Global Health, Medical Humanities, and Human Rights

Why do around 24,000 infants and children in developing countries die daily from preventable diseases?

Explore what makes us sick, what keeps us healthy, and what it would take to give good health the upper hand in both developing countries and here in the U.S.

Inside the Classroom

Students in the classroom learn why over the last century, clean drinking water, modern sanitation, and good nutrition—along with the development of highly effective vaccines and antibiotics—have increased average Western life expectancy by an unprecedented 35 or more years. However, the benefits of public health have yet to be extended to many of the poorest nations in the developing world who critically need improved access to economic opportunities, medical care, and improved public health infrastructure.

Students will learn through research, class discussion, and readings why globalization makes humans more vulnerable than ever before to disease outbreaks from any part of the world, and that the health of any one nation now increasingly depends on the health of all nations.

Outside the Classroom

Connect what you learn in class through various experiential learning opportunities outside the classroom. Students attend lectures by public and global health leaders, meet Richmond alumni working in the public health field, connect with the global health club members, and attend programs and events.

A component of the class is community-based learning (CBL). Students will engage in weekly service-learning at one of several different sites in the Richmond community over the course of 15 hours in the fall semester. The CBL sites are:

Students will also take community trips to Grundy, VA and the Dominican Republic to see public health issues firsthand.

Research and Capstone Project

Over the course of the fall semester, students conduct research on a variety of global and public health issues, culminating in a research paper on one topic due at the end of the fall semester. During the spring semester, students work in groups with their classmates to create a capstone project and subsequent presentation to the University community on a global or public health issue.

Past capstone project topics have included:

  • Comparing health care systems around the world
  • Mental health care in developing countries
  • Sexual health policies in developing countries
  • Economic and health costs of unnecessary treatments
  • Importance of clean water in developing countries
  • Effects on clean water in Appalachia