New Minor in Global Health

A new minor in Global Health is available as of January 2011. This is a great opportunity for Geography majors, particularly those in the Globalization, Health and Development track or related concentrations, to broaden their knowledge about contemporary global health issues and meet other students and faculty members with similar interests. And, as if you needed another reason to look into this minor, our own Dr. Matt Sparke is the Director of the program! More information about the minor can be found below:

Welcome to the Global Health Minor!

We are very pleased to offer this new program to undergraduates from all majors and disciplines. Like Global Health itself, our Global Health Minor is an inherently interdisciplinary initiative designed to help you make a positive difference in the world. The minor is aimed at enabling you to build on your own particular skills so that you can more effectively join efforts at improving health in underserved communities around the planet. Classes taught by faculty from across UW offer a way to develop a broad knowledge of global health: its key terminology, science, policy debates and social, cultural, and economic contexts of implementation.

At the same time, we provide additional opportunities for you to meet other students who share a passion for global health and who want to collaborate in the world beyond the university. These opportunities include ‘meet the speaker’ events at key campus talks by global health leaders, as well as career development and research symposium days designed to build bridges with the larger global health community in our region. To find out more about such events, please join our listserv (Globalhealthminor) or ‘friend’ us on Facebook. As the Global Health Minor coordination team, we hope you will be excited by our program, and, look forward to meeting you at an upcoming event.
Matt Sparke, PhD, Director
Daren Wade, MSW, Associate Director
Jennifer Lucero-Earle, MA, Group Adviser
Todd Faubion, PhDc, Administrator and Group Adviser

The purpose of the Global Health Minor is to give undergraduates an opportunity to become familiar with the major problems and policy issues in global health. Students participating in the minor will be able to understand and discuss the determinants of global health and global responses to health problems, including health systems.

Students graduating with a minor in Global Health from the University of Washington will be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of:

  • The burden of the most important health problems contributing to excess morbidity and mortality in developing countries and low-resource settings, including their magnitude and distribution and disparities in health status by gender, race, and economic class.
  • Major historical, political, social, environmental, and economic determinants of adverse health in developing countries and low-resource settings in rich countries.
  • Pathophysiology of the most prevalent infectious and chronic diseases and medical and public health approaches for prevention and treatment.
  • Current and historic health programs and policies designed to address major health problems in low-resource setting and the roles of global health institutions, recommended levels of resources for implementation of interventions, and key barriers and challenges.
  • How to analyze critically relevant topics in the popular press and in the global health literature.

By becoming knowledgeable in these core areas of global health, students should also be able to engage actively in efforts to improve health as global citizens.


The Global Health minor requires a minimum of 30 credits.

  • Introductory Courses (6-7 credits): G H 101 or G H 415; and G H 201.
  • Perspectives in Global Health Series (3 credits): G H 401; G H 402; G H 403.
  • Electives (to total 30 credits): A minimum of one elective course from each of the five content areas selected from a list of approved courses available from the Department of Global Health website.
  • Minimum of 15 credits outside of the student’s major.
  • Minimum of 15 credits of upper division coursework.
  • Minimum 2.0 grade for each course applied to the minor.
  • Minimum 15 credits completed at the UW.

Required and Elective coursework is outlined here.

Please note that the rules for declaring a minor have recently changed. You must now already have a major declared in order to declare a minor, and your major adviser must sign off on the minor declaration paperwork. So, if you are interested in declaring the Global Health minor come in and talk to either Rick or Allison in the Geography Advising offices (Smith 415 A and

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