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All Global Health majors will participate in a field experience opportunity either in the United States or abroad approved by the Global Health Program.

For Global Health Minors, the field experience 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.


  • 100 hours at a research, service, clinical or study abroad site.
  • May be domestic or international.
  • May be credit - bearing or non-credit bearing (such as volunteer work) and paid or unpaid.
  • Student may participate in up to 3 experiences to complete their hours. 
  • Students must review and complete all health and safety requirements prior to beginning at their site.
  • Upon completion of hours, students must submit verification


  • BA Majors & BS Majors must complete their 100 hour field experience requirement by the end of the quarter they plan to graduate.
  • Honors Thesis Seminar students 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 (Honors Thesis Seminar I).
  • If Global Health Minors choose to complete the optional field experience requirement, this must be done by the quarter they plan to graduate.

How to Fulfill the Field Experience Requirement:

Step 1: Find a field experience Opportunity! There are two options:

  1. Find a Pre-approved Opportunity
    1. Review Pre-Approved Lists of Special Programs, Student Orgs, Domestic & International Field Experiences.
  2. OR Create your own! Placement must be pre-approved before beginning at site. Please visit link for how to request pre-approval.

*Please note:

  • The experience needs to be an opportunity to become knowledgeable about aspects of global health and see global health issues in practice.
  • Lab work involving animals does not fulfill the field experience requirement.

Step 2: Apply or Contact the organization/faculty member to get started.

  • Apply on organization website, or send an email to the organization to inquire if they have volunteer opportunities available.

  • Include your CV/resume and some information about yourself (your passions, career goals, academic information, previous experience) in the email. Read Presenting Yourself as a Professional.

Step 3: Review Health & Safety Information.

Step 4: Participate in your field experience opportunity!

  • 100 hours are needed for field experience requirement (see above)

Step 5: Submit Verification of Field Experience Hours

  • Please view information regarding keeping a log of your hours and how to submit verification to the Global Health Program office upon completion.

Step 6: Monitor Degree Audit to ensure field experience is marked as "complete" under field experience section of Global health requirements.

  • Please allow up to 10 business days from date of field experience verification submission to GHP Advising.

Creating your own Field Experience

If you find an organization or program to work with 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. 


Does field experience have to be credit-bearing?

Field Experience does not have to be credit-bearing to fulfill the major or minor requirement. Students who complete their Field Experience for course credit can apply the credit towards one of their Major Medical Social Sciences Elective 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.
Travelling Internationally?

We recommend all undergraduate students traveling internationally register their travel in UC’s travel registration system, UC Away

Travel registration is important for a few reasons:

  1. It enables the UCSD Risk Manager to know who is traveling where, in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency abroad.
  2. Travelers who register their travel receive real-time email alerts from UC’s travel security provider, Crisis24.
  3. Travelers who register their travel receive contact information for Chubb AXA Global Travel Assistance, who they can reach out to for help while abroad.

Funding Resources

All Field Experience is self-funded. 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. 

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

Global Health Program Field Experience Scholarship

The Global Health Program encourages outstanding Global Health students to go abroad when completing the field experience requirement. Current Global Health Majors and minors may apply for up to $500.00 to support field experience travel.

Applicants must be current UC San Diego Global Health students at the time of the program abroad, proof that the student has been accepted to the program must be included with the application, and students must apply for, and be approved for, funding before participating in the field experience abroad.

Please complete the funding request form here.

*Please note that the scholarship will be awarded via direct deposit to your UCSD student account. Once the award has posted onto the account it will first be applied towards the balance due to the university if any and only the difference will be issued to the student in a form of a refund. The Office of Student Financial Solutions (SFS) will email the student once this has occurred to include a general timeline as to when to expect the funds. If the student is not enrolled in direct deposit (SFS) will mail a paper check to the address they have on file. (Scholarship/Stipend refunds cannot be picked up) For questions regarding refunds or address on file students may contact SFS at (858) 822-4727.

Requirements for students receiving funding:

  • Complete a blog post for the Global Health blog about the experience
  • Prior to travel (one month before):

Other Funding Opportunities:

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


How do I track my hours?

Track your hours using the Global Health Field Experience Log.


If you're participating in the Health Frontiers in Tijuana Internship (HFIT):

You don't need to keep a log, two quarters of participation fulfills the 100 hour requirement. If you're enrolled in GLBH 111 for both quarters, upon completion of the courses and once grades have posted, please send us a message in the VAC letting us know you have completed two quarters. If you're not enrolled for credit, please have your supervisor submit a letter/email of verification to the Global Health office, additional details here.

Additional Resources: