Weinberg to offer adjunct major in global health studies at start of 2017-18 academic year

Allyson Chiu, Campus Editor

Beginning Fall Quarter, students will be able to declare adjunct majors in global health studies, the University announced.

The adjunct major comprises 11 courses: seven in global health — four core classes and three electives — and four in related classes outside global health, said anthropology Prof. William Leonard, director of the global health studies program.

The adjunct major was created due to the popularity of the minor, which now has around 300 students enrolled each year, vice president for international relations Dévora Grynspan said. Student demand has been a driving force in the growth of the global health studies program, Grynspan said.

“We created a program from the ground up as it were,” Grynspan said. “It was not that the University or the administration said, ‘This is an important topic, we should have something.’ We created a program basically due to student interest and student demand.”

Rather than allowing the major to stand alone, it was established as an adjunct major because global health studies is an interdisciplinary field, Leonard said.

The area of study requires students from diverse educational backgrounds because global health issues are not just related to medicine, but encompass culture, gender, public policy and the environment, among others, Leonard said.

“These are problems that are not going to be solved by expertise in one particular area,” he said.

Grynspan said the minor has been successful in attracting students from all undergraduate schools. The purpose of creating an adjunct major was to preserve the program’s interdisciplinary nature and continue to draw students from different fields of study, she said.

Medill junior Alex Furuya, a journalism and statistics double major, said he has been pursuing the global health studies minor since his sophomore year.

Although he does not have enough time left at NU to declare the adjunct major, Furuya said the creation of the major shows people are recognizing the importance of studying global health.

“It’s really exciting and I’m just jealous of the underclassmen and incoming students who get this opportunity,” he said. “Global health is very important and from even just the minor itself I’ve gained so much insight.”

Although students already minoring in global health who choose to pursue the major do have to take additional courses, the program’s faculty and staff are working to make the process as “straightforward as possible,” Leonard said.

To help students graduate on time, the major’s core classes will be offered each quarter and priority will be given to seniors, Leonard said. Additionally, there is an overlap between required courses for the major and the minor, so students who are minoring might have already completed some of the major’s requirements, he said.

Grynspan said she does not think the additional courses will deter students from declaring the adjunct major. By adding classes, she said the program will better prepare students to do research and work abroad.

“The students really want to make a difference,” she said. “They really want to have an impact abroad and we really want them to be well prepared to do that.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @_allysonchiu