Concentration

Community and Global Health

Global health concerns are prominent in public discourse. The HIV/AIDS epidemic, the health impact of global warming, the threat of global pandemic disease, the American health care crisis, and obesity, malnutrition, and food supply exemplify the types of urgent public health challenges that pervade the daily news and fuel policy debates. Effective solutions rely on understanding complex phenomena that play out at the level of local communities as well as on the global stage, such as the impacts of environmental degradation, war and civil unrest, immigration patterns, cultural practices, and differential access to preventive programs and treatments. The concentration in Community and Global Health provides students with an array of analytical frameworks for understanding the complexities of population health and offers opportunities to integrate and apply these frameworks within the context of course work, civic engagement, and independent research.

The Community and Global Health concentration builds on the strong ties between the liberal arts and the core concepts of public health—a diverse, multidisciplinary field unified around the examination of human and animal health at the population level. Recognizing the central importance of health within a global context, the issues, theories, and methodologies presented in this concentration educate students in critical and quantitative reasoning, writing, and integrative learning.

Community and Global Health

Structure of the Concentration

A concentration in Community and Global Health consists of six courses, a substantial civic engagement experience or advanced research project, and the 1-credit INTD 411 - Sr Seminar in Community and Global Health.

  1. Six courses as follows: Courses must be drawn from at least two different divisions, no more than two courses can be drawn from any one department, and at least three of the courses must be at the 200-level or above. One of these six courses must be MATH 125 - Epidemiology when taught with a focus on Public Health. With the permission of the Director or Associate Director, students may take up to two concentration courses at another institution or abroad. Students are strongly encouraged to seek the advice of a steering committee member in selecting a coherent set of courses that meet their educational goals and complement their major.
    1. At least one course that is primarily about ways of understanding the health of human and/or animal populations. Students are encouraged to take more than one course in this category.

BIOL 116 - Community and Global Health: Biological Paradigms
ANTH 239 - Medical Anthropology
GEOG 256 - Medical Geography
INTL 282 - Introduction to International Public Health
PHIL 220 - Bioethics
PHIL 294 - Human Rights and Health Care
PSYC 380 - Community Psychology and Public Health
POLI 205 - Politics and Policymaking (when taught with a focus on Public Health)

 
  1. A course on the methodologies of public health
      MATH 125 - Epidemiology
 
  1. Courses that provide rich examples, background knowledge or skills, or analytical frameworks that enrich the understanding of population health. Courses in this category do not necessarily focus directly on human population health. In consultation with a steering committee member, students may propose to meet their concentration objectives by taking other courses.
    Methods Courses (Please note that no more than one course from this subset can be applied to the concentration)

ANTH 230 - Ethnographic Interviewing
ECON 381 - Introduction to Econometrics
GEOG 225 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
GEOG 377 - Qualitative Research Methods
MATH 155 - Introduction to Statistical Modeling
MATH 253 - Statistical Computing and Machine Learning
POLI 269 - Empirical Research Methods
PSYC 201 - Research in Psychology I
SOCI 269 - Social Science Inquiry

    Courses about health (but not necessarily population health)

ANTH 380 - Advanced Topics in Medical Anthropology
BIOL 117 - Women, Health and Reproduction
BIOL 355 - Virology  
BIOL 357 - Immunology
BIOL 358 - Microbiology
HIST 350 - Race, Gender, and Science
PSYC 182 - Drugs and Society
PSYC 372 - Health Psychology
WGSS 294 - Global AIDS: History, Politics and Culture

    Courses with substantial examples drawn from population health or with a sustained health focus. This subset includes courses that have broader goals but choose, for a semester, to focus those goals on population health. The steering committee will post a list of courses in this category each semester before students register for the following semester. Although the steering committee will seek to be comprehensive in exploring courses that fit within this list, we welcome input from students about courses about which we may not be aware.
  1. A substantial project focusing on the health of human populations. Normally, this requirement will be fulfilled through A) a civic engagement experience of no less than 75 hours or B) an advanced research project resulting in a major paper. Civic engagement experiences can be arranged in organizations in the Twin Cities, in a different US location, or abroad. They can be taken for academic credit as an internship or may be a paid or unpaid volunteer position during the academic year, winter break, or summer. Such experiences must include a reflection component and site supervisor evaluations. Advanced research projects may be completed for academic credit in courses, independent studies, or capstone programs within the student's major or may be non-credit bearing work in the summer, winter break, or the academic year conducted under the supervision of a faculty member. The scope of the project will typically be equivalent to or greater than the work expected for two-credit independent studies and internships. Projects should be selected and developed in consultation with a steering committee member as part of a coherent plan and must be approved by the Director or Associate Director. Criteria for evaluating whether a project may count towards this requirement will be a) the extent to which the project involves significant engagement with key issues in population health; and b) the quality of the student's work as reflected in their written work about the project and, where relevant, site supervisor evaluations. Students will present their projects in the culminating seminar (see below).
  2. INTD 411 - Sr Seminar in Community and Global Health. A one-credit culminating seminar, meeting weekly for one hour in the spring term, in which issues in community and global health are discussed from an interdisciplinary perspective. In addition to sponsoring lectures by notable public health professionals, the seminar will also provide opportunities for students to share the work they have done on their CGH project (see item 2 above). Typically, this seminar will be taken in the student's senior year.