Issues dealing with health and disease have extraordinary reach into the wide diversity of sciences that make up modern biology. The Major in Biology of Global Health (BGH) addresses current public health issues, at the local, national, and international levels, combining strengths from across the University in health and disease research with interdisciplinary work in policy, economics, ethics, law, and sociology. BGH majors will gain a thorough understanding of both the science behind health concerns and the societal issues that impact them. Students will gain disciplinary understanding and skills in critical analysis, evidence-based reasoning, and synthesis of ideas. The broadened perspectives and applied curriculum reinforce the Jesuit qualities of character, conscience, and citizenship.

Students begin their studies as Biology Majors and declare as Biology of Global Health majors in the fall of their sophomore year. 


The BGH major includes coursework in the basic sciences, including genetics, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, evolution, ecology, mathematics and computational sciences. In addition, students integrate perspectives from policy, economics, ethics, law and sociology (see program description for details). Many students choose to minor (or even double major) in a different discipline. 

Other campus programs

The Biology of Global Health major (BGH) complements other programs on campus, specifically those in the School of Foreign Service emphasizing policy aspects of global health issues and in the School of Nursing and Health Studies with a directed focus on human health issues through both the Human Sciences and Global Health majors.

Career Paths

The Biology of Global Health major will prepare students for graduate education in research, education, medicine, law, policy and public health as well as prepare students to become leaders in the search for solutions to global health challenges. Current majors are involved in a wide range of activities including laboratory research, policy internships, study abroad, medical internships, and educational work. 


As with all majors in the Department of Biology, Research Tutorial (for juniors) and the RISE program (for seniors) allow students to gain independent research experience during their undergraduate years.