What Is Global Health?

Fundamentally, global health is about achieving better health outcomes for vulnerable populations and communities around the world. Those who study or practice global health work to eliminate health disparities in low-resource settings around the world through research, education and collaborative intervention.

While similar to public health, global health emphasizes a broad, multidisciplinary approach to understanding emerging health challenges, considering social, cultural, economic and environmental factors that underlie health inequities.

Global health is “a field of study, research and practice that places a priority on achieving equity in health for all people.”

Consortium of Universities for Global Health

Global Health & Public Health

Global Health vs. Public Health infographic

Global Health at Duke is ...


  • Interdisciplinary: We bring expertise from a broad range of disciplines to address the many factors that influence global health.
  • Innovative: Our teams produce creative solutions that are working to bring better health to people around the world.
  • Experiential: Our students learn by doing, applying knowledge gained in the classroom in field projects around the world.
  • Collaborative: We engage international and local partners to find solutions that fit the cultures and contexts of the places we work.