Volume 87, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Undergraduate public health and global health studies are usually found at universities with graduate programs in the disciplines. Following the experience of teaching a short course in global health within the liberal arts, we reviewed global and public health offerings at 50 liberal arts colleges for the 2009–2010 academic year. Forty-two percent had a track, concentration, or program, and 30% had global or public health student organizations. All colleges listed at least one course in the fields, with the highest number in the social sciences. However, many colleges had not coordinated them into a theme. Values of a liberal arts education are found in the study of global and public health: social responsibility, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and knowledge of the wider world. We propose identifying these programs within the undergraduate liberal arts as global public health. Capturing interest in global public health will enhance the curriculum and student experience.

In this day and age, when the world is so fluid with regard to news and information, the knowledge that unnecessary deaths are occurring and that health care lags so far behind in some regions cannot be ignored. From the standpoint of basic human rights, suffering and inequity cannot be tolerated.


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Supplementary PDF

  • Received : 09 Sep 2011
  • Accepted : 31 Mar 2012
  • Published online : 02 Jul 2012

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