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.

This program offers a BA degree, a BS degree, a minor, and a certificate (see Global Health Studies Certificate). 

Why Study at Iowa

The Global Health Studies Program engages students and faculty in real-world health problems and challenges students to embark on global health careers that focus on improving health and achieving equity in health for people worldwide. 

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 Global Health Studies BA 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, law, and technology--which lead to health disparities both locally and worldwide. 

The Global Health Studies BS is designed especially 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. 

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 major in either International Studies or Interdepartmental Studies/Health Science as long as they select a track other than the Global Health Studies track. 

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. 

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities

In addition to nearly 600 student organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple study abroad programs and undergraduate research opportunities. 

Students may be interested in the UI Global Health Club. This club was established to create 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, service-learning, volunteering, and research 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 job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and 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 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
Honors Courses
Four-Year Graduation Plan