Global change requires passion, hard work and forging a new path.

Combine the global health major or minor with any other major at Duke to create your one-of-a-kind education experience.

LEARN from and work alongside some of the best faculty at Duke. Be inspired by their passion for global health and for teaching students to solve problems.

EXPAND your classroom learning through experiential learning that puts you at the center of the challenge.

By pairing the global health major with another major, you will CARVE A NICHE in your career path and stand out in graduate studies and job searches.

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“The global health major makes Arts & Sciences a leader at Duke, and Duke a leader in the nation and around the globe.” Laurie Patton, dean, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

No one ever said changing the world is easy. The global health major and minor at Duke are intellectually rigorous and demanding, but they will prepare you to be a real-life problem-solver.

Major Worksheet

Plan your major in global health
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Declaring the Major

Declare the major through the academic advising center.



The faculty of the Duke Global Health Institute are among the best and most creative at Duke.

Teaching Faculty

Our faculty are committed to teaching, mentoring and helping students find their own path in global health. They are experts in their respective disciplines such as public policy, medicine, environment, engineering, psychiatry, anthropology and more, and provide a strong multidisciplinary educational experience.

More than 20 other faculty teach in the global health major.


View DGHI Faculty

Sumi Ariely

Harris Solomon

Gary Bennett

David Toole

David Boyd

Kate Whetten

One of the most exciting things about the faculty at the Duke Global Health Institute is that we represent a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. We have psychologist, sociologists, demographers, physicians -- We have a wide variety of individuals on our faculty. And so one of the exciting things for students in the major is that they'll have the opportunity to work with us, and work with us very closely. - Gary Bennett



An A.B. in global health is offered only as a co-major and must be paired with another major at Duke. Students must complete 10 courses, 1 statistics co-requisite, and an experiential learning requirement.

Major requirements are subject to change prior to Fall 2013.

3 Core Courses

  • Fundamentals: GLHLTH 101
  • Ethics: PUBPOL 330/GLHLTH 210, GLHLTH 373S, GLHLTH 341, PHIL 281/GLHLTH 241
  • Research Methods: GLHLTH 371, GLHTLH 390S

3 Foundation Courses (select three courses)

  • Global Health Humanities: CULANTH 424T/GLHLTH 321, GLHLTH 302S, GLHTLH 323/ROMST 220, GLHLTH 301/CULANTH 247
  • Global Health Systems and Policy: GLHLTH 303, PUBPOL 165, PUBPOL 190FS, PUBPOL 590
  • Natural Science in Global Health: EVANTH 285D/GLHLTH 304D, BIOLOGY 153, BIOLOGY 154
  • Social Determinants of Global Health: GLHLTH 305, GLHLTH 212, HISTORY 369, PUBPOL 590S, SOCIOL 361/GLHLTH 340

3 Focused Study

Select three courses within the following themes or propose your own track:

  • Cardiovascular Disease and Obesity
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • Global Cancer
  • Global Environmental Health
  • Global Mental Health
  • Health Systems Strengthening and Innovation
  • Maternal and Child Health

To propose your own track, you must identify the theme and three relevant courses, provide a rationale including how the thematic area complements your co-major and how it relates to your research or career interests, and obtain approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Fill out the Focused Study Approval Form.

1 Senior Seminar

Apply the analytical tools from your coursework to a real global health problem. - GLHLTH 501 Global Health Capstone

1 Statistics Co-requisite

The co-requisite must be a course listed or cross-listed in the Department of Statistics Science or via a statistics course in a student's co-major. No other pre-university courses, knowledge, or exams may count toward the requirement.

VIEW Courses DOWNLOAD the Major Worksheet


Experiential Learning

Leverage your classroom learning and apply your skills to make a difference in the world.

Gain hands-on experience and a greater understanding of the causes and solutions to health challenges. Experience and understand the difficulties and opportunities in implementing health interventions. Engage with communities and colleagues and make a difference in your own way - no matter how large or small.

When planning your experiential learning, be sure it fulfills the global health major requirements:

  • 8-weeks fulltime or 320-hours and completed prior to the spring semester of senior year
  • Project must be started after declaring the global health major
  • Project must be started after completing a global health ethics course
  • All projects must address a global health question, context or challenge
  • Some project opportunities are pre-approved, like the SRT Program 
  • If the project is not pre-approved, use the experiential learning pre-approval form to seek approval
  • Retroactive approval will not be permitted for experiences begun after 9/2013

All students must complete the global health ethics course requirement and attend a series of pre-experience workshops in advance of conducting experiential learning.

Following your time in the field, complete your experiential learning report and participate in workshops to process and relate the experience to your coursework and share it with your peers.

VIEW Project Opportunities VIEW Student Profiles


Students will be able to declare global health as a co-major starting fall 2013 and faculty advisors will be appointed at that time. Advisors will help students explore the intersection of their co-major with their global health curriculum and provide mentorship in course selection, research opportunities, experiential opportunities, and careers in global health.

October 27 – November 6:
SIGN UP for one on one pre-registration advising meetings in Perkins 110.

Students interested in pursuing global health education are encouraged to arrange an advising appointment to learn more about how the global health major or minor would work for them. For more information, make an appointment.

Make an Appointment


Many global health students pursue graduate or professional education in global or public health, medicine, law and business. Global health students will also be prepared for careers at research and policy think tanks, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, multilateral organizations, and academic institutions.

DGHI offers career advising and support for undergraduate students pursuing a career in global health through:

  • Career advising in global health
  • On-campus workshops and skill-building sessions
  • Seminars and career fairs
  • Access to the DGHI alumni network


Frequently Asked Questions

Are students allowed to double count classes?
  • Yes. Check with your non-global health major to see if there are limitations on the number of courses that can be double-counted for that major. Students may not double count Global Health courses within the Global Health major.

Will students be able to pursue study abroad with the Global Health Major?
  • Yes. A number of study abroad programs are eligible for transfer credit in global health. Up to three courses may be transferred, typically as elective credit, from study abroad to the major. Visit the Duke Global Education course approval database for a list complete of courses and programs that offer approved transfer credit in global health.

What courses can I count toward my Focused Study?
  • Each of the seven Focused Study themes include a menu of course options. Non-GLHLTH courses may be included in a Focused Study. Students proposing their own theme or selecting a course outside of the provided menu must provide a rationale for their selection, including how the thematic area complements their co-major and how the sequence of courses relate to their research or career interests, and obtain approval from the DUS. Please see our Major Worksheet for examples of courses to take within the seven themes.

What research opportunities are available?
Is it possible to meet pre-health requirements while completing a Global Health major as well as a co-major?
  • Yes. With early and consistent academic advising, students have successfully navigated these degree options. This comprehensive track provides strong preparation for a career in medicine while pursuing a passion in Global Health. Students interested in medicine or health professions should be sure to connect with the Duke Prehealth Advising Office and meet with a Global Health advisor: Contact