First-Year Focus

What can I do with a major or minor in global health?

Many, many opportunities await you!

Graduate and professional programs

Global Health Studies students find themselves exploring many facets of the field including administration, community practice, policy, education, and research. While the program provides a broad understanding of all of these focal areas, students often go on to pursue more specific graduate programs to narrow their career path in public health. For example, popular programs include Behavioral Science, Epidemiology, Environmental Health, Health Policy, Maternal and Child Health, and Population & Family Health. Find information about graduate programs and other post-graduate options.

In addition, many pre-medicine students choose the Program in Global Health Studies to complement their studies. This coursework prepares students to understand health as it affects the individual and as it affects a population at large. Like a bacterium or virus can make one person sick, social, economic, and environmental factors can impact the health of an entire community. With this foundational knowledge, doctors-to-be can understand health from both a top down and bottom up academic approach. Global Health Studies also prepares students to work cross-culturally with diverse populations, provide international service, and understand the nuances of global medical work.

Career paths

Our alums currently work in consulting firms, government agencies, research institutions, mental health facilities, and non-profits. Many have or are currently volunteering as health educators with the Peace Corps, conducting global health research via Fulbright and other prestigious fellowships, and are even initiating their own programs (such as GlobeMed) and health NGOs. Read profiles of recent Global Health Studies alumni.

Where should I start?  

As a prospective student, there are many important things to note about the program and resources that you should explore.

Plan courses and research opportunities

  • Due to high demand for classes, you will not be able to take any core Global Health Studies classes until your sophomore year. Do keep an eye out for elective courses offered through other departments. 
  • It's never too early to declare your minor (or major as of in fall 2017)! You can declare as early as your freshman year by scheduling an advising appointment with the Global Health Studies Program Coordinator. 
  • Explore our website to learn more about our public health programs in China, Europe, Mexico, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and South Africa. Make sure to keep in mind the term each program is offered and how that will fit into your academic schedule, especially if you’re a pre-medicine student. Remember: two credits that you take while on a public health study abroad program can count as elective credits towards your Global Health Studies major or minor.
  • Start thinking about research opportunities in global health. Global Health Studies offers fellowships for projects, typically in the summer.

Explore opportunities outside the classroom

  • Consider joining a student group with opportunities in Global Health, such as GlobeMed or Engineering World Health.
  • Attend a global health conference! There are many related conferences around the country and the world. Consider requesting financial assistance through our Special Funding Request Application
  • Think about volunteering for a local organization with health-related opportunities.
  • Check out opportunities to engage with global health in Chicago.

Stay in touch