Global Public Health (GPH)
Do you wonder why some groups of people are healthier than others, or why so many women and children around the world still die from easily preventable causes? Do you want to help shape health policy in your community or work to improve the health of people in developing countries around the world? Are you interested in becoming a disease detective, health promotion specialist, or medical anthropologist?
Public health is the science and art of protecting and promoting the health of populations. Where doctors deal with the health of individuals, public health agencies—governments, NGOs, researchers, activists, and others—deal with the health of communities, regions, and nations. Public health specialists work on diverse problems such as access to medical care, disease prevention, and the social, political, and economic determinants of health. The field is particularly concerned with preventing health problems before they arise and overcoming disparities in health, with special consideration for disadvantaged groups. Practitioners of public health can choose to focus on research, education, intervention, policy making, or some combination of these areas.
Global Public Health (GPH) 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 GPH and details plans for future coursework, study abroad and/or away, and the Senior Project. Any student interested in moderating into GPH should contact Program Director Helen Epstein to discuss their plans.
All GPH students are required to take: (1) Human Rights 223, Epidemics and Human Rights; (2) at least one health-related course from among Economics 212, Health Economics, Human Rights 261, The Epidemiology of Childhood, Human Rights 354, Reproductive Health and Human Rights, or BGIA 319, Issues in Global Public Health, offered by the Bard Global and International Affairs Program in New York City; (3) at least one biology course from among Biology 121, Obesity, Biology 145, Environmental Microbiology, Biology 157, Food Microbiology, or Biology 158, Case Studies in Medical Biology; (4) at least one international relations and development course from among Economics 221, Economic Development, Economics 321, Seminar in Economic Development, Human Rights 338, Human Rights in the Global Economy, Political Studies 104, International Relations, Political Studies 314, Political Economy of Development, GIS/Sociology 269, Global Inequality and Development, or BGIA 337, Making Social Change. In addition, students must take at least one elective, chosen in consultation with a GPH faculty member, that provides greater depth in one of the areas above and will, ideally, inform the 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 coursework.