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Thursday, June 08, 2023

STEM Major Spotlight: Global Health

Explore the many aspects of the healthcare system!

Not sure if you want to go to medical school? Are you interested in both bioscience and social science and not sure which to pursue? Becoming a Global Health major could be the right move for you!

Laura Stockhausen, a current junior majoring in Global Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says the major provides students, pre-med or not, with a deeper understanding of the healthcare field.

“Global health allows me to look at the healthcare system as a whole, not just one aspect or field of it. I am able to learn preventative care, individual level care, systemic functions of the healthcare system, etc,” Stockhausen said.

The Global Health major focuses on improving health equitably for all people worldwide. However, while a lot of people may think “global” in Global Health refers to an international aspect, it actually addresses the issues spanning geographic and socioeconomic boundaries. It focuses on disease and illness prevention, as well as addressing root causes of health challenges around the world. 

The major can be found within the bioscience and public health program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). 

Students will study human health and well-being through population-level and planetary health perspectives. You will learn how to quantify health challenges, compare and contrast health and environmental conditions, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary initiatives and use socioeconomic frameworks to characterize health challenges. 

Stockhausen says learning and understanding global health, and all its facets, is more crucial now than ever as it provides insight on where systemic health issues stem from. 

The coursework students are required to take contains core classes, such as Chem 103/104, Bio 151/152 and Stats 371, while also allowing students the freedom to fill additional credit requirements with courses they find relevant, interesting or compatible with their career path. 

Stockhausen, who is pre-med, has been able to major in Global Health while still fulfilling the requirements necessary to get into medical school. 

“You have that flexibility to choose classes that interest you, fit your career path and go outside of the normal biology or chemistry pathway,” Stockhausen explained. 

The careers global health students are able to go into post-undergraduate are flexible, as not all require graduate school. Students can choose careers from a doctor to a community development worker to a data analyst/researcher. 

Stockhausen is currently deciding between getting her doctorate or becoming a public health analyst, a person who creates efficient solutions to health problems and conducts research to expand and improve current health programs. 

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If you are looking to gain a better understanding of the healthcare system, become more involved in disease biology, food systems, epidemiology or public health and policy, then check out the Global Health major here!

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