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Program in Global Health and Health Policy


Joćo G. Biehl, Co-Director

Andrea L. Graham, Co-Director 

Executive Committee

Elizabeth M. Armstrong, Woodrow Wilson School, Sociology

Joćo G. Biehl, Anthropology

Janet M. Currie, Woodrow Wilson School, Economics

Andrea L. Graham, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Bryan T. Grenfell, Woodrow Wilson School, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Daniel I. Rubenstein, Ecology and Environmental Biology

Thomas E. Shenk, Molecular Biology

Tom S. Vogl, Woodrow Wilson School, Economics

Keith A. Wailoo, History, Woodrow Wilson School

Associated Faculty

Ruha Benjamin, African American Studies

Anne C. Case, Woodrow Wilson School, Economics

Angela N. H. Creager, History

Elizabeth A. Davis, Anthropology

Andrew P. Dobson, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Lynn W. Enquist, Molecular Biology, Princeton Neuroscience Institute

Thomas Fujiwara, Economics

Zemer Gitai, Molecular Biology

Noreen J. Goldman, Woodrow Wilson School, Demography

John T. Groves, Chemistry

Katja Guenther, History

Elizabeth Harman, Philosophy, University Center for Human Values

Simon A. Levin, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

A. James Link, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Adel A. Mahmoud, Woodrow Wilson School, Molecular Biology

Michael C. McAlpine, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

C. Jessica E. Metcalf, Woodrow Wilson School and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Celeste M. Nelson, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Alexander Ploss, Molecular Biology

Deborah A. Prentice, Psychology, Woodrow Wilson School

Robert K. Prud'homme, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Joshua D. Rabinowitz, Chemistry, Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics

Leon E. Rosenberg, Molecular Biology

Carolyn M. Rouse, Anthropology

Eldar B. Shafir, Psychology, Woodrow Wilson School

Harold T. Shapiro, Woodrow Wilson School, Economics

Peter A. Singer, University Center for Human Values

Winston O. Soboyejo, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Erik J. Sorensen, Chemistry

Everett Y. Zhang, East Asian Studies

Sits with Committee

Alecia McGregor, Woodrow Wilson School

Yi-Ching Ong, Woodrow Wilson School

Bharat Venkat, Woodrow Wilson School

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 the junior and senior years; completion of an approved basic science course (EEB 210, EEB 211, MOL 101, MOL 214, MOL 215, or ISC 231-234) by the end of sophomore year; completion of an approved statistics course (ECO 202, EEB 355, ORF 245, POL 345, PSY 251, SOC 301, or WWS 200) by the end of sophomore year; a minimum grade of B in each of the 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 science course options: EEB 309, EEB 314, EEB 327, EEB 328

Advanced statistics course options: ECO 302, ECO 312, ORF 405, SOC 404

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 the junior and senior years.

An approved research-focused internship or independent research project during the summer between the 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 350 Critical Perspectives in Global Health (also WWS 380/ANT 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: an ecological and evolutionary perspective (also WWS 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. J. Amon

GHP 372 Public Health and Private Healing in the Atlantic World (see LAS 372)

GHP 400 Seminar in Global Health and Health Policy (also WWS 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. 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. B. Brada

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. 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. B. Venkat

GHP 406 Health Reform in the US: The Affordable Care Act's Origins, Impact and Implementation Challenges (see WWS 393)

GHP 407 Health and Human Rights (see WWS 453)

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. 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. A. McGregor