Global Health Courses

The intention of this course listing is to enable interested students to have a wide choice of courses for studying the many social, cultural, economic, epidemiological, public health and biological perspectives that are a necessary part of the interdisciplinary field of international health. This list is only a partial sample of the many courses that are relevant to global health. Students should review the entire course catalog regularly to be aware of other courses not listed as well as new courses. Students are urged to discuss with their instructors ideas for further courses in the many disciplines that contribute to global health.

Africana Studies

AFRI 0090 - An Introduction to Africana Studies
AFRI 0100 - An Introduction to Afro-American Studies
This course introduces students to the vibrant yet contested field of Africana Studies by critically exploring and analyzing the links and disjunctures in the cultural, political, and intellectual practices and experiences of people of African descent throughout the African diaspora. The course features an interdisciplinary approach in developing conceptual, theoretical, and analytical frameworks for understanding the depth and range of experiences of people of African descent in the Americas, Caribbean, Europe, and Africa.


ANTH 0066J - So You Want to Change the World
Examines from an anthropological perspective efforts to address global poverty that are typically labeled as "development." The enterprise of development is considered critically, both with regard to the intentions and purposes that underlie the actions of wealthy countries, donor organizations, and expatriate development workers and with regard to the outcomes for the people who are the intended beneficiaries

ANTH 0066K - International Perspectives of Women's Agency and Society
This course is designed to address the postcolonial identities and the cross cultural issues of women through anthropology and women's writings. Identifying select cases from Africa and Asia. We will analyze the cross-cultural issues and meaning of gender, the cultural construction of gender, the significant ideology that defines the paradigm through which we come to understand a woman's domain, agency and empowerment, and the modes of behavior in the spheres of everyday life. 

ANTH 0110 - Anthropology and Global Social Problems
The course introduces anthropology approaches to some of the central problems humans face around the world, including environmental degradation and cultures of consumption, hunger and affluence, war, racial division and other forms of inequality.

ANTH 0200 - Culture and Human Behavior
The goal is to challenge our beliefs about some taken for granted assumptions about human behavior and psyche by examining cultures with different conceptions of personality, self and cognition. We will examine the issues of the role of nature and nurture in development, the nature of intelligence, coming of age, the association of psychological characteristics with gender and the naturalness of emotions.

ANTH 0300 - Culture and Health
An introduction to Medical Anthropology, the course explores the complex interaction of culture and biology as it affects human health. Examines the social construction of health and illness across cultures using ethnographic case studies representing a wide range human experience in domestic and international contexts. Emphasizes the social, political, and economic context in which health and behavior and health systems must be understood.

ANTH 1020 - AIDS in International Perspective
Communities around the world have been affected in different ways by the HIV-AIDS pandemic. This course is concerned with cross-cultural variation in knowledge, perception, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS in the world.

ANTH 1130 - Peoples and Cultures of Southeast Asia
An introduction to the anthropological study of Southeast Asia. Emphasis is placed on understanding the diversity of cultures and societies through both space and time.

ANTH 1110 - African Issues in Anthropological Perspective
Western ideas of Africa are dominated by images of a primitive and timeless past and of a present characterized by poverty, AIDS, famine, and violence. In reality, Africa is a vast continent with a rich history and a population of half a billion people who live in very varied physical, economic, political, and cultural environments. In this course we will read detailed ethnographic accounts and general depictions of the continent by Western and African scholars. We will also read some fiction by African authors, see some African films, look at some African art, and listen to some African music. 

ANTH 1310 - International Health: Anthropological Perspectives
This upper-level medical anthropology course focuses on the social and cultural complexity of health problems in developing nations, employing anthropological approaches to public health. International health issues such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, reproductive health, violence, and mental illness will be examined. The historical, political and socio-cultural dimensions of international health problems will be explored through reading ethnographic case studies.

ANTH 1320 - Anthropology and International Development: Ethnographic Perspectives on Poverty and Progress
Examines international development from an ethnographic perspective, looking critically at issues of poverty and progress from local points of view. Course is organized around the premise that culture is central to understanding processes of development. Broad development themes such as public health, agriculture, democracy, and the environment will be explored through readings representing a wide range of regions and cultures.

ANTH 2200A - International Health
This graduate seminar (upper-class undergraduates may seek permission from the instructor) focuses on the social and cultural complexity of health problems in developing nations, exploring anthropological approaches to public health. International health issues will be investigated using historical, ecological, epidemiological, political-economic, and ethnomedical perspectives, and the role of "applied" anthropology will be explored.

ANTH 2320 - Ideology of Development
An examination of different development theories and their relationship to field application. The analysis of project preparation and implementation is used to question the goals and objectives of Western and indigenous notions of progress and change within a social and economic context. Third World countries are utilized as case studies to address related issues, such as the meaning of development.

ANTH 2300 - Anthropological Demography
A seminar devoted to the investigation of the interface of anthropology (especially sociocultural anthropology) and demography. A wide variety of demographic topics-fertility, mortality, marriage, migration-are considered, and the links between anthropological and demographic writings on and approaches to these areas are examined.


BIOL 0030 - Principles of Nutrition
Introduces the basic principles of human nutrition, and the application of these principles to the specific needs of humans, and the role of nutrition in chronic diseases. Provides an overview of the nutrients and their use by the human body. Also examines the role of nutrients in specific functions and disease states of the body. Not for biology concentration credit.

Conservation Medicine BIOL 0475
Conservation Medicine is an emerging, interdisciplinary field that studies the relationship between human health, animal health, and environmental change. We will study the causal links between human impacts on the environment and the emergence of infectious disease. Contemporary case studies will be used to consider generalities in the emergence of pathogens following changes to the environment, and to demonstrate the complexities of research in the field. Concepts will be taught and tested on through student centered active-learning lectures, discussion of the primary literature, group projects and exams.

Climate Change and Health BIOL 1485a>
Will a warmer world be a sicker world? What are the health implications of climate refugees? What are the emerging disease risks of animal translocations to save species from climate change? These are some of the questions we will consider in this highly interactive course. Climate Change and Health is targeted at 2nd semester juniors, seniors and graduate students with foundational coursework in the ecological / environmental sciences and epidemiology / public health. 

BIOL 0530 - Principles of Immunology
Introduction to experimental and theoretical bases of cellular immunology. Focuses on concepts, landmark experiments and recent advances. Topics: innate and adaptive immunity; structure/function of immunoglobulin molecules and T-cell receptors; cellular interactions and intracellular signals regulating immune responses. Applications of concepts to medical problems, (vaccine transplantation, inflammation, autoimmunity, cancer, AIDS) are discussed. Interpretative analysis of experimental data is emphasized.

BIOL 0850 - Biological and Social Context of Disease
Uses an interdisciplinary approach to explore how culture shapes the scientific questions we ask about disease, interpretation of scientific findings, and the strategies for intervention in the disease process. Case studies of microbial infections and chronic conditions such as cancer are used to illustrate the centrality of context to understanding disease. 

BIOL 1550 - Biology of Emerging Microbial Diseases
Emerging diseases influence the health of human populations in less developed countries and are expected to have similar effects worldwide. Rising incidence of "new" diseases underscores the need for knowledge of infection mechanisms and their outcomes. Focuses on biochemical, genetic, cellular and immunological events of emerging pathogens and host responses. 

BIOL 1560 - Virology
Emphasizes the understanding of molecular mechanisms of viral pathogenesis. Begins with a general introduction to the field of virology and then focuses on the molecular biology of specific viruses that are associated with human disease. Lectures based on current literature.

BIOL 1600 - Development of Vaccines to Infectious Diseases
Provides background on steps involved in vaccine development, from conceptualization to development in the lab, to immunization. Considers vaccines in the context of community health. Aimed at students considering a career related to vaccine development and/or public health. Activities include updating vaccine website, class presentations, and a paper in the form of a research proposal. 

BIOL 1920A - Colonialism, Imperialism and Public Health in Africa: Past and Present
This interdisciplinary course addresses the epistemological dimensions of public health in changing imperial contexts in Africa, focusing on the following questions: What are the consequences of imperial science, as materialized in public health theories and practices, for the production of knowledge about peoples, their lives, and their human possibilities? What was the role of public health in producing knowledge about race, racial difference, and disease?

BIOL 1920B - Health Inequality in Historical Perspective
This seminar course takes a historical perspective to explore the fundamental causes of health inequality in the US. We will draw on a series of case studies from the 19th century to the present to examine the socio-political and economic context of health and disease, focusing specifically on how race, class, and gender shape the experience of health, notions of disease causality, and public health responses. 

Public Health

PHP 0320 - Introduction to Public Health
An introductory overview of the U.S. Public Health System with an emphasis on the core functions of public health, challenges and strategies for working with communities, and specific health issues that impact the health of the population. Presents a comprehensive overview of the environmental and behavior factors associated with health promotion and disease prevention.

PHP 0340 - Health and Human Reproduction
Provides an understanding of the medical, social, and environmental factors that influence women's health. Emphasizes current women's health issues, reproduction, and development in infancy. A broad overview of cross-cultural and international perspectives of health in women and children is also provided

PHP 1070 - The Burden of Disease in Developing Countries Defines and critically examines environmental, epidemiologic, demographic, biomedical, and anthropological perspectives on health and disease in developing countries. Emphasis on changes in the underlying causes of morbidity and mortality during economic development. Focuses on the biosocial ecology of diseases. Guest lecturers cover different diseases and public health perspectives.

PHP 1100 - Comparative Health Care Systems
Focuses on principles of national health system organization and cross-national comparative analysis. Emphasizes application of comparative models to the analysis of health and health-related systems among nations at varying levels of economic development and health care reform. Addresses research questions related to population health and systems' performance.

PHP 1680H - Nutritional Problems in the Developing World
Research related to nutritional problems in the developing world including undernutrition (macronutrient and micronutrient deficiencies), the nutrition transition and emerging problems of obesity and chronic disease. A public health perspective considering nutritional issues through the lifecycle is applied. Contrasts diet and nutritional assessment at the individual and population level.

PHP 1320 - Survey Research in Health Care Emphasizes application of survey research methods and skills to current health care policy issues. Topics include survey design, implementation, and analysis and interpretation. Students analyze a large sample survey using statistical software packages. Students should take PHP 0320 and fulfill the department's statistics requirement prior to taking or concurrently with this course. Prerequisite: PHP 0320.

PHP 1680E - Conceptual Issues in Health Policy: Occupational and Environmental Health
Health policy is not the straightforward application of value-neutral scientific research, but a process involving cultural values and processes. We examine scientific methodology, causation and epistemology theories, not as timeless rules, but as historically- developed frameworks for understanding the world. From this perspective, we analyze case studies in occupational and environmental health and explore policy solutions to health problems.

PHP 1680H - Nutritional Problems in the Developing World
Research related to nutritional problems in the developing world including undernutrition (macronutrient and micronutrient deficiencies), the nutrition transition and emerging problems of obesity and chronic disease. A public health perspective considering nutritional issues through the lifecycle is applied. Contrasts diet and nutritional assessment at the individual and population level.

PHP 2120 - Introduction to Methods in Epidemiologic Research
Epidemiology quantifies patterns and determinants of human population health, with a goal of reducing the burden of disease, injury, and disability. An intensive first course in epidemiologic methods, students learn core principles of study design and data analysis through critiques of published epidemiologic studies as well as hands on practice through weekly exercises and assignments.


ECON 2210 - Political Economy I
An introduction to political economy, focusing especially on the political economy of institutions and development. Its purpose is to give a good command of the basic tools of the area and to introduce at least some of the frontier research topics. The readings will be approximately evenly divided between theoretical and empirical approaches.

ECON 1360 - Health Economics
This course introduces students to the issues, theory and practice of health economics in the US. Topics include the economic determinants of health, the market for medical care, the market for health insurance and the role of the government in health care. Course work includes data analyses using the program STATA. Pre-requisites: ECON 1110 or ECON 1620, or other statistics background; plus permission of instructor.

ECON 1510 - Economic Development
The economic problems of less developed countries and the theory of economic development, with emphasis on the roles played by agriculture, industry, and foreign trade. Also: education, health, employment, and migration; capital accumulation; income distribution; institutional aspects; the role of price distortions; trade policies; social discount rates, investment criteria, and the general issue of state intervention. Prerequisite: ECON 1110 or 1130, and ECON 1620 or 1630.

ECON 1530 - Health, Hunger and the Household in Developing Countries
Microeconomic analysis of household behavior in low income societies emphasizing the economic determinants of health and nutrition and the evaluation of policy. The relationship among health, nutrition, fertility, savings, schooling, labor productivity, wage determination, and gender-based inequality. Emphasizes theoretically-based empirical research. Prerequisite: ECON 1110 or 1130 (EC 111 or 113).


ENGN 0930 - Technology and Society Course Series
ENGN 0930A - Appropriate Technology
Our goal for this course is that you leave it with the ability to think and act rationally and concretely on issues of technology and the human condition. We will provide background on useful technologies (e.g. wind, solar, hydro), techniques to fabricate them, and an opportunity to explore the obstacles to their implementation.

Environmental Studies

ENVS 0510 - Problems in International Environmental Policy Introduces global environmental problems, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, depletion of freshwater resources, the hole in the ozone layer, and the international transport of hazardous waste as pressing political concerns in the international arena. Provides a practical introduction to the major actors in international environmental politics (nation states, international organizations, scientists, non-governmental organizations, and business actors) and presents an overview of the key theoretical traditions used to analyze the drivers and politics of international environmental issues.

Political Science / International Relations

Many courses in International Relations pertain to social science and historical perspectives on development, and are important ways to understand the social context of global health.

POLS 1420 - International Political Economy of Development
Examines alternative perspectives on the most important international issues in the political economy of Third World development. Part I considers basic theoretical approaches to the subject. Part II examines historical development of specific issues and controversies in North-South relations during the postwar era.

POLS 1450 - Political Economy of Development
Focuses on the political economy of development and underdevelopment Topics include comparisons of state and market building among "early" and "late" developers, theories of development, prescriptions for development and their shortcomings, and the challenges for developing countries in the context of a globalizing economy.

POLS 1600 - Political Research Methods
Introduction to basic research methods in political science. Topics include descriptive and inferential statistics, measurement, and survey design. Emphasis placed on understanding concepts of statistics and its relevance to the "real world." Limited to junior and senior Political Science and Public Policy concentrators. Other concentrators accepted by written permission only.


SOC 0150 - Economic Development and Social Change
Emphasis on understanding the interrelations among economic, political, and cultural aspects of change in developing countries. The experience of currently developing nations is contrasted to that of nations which industrialized in the 19th century. Compares the different development strategies which have been adopted by currently developing nations and their consequences for social change.

SOC 0200 - Population and Society
Introduces the causes and consequences of major population trends in both industrialized and developing nations. Also examines U.S. family size and structure, patterns of marriage and divorce, and the demographics of an aging society. Also considers problems of high fertility, poverty and child health, and gender roles in developing countries.

SOC 1100 - Introductory Statistics for Social Research
Introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics: measures of central tendencies and variability, sampling, tests of significance, correlation, and regression. Also includes the use of computers in data analysis. Knowledge of elementary algebra is assumed.

SOC 1310 - Social Change in Latin America
Analyzes the development of modern Latin American societies, focusing on three interrelated processes: the formation of states, the formation of nations, and the formation of socioeconomic systems. The approach is macrosociological, looking at broad processes of structural and institutional change, and historical-comparative, analyzing and comparing how the three processes above developed historically in different Latin American countries.

SOC 1550 - Sociology of Medicine
The sociopolitical context within which health, illness, and medical care are defined. Sociological materials are used to examine current developments in the health care field. Emphasis on identifying social and political forces that impinge upon the delivery systems and tracing their impact on the roles of practitioners and the health of their clients.

SOC 1600 - Comparative Development
An exploration of the economic, political, and social changes that constitute development. Both the historical experience of Europe and the contemporary Third World are considered. Major processes examined include state and nation-building, agricultural modernization, colonialism, industrialization, revolution and socialism, authoritarianism and democracy, and socioeconomic distribution. Emphasis on the countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

SOC 1870C - African Development and Demography
Focuses on the relationship between socioeconomic developments in Africa and their demographic transitions. Particular emphasis will be placed on cultural issues in the analysis of population changes (mortality, morbidity, migration, family, and fertility) in the contexts of economic growth and dependency. Theories of development will be evaluated in the context of African demography; African population patterns will be assessed in their developmental diversity.

SOC 1870V - Households, Work, and Gender
Household membership typically entails coordinated behavior. We discuss the organization of work and its gendered dimensions. We explore the determinants and consequences of existing divisions of labor drawing on readings from multiple disciplines. The approach is sociological and comparative. Considerable time devoted to less developed settings. Seminar format. Individual research encouraged.

SOC 2230 - Techniques of Demographic Analysis
Procedures and techniques for the collection, evaluation, and analysis of demographic data; measures of population composition, fertility, morality, and migration; construction of life tables, population and projections, population dynamics; responsible use of demographic methodology. Mandatory S/NC.

SOC 2360 - Fertility
An introduction to the study of the social determinants of human fertility. Contemporary and historical populations are considered. Theories and frameworks used to guide fertility research are reviewed. Special topics include: fertility decision-making, gender and fertility, work and fertility, adolescent fertility, and population policies and family planning programs.