The McGill Global Health Starter Kit

You have your classes, your books, your syllabi, but what about global health? We have you covered!

Step zero: What is global health?

Global Health is drawing a lot of interest but what exactly is global health?  In a nutshell, global health aims to reduce health inequities and achieve health for all. McGill Graduate Clara Kuk created a children's book (see below) turned website on global health and equity called Explain Global Health to me! She also wrote about this in McGill Perspectives on Global Health. For a more scholarly perspective, the paper Towards a common definition of global health gives a good starting point to understand the field. To go further, the McGill Library has a handy subject guide on global health. Looking for something a little less academic? Past McGill Global Health Program Director Dr. Madhu Pai curates lists of essential books and movies on global health!

Step one: Know what's going on

With all the information students receive from McGill, finding global health news, events, and opportunities can be hard. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter and we'll send you the latest global health news from the wider McGill community every three weeks or so. We want to inform you, not spam you! You can also follow us on social media. We are on Twitter and Facebook as well as on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. Also, since you are already here, you can explore what's available on the McGill GHP website!

This way, you won't miss important information on Global Health Scholars, Global Health Night, and other opportunities and events.

Step two: Get involved

There are over 250 student clubs at McGill and many of them are involved in global health. See a partial list and be sure to look for them at Activities Night in September and January. Depending on your program, your student association may have a global health committee as well. Fun fact: student groups can apply for funding from the GHP office! Finally, you can be on the lookout for our volunteer calls throughout the year.

Semi-useful fact, we know someone who started their global health career by getting involved with an NGO student chapter!

Step three: Add global health to your curriculum

If your goal is to make global health part of your degree or part of your electives, you can look beyond the PPHS 511 - Fundamentals of Global Health course to over 50 global health-related credit courses offered. You can explore our list of McGill global health-related credit courses.

Although McGill doesn't currently offer a degree program specifically in global health, if you are in the process of choosing a major or a program of study, it is possible to study global health at McGill. Some programs will offer a global health concentration while others can be a segway to learning about global health from a new angle. See our directory of relevant degree programs.

Also, suppose you are thinking of doing thesis work for your graduate studies. In that case, you can find Faculty members or research groups whose research is on the global health topic of your choice and look into the department(s) they are affiliated with.

Step four: Consider international experiences (optional)

If you are planning to travel to gain global health experience, we have a guide to help you prepare. Not able to travel? Contrary to popular belief, you can gain global health experience without stepping on a plane (see previous steps).

Step five: Say hi!

If you have questions about global health at McGill that go beyond this starter kit or, if you are curious about who is behind the GHP office, feel free to reach out!


Before you leave, some things to consider

The field of global health has a complicated history with not-so-squeaky-clean roots that still have an influence to this day on how it is taught, researched, and practised. Several voices, including some at McGill, have spoken up to rethink global health. Former McGill Global Health Programs Director Dr. Madhu Pai gives a few ideas on how the field can change. Does this mean that McGill students should not get involved in global health? Absolutely not! We do think that knowing the dynamics at play in the field is essential to any future global health player and we hope that's you!

    McGill GHP Logo (McGill crest separated by a vertical bar from a purple globe and a partial arc with "McGill Global health Programs" in English & French)

McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous Peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg Nations. McGill honours, recognizes, and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which peoples of the world now gather. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous Peoples from across Turtle Island. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

Learn more about Indigenous Initiatives at McGill.

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