New Major in Global Health

Undergraduates at UC San Diego can now pursue a bachelor of arts in global health—an increasingly popular new field of study and urgent social concern. Launched fall 2014, the interdisciplinary major in the Division of Social Sciences is a first for the University of California system, as was the global health minor that preceded it.

“The program balances pragmatic, real-world experience with theoretical, analytic and critical skills,” says Tom Csordas, chair of the anthropology department and program director. “We aim to offer students a comprehensive introduction to the ‘hard’ and ‘flexible’ sciences that together make up the emerging field of global health.”

Csordas believes students are excited about the program because it affords them many different avenues following graduation: from work in various health or policy agencies, to advanced study in medical or graduate school.

Just like the global health minor, an important component of the bachelor’s degree is a global health field experience comprised of 100 hours of work at a research, service or clinical site. For the bachelor’s degree, that fieldwork will culminate in a senior thesis, which students present at the program’s annual Horizons of Global Health conference—slated this year for May 29 and focused on understanding the Ebola epidemic not only as an epidemiological event, but also as a social and cultural imperative.

Learn more and support the program at