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Program in Global Health and Health Policy


Joćo G. Biehl, Co-Director

Thomas E. Shenk, 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

Evan S. Lieberman, Politics

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

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

Celeste M. Nelson, Chemical and Biological Engineering

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

Lee M. Silver, Molecular Biology, Woodrow Wilson School

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

Betsey B. Brada, Woodrow Wilson School

Peter Locke, 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 met the prerequisites can apply to the program; however, waivers of the prerequisites are granted only in extraordinary circumstances. Applicants should explain in their essay why they have not met the prerequisites and how they plan to address the issue in their future studies.

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 on Global Health and Health Policy (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 (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 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 402 Health Innovation and Policy (also MOL 402)   Spring SA

This course will review the policies that influence new technology development and use in the health care sector. The course will explore how governments promote health innovation and regulate safety, and it will familiarize students with the broader social and the institutional factors that influence technology development, uptake and diffusion in health care systems. Staff

GHP 403 Health and the Social Markers of Difference (also ANT 383)   Fall SA

This course will examine the role of social markers of difference including race, nationality, gender, sexuality, age and religion in current debates and challenges in global health. We will explore contemporary illness experiences and therapeutic interventions in sociocultural context through case studies from the US, Brazil, and South Africa. Students will be introduced to key concepts such as medicalization, embodiment, structural violence, and the social determinants of health, and gain experience in applying anthropological and related social scientific research methods to questions of global health policy. P. Locke

GHP 498 Special Topics in Social Entrepreneurship (see EGR 498)