Bachelor of Arts in Global Health (B.A.)

Global health is at once an increasingly popular new field of study, an urgent social concern, and a powerful interdisciplinary intellectual synthesis aimed at understanding and productively intervening in processes of health, illness, and healing across the globe. This program is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of factors related to illness, health, and healing from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective that transcends national borders and regional interests, and takes cultural difference and cross-cultural diversity fully into account. 


Major Requirements

Effective FA16. All courses must be taken for a letter grade of C- or better. 

Lower Division (12 units/3 courses)

  • HILD 30. History of Public Health
    • *FPMU 40 accepted by petition; must submit petition request to have the course counted.
  • One of the following courses: 
    • SOCI 30. Science, Technology & Society OR SOCI 40. Sociology of Healthcare Issues OR SOCI 70. Sociology for Pre-Meds OR PHIL 26. Science, Society & Values
  • One Statistics Course: Choose one: PSYCH 60, POLI 30, MATH 11/11L

Core Courses (24 units/6 courses)

All students will take the following:

  • ANSC 148. Global Health and Cultural Diversity
  • GLBH 181. Essentials of Global Health
  • MGT 173. Project Management in the Health Services
  • One Policy Analysis course (choose one from list below)

To be taken senior year:

  • GLBH 150A. Capstone Part One (winter) Senior Thesis Preparation
  • GLBH 150B. Capstone Part Two (spring) Senior Thesis Preparation

Electives (32 units/8 courses) 

From the following categories:

  • Three Biological Science Electives (one must be upper division)
    • e.g. physiology of nutrition, infectious disease, environmental factors

  • Three Medical Social Science Electives
    • e.g. social and cultural context, economic and political factors

  • One Medical Humanities Elective 
    • e.g. medical history,  bioethics, literature

  • One Global Processes Elective 
    • e.g. immigration, climate change, globalization, development

***See elective options below

Global Health Field Experience Requirement

All majors will complete the Global Health Field Experience Requirement at a research, volunteer, or clinical site in th United States or abroad.  

  • A minimum of 100 hours over a minimum of five weeks (or 3 weeks for international), distributed over no more than three programs.
  • Placement must be pre-approved and students must submit verification upon completion.
  • Majors must complete their 100 hour field experience requirement by the end of fall quarter during their graduating senior year, prior to enrolling in GLBH 150A (Senior Capstone).
  • Global Health Field Experience that is credit-bearing can count towards up to two medical social science elective courses (upon approval).
  • For more information on this requirement visit the Field Experience page.

Requirements for students beginning major prior to Fall 2016

Students entering the Global Health Program prior to FA16 will complete the following requirements:

Lower Division (12 units/3 courses)

  • HILD 30: History of Public Health
  • One of the following:
    • SOCI 30. Science, Technology & Society OR SOCI 40. Sociology of Healthcare Issues OR SOCI 70. Sociology for Pre-Meds OR PHIL 26. Science, Society & Values
  • One Stats Course: Choose one: PSYCH 60, POLI 30, MATH 11/11L

Core Courses (28 units/7 courses)

All students will take the following:

  • ANSC 148: Global Health and Cultural Diversity
  • GLBH 181: Essentials of Global Health
  • MGT 173: Project Management in the Health Services
  • Epidemiology (select one course from upper division biological science elective offerings below)
  • Policy Analysis course (choose one from list below)
  • GLBH 150A: Capstone Part One (winter) Senior Thesis Preparation
  • GLBH 150B: Capstone Part Two (spring)  Senior Thesis Preparation

Electives (28 units/7 courses)

There are seven required electives. Five of these MUST be upper division. Students must have course work across four curricular categories:

  • Biological sciences (2 courses)
  • Medical social sciences (3 courses)
  • Medical humanities (1 course)
  • Global processes (1 course)

Global Health Field Experience Requirement: 100 hours. May be done domestically or abroad. Placement must be approved.  100 hours: Non-credit bearing or credit-bearing, using GLBH 198/GLBH 199.  GHFE must be completed by the end of fall quarter of the student’s senior year for the major. See more information below.

Elective and Policy Analysis Courses

Policy Analysis Courses (choose one)

  • GLBH 160. Global Health Policy
  • POLI 160A.or AA Introduction to Policy Analysis (crosslisted with USP 101, if taking USP 101, submit petition)
  • POLI 170A. Introductory Statistics for Political Science and Public Policy
  • USP 147. Case Studies in Health Care Programs/Poor and Underserved Populations
  • USP 171. Sustainable Development
  • SOCI 152/USP 133. Social Inequality and Public Policy
  • ECON 130. Public Policy (ECON 1A-B. or ECON 2. or ECON 100A)
  • HISC 180. Science and Public Policy
  • ENVR 110. Environmental Law

Biological Science Courses (choose three)

Students must select at least one upper division course to fulfill their biological science/epidemiology requirement (upper division courses are 100 level courses).




ANTH 2. Human Origins 

*ANBI 134. Human Evolutionary Genetics (by petition)

*ANBI 141. Biological Anthropology (by petition)

Biological Sciences

Pre-requisites for biology courses are listed in parentheses

Additional biology pre-reqs can be found here

BILD 3. Organismic and Evolutionary Biology 

BILD 18. Human Impact on the Environment

BILD 22. Human Nutrition  (Open to nonbiology majors only)

BILD 26. Human Physiology (Open to nonbiology majors only)

BILD 36. AIDS, Science, and Society  (Open to nonbiology majors only)

BILD 38. Dementia/Science/Society

BILD 60. Biology and Diversity (DEI overlap) (BILD 1 and BILD 2 or 3)

BICD 100. Genetics (BILD 1)

BIBC 102. Metabolic Biochemistry (Chem 140A and Chem 140B)

BICD 110. Cell Biology (BIBC 100 or BIBC 102)

BICD 136. AIDS, Science, and Society (BILD 1, BILD 2 recommended)

BICD 140. Immunology (BICD 100, BIMM 100)

BIMM 100. Molecular Biology (BIBC 100 or BIBC 102, BICD 100)

BIMM 110. Molecular Basis of Human Disease (BICD 100, BIBC 102, BIMM 100)

BIMM 114. Virology (BIMM 100)

BIMM 124. Medical Microbiology (BIBC 100 or BIBC 102 recommended)

BIBC 120. Nutrition (BIBC 102, CHEM 140A and CHEM 140B)

BIPN 100. Human Physiology I (BILD 1 and BILD 2)

BIPN 102. Human Physiology II (BIPN 100)

BIPN 134. Human Reproduction and Development (Formerly: BICD 134) (BIBC 102 and BICD 100) 

BIEB 150. Evolution (BILD 3 and BILD 1 or BIEB 143)

BIEB 176. Conservation and the Human Predicament (ANTH 2 or BILD 3)

*SOCI 107. Epidemiological Methods: Statistical Study of Disease

Cognitive Sciences

COGS 11. Mind and Brain

COGS 17. Neurobiology of Cognition

COGS 174. Drugs, Brain, Mind & Culture

Environmental Studies

ENVR 30. Environmental Issues


FPMU 101. Epidemiology  (FPMU 40 and PSYC 60 or Math 11 and Upper Division Standing)

FPMU 102. Biostatistics in Public Health (FPMU 40 and PSYC 60 or Math 11) 

Human Development

HDP 110. Brain and Behavioral Development (HDP 1 or PSYC 101)

*HDP 160. Human Sexuality (by petition)

Medical Social Science Courses (choose three)




*ANSC 100. Special Topics (when Global Health Content)

ANSC 101. Aging: Culture and Health in Late Life Human Development

ANSC 105. Global Health and Inequality

ANSC 106. Global Health: Indigenous Medicines in Latin America

ANSC 121. Psychological Anthropology

ANSC 129. Meaning and Healing

ANSC 143. Mental Health as a Global Health Priority

ANSC 144. Immigrant and Refugee Health

ANSC 146.  A Global Health Perspective on HIV/AIDS

ANSC 147. Global Health and the Environment

ANSC 149. Gender and Mental Health

ANSC 150. Culture and Mental Health

ANSC 155. Humanitarian Aid: What is it good for?

ANSC 156. Mad Films

ANSC 164. Anthropology of Medicine

*ANSC 182. Gun Violence as Social Pathology


COMM 114J. CSI Food Justice 

COMM 167. Reproductive Discourse and Gender (COMM 10, COMM 100A and COMM 100B or 100C)


ECON 140. Economics of Healthcare Producers

ECON 141. Economics of Healthcare Consumers

Ethnic Studies

ETHN 142. Medicine, Race and the Global Politics of Inequality


FPMU 110. Health Behavior and Chronic Disease

Global Health

GLBH 198/199. Directed Reading/Independent Research (max of 2 accepted)

Global Seminar

REV 160. (GS) Health and Epidemiology (contact study abroad)

REV 165. (GS) Health and Epidemiology (contact study abroad)

Latin American Studies

LATI 122A. Field Research Methods for Migration Studies: Seminar 

Political Science

POLI 111D. Social Norms and Global Development


PSYC 100. Clinical Psychology (formerly PSYC 163)

PSYC 101. Developmental Psychology

*PSYC 116. Laboratory in Clinical Psychotherapy Research

PSYCH 124. Clinical Assessment and Treatment

PSYC 125. Clinical Neuropsychology

PSYC 134. Eating Disorders

*PSYC 143. Control and Analysis of Human Behavior

PSYC 155. Social Psychology and Medicine

PSYC 168. Psychological Disorders of Childhood

PSYC 172. Psychology of Human Sexuality

PSYC 179. Drugs, Addiction, and Mental Disorders

PSYC 181. Drugs and Behavior

PSYC 188. Impulse and Control Disorders


SOCI 113. Sociology of the AIDS Epidemic

SOCI 134. The Making of Modern Medicine

SOCI 135. Medical Sociology

SOCI 136E. Sociology of Mental Illness: A Historical Approach

SOCI 136F. Sociology of Mental Illness in Contemporary Society

SOCI 138. Genetics and Society

SOCI 143. Suicide

*SOCI 173. Sociology of Health, Illness, and Medicine

Scripps Institute

SIO 189. Pollution, the Environment and Health

Urban Studies and Planning

*USP 143. The US Health Care System

USP 144. Environmental and Preventive Health Issue

USP 145. Aging: The Social and Health Policy Issues

USP 147. Case Studies in Health Care Programs/Poor and Underserved Populations (If not taken for UD policy requirement) 

Medical Humanities Courses (choose one)




ANSC 129. Meaning and Healing 

Critical Gender Studies

CGS 111. Gender and the Body


LTCS 155. Health and Illness in Contemporary Society

LTCS 165. Politics of Food


*HISC 108. History of Life Sciences in 20th Century

*HISC 109. Invention of Tropical Medicine

HISC 115. History of Modern Medicine 

HISC 116. History of Bioethics


PHIL 150. Philosophy of Cognitive Science

PHIL 163. Biomedical Ethics

PHIL 164. Technology and Human Values

PHIL 173. Topics in Bioethics

Global Processes Courses (choose one)




ANBI 132. Conservation and the Human Predicament

*ANSC 124. Cultural Anthropology

ANSC 125. Gender, Sexuality and Society 

ANSC 140/MNNR 101. Human Rights II- Contemporary

*ANSC 142. Anthropology of Latin America

ANSC 145A. International Politics and Drugs

*ANSC 154. Gender and Religion

ANSC 156. Mad Films (if not used for med ss)

ANSC 160. Nature, Culture and the Environment

ANSC 168. Human condition


COMM 112G. IM: Language and Globalization

COMM 114J. CSI: Food Justice

COMM 152. Global Economy and Consumer Culture

COMM 156. Colonialism and Culture

COMM 179. Media and Technology: Global Nature and Global Culture

Critical Gender Studies

CGS 114. Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Class

Ethnic Studies

ETHN 142. Medicine, Race and the Global Politics of Inequality

Latin American Studies

LATI 122B. Field Research Methods for Migration Studies: Practicum

Political Science

*POLI 108. Politics of Multiculturism (DEI overlap)

POLI 113A. East Asian Thought in Comparative Perspective

POLI 122. Politics of Human Rights

POLI 125. Gender, Politics, and Globalization

POLI 125B. The Politics of Food in a Global Economy

POLI 127. Politics of Developing Countries

POLI 140D. International Human Rights Law: Migrant Populations

POLI 145A. International Politics and Drugs

POLI 150A. Politics of Immigration (DEI overlap)


SOCI 127. Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity (DEI overlap)

SOCI 185. Globalization and Social Development

SOCI 188E. Community and Social Change in Africa

*SOCI 188J. Change in Modern South Africa

Visit the course offerings page for additional Course Descriptions. Not all courses are offered every year. Courses are subject to change without notice.


Degree Checks

Degree Checks (current requirements):

Old Requirements (pre FA16)

Also see: College and Major Four Year Planner

Reading your degree audit

Your degree audit, and major requirements are complete when all sections are blue. Any sections in red mean that there is a deficiency. 

If a course is not showing on your degree audit, review the next section on submitting petitions. To fulfill the Field Experience requirement, you must submit a letter of verification.

For more on reading your degree audit, visit the Global Health Blog Page.


How to petition courses to count towards your major

Obtain course pre-approval (recommended):

Submit a pre-approval petition to obtain permission to take a course not listed on the approved course list. 

Note: Pre-approval does not guarantee approval, but the advisors are able to provide you with guidance on course content and the likelihood that the course will be accepted.

You will be notified via the Virtual Advising Center once your request has been reviewed (please allow 2 weeks before contacting advisor).

Upon completion of the course, submit ONE of the following petitions:

(Wait until the course has posted to your academic history.)

Submit an Online Petition Request

Submit an Undergraduate Student Petition (paper form)

Include the course # (as it appears on TritonLink), course title, # of units, grade received, quarter/semester the course was taken, the University in which you were enrolled and specify the requirement you want to apply the course toward (e.g. Fulfill Global Health Major Elective Requirement). Please also sign and date the petition.

Submit completed petition(s) & syllabus to the Global Health Advisor (The paper form can be scanned and sent via email ( or dropped off in the GHP Office).

For courses accepted by petition (*)

Courses that are accepted “by petition”, indicated with an asterisk (*) will not automatically show up on your degree audit. 

Send a message through the VAC requesting the following: 

 "Please accept _____________, a Global Health Pre-Approved Course, towards _______________ requirements for my Global Health ___________ (Major/Minor)."


Sample Four Year Plan



Sample Two Year Plan

2 year

Pre-Med Planning

Global Health (B.A.) students pursuing a career in the medical field should include appropriate Pre-Med coursework into their schedule. Students should meet with Career Services often to ensure they are on track.

Visit the Global Health Careers page for additional information.


The Global Health Program's unique research, writing, and field experience opportunities make both the BA and Minor excellent preparation for advanced training in health professions including; medicine, psychiatry, dentistry, nursing, public health, and pharmacy, as well as graduate training toward the Ph.D. and research or teaching careers in health sciences, medical social sciences, health policy and health law, environmental studies, or medical humanities.  

Medical school admission requirements vary from school to school. In general, most medical schools will expect applicants to have taken the Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®), and to have completed the following types of courses:

  • One year of biology: BILD 1,2,3
  • One year of physics (note the pre-reqs for physics at UC San Diego are the calculus series of MATH 11)
  • One year of English
  • Two years of chemistry (through organic chemistry)
    • Pre-Requisites: Math 10A,B,C or 20A,B,C
  • Statistics - Included in Major Req.

Max Unit Information

  • Students may complete a maximum of 200 units.
  • This is increased to 230 if a student is completing a B.S. degree in the Jacobs School of Engineering, or 240 if a student has an approved double major.
  • Completing a minor (which is not required for your degree) does not add units to the maximum allowed.
  • Pursuing pre-career preparation (such as medical school prerequisites) does not add units to the maximum allowed.

Your maximum unit limit is based on total credits passed (listed on your TritonLink Academic History as "Crdts Passed")

When calculating units completed, we do not count the following toward the maximum. We subtract them from your credits passed:

  • Units granted by Advanced Placement (AP) examinations.
  • Units granted by International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations or diplomas.
  • If you are a transfer student with IGETC, Partial IGETC, or UC Reciprocity, we consider 60 of your transfer units as applying toward completion of General Education and major requirements, and will deduct transfer units beyond that. For example, if you transferred to UCSD with 105 units and IGETC complete, we would deduct 45 units in our calculation.
See: FAQ's for the Global Health Major