Global Health Field Experience Requirement

All Global Health majors will participate in a field experience project at a research or clinical site either in the United States or abroad approved by either the Global Health Program Steering Committee, AIP, Career Services and for international placements, the UC San Diego Study Abroad Office. (For Global Health minors entering FA16 and onward, the Field Experience requirement is optional). 

The Global Health Field Experience will focus on issues relevant to global health, including health care, health education, environmental effects on health, infectious disease, mental health, health disparities, medical sequelae of natural disaster or political violence, indigenous healing practices, nutrition, and reproductive health.

The goal of the experience is to enhance knowledge, skills, and sensitivities, thus engaging "mind, hands, and heart" to create a learning outcome that is scientific, pragmatic, and humanistic.


Please note, student may participate in no more than 3 experiences to complete their hours. 

How to Fulfill the Field Experience Requirement

Step 1: Research Field Experience Options:

Participate in a pre-approved opportunity below or Create Your Own Field Experience. Contact organization to inquire on opportunities to get started.

Step 2: Begin Field Experience:

Step 3: Upon completion at the site or of your 100 hours: 

Creating your own Field Experience

If you find an organization or program to work who is not on the pre-approved list, you may submit a Field Experience Pre-Approval Application to have the opportunity considered.

The organization or site must provide students with:

  • An opportunity to become knowledgeable about aspects of global health and see global health issues in practice.
  • A minimum of 100 hours over a minimum of five weeks (distributed over no more than three programs).
  • Direct contact with clients or those who directly serve clients.
  • Require meaningful, challenging work from the student while serving the agency's clients and goals.
  • On-site orientation, training, and supervision by a designated person in the agency.

For Study Abroad/International Opportunities:

 If you find an international field experience that is not on the pre-approved list, prepare detailed program information and make appointment with Study Abroad Global Health Field Experience Advisors: Kelly O'Sullivan Sommer - or Jim Galvin - 

Credit-Bearing Field Experience

Field Experience does not have to be credit-bearing to fulfill the Major and Minor Requirement. Students who complete their Field Experience for course credit can apply the credit towards their Major of Minor Electives.  A maximum of 8.0 units can be applied toward your requirements, unless otherwise noted.

Additional information on creating an independent study course can be found here.

Health & Safety Requirements

All students completing the Global Health Field Experience Requirement are required to review the Health & Travel page and complete the Global Health Pre-Service Orientation Training prior to departure.

Funding Resources

Planning a Global Health Field Experience or project requires that you determine what resources are necessary to accomplish your goals and what resources you have available. You should be thinking about funding for your project early in the planning process. All Field Experience is self-funded. 

The amount of money that you have and how you choose to spend it will affect every aspect of your experience in the community. You will need enough money to travel to and from the project site, live safely, and implement a feasible project plan within the negotiated time frame. 

Expenses to consider when traveling internationally to complete field experience include: 

  • Plane tickets
  • Room and Board Plan
  • International Health Insurance
  • Ground transportation
  • Food

Funding Opportunities:

Ideas for Raising your Own Funds:

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of activities can count towards hours?

What counts towards hours:

  • Hours spent on site (not including travel time)
  • Orientations and meetings to prep 
  • Trainings & Outreach

Guidelines for Trackings Hours:

  • Keep a log of hours to be signed by site supervisor upon completion of hours


Additional Resources: