Begin main content

Undergraduate Coursework


Global Health Minor

The new minor in Global Health offered through the UCLA International Institute starting in fall of 2015 is built upon a growing interest at UCLA for global health academic coursework and training, and the foundation in global health education established by the UCLA Blum Center's Poverty and Health in Latin America cluster course. UCLA Blum Center Director Michael Rodriguez, MD, MPH, serves as Chair of the Global Health Faculty Committee for 2015-16, and the faculty leadership of the Global Health minor reflects interdisciplinary collaboration across campus: Family Medicine, Health Policy and Management, Political Science, and World Arts and Cultures/Dance.

The minor in Global Health allows students to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of health issues in a global context. Through a broad inventory of courses, the minor in Global Health provides a solid foundation in, and familiarity with, social determinants of health, epidemiology, environmental health, nutrition, data collection, and evaluation methods. Students undertaking the Global Health minor explore the institutional, economic, logistic, legal, and social challenges facing global health solutions, investigate the health implications of globalization, as well as address issues of social justice and development, which are crucial to understanding the determinants of health issues around the world. 

For more information about the Global Health minor, visit the website or contact Magda Yamamoto, Academic Counselor, UCLA International Institute Academic Programs at


Poverty and Health in Latin America course: 2012 - 2015

The Poverty and Health in Latin America course was a yearlong course offered as part of UCLA's Freshman Cluster Program, was funded and directed fully by the UCLA Blum Center, and has served as a foundation for creating the UCLA Global Health Minor. The cluster course focused on helping freshmen develop an understanding of the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age influence their health and access to health care. The course examined health inequities in Latin American countries and communities in a multi-disciplinary approach,  based upon the social determinants of health including sex, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, poverty, religion, governance, politics, and foreign policies. During the academic year, students in this class learned the conceptual framework of interrelationships between social determinants of health in Latin America and become familiar to the science of health, including epidemiology, environmental health, nutrition, data collection, and assessment methods. Introductory medical public health articles and articles from other fields exposed students to current methods of conducting scientific research. The articles formed the basis for discussions on basic scientific methodology, uncertainty and related implications of scientific work.

Syllabus topics included:

  • Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Health in Latin America
  • Geography, Demography, and Linguistics
  • Historical Context: From Antiquity to the Modern Era: Sociological Context: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity
  • Cultural Context and Political Science, Shifts to the Left
  • What is Health and How Is It Measured?
  • Behavioral and Biological Factors and Psychosocial Factors
  • Material Circumstances: Living and Working Conditions, Food Availability, etc.
  • Healthcare Systems
  • Poverty/Socioeconomic Position: Education, Occupation, Income
  • How Governance and Macroeconomic Policies Influence Health
  • How Social and Public Policies Affect Health
  • How Migration Impacts Health in Latin America
  • The Impact of Urbanization on Health in Latin America