Community and Global Health Concentration

The Community and Global Health (CGHL) interdisciplinary concentration enables students to broadly explore the determinants and consequences of individual and community health, critically examine relevant global, national, and local policies and programs, learn theories and methodologies important to the study of public health, and gain and apply practical skills through community-based courses and projects, internships, study abroad, and/or research. Coursework and experiences in the concentration emphasize the importance of structures and systems that shape wellness, longevity, disease, and disability, and their disproportionate distribution across gender, race, class, sexual and gender identity, nationality, statelessness, incarceration or documentation status, and place of residence. With an emphasis on our collective and individual responsibility to advance health equity, the concentration prepares students, as engaged members of their communities, to recognize the spectrum of contemporary global health issues and to exercise intellectual and practical skills in response. It also prepares students interested in careers in public health or human, dental, or veterinary medicine and the allied health professions for graduate and professional school.

Please contact Alison Geist, CGHL Director, 100 Dewing Hall,

Required Core:

CGHL120Epidemiology This course provides students with the fundamental concepts, skills and perspectives of epidemiology and epidemiological thought and introduces some of the major issues and challenges in global and community health today. Students will learn and apply epidemiological methods.
CGHL210Contemporary Issues in Public Health This discussion-based introductory survey explores contemporary issues, theories, and methods in public health. We use the social determinants of health framework to examine critically how race, gender, age, environment, class, and access to culturally appropriate health services have historically and dynamically shaped the heath of communities and persons, as well as their influence on the "the modern plagues." Student work emphasizes and will further develop skills in collaboration, critical thinking and reasoning, cultural humility, the application of theory to practice, and written and oral communication in diverse media.
CGHL593Senior Individualized Project A small number of students may do SIPs in the concentration each year, but are encouraged to work with faculty advisors in their major.

Four additional electives, at least one chosen from each of the following three categories below.

Please note: that while we make every attempt to compile a list that is comprehensive and accurate, not every course is offered every year, and new courses may be added from time to time without enough notice to be included here. Students should check with the Registrar, individual departments, and their advisor as they plan to complete the concentration.

Natural sciences and quantitative reasoning

  • ANSO 212 Quantitative Analysis
  • BIOL 322 General and Medical MicrobiologyBIOL 360 Immunology and Human Health
  • MATH 105 Quantitative Reasoning & Statistical Analysis
  • MATH 260 or 261 Applied Statistics or Biostatistics (preferred)
  • MATH 360 Applied Statistics II
  • PED 210 Nutrition
  • SEMN 207 Global Health and Social Justice

Public policy

  • ECON 225 Economics of Development and Growth
  • ECON 235 Environmental and Resource Economics
  • ECON 265 Issues in Urban Economics
  • ECON 290 Health Economics
  • POLS/WGS 265 Feminist Political Theories (cannot count towards both social/cultural determinants & public policy elective)
  • POLS 270 The European Union: Institutions, Actors, Aliens, and Outcomes
  • POLS 310 Women, States, and NGO’s
  • POLS 330 Politics of the Holocaust
  • POLS 380 Drugs, Democracy, and Human Rights
  • POLS/SEMN 406 Male Violence Against Women

Social and cultural determinants of health

  • ANSO 210 Medicine and Society
  • ANSO 225 Sex and Sexualities
  • ANSO 295 Understanding Violence
  • ANSO 245 Qualitative Methods
  • ANSO/SEMN 255 You Are What You Eat (check with your Advisor to see if this “counts”)
  • ANSO 310 Social Research for Social Change
  • ANSO 325 States, Bodies, and Epidemics
  • ANSO 350 Political History of Western Environmental Thought
  • PHIL 305 Biomedical Ethics
  • PSYC 211 Adolescent Development
  • PSYC 270 Feminist Psychology of Women
  • PSYC 295 Health Psychology
  • PSYC 424 Drugs, Addiction, and Behavior
  • PSYC 495 Advanced Psychology of Sexuality
  • PSYC 441 Psychology and the Law (when it has a service-learning component)
  • SPAN 205 Cultures of Health and Disease in Hispanic Communities
  • SEM 408 -01 (and lab, 408-02) Slow Farming

Experiential requirement

CGHL requires students to incorporate at least one immersive public health experience into their concentration. When CGHL 210 is offered as a service- learning seminar, it fulfills this requirement. Otherwise, students must seek community-based learning experiences, approved in advance by the director/s that will count towards this requirement. Examples that may be approved include health-related service-learning courses. ICRPs abroad, SIPS, internships and community-based research with an explicit public health focus, employment within a public health field; and/or certain Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) programs at K. Clinical experiences –e.g. working in a doctor’s office or hospital — may or may not count, depending on context. The CCE has built many health-related community partnerships in Kalamazoo, and offers a limited number of paid, six-week summer Community Building Internships with local organizations, many of them in health fields.

To fulfill this requirement, students may also be required to write a reflection or essay that combines their experience and a scholarly literature review to explicitly demonstrate connections to and learning about community and global health, in particular the social determinants of health.