The University of Iowa

Global Health Studies major begins fall 2016

August 18th, 2016
Global Health student studying food sovereignty in the Dominican Republic

Global Health student studying food sovereignty in the Dominican Republic

University of Iowa students interested in how health and healthcare are experienced around the world—and in the social, economic, and political dynamics that impact health issues internationally and at home—have a new option for their studies.

Beginning in fall 2016, students may declare the new Global Health Studies major, in either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science track.

The interdisciplinary Global Health Studies major expands upon the Certificate in Global Health Studies and the Global Health Studies minor, which are both still offered. The Global Health Studies Program is part of the Division of Interdisciplinary Programs in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS).

Professor Christopher Squier, director of the Global Health Studies Program, said the new major reflects student and societal demand for expertise in health and healthcare in the context of an increasingly globalized world.

“One only has to glance at a newspaper today to realize that global health is important—what is happening ‘over there’ is having an immediate impact on what is happening here, in the US and in Iowa,” Squier said. “The new major in Global Health Studies reflects a philosophy long held at the UI that global health is not only about the health sciences but also must involve an intense interdisciplinary approach to the complex processes influencing health and disease, such as technology, law, gender and sexuality, history, politics, and economics.”

Accordingly, Squier pointed out, the new major offers pathways for students who might be interested in a career in the health professions, as well as for those who might want to pursue graduate studies that examine what are often termed the ‘social determinants of health’. 

Global Health Studies instructors—drawn from departments throughout CLAS as well as from the Colleges of Dentistry, Engineering, Nursing, the UI Carver College of Medicine, and UI International Programs—conduct research at a variety of sites worldwide, including South India, Haiti, South Africa, and Romania. Students in the program are eligible to participate in experiential learning activities at those locations, as well as at other sites.

For more information about the Global Health Studies major and other programs, visit the Global Heath Studies Program website or contact

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 64 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 16,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students study each year in the College’s 39 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.