Program in Global Health and Health Policy



  • Heather H. Howard (co-director)
  • C. Jessica E. Metcalf (co-director)

Associate Director

  • Gilbert D. Collins

Executive Committee

  • Ruha Benjamin, African American Studies
  • Amy B. Borovoy, East Asian Studies
  • Janet M. Currie, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
  • Noreen Goldman, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
  • Andrea L. Graham, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Bryan T. Grenfell, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
  • Katja Guenther, History
  • Kate Ho, Economics
  • Heather H. Howard, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
  • Yibin Kang, Molecular Biology
  • C. Jessica E. Metcalf, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
  • Sanyu A. Mojola, Sociology
  • Robert K. Prud'homme, Chemical and Biological Eng
  • Daniel I. Rubenstein, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Associated Faculty

  • Elizabeth M. Armstrong, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
  • Bonnie L. Bassler, Molecular Biology
  • He Bian, History
  • João Biehl, Anthropology
  • Mark P. Brynildsen, Chemical and Biological Eng
  • Angela N. Creager, History
  • Andy P. Dobson, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Thomas Fujiwara, Economics
  • Zemer Gitai, Molecular Biology
  • John T. Groves, Chemistry
  • Elizabeth Harman, Philosophy
  • Brooke A. Holmes, Classics
  • Niraj K. Jha, Electrical & Comp Engineering
  • Ilyana Kuziemko, Economics
  • Simon A. Levin, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • A. James Link, Chemical and Biological Eng
  • Celeste M. Nelson, Chemical and Biological Eng
  • Alexander Ploss, Molecular Biology
  • Deborah A. Prentice, Provost
  • Joshua D. Rabinowitz, Chemistry
  • Carolyn M. Rouse, Anthropology
  • Matthew J. Salganik, Sociology
  • Mohammad R. Seyedsayamdost, Chemistry
  • Eldar Shafir, Psychology
  • Harold T. Shapiro, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
  • Peter A. Singer, Center for Human Values
  • Erik J. Sorensen, Chemistry
  • Keith A. Wailoo, History

Sits with Committee

  • Angus S. Deaton
  • Arbel Griner
  • Daniel A. Notterman
  • Sebastian Ramirez Hernandez
  • Benjamin L. Rice
For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Program Information

The interdepartmental Program in Global Health and Health Policy enables undergraduates to study the determinants, consequences, and patterns of disease across societies; the role of medical technologies and interventions in health improvements; and the economic, political, and social factors that shape domestic and global public health policy.

Admission to the Program

The program is open to undergraduates of all disciplines. Students apply to the program in the second semester of their sophomore year and are accepted if they have met the following prerequisites: submission of an essay describing the rationale for completing the certificate and plans for their junior and senior years; completion of an approved foundations course (ANT 240, EEB/MOL 211, EEB/MOL 214, ENV 200, GSS 201, MOL 101, ISC 231-234, SOC 217, or URB 201) by the end of sophomore year; completion of an approved statistics course (ECO 202, MOL 290, ORF 245, POL 345/SOC 305/WWS 211, PSY 251, SML 201, SOC 301 or WWS 200) by the end of sophomore year; a minimum grade of B in each of the two prerequisite courses and a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 overall; and a demonstrated commitment to the field of global health through completion of a health-related internship, volunteer work, campus activities, intellectual commitment, and/or community service.

Students who have placed out of departmental requirements and/or introductory-level courses with Advance Placement (AP) credit have the option of taking higher-level courses in lieu of the standard science and statistics prerequisites, with program permission.

Advanced foundations course options: EEB 309, EEB 314, EEB 327, EEB 328

Advanced statistics course options: ECO 302, ECO 312, ORF 405

Students who have not completed the prerequisites can apply to the program; however, waivers of the prerequisites are granted only in exceptional circumstances. Applicants should explain in their essay why they have not completed the prerequisites and how they plan to address the issue in their future studies.
Students who do not meet the minimum grade requirements at the time of application are still encouraged to apply. The program may accept a student with grades below the minimum requirements when the rest of the application is strong and thoughtfully written.

Program Requirements

To obtain the certificate, students must complete the following requirements:

Completion of GHP 350 and GHP 351 by the end of junior year.

Four additional health-related electives approved by the global health and health policy program, at least one of which is in an area outside of the student's department of concentration. Three of the electives must be completed during junior and senior years.

An approved research-focused internship or independent research project during the summer between junior and senior years.

A senior thesis written in the student's department of concentration that addresses or relates to global health and health policy in an interdisciplinary manner.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who fulfill the requirements of the program receive a certificate of proficiency in global health and health policy upon graduation.

Related Courses in Global Health and Health Policy. Courses that may be used to satisfy program requirements may be found on the program's website. If other courses in global health and/or health policy are offered, these may be added to the list of approved courses with program permission.


GHP 300 Gender and Illness Experience in the United States Today (also
GSS 347
) Spring SA

This course explores how gender is integral to constructions of health and illness. How do techniques of knowledge production in law, biomedicine, and public health rely on and invent ideas about gender difference? How is gender embodied in individual and collective experiences of suffering and affliction? How are such bodily experiences cross-cut by other conditions of social life, such as; culture, race, class, ethnicity, nationality and migration? The course combines readings in anthropology, literature, women¿s and gender studies, and critical theory to explore these questions in the contemporary context of the United States. Instructed by: A. Krauss

GHP 301 You Are What You Eat: Bio-Cultural Explorations of Food and Health Fall SA

Why are people committed to the "Paleo" diet in the 21st Century? Why do we apply the title "comfort" to certain foods? This class will use anthropology as a platform to explore how diverse health outcomes are connected to the foods we do (and do not) eat. While we will consider how food is implicated in individual health outcomes (such as malnutrition and chronic disease), we will also explore food and diet at an evolutionary scale. Shaping these explorations will be a sharp critical lens that considers how culture shapes our perceptions of food and health and how power intersects in our ability to so access those needs and preferences. Instructed by: J. Ham

GHP 303 Grassroots Power: Health and Social Change through Collective Action (also
URB 302
) Spring SA

This seminar provides a practical and theoretical toolkit for students interested in health disparities and social change. We will consider how critical perspectives on health, violence and the environment can create the grounds for broader social change. Through a multidisciplinary focus, we will look at how social change is conceptualized and assessed by experts, beneficiaries, and critics. Drawing lessons from the ACT UP, Black Lives Matter, reproductive rights and #MeToo, for example, we will examine how individuals and groups use technology and organize to change the status quo, reimagining ideas of justice and equity from the ground up. Instructed by: J. Nutor

GHP 304 Reproductive Technologies and the Politics of Life (also
GSS 352
) Spring SA

This seminar explores how reproductive technologies are involved in the government of biological and social life. Through readings in medical anthropology, critical social theory, and science and technology studies we will consider how reproductive technologies (both contraceptive and procreative) shape understandings of the body, personhood, modernity and nature, and how practices of biological reproduction are entangled with the social reproduction of race, class, gender, and ethnicity. Ethnographic studies include hormonal contraception, assisted conception, abortion, sterilization, stem cell science, adoption, and prenatal screening. Instructed by: A. Krauss

GHP 315 American Deaf Culture (See LIN 215)

GHP 317 Health Psychology (See PSY 317)

GHP 318 Sociology of Mental Health (See SOC 218)

GHP 327 Immune Systems: From Molecules to Populations (See EEB 327)

GHP 328 Ecology and Epidemiology of Parasites and Infectious Diseases (See EEB 328)

GHP 331 Ancient Greek and Roman Medicine: Bodies, Physicians, and Patients (See CLA 231)

GHP 332 Economics of Health and Health Care (See ECO 332)

GHP 337 Inequality, Health and Health Care Systems (See SOC 217)

GHP 338 Body and Language (See DAN 208)

GHP 350 Critical Perspectives in Global Health Policy (also
SPI 380
) Fall SA

Introduces disease and healthcare problems worldwide and examines efforts to address them. Via an interdisciplinary approach, identifies the main actors, institutions, knowledge, and values at play in the "global health system", and explores the environmental, social, political, and economic factors that shape patterns and variations in disease and health across societies. Topics include: development and governance of disease; technological change and public health; human rights and social justice; measuring health outcomes; and the shifting role of states, civil society, and public-private partnerships in healthcare delivery. Two lectures. Instructed by: J. Biehl

GHP 351 Epidemiology: An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective (also
SPI 381
EEB 351
POP 351
) Spring

Focuses on the distribution and determinants of disease. Diverse methodological approaches for measuring health status, disease occurrence, and the association between risk factors and health outcomes will be presented via classic and contemporary studies of chronic and infectious illness and disease outbreaks. Emphasis on: causal inference, study design and sampling, bias and confounding, the generalizability of research, health policy and research ethics. Prerequisite: an approved basic statistics course. Two 90-minute lectures, one preceptorial. Instructed by: J. Amon

GHP 354 Modern Genetics and Public Policy (See SPI 354)

GHP 368 Literature and Medicine (See SLA 368)

GHP 370 Eliminating Suffering: Netflix, Drugs, and Spiritual Practice (See REL 260)

GHP 375 Gender and Public Health: Disparities, Pathways, and Policies (See SPI 375)

GHP 377 Biomedical Ethics (See PHI 277)

GHP 390 Multispecies Worlding and Global Health Policies (See LAS 390)

GHP 394 Science and Medicine in the Early Modern World (See HIS 294)

GHP 400 Seminar in Global Health and Health Policy (also
SPI 382
MOL 499
EEB 400
) Spring

This course will examine four major topics in global health. Each topic will span two or three class meetings. The first session on a topic will feature a presentation by an expert invited from outside the University. Following the expert presentation, student discussants will lead a question/answer/commentary period. During the second and third class meetings for each topic, students will explore elements of the expert's presentation in greater depth as well as additional aspects relating to the topic of discussion. The student presentations will each be followed by student discussants. Instructed by: A. Mahmoud, T. Shenk

GHP 401 Global Health in Africa (also
ANT 480
AFS 401
) Spring SA

This seminar will examine the contemporary phenomenon of "global health" in Africa against the history and politics of health and healing. Topics include; colonial efforts to regulate race, gender, sexuality, and labor; African's responses to colonialism and missionization; the impact of colonialism on experience of health and healing; the training of African practitioners of biomedicine; the significance of healing practices to anti-colonial movements; and the relevance of these historical experiences to contemporary African public health and medicine. We will conclude with case studies of cutting-edge health issues in Africa. Instructed by: B. Brada

GHP 403 Race and Medicine (See ANT 403)

GHP 404 Science, Society, and Health Policy Spring SA

This seminar introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of science and society studies, which investigates how science both shapes and reflects social values, institutions, and policies. Drawing from diverse perspectives, including philosophers, historians, economists and scientists, the course will examine the relationship between science and society and provide critical tools and conceptual frameworks for addressing contemporary debates on how science should be practiced and disseminated for social benefit. The primary focus will be on the life sciences and health with occasional consideration of other areas of science and policy. Instructed by: Y. Ong

GHP 405 Energy and Health: From Exhausted Bodies to Energy Crises (also
ANT 481
) Spring SA

In this course we will examine how the production and consumption of energy are linked to questions of health. We will review how public health scholars, and academics from other disciplines have thought about energy. We will also examine what energy sustainability might mean in the face of repeated infrastructural failure and the concurrent loss of life. Finally, we will look to the past and present of nuclear energy, as a source of hope and a looming threat. Instructed by: B. Venkat

GHP 406 Health Reform in the US: The Affordable Care Act and Beyond (See SPI 393)

GHP 408 Public Health, Politics & Public Policy Spring SA

This course will explore health topics from the perspective of population health, politics and policy. Bridging domestic and international health topics and perspectives, the course will focus on controversial and complex health issues. The course will weave examples through various topics to demonstrate how politics and competing stakeholder interests can play a critical role in the public health and public policy response to health problems. The class sessions will be comprised of presentations by the instructors, visiting experts and students. Class discussion and presentation will be core elements of the course. Instructed by: K. Graff, H. Howard

GHP 409 Mortality at the Margins: Race, Inequality and Health Policy in the United States (also
AAS 410
) Spring SA

This course will critically examine the unequal distribution of disease and mortality in the United States along the axes of race, ethnicity, class and place. Through in-depth engagement with case studies, critical historical texts and public health literature we will explore why individuals from some race/ethnicities, class backgrounds, and geographies are more vulnerable to premature death and adverse outcomes than others. Student work will culminate in a policy memo and a presentation, allowing them to hone valuable skillsets for future participation in the research and policy processes. Instructed by: A. McGregor

GHP 410 Population Economics and Population Health (also
ECO 439
) Fall SA

The course will apply analytical tools in economics to investigate various economic and social consequences of population change and conversely the demographic consequences of economic growth. The course will emphasize both microeconomic and macroeconomic approaches. We will examine the economic determinants of population change and demographic behavior including household decisions, mortality (particularly infant mortality) and key forms of human capital investment including health, schooling and migration. Instructed by: J. Thuilliez

GHP 414 Pandemics: Critical Perspectives on Emergence, Governance and Care (also
ANT 376
) Spring SA

What makes a pandemic? COVID-19 has illuminated inequities and unpreparedness of global health mechanisms and national health provision systems, and put ways of predicting and preventing catastrophes under scrutiny. While preventable and treatable diseases such as AIDS remain pandemic and take millions of lives yearly, they no longer mobilize the emergency-based governance responses, financial resources, media attention, and modes of surveillance that COVID-19 does. We will examine frameworks, rationales, values, forms of knowledge, collaboration, governance and surveillance around which pandemics coalesce and are also eventually forgotten. Instructed by: A. Griner

GHP 420 Born in the U.S.A.: Culture and Reproduction in Modern America (See GSS 420)

GHP 423 Molecular Basis of Cancer (See MOL 423)

GHP 425 Infection: Biology, Burden, Policy (See MOL 425)

GHP 433 Biotechnology (See MOL 433)

GHP 440 Drug Discovery in the Genomics Era (See CHM 440)

GHP 447 Neuroimmunology: Immune Molecules in Normal Brain Function and Neuropathology (See NEU 447)

GHP 450 The Physical Basis of Human Disease (See CBE 440)

GHP 457 Metabolic Engineering (See CBE 447)

GHP 458 Psychopharmacology (See MOL 458)

GHP 459 Viruses: Strategy and Tactics (See MOL 459)

GHP 460 Diseases in Children: Causes, Costs, and Choices (See MOL 460)