Global Health Minor

Program Director: Svea Closser; Professors: Robert Cluss, (chemistry and biochemistry); Jessica Holmes (economics), Peter Nelson (geography), Jacob Tropp (history); Associate Professors: John Maluccio (economics); Assistant Professors: Svea Closser (sociology and anthropology), Erick Gong (economics); Visiting Lecturer: Pam Berenbaum


The study of Global Health originates with an understanding of the reasons for the steep inequalities that characterize health worldwide (why, for example, life-expectancy in Switzerland is twice that of Swaziland). Many people are drawn to this field because they hope to assist in improving health, an endeavor that requires not only an understanding of disease epidemiology but also a grasp of the social and political complexity of population-level interventions as well as international aid. The study of Global Health, then, is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing on theory and method from fields including political science, biology, economics, geography, mathematics, and anthropology.

The Global Health minor at Middlebury is not intended to be a pre-professional program covering all the skills necessary for a career in public health. Rather, the goal is to draw on the strength of a liberal arts curriculum to give students a breadth of understanding and a depth of critical thought that complements the nuts-and-bolts education provided by most masters in public health programs. Minors in Global Health at Middlebury will draw on a number of disciplines to appreciate the deep complexity of global health problems, and use that knowledge to think about these problems in innovative ways.

The minor in Global Health is available to students who complete the courses listed below. The purpose of this minor is to encourage students to take an interdisciplinary perspective when thinking about global health problems. No course for the minor may also count towards a student’s major.

All students must take the core course:

SOAN 0267 Global Health or INTD 0257 Global Health

One of the following methods courses (if the methods requirement is met through coursework for a major, students may substitute an additional elective in place of a methods class):

BIOL 0211 Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis
ECON 0210 Economic Statistics

GEOG 0120 Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems
MATH 0116 Introduction to Statistical Science
PSCI 1130 Statistics for Social Sciences
PSYC 0201 Psychological Statistics
SOAN 0302 The Research Process: Ethnography and Qualitative Methods
AP credit for Statistics

Three additional courses chosen from any of the following (no more than two courses taken from the same department may count towards the minor):

BIOL 0140 Ecology and Evolution or BIOL 0145 Cell Biology and Genetics
ECON 0150 Introductory Macroeconomics or ECON 0155 Introductory Microeconomics
ENVS 0112 Natural Science and the Environment
GEOG 0100 Place and Society: Local to Global
GEOG 0207 Resource Wars
GEOG 0210 Geographic Perspectives on International Development
GEOL 0255 Surface and Ground Water
HIST 0114 History of Modern Africa
IGST 0101 Introduction to International Studies
PSCI 0109 International Politics
PSCI 0202 African Politics
PSCI 0258 The Politics of International Humanitarian Action
PSCI 0304 International Political Economy
SOAN 0211 Human Ecology
SOAN 0340 The Anthropology of Human Rights
SOAN 0387 Medical Anthropology

Other appropriate courses may be substituted for the methods or elective courses with the approval of the program director.  Approval requires submission of a petition form found here.

In addition, students minoring in Global Health are strongly encouraged to take advantage of Middlebury’s resources by studying abroad, preferably in a resource-poor setting, and by becoming proficient in a foreign language.