Global Health Studies

Program director, Global Health Studies: Kristina Talbert-Slagle


Rene Almeling (Sociology), Gretchen Berland (Medicine), Leslie Curry (Public Health), Jane Edwards (Yale College Dean's Office), Kaveh Khoshnood (Public Health), Catherine Panter-Brick (Anthropology), Joanna Radin (History of Medicine), Mark Saltzman (Biomedical Engineering), Michael Skonieczny (Public Health), Stephen Stearns (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology), Kristina Talbert-Slagle (Public Health), John Wargo (Forestry & Environmental Studies), Marney White (Public Health)

Issues related to health are among the most important challenges facing societies, both domestically and globally. Finding solutions to health-related problems requires multidisciplinary comprehension of all dimensions of health, including biological and social determinants, economics and politics of health care systems and health care delivery, and ways in which health is understood by individuals, societies, and cultures.

The Global Health Studies program facilitates global health education for undergraduates at Yale, offering interdisciplinary courses that bring together the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Students choose a major in another department or program and expand their education with courses offered by Global Health Studies. 

Students desiring greater depth in the field are encouraged to apply to be a Global Health Scholar. Global Health Scholars are usually selected in the fall of their sophomore year although, in exceptional cases, juniors may also be accepted. Scholars complete an interdisciplinary course of study that includes four required and two elective courses and fieldwork (e.g., internships with NGOs, or field-based research either with faculty or independently with faculty guidance). In the summer after the junior year, Scholars conduct their own independent global health fieldwork, for which they receive support in the form of course work, designated funding, and mentorship from an assigned global health faculty adviser. During their senior year, Scholars are expected to incorporate their global health fieldwork and classroom experiences into their senior requirement and to develop a publication-worthy written product. 

To assist students in connecting classroom knowledge and skills with practical work in global health, the Global Health Studies program supports fellowships such as the Global Health Field Experience Award, the Yale-Collaborative Action Project (Y-CAP), and the Yale College Fellowships for Research in Global Health Studies.

Qualified students may take graduate courses at the School of Public Health, subject to restrictions on graduate and professional school enrollment described in the Academic Regulations. Further information about these courses and other graduate offerings can be found in the School of Public Health bulletin. For information about the five-year B.A.–B.S./M.P.H. degree program offered jointly with the School of Public Health, see Public Health.

Global Health Studies Courses

* HLTH 081a, Current Issues in Medicine and Public HealthRobert Bazell

Analysis of issues in public health and medicine that get extensive media attention and provoke policy debates. Topics include vaccination, the value of cancer screening and genetic testing, determinants of a healthy lifestyle, the U.S. role in global health, and the cost of health care. Enrollment limited to freshmen with a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement examination in Biology or the equivalent. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* HLTH 155a / E&EB 106a / MCDB 106a, Biology of Malaria, Lyme, and Other Vector-Borne DiseasesAlexia Belperron

Introduction to the biology of pathogen transmission from one organism to another by insects; special focus on malaria, dengue, and Lyme disease. Biology of the pathogens including modes of transmission, establishment of infection, and immune responses; the challenges associated with vector control, prevention, development of vaccines, and treatments. Intended for non–science majors; preference to freshmen and sophomores. Prerequisite: high school biology.  SC
MW 1pm-2:15pm

HLTH 170a / AMST 247a / FILM 244a / HIST 147a / HSHM 202a, Media and Medicine in Modern AmericaJohn Warner and Gretchen Berland

Relationships between medicine, health, and the media in the United States from 1870 to the present. The changing role of the media in shaping conceptions of the body, creating new diseases, influencing health and health policy, crafting the image of the medical profession, informing expectations of medicine and constructions of citizenship, and the medicalization of American life.  HU
MW 10:30am-11:20am

HLTH 230b / GLBL 223b, Global Health: Challenges and ResponsesKristina Talbert-Slagle

Overview of the determinants of health and how health status is measured, with emphasis on low- and middle-income countries. The burden of disease, including who is most affected by different diseases and risk factors; cost-effective measures for addressing the problem. The health of the poor, equity and inequality, and the relationship between health and development.  SO
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* HLTH 240b / GLBL 193b, Epidemiology and Public HealthMarney White

A general introduction to epidemiology and the field of public health. Methods of epidemiological investigation, research, and practice. Emphasis on study design and the skills necessary for the conduct of mentored field research. Priority to Global Health Fellows.
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* HLTH 250a / E&EB 235a, Evolution and MedicineStephen Stearns

Introduction to the ways in which evolutionary science informs medical research and clinical practice. Diseases of civilization and their relation to humans' evolutionary past; the evolution of human defense mechanisms; antibiotic resistance and virulence in pathogens; cancer as an evolutionary process. Students view course lectures on line; class time focuses on discussion of lecture topics and research papers. Prerequisite: BIOL 101104.  WR, SC
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

HLTH 280b / ER&M 214b / HIST 146b / HSHM 212b, Historical Perspectives on Global HealthTess Lanzarotta

In the 21st century “global health” is recognized as an influential framework for orienting action among a huge range of groups including public health workers, activists, philanthropists, economists, political leaders, and students. How did this come to pass? This survey class introduces you to the historical circumstances that have contributed to the contemporary landscape of global health. We travel through several centuries to examine how ideas about disease, colonialism, race, gender, science, diplomacy, security, economy, and humanitarianism have shaped and been shaped by attempts to negotiate problems of health that transcend geopolitical borders.   HU
MW 11:35am-12:25pm

* HLTH 325a / GLBL 189a / LAST 416a, Methods and Ethics in Global Health ResearchLeslie Curry

Introduction to research methods in global health that recognize the influence of political, economic, social, and cultural factors. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method approaches; ethical aspects of conducting research in resource-constrained settings; the process of obtaining human subjects' approval. Students develop proposals for short-term global health research projects conducted in resource-constrained settings.  SORP
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* HLTH 370b / ER&M 360b / HSHM 432b / SOCY 390b / WGSS 390b, Politics of ReproductionRene Almeling

Reproduction as a process that is simultaneously biological and social, involving male and female bodies, family formation, and powerful social institutions such as medicine, law, and the marketplace. Sociological research on reproductive topics such as pregnancy, birth, abortion, contraception, infertility, reproductive technology, and aging. Core sociological concepts used to examine how the politics of reproduction are shaped by the intersecting inequalities of gender, race, class, and sexuality.  WR, SO
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* HLTH 490a, Global Health Research ColloquiumJaimie Morse

This course is designed for Yale College seniors or graduate students who are synthesizing data from global health fieldwork and preparing manuscripts that are suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.  Enrollment is limited to 18, and preference will be given to Global Health Fellows.  The course meets weekly, but the format of individual course sessions changes as described in detail in the syllabus.   Students will receive one-on-one instruction and mentorship from one of the course professors, participate in peer-review in small work groups, give a research-in-progress presentation, and develop a manuscript suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.  Priority will be given to Global Health Fellows. Students must have completed global health fieldwork.  RP
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

Related Courses

* ANTH 386a / GLBL 393a, Humanitarian Interventions: Ethics, Politics, and HealthCatherine Panter-Brick

Analysis of humanitarian interventions from a variety of social science disciplinary perspectives. Issues related to policy, legal protection, health care, morality, and governance in relation to the moral imperative to save lives in conditions of extreme adversity. Promotion of dialogue between social scientists and humanitarian practitioners.  WR, SO
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* ANTH 451b / WGSS 431b, Intersectionality and Women’s HealthMarcia Inhorn

The intersections of race, class, gender, and other axes of “difference” and their effects on women’s health, primarily in the contemporary United States. Recent feminist approaches to intersectionality and multiplicity of oppressions theory. Ways in which anthropologists studying women’s health issues have contributed to social and feminist theory at the intersections of race, class, and gender.  SO
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* ANTH 455b / WGSS 459b, Masculinity and Men’s HealthMarcia Inhorn

Ethnographic approaches to masculinity and men’s health around the globe. Issues of ethnographic research design and methodology; interdisciplinary theories of masculinity; contributions of men’s health studies from Western and non-Western sites to social theory, ethnographic scholarship, and health policy.  SORP
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

* BENG 405b / EVST 415b, Biotechnology and the Developing WorldAnjelica Gonzalez

Study of technological advances that have global health applications. Ways in which biotechnology has enhanced quality of life in the developing world. The challenges of implementing relevant technologies in resource-limited environments, including technical, practical, social, and ethical aspects. Prerequisite: MCDB 120, or BIOL 101 and 102.
MW 1pm-2:15pm

ECON 170a, Health Economics and Public PolicyHoward Forman

Application of economic principles to the study of the U.S. health care system. Emphasis on basic principles about the structure of the U.S. system, current problems, proposed solutions, and the context of health policy making and politics. After introductory microeconomics.  SO
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

ECON 325a or b / SAST 281a or b, Economics of Developing Countries: Focus on South AsiaZachary Barnett-Howell

Analysis of current problems of developing countries. Emphasis on the role of economic theory in informing public policies to achieve improvements in poverty and inequality, and on empirical analysis to understand markets and responses to poverty. Topics include microfinance, education, health, agriculture, intrahousehold allocations, gender, and corruption. Prerequisites: introductory microeconomics and introductory econometrics.   SO

* ECON 461b, Economics, Addiction, and Public PolicyJody Sindelar

Smoking, alcoholism, illicit drugs, and obesity studied from economic and policy perspectives. Focus on causes of and solutions to problems. After introductory microeconomics.  SO
T 1pm-2:50pm

ENVE 441a, Biological Processes in Environmental EngineeringJordan Peccia

Fundamental aspects of microbiology and biochemistry, including stoichiometry, kinetics, and energetics of biochemical reactions, microbial growth, and microbial ecology, as they pertain to biological processes for the transformation of environmental contaminants; principles for analysis and design of aerobic and anaerobic processes, including suspended- and attached-growth systems, for treatment of conventional and hazardous pollutants in municipal and industrial wastewaters and in groundwater. Prerequisites: CHEM 161, 165, or 163, 167 (or CHEM 112, 113, or 114, 115, or 118); MCDB 290 or equivalent; or with permission of instructor.  SC
MW 1pm-2:15pm

EVST 255b / F&ES 255b / PLSC 215b, Global Food Challenges: Environmental Politics and LawJohn Wargo

We explore relations among food, environment, health, and law. We consider global-scale avoidable challenges such as: starvation & malnutrition, obesity, other food related human diseases, climate instability, soil loss, water depletion & contamination, microbial hazards, chemical contamination, food waste, dietary convergence, air pollution, energy, packaging, culinary globalization, and biodiversity loss. We focus on laws that influence the world’s food system, including those intended to reduce or prevent environmental and health damages. Other laws protect rights of secrecy, property, speech, confidential business information, free trade, worker protection, equal opportunity, and freedom from discrimination. Ethical concerns of justice, equity, and transparency are prominent themes. Examples of effective law, consumer movements and corporate innovations provide optimism for the future of responsible food.  SO
MW 11:35am-12:25pm

* EVST 261a / F&ES 261a / G&G 261a, Minerals and Human HealthRuth Blake

Study of the interrelationships between Earth materials and processes and personal and public health. The transposition from the environment of the chemical elements essential for life. After one year of college-level chemistry or with permission of instructor; G&G 110 recommended.  SC
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* GLBL 306a / AFST 306a, Social Enterprise in Developing Economies IIRobert Hopkins

Summer research developed into a case-study project on a topic related to the use of social enterprise in regional economic development. GLBL 305
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* MCDB 050a, Immunology and MicrobesPaula Kavathas

Introduction to the immune system and its interaction with specific microbes. Attention both to microbes that cause illness, such as influenza, HIV, and HPV, and to microbes that live in harmony with humans, collectively called the microbiome. Readings include novels and historical works on diseases such as polio and AIDS. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  SCRP
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

MCDB 290b, MicrobiologyChristine Jacobs-Wagner and Stavroula Hatzios

Cell structure of bacteria, bacterial genetics, microbial evolution and diversity, bacterial development, microbial interaction, chemotaxis and motility, gene regulation, microbial genomics and proteomics, CRISPR, metabolism, infectious diseases, mechanisms of pathogenesis, host defense systems, viruses, gut microbiota in health and disease. Prerequisites: BIOL 101, 102, and 103, or equivalent performance on the corresponding biological sciences placement examinations; or one term of biochemistry, or cell biology, or genetics; or with permission of instructor.  SC
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

PLSC 257b, Bioethics and LawStephen Latham

The treatment by American law of major issues in contemporary biomedical ethics: informed consent, assisted reproduction, abortion, end-of-life care, research on human subjects, stem cell research, and public health law. Readings include legal cases, statutes, and regulations. No background in law assumed.  SO
TTh 10:30am-11:20am

* PSYC 355a / EDST 355a, Clinical Psychology in the CommunityKristi Lockhart

Mental disorders as they are treated within a community setting. Students participate in a fieldwork placement, working either one-on-one or in groups with the psychiatrically disabled. Seminar meetings focus on such topics as the nature of severe mental disorders, the effects of deinstitutionalization, counseling skills, and social policy issues related to mental health. Prerequisite: PSYC 180 or permission of instructor.
T 1:30pm-3:20pm