B.A. in Global Health Studies

GHS student studies abroad in Latin America

A Global Health Studies B.A. student while studying community health programs in Argentina and Uruguay

The B.A. in Global Health Studies (GHS)
requires the following course work (37 s.h.)


The B.A. In Global Health Studies requires a minimum of 120 s.h., including at least 37 s.h. of course work for the major.  Students also must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences General Education Program requirements. 

Students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 in all courses for the major and in all UI courses for the major. A minimum of 18 s.h. of major course work must be earned at the University of Iowa. A total of 9 s.h. may be double-counted from other majors, minors, or certificates toward the major.

A maximum of 6 s.h. of GHS:4990 Independent Project in GH credit may be used in the GHS B.A.

Students who earn the major in Global Health Studies may not earn the GHS certificate or the minor; they may earn the major in International Studies or Interdepartmental Studies/ Health Science as long as they select a track other than the Global Health Studies track. 


Foundation Courses (10 s.h.)

GHS:2000 Introduction to Global Health Studies 3
GHS:3030 Global Health Today (formerly, Global  Health Conference; taught every third semester) 1
GHS:3720 Contemporary Issues in Global Health 3
GHS:3850 Promoting Health Globally -or- GHS:3500 Global Public Health 3


Global Health Perspectives and Practices Courses (18 s.h.)

To provide an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of Global Health Studies, students choose from a wide range of courses on topics which reflect the breadth of the field. Students choose a minimum of 18 s.h., with at least 12 s.h. numbered 3000 or above, from the list of Courses Approved for the Global Health Studies Program.  Only courses which are not used to satisfy other requirements within  the B.A. (Foundation; World Language and Culture;  or Capstone) may be used toward the 18 s.h. required here.


World Language and Culture Courses (6 s.h.)

Students must choose option A or B below. Semester hours necessary to complete this requirement will vary.

Option A: Students may complete a minimum of two semesters of language study beyond that required by the General Education Program. This additional language requirement may be met either by completing at least two semesters of fifth-semester-level study or higher in the same language used to fulfill the General Education Program's World Languages requirement or by completing two semesters, or the equivalent, of a second world language at any level.  Please note that "ASL" coursework does not satisfy the Global Health Studies language requirement.

Option B: Students may complete this requirement by completing 6 s.h. from a list of courses approved for one of the following geographical tracks of the International Studies major: African studies; Caribbean studies; East Asian studies; Islamic and Middle Eastern studies; Latin American studies; Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies; or South Asian studies. See the International Studies Course Database web page for approved courses each semester.


Capstone Experience (3 s.h.)

The capstone experience requirement provides an opportunity for students to apply the knowledge and skills they learned in the classroom. Students choose a minimum of 3 s.h. from the following.

GHS:3010 Identifying and Developing a Global Health Project 3
GHS:4000 Global Health Studies Service Learning: Local Health is Global Health 4
GHS:4001 Social Entrepreneurship and Global Health 3
GHS:4002 Working in Global Health 3
GHS:4003 Case Studies in Global Health Inequalities:  Challenges and Interventions 3
GHS:4126 International Perspectives: Xicotepec 3
GHS:4990 Independent Project in Global Health 3
Global health studies-themed winterim in India course (consult the GHS academic advisor for preapproval) 3
Global health studies-themed study abroad program (consult the GHS academic advisor for preapproval) 3
Or both of these:  
GHS:3600 Development in a Global Context I: Preparing for an Internship in Health, Gender, and Environment 1
GHS:3700 Development in a Global Context II: Reflections on Real World Interventions 2


Honors B.A. in Global Health Studies (total 40 s.h.)

Students completing the B.A. in Global Health Studies have the opportunity to graduate with honors in the major. Students who choose to graduate with honors in the major must satisfy these requirements:

  • maintain a cumulative University of Iowa g.p.a. of at least 3.33 and a g.p.a. of at least 3.33 in all work for the major;
  • complete a minimum of 6 s.h. of honors or contract honors courses in their Global Health Studies major course work;
  • complete GHS:3010 Identifying and Developing a Global Health Project followed by GHS:4991 Honors Thesis in Global Health Studies as their capstone experience;
  • submit an acceptable honors thesis; and
  • give an oral or poster presentation of research findings at a venue approved by the Global Health Studies Program.

Students are encouraged to participate in the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) and to apply for research scholarships.

In addition to honors in their major, undergraduate students have a variety of opportunities for honors study and activities through membership in the University of Iowa Honors Program; however, membership in the University's honors program is not required in order to complete honors in the major. Visit Honors at Iowa to learn about the University's honors program.