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BS, Global Health

Small globe with stethoscope around it

Address global health challenges through a multidisciplinary lens

Launching at UMD in Fall 2024, the Bachelor of Science in Global Health prepares students to address current and future public health issues around the world. The program explores biological, cultural, environmental, linguistic, socio-economic and other factors that impact human health. Students will develop skills in critical thinking, world languages and professional communication, research and statistical analysis through coursework and experiential learning.

Perfect for students interested in...

  • exploring public health and human rights in cross-cultural contexts
  • applying classroom knowledge through experiential learning (locally or globally)
  • preparing for career opportunities with international, government, or non-profit organizations

Career Paths

  • Global health program management
  • Policy analysis
  • Applied research
  • Global health educator
  • Allied health care professions
  • Project monitoring and evaluation
  • Health communication

Program Overview

The Global Health major is a highly multidisciplinary curriculum. Students not only explore health care systems, public health practices and ideas about illness in cross-cultural contexts, but also issues of health development, global health inequity, racism and other -isms, as well as human rights issues. This education enables students to succeed in careers in global public health policy and practice, applied research, allied health and social service professions.

See all Global, Environmental, and Occupational Health student resources.

First year for the Global Health 
 major at UMD!
  1. Discuss the history and philosophy of global public health as well as its core values, concepts and functions in society.
  2. Use basic public health concepts, methods and tools for data collection and analysis.
  3. Identify the major health-related needs and concerns of global populations and formulate basic processes, approaches, and interventions as possible solutions.
  4. Understand the underlying science of human health and disease including opportunities for promoting and protecting health across the lifespan.
  5. Examine socio-economic, behavioral, biological, environmental and other factors that impact human health and contribute to global health disparities.
  6. Demonstrate the fundamental concepts and features of global health project implementation, including planning, assessment, evaluation and sustainability.
  7. Compare and contrast the fundamental characteristics and organizational structures of global health systems.
  8. Characterize the basic concepts of legal, ethical, economic and regulatory dimensions of global health care and policy.
  9. Illustrate concepts of cross-cultural public health communication, including professional writing, digital and mass media.
  10. Synthesize and apply ethical, evidence-based, collaborative approaches to community-supported interventions relevant to global health challenges.
  11. Critically analyze the impact racism has on population health and reflect on what it means to be anti-racist in a global context.
  12. Evaluate the impact of social, linguistic and cultural complexities, globalization and development on population health outcomes.

A Bachelor’s degree at UMD requires a minimum of 120 credits, made up of major requirements, General Education requirements, and non-major electives. Additional information on undergraduate degree policies is found in the UMD Undergraduate Catalog.

For the Bachelor of Science in Global Health, students complete at least 77 credits of major-specific requirements in the following categories:

  • Global Health Supporting courses (19-26 credits)
  • Global Health Core courses (40 credits)
  • Global Health Experiential Learning (6 credits)
  • Global Health Option courses (12 credits)

Note: Some General Education courses fulfill multiple requirements. Credit totals may vary depending on individual students' coursework at UMD and incoming transfer credit, including AP/IB credit.

See all BS, Global Health Program Requirements

See world language guidance for the Global Health major

See all SPH Sample Plans and Benchmarks

Global Health Course Offerings

Students begin with supporting courses in biology, nutrition, government and politics, and two semesters of a world language. 

The Global Health Core introduces students to courses in public and global health foundations and careers, anthropology, epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental and community health. 

Students choose Global Health Options from a list of approved courses. They may further explore concepts from their core courses or complement previous learning.

Experiential Learning opportunities include global classroom courses, study abroad, research, internships, and field work. Students will choose these in consultation with their academic advisor.

All Global Health majors will enroll in a Capstone seminar in their final semester before graduation. 

Summer 2024 GBHL course offerings

Fall 2024 Global Health course offerings

Putting classroom learning into practice is an integral part of preparation for a career in public health. In addition to the courses listed above, Global Health majors will be expected to engage in two different global health experiences before they graduate. Students will choose these in consultation with their academic advisor.

Experiential Learning “Paths”

  1. Approved Global Classroom course + pre-approved Global Health Field Experience (could be research, internship or independent study)
  2. Approved Global Classroom course + approved Global Health Abroad course
  3. (exception required) Approved Global Health Abroad course + pre-approved Global Health Field Experience (could be research, internship or independent study)
  4. (exception required) Other combination of two global experiential learning activities, which may include a Global Health Field Experience, that must be pre-approved by the GBHL UG Director.

Note: While an international experience is encouraged, travel is not required for the Global Health major. 

Global Health majors are supported in their academic and career planning by professional advisors in the School of Public Health and across the UMD campus. 

Academic Advising

Students are encouraged to meet with a Global Health advisor at least once a semester. Advisors are available for virtual and in-person drop-in advising and appointments.

See GBHL advising availability in TerpEngage (UMD student login required)

In addition to the Global Health Major Advising Team, students have the support of the SPH Center for Academic Success and Achievement (CASA).


Career Advising

The University Career Center@SPH provides students guidance in preparing for life after college.

Students interested in careers in health care are encouraged to use the resources of the Reed-Yorke Health Professions Advising Office.

Current UMD students may declare a major in Global Health starting in June 2024. To start the process, follow the instructions to Declare an SPH Major.

Newly-admitted freshman and transfer students enrolling at UMD in Fall 2024 who want to change their major to Global Health should email (with cc to

Future Terps interested in Global Health are encouraged to review the information about SPH Undergraduate Admissions.