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 offers students the opportunity to:

  1. learn more about the problems of global & public health in a classroom setting;
  2. experience the issues in global & public health through experiential learning and
  3. explore career & academic pathways in global & public health.

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 Course 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. Most Global Health Minors complete an Independent ELO, which requires review by the DNS Petition Review Team. Please review the forms and details on this page and reach out to DNS Student Services with any questions.
  4. Core Course #2 (3 credits): NS 4600: Explorations in Global and Public Health (offered every fall semester).

Diagram of the Global Health Minor

                                      A diagram of the requirements for the Global Health minor

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

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

Students must complete three elective courses (each at a minimum of 2 credits), totaling to 9 credits of elective courses. These three courses must be distributed across three out of the five following Elective Course 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

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.

Please see this document for past courses that fulfill the elective requirement.

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 4040 Pathogenic Bacteriology (2-3 credits)
BIOMI 4090 Principles of Virology (3 credits)
BIOMI 4310 Medical Parasitology (2 credits)
BIOMS 4150 Essential Immunology (3 credits)
BIOMS 4340 Cellular and Molecular Microbial Pathogenesis: The Host/Pathogen Interplay (3 credits)
ENTOM 2100 Plagues and People (2-3 credits)
FDSC 4220 Functional Foods and Dietary Supplements for Health (2 credits)
NS 3030 Nutrition, Health, and Vegetarian Diets (3 credits)
NS 3060 Nutrition and Global Health (3 credits)
NS 3150 Obesity and the Regulation of Body Weight (3 credits)
NS 3600 Epidemiology (3 credits)
NS 4200 Diet and the Microbiome (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)

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.

AMST 2225/GDEV 2220 Controversies about Inequality (4 credits)
AMST 2722 History of Mental Health and Mental Illness in the United States (3 credits)
AMST/GOVT 3141 Prisons (4 credits)
ANTHR 2245 Health and Disease in the Ancient World (3 credits)
ANTHR 2421 Worlding Sex and Gender (4 credits)
ANTHR 2468 Medicine, Culture and Society (4 credits)
ANTHR 3465 Anthropology of the Body (4 credits)
ANTHR/ASRC/BSOC 4682 Healing and Medicine in Africa (4 credits)
ASIAN 2262 Medicine and Healing in China (4 credits)
ASRC 4602 Women and Gender Issues in Africa (4 credits)
BSOC 2051 Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine (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)
BSOC 3011 Life Sciences and Society (4 credits)
CRP 3011 Ethics, Development, and Globalization (3 credits)
GDEV 2010/SOC 2202 Population and Development (3 credits)
GDEV 2200 Sociology of Health and Ethnic Minorities (3 credits)
GDEV/BSOC/SOC/STS 3111 Social Studies of Medicine (3 credits)
GDEV 3700/SOC 3710 Comparative Social Inequalities (3 credits)
EDUC/ILRID 2610 Intergroup Dialogue (3 credits)
HD/SOC 2510 Social Gerontology: Aging and the Life Course (3 credits)
NS 2450 Social Science Perspective on Food and Nutrition (3 credits)
NS 4420 Implementation of Nutrition Care (3 credits)
NS 4500 Public Health Nutrition (3 credits)
PUBPOL/SOC 3180 Health Disparities (3 credits)
PUBPOL/GDEV 3280 Fundamentals of Population Health (3 credits)
SOC 4120 Health and Social Context (3 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.

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/GDEV/NS 4450 Towards a Sustainable Global Food System: Food Policy for Developing Countries (3 credits)
COMM 2850/STS 2851 Communication, Environment, Science, and Health (3 credits)
ECON 3710/PUBPOL 4280 The Economics of Risky Health Behaviors (4 credits)
ECON 3910/NS 4570 Health, Poverty, and Inequality: A Global Perspective (3 credits)
ECON 6410 Health Economics I (3 credits)
ECON 6420 Health Economics II (3 credits)
ECON 7711 Microeconomics of Development: Applications to Health, Nutrition, and Education (3 credits)
GDEV 2030 Global Garbage (3 credits)
GDEV 3020 Political Ecologies of Health (3 credits)
GDEV 3400 Agriculture, Food, Sustainability and Social Justice (3 credits)
GDEV 4140 Global Cropping Systems and Sustainable Development (3 credits)
NS 4480/AEM 4485 Economics of Food and Malnutrition (3 credits)
PUBPOL 2350 The U.S. Healthcare System (3 credits)
PUBPOL 3870 Economic Evaluations in Health Care (3 credits)
PUBPOL 4110 Pollution, Climate Change, and Health (3 credits)
PUBPOL 4370 The Economics of Healthcare Markets (3 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.

AEM/CHEME/FDSC 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)
BEE 3299 Sustainable Development (3 credits)
ENGRG 3400 Engineering Student Project Teams: PRJ 601 - AguaClara Cornell (3 credits)
DEA 2700 Healthy Places: Design, Planning and Public Health (3 credits)
DEA 5305 Health and Healing Studio (4 credits)
ILROB 4710 Social Science Research Methods (4 credits)
NS 4030 Teaching Apprenticeship (1-3 credits) – only for NS 2600, 3610, 4600, 4620, 4630 or 4631
PADM 5449 Systems Thinking in Public Affairs (3 credits)
PLBIO 2100 Medical Ethnobotany (3 credits)
PLBIO 3100 Medicinal Botany and Drug Discovery (2 credits)

Category V. Area Specific and Independent Studies (Petition Only)

Students may petition to fulfill an elective requirement with a course that examines specific regions or populations relating to the location of their field experience or their career interests. Students are encouraged to study regional languages that they may use during their field experiences but language courses cannot fulfill an elective requirement for the minor. The Global Health Program also intends to create a culture that will encourage students to design and conduct independent studies that will supplement their academic and field experiences as a global health minor.

If you learn about other upper level courses that would be appropriate for our list of elective courses, please submit 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.

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 NS 4600.
  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.

Before completing an ELO, students must:

  • Successfully complete NS 2600: Introduction to Global Health.
  • Submit an Independent ELO Petition form for review by the DNS Petition Review Team.
  • Some funding is available. Please reach out to the DNS Student Services Office for more information regarding funding opportunities. Information is generally available in mid-Spring.

After completing an ELO, students must:

  • Successfully complete NS 4600.