Interdivisional Concentrations

Global Public Health

Bard’s Global Public Health (GPH) concentration is designed to expose students to the range of disciplines and approaches that provide the backdrop for and inform public health research and policy. The field of public health focuses on the health of communities, which can be as small as local neighborhoods or as large as entire regions. Public health specialists take an inclusive view of health, focusing on topics as wide-ranging as access to medical care, disease prevention, and support for healthy lifestyles. The field is particularly concerned with preventing health problems before they arise and with overcoming disparities in health among groups. Practitioners of public health can choose to focus on research, education, intervention, policy making, or some combination of all of these areas.

Global Public Health students are required to take a total of six courses, three at the 300 level or above. To moderate into the concentration, students must have taken two courses that fulfill GPH requirements. Normally, moderation into GPH happens alongside the student’s moderation into their primary program. In addition to the course requirements, students must write a one-page plan of study that describes their interest in the GPH concentration and details plans for future course work, study abroad and/or away, and the Senior Project. Any student interested in moderating into GPH should contact Professor Tibbetts to discuss their plans.

GPH addresses the social, scientific, and political dimensions of public health. Concentration requirements include taking courses in each of these areas. Sample courses that fulfill the requirements are listed below.  

I. Social Dimensions of Public Health: Students must take one course in this area. Courses may come from any of the social studies disciplines that offer health courses, including anthropology, philosophy, political studies, and sociology. The best course for this requirement, and one recommended for all GPH students, is Global Public Health, which is offered by the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program in New York City. Sample courses also include:

  • Human Rights 223, Epidemiology: A Human Rights Perspective (offered every year)
  • Human Rights 244, Reproductive Health and Human Rights (offered every year)
II. Science: Two courses in biology are required, one at the subcellular level and one in organismal diversity. Sample courses in subcellular biology:
  • Biology 145, Environmental Microbiology (offered in alternate years)
  • Biology 151, From Genes to Traits (offered in alternate years)
  • Biology 162, Introduction to Neurobiology (offered in alternate years)
  • Biology 201, Genetics and Evolution (offered every year)
Sample courses in organismal diversity:
  • Biology 153, Global Change Biology (offered in alternate years)
  • Biology 202, Ecology and Evolution (offered every year)
III. Political Studies (and related disciplines): Students must take two courses in this group, one on theories of international relations and one on theories and practice of globalization (in some cases, students can substitute a second course in theories and practice of globalization for a course in theories of international relations). While the majority of courses that fulfill these requirements are listed in political studies, courses from other disciplines, such as history and anthropology, may also be suitable. Sample courses in international relations theory:
  • Political Studies 104, International Relations
  • Political Studies 369, Great Power Politics
Sample courses in theories and practice of globalization:
  • Political Studies 207, Global Citizenship
  • Politics 334, Politics of Globalization
IV. Statistics: One course in statistics is required for GPH students. Sample courses include:
  • Biology 244, Biostatistics (offered every year)
  • Psychology 203, Statistics for Psychology (offered every year)
  • Sociology 205, Introduction to Research Methods (offered every year)
Senior Project
The two-semester Senior Project, based in the student’s primary discipline, must address global health themes by incorporating the interdisciplinary lessons they’ve learned during their GPH course work.

Program Director: Michael Tibbetts