Global Health


Learn how to recognize the challenges facing health systems on a global level. Understand ways to measure and address them. Identify resources to find solutions.

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Why Study Global Health?

Solving global health issues requires teams of informed and educated workers in areas like clinical medicine, anthropology, economics, epidemiology, biology, history, sociology and political science. Together, these teams form strategies to address health challenges across the world.

The US Commitment to Global Health predicts the global health industry will continue to grow. Participants are needed in both governmental and nongovernmental organizations.

In recognition of this demand, global health education is expanding. Rather than starting at the graduate or PhD level, global health education now begins with undergraduate programs.

Why Study Global Health at Luther?

Luther’s global health major prepares you to pursue careers in various areas of human health.

The major draws from three academic disciplines (biology, nursing, neuroscience) to create a common core curriculum. You’ll focus on one of three related areas of interest including the science of disease and wellness; global health policy and systems; and society, culture, and human health.

The major also teaches you how to address domestic and international issues of equity in healthcare. This requires an understanding of political, socioeconomic, and environmental factors. These factors shape a population’s health status and healthcare delivery models. You’ll also travel to domestic or international sites to take part in healthcare delivery models.

Program Highlights

Experienced Faculty

Luther’s global health faculty share their extensive knowledge to help you learn and grow.

Comprehensive Curriculum

The global health curriculum is interdisciplinary. It provides a common core curriculum and the opportunity to pursue a related area of interest.

Worldwide Immersion Experiences

Luther’s robust study away program has established host sites around the world to provide opportunities for immersion experiences for global health majors.

What You’ll Learn

The global health curriculum is interdisciplinary. It provides a common core curriculum and the opportunity to pursue depth in a related area of interest: global health policy and systems; society, culture, and human health; and the science of disease and wellness.

As a global health major, you’ll take 32 credits in core courses including:

  • Global Health 101: Introduction to Global Health
  • Global Health 301: Global Health Field Experience
  • Global Health 401: Biosocial Approach to Global Health
  • ANTH 208: Medical Anthropology
  • BIO 151: Principles of Biology: Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity
  • BIO 256: Biostatistics or SOC 350: Social Statistics or PSYC 350: Behavioral Statistics
  • HIST 292: History of Medicine
  • HP 255: Epidemiology and Human Disease Prevention
  • POLS 330: Global Health Politics and Policies

In addition, you’ll take at least 16 credits from one area of concentration:

  • Science of Disease and Wellness
  • Global Health Policy and Systems
  • Society, Culture, and Human Health
  • Foundations of Public Health


4+1 Bachelor's to Master's Degree in Public Health with University of Iowa

Luther College and the University of Iowa College of Public Health have partnered to create a 4+1 Bachelor’s to Master’s Degree Program in public health. Students who take advantage of this program will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree plus a master’s degree in public health in five years.

6 female students in masks, wearing nursing uniforms.
Three people stand in front of a sign that says
Luther’s global health program provided the foundation and encouragement that ignited my passion for pursuing a career in public health. Upon graduating, I secured a position as a health equity coordinator for a non-profit organization serving immigrants and refugees across Iowa. I am directly contributing to improving health outcomes and advocating for the well-being of marginalized communities in the state of Iowa.
Samantha Dzangare ’23
Global health major
Kelao Charmaine Neumbo
What has been most rewarding about studying global health has been the opportunity to engage in discussions aimed at improving awareness of the socioeconomic and political impacts on health.
Kelao Charmaine Neumbo '22
Mara Wood
Solutions to health crises must be looked at through a multidimensional, holistic lens. While working in the field postgraduation, we must keep in mind the social determinants of health (SDH), or non-medical factors that impact health, when planning treatment. The global health major at Luther has prepared me well for this.
Mara Wood '22

Careers and Outcomes

As a global health graduate, you’ll be qualified to become a:

  • Health program coordinator
  • Policy analyst
  • Employee with a domestic or international health organization

You can also pursue a master’s degree in public health, global health, or another health-related field. Or you might choose to attend a doctoral program.

With or without further study, you’ll be prepared to help alleviate the growing worldwide shortage of skilled health workers.

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