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About the Program

The program in Global Health and Health Policy (GHP) is an interdepartmental program in which undergraduates can 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.

The program takes place during the junior and senior year and is open to undergraduates from all departments. It includes the following three essential elements:

  1. Global and local coverage
  2. Interdisciplinary education
  3. Experiential learning and field research

Global and local coverage

The program spans health and health policy issues in both developing and industrialized countries. Wealthy and poor countries typically have different health problems and quite different health care systems. At the same time, epidemics such as SARS and avian influenza, and the increasing rates of cancer and heart disease in industrialized and developing countries alike, all illustrate that health problems cut across national and regional borders. This program bridges diverse local realities with global structures and systems, demonstrating how ideas, systems, resources, and information are moving between localities along global axes.

Interdisciplinary education

This certificate program includes courses currently taught in a number of disciplines, including African American studies, African studies, anthropology, ecology and evolutionary biology, economics, engineering, molecular biology, philosophy, politics, psychology, public policy, and sociology. Participation by students from a wide range of departments enhances the interdisciplinary nature of the program.

Experiential learning and field research

The program includes an experiential learning component to introduce students to real-world health issues and provide opportunities to begin research on relevant topics. All students in the program must complete a summer research project (usually in the form of a research-focused internship or independent research) on a health-related topic. Each student's research project should be integrated with her or his academic goals and senior thesis. For most students, the research project will take place in the summer between the junior and senior year.

The GHP program is administered by the Center for Health and Wellbeing and is a part of Princeton University's Global Health Initiative.