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.