Economics and Policy* (3 credits)
PAM 4370 The Economics of Healthcare Markets* (3 credits)

SPRING
AEM 2000 Contemporary Controversies in the Global Economy* (3 credits)
AEM 3385 Social Entrepreneurship Practicum: Anabel’s Grocery (3 credits)
AEM 4310  Agricultural and Food Policy (3 credits)
AMST 4280 Health and Environmental Justice (4 credits)
COMM 2850 Communication, Environment, Science, and Health (3 credits)
DSOC 2050/SOC 2206 International Development* (3-4 credits)
DSOC 3020 Political Ecologies of Health (3 credits)
EAS 2021 Humans and Climate Change* (3 credits)
ECON 6420 Health Economics II (3 credits)
FDSC/IARD 4800 Global Seminar: Building Sustainable Environments and Secure Food Systems for a Modern World* (3 credits)
FDSC/IARD 6020 International Agriculture in Developing Nations (3 credits)
HIST 2791 International Humanitarianism* (4 credits)
NS 4480 Economics of Food and Malnutrition (3 credits)
PAM 3780 Sick Around the World? Comparing Healthcare Systems Around the World (3 credits)
PAM 4110 Pollution, Climate Change, and Health (3 credits)

SUMMER
NS 4630 Global Health, Development, and Policy Issues in Tanzania (4 credits)
NS 4631 Global Health Practice and Policy Research in Zambia (4 credits)

Category IV. Health Systems & Programmatic Approaches to Global Health
Intervention and methodology studies designed to provide students with the skills, tools and frameworks upon which to implement sustainable development. Focuses techniques for engineering effective infrastructure to affect public health initiatives.

FALL
AEM 4880 Global Food, Energy, and Water Nexus: Engage the US, China, and India for Sustainability (3-4 credits)
BEE/ENGRD 2510 Engineering Processes for Environmental Sustainability (3 credits)
BME 4110 Science and Technology Approaches to Problems in Human Health* (3 credits)
CEE 2550/4550 AguaClara: Sustainable Water Supply Project (3 credits)
CEE 4540 Sustainable Municipal Drinking Water Treatment* (3 credits)
DEA 2700 Healthy Places: Design, Planning and Public Health (3 credits)
DEA 5305 Health and Healing Studio (4 credits)
ENGRG 3400** Engineering in Reality (1-3 credits)
ILRHR 6605 Nonprofit Management and Finance (4 credits)
MAE 1900** Freshman and Nontechnical Projects in Mechanical Engineering (1-4 credits)
MAE 4900** Individual and Group Projects in Mechanical Engineering (1-4 credits)
NS 4030 Teaching Apprenticeship (1-3 credits) – only for NS 2600, 4600, 4620, 4630 or 4631
NS 4650 Leadership Development in Global and Public Health (1 credit)
PADM 5449 Systems Thinking in Public Affairs (3 credits)
PLBIO 3100 Medicinal Botany and Drug Discovery (2 credits)

SPRING
BEE 3299 Sustainable Development (3 credits)
BEE 4760 Solid Waste Engineering (3 credits)
CEE 2550/4550 AguaClara: Sustainable Water Supply Project (3 credits)
CEE 597 Risk Analysis and Management (3 credits)
ENGRG 3400** Engineering in Reality (1-3 credits)
ILRIC 3342 Workplace Health and Safety as a Human Right* (4 credits)
ILROB 4710 Social Science Research Methods* (4 credits)
MAE 1900** Freshman and Nontechnical Projects in Mechanical Engineering (1-4 credits)
MAE 4900** Individual and Group Projects in Mechanical Engineering (1-4 credits)
NS 4030 Teaching Apprenticeship (1-3 credits) – only for NS 2600, 4600, 4620, 4630 or 4631
PLBIO 2100 Medical Ethnobotany (3 credits)
STS 4311 From Surgery to Simulation* (4 credits)

SUMMER
BEE 3299 Sustainable Development (3 credits)
HE 4060 Practicing Global Public Health (3 credits)
NS 4630 Global Health, Development, and Policy Issues in Tanzania (4 credits)
NS 4631 Global Health Practice and Policy Research in Zambia (4 credits)

** Students intending to use ENGRG 3400, MAE 1900 or MAE 4900 towards completion of the Global Health Minor are required complete to submit a petition outlining the focus of their project team’s topic prior to taking the course - it must be health-related.

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 (DNSglobalhealth@cornell.edu) for an Elective Petition Form.

The petition can be used for Category V electives or any other course 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 elective 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 engage with a resource-limited population either in the United States or abroad. Students are challenged to apply their classroom learning to a field setting and deepen their understanding of the health problems that disproportionately affect underserved communities.

The learning outcomes of the ELO are as follows:
At the completion of this experiential learning opportunity, students will be able to:

  1. Identify a global or public health issue, through engagement in practice, policy, or research, which you intend to analyze in great depth in NS4600.
  2. Examine and explain the key characteristics and interests of host organization, hospital, institution, or research project, and how they relate to specific global or public health issues of interest.
  3. Analyze a global or public health issue integrating academic knowledge and experiential learning.
  4. Document and explain how the applied experience advanced academic, professional, and personal learning goals.

Students pursuing the Global Health Minor have the option of applying to participate in a Cornell Global Health Summer Program (India, Tanzania, or Zambia), or arranging an independent ELO. If you are interested in arranging an independent ELO, please contact the Global and Public Health Fellow (DNSglobalhealth@cornell.edu) to get more information and access to the petition form.

Before completing an ELO, students must:

  • Successfully complete NS 2600: Introduction to Global Health.
  • Apply to a Global Health Summer Program or submit an Independent ELO Petition form for review by Global health staff.
  • Apply for funding - see funding opportunities here.

After completing an ELO, students must:

  • Successfully complete NS 4600.
  • Submit a student story and photos to the Global Health Program.
  • Complete a final report detailing the experience.