Global Health and Health Policy

Program Offerings

Offering type

Princeton students are part of a new global health generation — a generation that witnesses first-hand the pressing health challenges in the world and wants to do something about them. The minor in Global Health and Health Policy (GHP) equips students with the cutting-edge tools, real-life experiences and critical perspectives to make meaningful change in the health sphere.

The minor in Global Health and Health Policy provides students a foundational grounding in the core interdisciplinary issues of global health. These include the biological, social and environmental determinants of health; public health policy and politics; epidemiology; comparative approaches to health-care provision; medical anthropology; health ethics; and social justice. Participating students learn about and collaborate with diverse communities around the world and in the United States.

Students from all majors are welcome.

Goals for Student Learning

  • Students gain knowledge of the fundamental principles of global health as drawn from natural science, social science and the humanities, and explore the ways in which these principles interact with each other across disciplines.
  • Students develop skills in policy analysis, critical thinking and ethical reasoning as they are applied in global health contexts.
  • Students demonstrate analytical research skills and mastery of interdisciplinary approaches to global health through a capstone written project in their senior year.
  • Students improve understanding of challenges involved in applying global health principles to real-world contexts through experiential learning opportunities including summer internships.
  • Students develop relationships with cohort classmates across disciplines — learning from each other as they jointly take core courses, participate in GHP colloquium lectures and participate in other minor-related activities.


By the end of sophomore year, prospective applicants must complete one Foundations prerequisite course and one Statistics prerequisite course, with a grade of B or higher.

Foundations prerequisite course options include: ANT 240, GSS 201, ISC-231-234, MOL 101, MOL/EEB 211, MOL/EEB 214, SOC 217, URB 201, EEB 309, EEB 314, EEB 327, and EEB 328.

Statistics prerequisite course options include: ECO 202, MOL 290, ORF 245, POL 345, PSY 251, SML 201, SOC 301, SPI 200, ECO 302, ECO 312, and ORF 405.

Applicants should also have maintained a cumulative 3.0 GPA through the time of application. Students with a cumulative GPA below 3.0, or who have not completed both prerequisite courses, may still apply to the minor during the sophomore spring with an explanation of any extenuating circumstances.

Admission to the Program

Students apply to the minor in the spring semester of their sophomore year. The application opens in late February and closes in late March. In the application, students describe their past engagement with the field of global health and health policy, their motivations for completing the minor and their notional global health research interests. All students meeting the baseline qualifications will be accepted to the minor, and will be notified by early April.

Program of Study

The minor in Global Health and Health Policy consists of three elements: coursework, summer internship, and capstone research project.

Core Courses

Students take two core GHP courses together as a cohort during their junior year. They are GHP 350: Critical Perspectives in Global Health Policy (fall semester) and GHP 351: Epidemiology: An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective (spring semester). Exceptions to the core courses being taken during the junior year can be made when a student will be studying abroad, is on a leave of absence or will otherwise be off-campus; or when a student has a timing conflict with a required concentration course. These core courses may not be taken on a pass/D/fail basis.

Elective Courses

Students must take four additional elective courses in global health. Students may choose from an elective list that is curated and approved in advance every semester by the minor. In spring 2023 there were 60 preapproved GHP electives, and in fall 2022 there were 38 preapproved GHP electives.

Guidelines on Elective Courses

  • Three of the four electives must be taken in junior or senior year.
  • One elective may be taken in the first year or sophomore year.
  • Students may petition to the minor for a course to be approved as a GHP elective prior to the start of the semester. Elective petitions will not be accepted after the start of the semester or after the course has been completed.
  • Elective courses may be at the 200-, 300-, or 400 level. Students may petition to the minor for a 500-level course to be approved as a GHP elective on an individual basis. 100-level courses will not be approved as electives.
  • A student may count a maximum of two 200-level courses toward the four elective total. If a cross- listed course carries both a 200- and 300-level course number, it will count as a 200-level course for purposes of this requirement.
  • At least one elective course must not be listed or cross-listed with the student’s major.
  • One course taken off-campus, including study abroad courses, may be taken as an elective with prior minor approval.
  • One elective course may be taken on a PDF basis. Any course taken off-campus would count toward this limit.

Additional Requirements

Summer Internship

GHP students will complete an internship or research experience during the summer between junior and senior year. This provides students an opportunity to apply concepts from the core GHP courses and any electives taken to date in a real-world context. This experience must be full-time and must be a minimum of eight weeks in duration. The internship may be remote. All internships must be approved in advance by the minor.

Capstone Research Project

GHP students will write a senior thesis or research paper that addresses or relates to global health in an interdisciplinary manner. The requirement can be fulfilled in three ways, including a departmental thesis that fully integrates a global health topic; a final chapter added to a technical or lab-based thesis that connects the preceding content to a global health topic; or an original research paper on a global health topic.



  • Director

    • 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
    • Angela N. Creager, History
    • 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 Rubenstein, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
    • AJ te Velthuis, Molecular 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
    • Elizabeth A. Davis, Anthropology
    • 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
    • Daniel A. Notterman, Molecular Biology
    • Alexander Ploss, Molecular Biology
    • Joshua D. Rabinowitz, Chemistry
    • Carolyn M. Rouse, Anthropology
    • Matthew J. Salganik, Sociology
    • Mohammad R. Seyedsayamdost, Chemistry
    • Eldar Shafir, Psychology
    • Peter A. Singer, Center for Human Values
    • Erik J. Sorensen, Chemistry
    • Keith A. Wailoo, History
  • Sits with Committee

    • Esther Annan
    • Angus S. Deaton
    • Kathleen Donnelly
    • Arbel Griner

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.


GHP 313 - Topics in Global Race and Ethnicity (also AAS 303/GSS 406/HUM 347) Fall/Spring HASA

GHP 327 - Immune Systems: From Molecules to Populations (also EEB 327/MOL 327) Fall SEN

GHP 328 - Ecology and Epidemiology of Parasites and Infectious Diseases (also EEB 328) Not offered this year SEL

GHP 331 - Ancient Greek and Roman Medicine: Bodies, Physicians, and Patients (also CLA 231/HIS 231/HLS 231) Not offered this year EMHA

GHP 332 - Economics of Health and Health Care (also ECO 332) Spring SA

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. J. Biehl

GHP 351 - Epidemiology: Unpacking Health with Classic Tools, Ecology and Evolution (also EEB 351/SPI 381) 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. C. Metcalf

GHP 403 - Race and Medicine (also AAS 403/ANT 403) CDEM

GHP 423 - Molecular Basis of Cancer (also MOL 423) Not offered this year

GHP 425 - Infection: Biology, Burden, Policy (also MOL 425/SPI 355) Not offered this year SEN

GHP 433 - Biotechnology (also CBE 434/MOL 433) Fall SEN

GHP 447 - Neuroimmunology: Immune Molecules in Normal Brain Function and Neuropathology (also MOL 447/NEU 447) Not offered this year SEN

GHP 450 - The Physical Basis of Human Disease (also CBE 440/MOL 440) Not offered this year

GHP 457 - Metabolic Engineering (also CBE 447) Not offered this year SEN

GHP 459 - Viruses: Strategy and Tactics (also MOL 459) Fall SEN

GHP 460 - Diseases in Children: Causes, Costs, and Choices (also MOL 460/STC 460) Fall EM