College of Health and Human Services
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

CUGH-Related Study Identifies Five Models for Undergraduate Minors in Global Health Used in the US

September 15, 2020   /   by Sarah Mae Dizon

A new study led by Dr. Kathryn H. Jacobsen of George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services and published in the Annals of Global Health in August examined all undergraduate minors in global health offered by accredited four-year colleges and universities in the United States during the 2019-20 academic year. The collaborators on the paper are members of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) Subcommittee on Master’s and Undergraduate Degrees in Global Health, which Jacobsen co-chairs with Dr. Caryl Waggett of Allegheny College. 

A new study led by Dr. Kathryn H. Jacobsen examined all undergraduate minors in global health offered by accredited four-year colleges and universities in the United States during the 2019-20 academic year.

More than 80 minors in global health were offered in the U.S. during the past academic year.  After coding and categorizing the curricula for these programs, the working group identified five models for global health minors that are currently in use: (1) intensive global health minors that are composed of several specialty courses in global health, (2) global public health minors that require introductory courses in public health and epidemiology as well as global health, (3) multidisciplinary global health minors that require coursework in the natural sciences and social sciences, (4) anthropology global health minors that explore the social context for health, and (5) flexible global health minors that allow students to tailor curricula and experiential learning to their own interests.

The paper also presents the 10 CUGH Recommended Undergraduate Global Health Student Learning Objectives, which promote a foundational understanding of (1) the history and functions of global health, (2) globalization and health, (3) social determinants of health, (4) environmental health, (5) health and human rights, (6) comparative health systems, (7) global health agencies and organizations, (8) the global burden of disease, (9) global health interventions, and (10) interdisciplinary and interprofessional perspectives on population health.  The curricular models and recommended learning objectives are resources that colleges and universities can draw on as they create and revise introduction to global health courses and global health minors.

A related article by Waggett and Jacobsen published in the Annals of Global Health in June showed that undergraduate and graduate degrees in global and public health are already popular at diverse institutions of higher education.  The coronavirus pandemic and climate change are likely to generate even greater demand for global health education. 

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