Frequently Asked Questions

Jump to questions, which are organized by type.

Declaring and registration questions

  1. How do I learn more about the major/minor?
  2. How do I declare a minor?

  3. When should I declare the adjunct major or minor?

  4. What are the requirements for completing the Global Health Adjunct Major?
  5. What are the requirements for completing the Global Health Minor?

  6. What does it mean that the Global Health Major is an “adjunct major”? 
  7. Do I have to be a certain major in order to do the Global Health Major/Minor?
  8. Are there any prerequisites that I need to complete before taking any Global Health Minor courses?

  9. I am not a Global Health major/minor; can I take any Global Health Studies courses?

  10. How do I register for classes?
  11. What should I do if I find a course that might count as a major/minor elective?

Global health study abroad questions

  1. I am a Global Health major/minor, but studying abroad does not fit into my academic schedule. What should I do?
  2. Do I have to choose a Northwestern IPD public health program? Can I attend a non-Northwestern program?
  3. How many elective credits will I receive abroad?
  4. Which programs fulfill the international experience requirement?

Global health research, external opportunities, and career questions

  1. I want to do global health research. What are the next steps?
  2. What sorts of careers might my Global Health minor lead into?
  3. I don't want to go straight into the workforce. What other options do I have in global health post-graduation?

Declaring a minor and registration questions

1. How do I learn more about the adjunct major/minor?

Go online to schedule an appointment with Greg Buchanan to discuss the requirements of the adjunct major and minor and learn, about opportunities in global health.

2. How do I declare an minor?

To declare a Global Health Studies Minor, make an appointment with Greg Buchanan. During the meeting, you will obtain Greg’s signature on a Declaration of Minor form and discuss program requirements and opportunities. Afterwards, deliver the form to the WCAS Office of Undergraduate Studies and Advising on 1922 Sheridan Road.

If you are interested in the adjunct major more information about declaring will be coming out soon.

3. When should I declare the adjunct major/minor?

Ideally students should declare the minor before the end of their sophomore year. However, due to high demand for global health classes, it is in the student’s best interest to declare as early as possible so he/she has the advantage of pre-registration.

Please note you may declare the minor at any time, and more information about declaring the adjunct major will be coming out soon. 

4. What are the requirements for completing the Global Health Adjunct Major?

Students must complete four core courses, three additional global health courses, and four elective courses. Students are also required to participate in a substantial public health experience abroad, in one of the international public health programs offered by Northwestern University or in another program approved by the program director. Two of the elective courses can be taken on a public health study abroad program.

5. What are the requirements for completing the Global Health Minor?

Students must complete four core courses and three elective courses. Students are also required to participate in a substantial public health experience abroad, in one of the international public health programs offered by Northwestern University or in another program approved by the program director. Two of the elective courses can be taken on a public health study abroad program.

6. What does it mean that the Global Health Major is an “adjunct major”? 

This simply means that students can only do the Global Health Major as a second major. Students must have a declared primary major in order to declare the Global Health Studies major. 

7. Do I have to be a certain major in order to do the Global Health Adjunct Major/Minor?

There is a misconception that the adjunct major and minor are only for pre-medical students. This is absolutely not true. We have students across all disciplines and schools!

8. Are there any prerequisites that I need to complete before taking any Global Health Studies courses?

Generally there are no pre-requirements. However, because many of our elective classes are cross-listed with other disciplines, students may have to fulfill pre-requirements as determined by affiliated departments.

9. I am not a Global Health Adunct Major/Minor; can I take any Global Health Studies courses?

Yes you may; however, Global Health Studies adjunct majors/minors have the advantage of pre-registration. Our classes tend to fill up quickly due to high demand.

8. How do I register for classes?

To register for global health classes you should first declare the Global Health Studies Adjunct Major or Minor (but do not have to). Via pre-registration and normal registration you can then enroll. Due to high demand for public health classes, you may not be able to participate in all desired classes per quarter. With special requests or concerns, contact Greg Buchanan or Micki Burton.

9. What should I do if I find a course that might count as an adjunct major/minor elective?

Courses at the 300-level with public health content are regularly approved and added to the official list of electives. Email Global Health for approval.

Global health study abroad questions

1. I am a Global Health Studies Adjunct Major/Minor, but studying abroad does not fit into my academic schedule. What should I do?

Studying abroad is a requirement of the Global Health Studies Adjunct Major and Minor. Students unable to study abroad cannot graduate with the adjunct major or minor.

2. Do I have to choose a Northwestern public health study abroad program? Can I attend a non-IPD or non-Northwestern program?

While it is highly recommended, the international study requirement does not have to be fulfilled through an International Program Development (IPD) program. However, the student’s chosen program must fulfill program requirements as deemed by the program director. To propose a non-IPD program, please complete this form.

3. How many elective credits will I receive abroad?

Students can receive up to two elective credits while they are abroad. At least one elective must be taken on campus for the minor, and at least two electives must be taken on campus for the major. 

4. Which programs fulfill the international experience requirement?

The Northwestern IPD programs applicable to the Global Health requirement are:

Global health research, external opportunities, and career questions

1. I want to do global health research. What are the next steps?

2. What sorts of careers might my Global Health Studies Adjunct Major/Minor lead into?

Global Health Adjunct Majors/Minors enter into a variety of disciplines including healthcare consulting, management, policy, education, community practice, and research. It is a very fluid degree that is applicable to many professions. Review the Public Health Career Guide.

To name a few, some of our alumni are working at the Clinton Global Initiative, Accretive Health, Riders for Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Memorial Hospital, and the Erie Family Health Center.

Also, please consult the Northwestern Academic Advising Center for additional guidance and mentoring on pre-health and pre-medicine careers.

3. I don't want to go straight into the workforce. What other options do I have in global health post-graduation?

  • Teach health education abroad through international volunteer/internship programs such as ProWorld, Cross Cultural Solutions, Global Service Corps, and the Foundation for Sustainable Development
  • Fellowships, e.g. Fulbright, Peace Corps, Public Health Corps
  • Volunteer work: Find examples of public health affiliated NGOs.
  • Research abroad funded by fellowships/scholarships: Check out the Northwestern Office of Fellowships for advice on these opportunities.
  • Graduate School