The Global Health Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary and experiential approach to the study of the complex factors influencing health and disease locally and around the world.

Why Study at Iowa

The UI Global Health Studies Program prepares students to:

  • Identify the core areas of global health, such as infectious and non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health, environmental health, health inequalities, and interventions. 
  • Analyze biomedical, social, cultural, and environmental determinants of health and disease.
  • Draw connections between significant health problems that affect both domestic and international communities
  • Recognize the ethical challenges involved in interventions designed to improve health and health equity across cultural and geographical boundaries.

Course Work

All BA and BS students take a common set of courses, including foundation courses, world language and culture, global health perspectives and practices, and a capstone experience.  

The BA program builds upon the humanities, social sciences, and health sciences to help students understand the underlying forces--such as history, culture, gender and sexuality, economics, politics, race and ethnicity, the environment, technology, and law--which lead to health disparities both locally and worldwide. 

The BS program is designed for students who plan to enter professional programs in the health sciences and requires course work in mathematics and the natural sciences.

Students in this major also must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences General Education Core requirements.

Review Global Health Studies Program in the UI General Catalog for more information on course work and graduating with honors. 

Minor in Global Health Studies:

The minor is designed for undergraduates who want to study the complex factors influencing health and disease locally and worldwide. Students are strongly encouraged to choose courses from at least two different disciplines and to complete study abroad that focuses on global health issues. 

Students may earn either the certificate or the minor in global health studies, but not both. 

Review Global Health Studies in the UI General Catalog for more information. 

Global Health Studies Certificate:

Admission: Iowa undergraduate students who are not concurrently enrolled in a UI graduate or professional degree program may apply for admission to the certificate program. College of Pharmacy students who have earned the Pharm.D. degree are an exception and may earn this certificate. 

Undergraduates may earn the certificate or the minor in global health studies, but not both. Undergraduates who earn the certificate in global health studies may not earn the major in global health studies. 

Course Work: Work for the certificate includes 18 s.h. of required and elective interdisciplinary courses, a global health project that culminates in a public presentation and written report, and study of a world language. 

The global health project may be completed as part of a study abroad program, a service learning course, an internship, a volunteer experience, or an independent research project. Program faculty and staff help connect students to ethical local, regional, and international opportunities. 

Review Global Health Studies Certificate in the UI General Catalog to learn more about course requirements. 

Admission Requirements

Students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Global health studies majors may not earn the global health studies certificate or the minor. They may double major in either international studies or interdepartmental studies/health science as long as they do not select the global health studies track. 

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500 student organizations, Iowa students choose from more than 100 study abroad programs and multiple undergraduate research opportunities. 

The UI Global Health Club offers a network of students, faculty, staff, and community members who focus on issues pertaining to global health. The club provides awareness, understanding, and active participation in global health, and promotes advocacy, activism, and discussion of health-related issues. 

Faculty, Facilities, and Resources

The Global Health Studies Program encourages students to participate in study abroad and other experiential learning opportunities such as internships, research, volunteering, and service-learning that build global knowledge and skills.

There are many on-campus resources available to help students find global health-related experiential learning opportunities that match their interests and career goals and will help them develop real-world skills related to major global health issues. Students should consult with their academic adviser to discuss these activities and their academic plan.


Iowa graduates have a 95 percent job/grad school placement rate within six months of graduation. Our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.

Graduates find opportunities in a range of global health job sectors such as research and academic institutions, international agencies, in-country field consultants, immigrant/refugee health organizations, disaster relief organizations, governmental agencies, and agencies such as the World Health Organization. 

This major also prepares students to enter graduate or professional programs in medicine, dentistry, law, pharmacy, nursing, public health, nonprofit management, urban and regional planning, public administration, and international development. 


The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Application Process

Application Process Tabs


Global Health Studies (BA)
Global Health Studies (BS)
Global Health Studies
Global Health Studies
Honors Courses
Four-Year Graduation Plan
(for BA, BS Degree)
Competitive Admission
Global Health Studies Certificate