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Global Health Minor

Global Health Minor

The health of peoples of the world is influenced and determined by factors as diverse as gender, race, ethnicity, political priorities, socioeconomic status, climate, geography, accessibility and acceptability of care, and cultural and religious traditions.  The M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing recognizes this and as such created the Global Health Minor aimed at educating students about these factors and the inter-disciplinary response to addressing global health challenges.

The Global Health Minor is congruent with the Mission and strategic plan of the University and the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing’s goals to emphasize a curriculum with a “global perspective and respect for differences among peoples and cultures[i]"  and to educate individuals “for service to a diverse society including all sectors and strata of the population.[ii]"


The Minor is open to all undergraduate students and is meant to expose students to a basic understanding of global health issues drawing upon the expertise that Villanova University has to offer. 

All students who want to participate in the Global Health Minor must meet with their Academic Advisors to discuss their course of study to assure the student is able to meet all requirements.  Once you and your Academic Advisor have agreed you are able to meet all requirements of the Minor, please fill out the Global Health Minor Application (located at bottom of page) and submit it to the Director of the Center for Global and Public Health.

No more than one elective transferred from another University can be applied toward the Global Health Minor. Transfer credits from a study abroad semester while a student was enrolled at Villanova University will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

Minor Requirements

The minor consists of 15 credits which includes required and elective classes.  There are no specific prerequisites other than those specified for some of the elective courses.

Required courses: 3 courses (3 credits each)

NUR 7090: Planetary Health for Global Populations (REQUIRED: Offered every Fall Semester)

Complete 2 of the following:

  • NUR 7070: Nutrition and Global Health (Offered Fall Semesters)
  • NUR 7084: Principles of Epidemiology (Offered Spring Semesters)
  • NUR 7088: Human Trafficking (Offered Spring Semesters)
  • NUR 7091: Global Perspectives for Climate Change and Health (Offered Spring Semesters, asynchronous on-line)

Courses at the 7000-7999 level are graduate courses open to qualified undergraduates. Enrollment in these courses requires approval by the College of Nursing. Students with sophomore standing entering the minor are expected to complete elective courses at the 1000-6999 level prior to entry into 7000-7999 level required courses in the junior and senior years.

Elective Courses: 2 courses (3 credits each)

Elective courses come from a range of disciplines across the University.  Students may choose any 2 courses from the approved list**. The 2 courses may not come from the same department. Students are encouraged to tailor the elective courses toward their professional interests and goals. Ellectives require approval of the Global Health Minor Advisor.

In addition, a student may choose to do a guided study (3 credits), in lieu of one of the elective credits and work with underserved populations domestically or internationally.  Students are encouraged to pursue a study in their professional field. Some examples include: a nursing student wishing to work with an immigrant population in Philadelphia, a political science student wishing to pursue a health policy experience in Washington D.C., or an engineering student participating in a water project in a developing country.       

It is the student’s responsibility to develop an independent study in collaboration with an advisor who will guide their study. The experience must be approved by the Global Health Minor advisor** before it commences.  Students may use projects they are already working on in their field of study as long as it addresses a global health issue and is pre-approved by the minor’s advisor.

Independent Study Requirements

All independent studies require the following:

  1. Written set of objectives before the experience commences done in collaboration with and approved by their advisor for the experience.
  2. An academic “presentation” of the experience. Presentations may be a written paper, a document for publication, a presentation to fellow students & faculty,  poster at an conference, presentation to a community group if the project was aimed at the group (with faculty oversight), etc. Students are encouraged to be creative in their presentation. The presentation must include objectives and statement of problem, population(s) affected, intervention, outcomes, challenges, and other relevant information.   
  3. An experience that entails a minimum of 40 hours working on the project. 
  4. On-site orientation, training, and supervision by a designated person in the agency if a student is placed with a community organization or agency.
  5. An academic advisor who will oversee the student and provide guidance. This advisor should be a faculty member who can most appropriately guide the student in their course of study.  The advisor must approve the project and the style of presentation before the experience commences. The advisor does not need to be the Global Health Minor Advisor.
  6. Preapproval by the Global Health Minor Advisor.

The experience may be:

  1. Full-time academic study abroad program, internship, volunteer service experience.
  2. Local, national or international in nature.
  3. Research, clinical, or practice based.

The student must register for an independent study to receive credit. For example:

  • NUR 7087 Field Study in International Nursing or NUR 4902 Guided Study in Nursing.
  • Independent study within the student's academic department.

**The Global Health Minor Advisor and an updated list of approved courses appears on the College of Nursing Website, under the Center for Global and Public Health link.

Approved Elective Courses for Global Health Minor
GHM Application


Catherine R. Curley, PhD, RN
Interim Director, Center for Global and Public Health and Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing
M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue, Room 388
Villanova, PA 19085

Sandi Schultz
Research, Innovation, and Global Health Initiatives Coordinator