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Frequently Asked Questions

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Declaring and registration questions

How do I learn more about the adjunct major/minor?

Schedule an appointment with a Director of Undergraduate Studies. Prof. Peter Locke advises students with last names beginning with A-M, and Prof. Noelle Sullivan advises students with last names beginning with N-Z. In this meeting, you will discuss the requirements of the adjunct major and minor and learn about opportunities in global health.

How do I declare an adjunct major/minor?

To declare, make a declaration/advising appointment. During this meeting, you will obtain a signature on a declaration form and discuss program requirements and opportunities. Afterwards, deliver the form to the WCAS Office of Undergraduate Studies and Advising on 1922 Sheridan Road.

When should I declare the adjunct major/minor?

Ideally, students should declare before the end of their sophomore year. However, due to high demand for global health classes, it is in the student’s best interest to declare as early as possible so they have the advantage of pre-registration.

What does it mean that the Global Health Studies major is an “adjunct major”?

This simply means that students can only do the Global Health Studies major as a second major. Students must have a declared primary major in order to declare the Global Health Studies major. 

What are the requirements for completing the Global Health Studies adjunct major?

Students must complete eleven courses and study abroad on a health-focused program – find out more details on the adjunct major here.

Do I have to be a certain major in order to do the Global Health adjunct major/minor?

There is a misconception that the adjunct major and minor are only for pre-medical students. This is absolutely not true. We have students across all disciplines and schools!

Are there any prerequisites that I need to complete before taking any Global Health Studies courses?

Generally there are no pre-requisites. However, because many of our elective classes are cross-listed with other disciplines, students may have to fulfill pre-requirements as determined by affiliated departments.

I am not a Global Health Studies adjunct major/minor; can I take any Global Health Studies courses?

Yes, you may. However, Global Health Studies adjunct majors/minors have the advantage of pre-registration. Our classes tend to fill up quickly due to high demand.

How do I register for classes?

You can enroll in Global Health Studies classes during the pre-registration and/or normal registration periods each quarter. Declared majors and minors have the advantage of being able to pre-register. Due to high demand for GHS classes, you may not be able to participate in all desired classes per quarter. Waitlists are collected for all classes, and open seats are filled in order..

What should I do if I find a course that might count as an adjunct major/minor elective?

Courses at the 300-level with public health content are regularly approved and added to the official list of electives. Email Global Health for approval.

Global health study abroad questions

I am a Global Health Studies adjunct major/minor, but studying abroad does not fit into my academic schedule. What should I do?

Studying abroad is a requirement of the Global Health Studies adjunct major and minor. Students unable to study abroad cannot graduate with the adjunct major or minor.

Do I have to choose a Northwestern public health study abroad program? Can I attend a non-GLO or non-Northwestern program?

While it is highly recommended, the international study requirement does not necessarily have to be fulfilled through a Global Learning Office (GLO) program. However, the student’s chosen program must fulfill program requirements as deemed by the program director. More details on what a successfully-petitioned program looks like can be found here. To propose a non-NU affiliated program, please complete this form.

How many elective credits will I receive abroad?

Students can receive up to two elective credits while they are abroad. At least one elective must be taken on campus for the minor, and at least two electives must be taken on campus for the major. 

Which programs fulfill the international experience requirement?

The Northwestern GLO programs applicable to the Global Health Studies requirement are:

Students can also choose from NU-affiliated direct-enroll programs that offer public health coursework. More information on those programs can be found here.

Global health research, external opportunities, and career questions

I want to do global health research. What are the first steps?

What sorts of careers might my Global Health Studies adjunct major/minor lead into?

Global Health Studies adjunct majors/minors enter into a variety of disciplines, including healthcare consulting, management, policy, education, community practice, and research. It is a very fluid degree that is applicable to many professions.

Some of our alumni are working at the Clinton Global Initiative, Accretive Health, Riders for Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Memorial Hospital, and the Erie Family Health Center.

Pre-medicine and pre-health students can receive additional guidance from Health Professions Advising (HPA), and others can utilize the career guidance and resources provided from Northwestern Career Advancement (NCA).

I don't want to go straight into the workforce. What other options do I have in global health post-graduation?

  • Teach health education abroad through international volunteer/internship programs such as ProWorld, Cross Cultural Solutions, Global Service Corps, and the Foundation for Sustainable Development
  • Apply for a fellowship, e.g. Fulbright, Peace Corps, Public Health Corps
  • Volunteer work: Find examples of public health affiliated NGOs.
  • Conduct research abroad funded by fellowships/scholarships: Check out the Northwestern Office of Fellowships for advice on these opportunities.
  • Graduate school
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