Courses of Study 2020-2021 
    Oct 26, 2021  
Courses of Study 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Global & Public Health Sciences

In the Division of Nutritional Sciences College of Agriculture and Life Sciences .



In addition to the major requirements outlined below, all students must meet their college graduation requirements:

Public health is the prevention of illness and promotion of wellness in communities, both large and small. The Global & Public Health Sciences (GPHS) major teaches the tools of public health research and action. The major is intended for students who are motivated to identify health problems in communities and implement actions that will protect or improve the lives of large numbers of individuals, and is especially appropriate for students who wish to pursue advanced study that would lead to leadership positions in governmental or non-governmental organizations that deal directly with current and emerging health concerns in the U.S. or internationally. In addition to completing core courses in public health, global health and epidemiology, students take a minimum of one advanced course in each of the areas of Social & Behavioral Health, Biological Aspects of Public Health, Environmental Health, and Health Policy & Management. Additionally, majors are required to complete a minimum of three credit hours of supervised experiential learning in a laboratory or community setting. This major is offered by the Division of Nutritional Sciences . More information about this program can be found on the Division of Nutritional Sciences  page, which includes descriptions of all of the majors that are offered.

Major Requirements

The requirements listed below pertain to all students matriculating in August 2020 and January 2021.
All of the following sections (1-19) are required to be completed to graduate.
Overall Credits (REQUIRED):
  • Total: 120 credits
  • Agriculture and Life Sciences: 55 credits
  • 9 credits from outside the major (anything but NS courses)

​1. Introductory Chemistry (4+ credits)

Choose one of the following:

(a) CHEM 2070 - General Chemistry I  1, 2 (F, 4 cr) AND CHEM 2080 - General Chemistry II  (S, 4 cr) (two-course sequence required for pre-health)

(b) CHEM 2070 - General Chemistry I  1, 2 (F, 4 cr) (single course not adequate for pre-health)

(c) CHEM 1560 - Introduction to General Chemistry  1 (F/Su, 4 cr) (not for pre-health)

(d) CHEM 2150 - Honors General and Inorganic Chemistry  2, 3 (F/Su, 4 cr) (not for pre-health)

1 Students may use an AP Chemistry score of 5 to place out of CHEM 2070 . However, GPHS students must take at least one semester of chemistry at Cornell—i.e., students who use AP credit toward their chemistry requirement must take an additional chemistry course (i.e., CHEM 2080 , CHEM 2150 , or other, but not CHEM 1560 ). Students interested in the pre-health track should take two semesters of chemistry at Cornell.

2 Students who take CHEM 2070  forfeit AP credit. Students who take CHEM 2150  may keep AP credit.

3 Students should only select option (d) if they are very strong in chemistry and are not considering a pre-health (e.g. pre-med) track.

2. Introductory Biology (8 credits)

Choose one of the following labs:

(a) BIOG 1500 - Investigative Biology Laboratory  (F/S, 2 cr) OR

(b) BIOSM 1500 - Investigative Marine Biology Laboratory  (Su, 3 cr)

AND choose two out of the three lecture options

(a) BIOMG 1350 - Introductory Biology: Cell and Developmental Biology  (F/S, 3 cr)

(b) BIOG 1440 - Introductory Biology: Comparative Physiology  (F/S, 3 cr) OR*

BIOG 1445 - Introduction to Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, Individualized Instruction  (autotutorial) (F/S, 4cr)

(c) BIOEE 1610 - Introductory Biology: Ecology and the Environment  (F/S, 3 cr) OR*

BIOEE 1780 - An Introduction to Evolutionary Biology and Diversity  (F/S, 3 cr)

*Cannot take both to fulfill this requirement.

3. Organic Chemistry Lecture (3-8 credits)*

Choose one of the following:

(a) CHEM 1570 - Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry  (S only, 3 cr, not for pre-health) OR

(b) CHEM 3530 - Principles of Organic Chemistry  (F only, 4 cr, not for pre-health) OR

(c) CHEM 3570-3580 Introductory Organic Chemistry (F and S, 3 cr each, must take both, CHEM 3570  alone will not fulfill the requirement) OR

(d) CHEM 3590-3600 Organic Chemistry (S and F, 4 cr each, must take both, CHEM 3590  alone will not fulfill the requirement)

*Students interested in pre-health tracks should take a two-course sequence of organic chemistry lectures (option c or d above), in addition to an organic chemistry lab.

4. Physiology (3-4 credits)

Choose one of the following:

(a) NS 3410 - Human Anatomy and Physiology  (S, 4 cr) OR *

(b) [BIOG 1440 - Introductory Biology: Comparative Physiology  (F/S, 3 cr) OR **

 BIOG 1445 - Introduction to Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, Individualized Instruction  (autotutorial) (F/S, 4cr)] OR

(c) NS 1150 - Nutrition, Health, and Society  (F, S and Su online, 3 cr)

*Pre-health students should also consider taking NS 3420 Human Anatomy and Physiology Lab (S, 2 cr).

**Cannot take both to fulfill this requirement. Can only be used to fulfill physiology requirement if not used to fulfill introductory biology requirement.

5. Biochemistry (4-6 credits)

Choose one of the following * :

(a) NS 3200 - Introduction to Human Biochemistry  (F, 4 cr) OR

(b) BIOMG 3300 - Principles of Biochemistry, Individualized Instruction  (F/S, 4 cr) OR

(c) BIOMG 3310 - Principles of Biochemistry: Proteins and Metabolism  (F, 3 cr) AND BIOMG 3320 - Principles of Biochemistry: Molecular Biology  (S, 2 cr) OR

(d) BIOMG 3310 - Principles of Biochemistry: Proteins and Metabolism  (F, 3 cr) AND BIOMI 2900 - General Microbiology Lectures  (F/S, 3 cr) OR

(e) BIOMG 3330 - Principles of Biochemistry: Proteins, Metabolism, and Molecular Biology  (Su, 4 cr) OR

(f) BIOMG 3350 - Principles of Biochemistry: Proteins, Metabolism, and Molecular Biology  (S, 4 cr)

*Students who take only one semester of introductory chemistry should talk with faculty advisors and biochemistry instructors as early as possible to determine which biochemistry course is best for them and how they may access resources for the best chance of success.

6. Global & Public Health Core Courses (14 credits)

NS 1600 - Introduction to Public Health  (F, 3 cr)

NS 2060 - Preparation for Engaged Learning in Global and Public Health Sciences  (F, 2 cr)

NS 2600 - Introduction to Global Health  (S, 3 cr)

NS 3600 - [Epidemiology]  (F, 3 cr)

NS 4600 - Explorations in Global and Public Health  (F, 3 cr)

7. Supervised Experiential Learning in Global & Public Health (variable credit)

Approval required. May be completed anytime from spring semester sophomore year onward. Must be largely completed before the fall semester of senior year.  This experience may be obtained through one of several options, including (but not limited to):

  • Global Health Summer Programs (India-NS 4060 , Tanzania-NS 4630 , Zambia-NS 4631 )
  • Cornell in Washington (NS 4997 )
  • Public Health Research and Internship (NS 4060 
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension (Tompkins County and others) (NS 4060 )
  • Weill Cornell Clinical & Translational Science Center (NS 4060 )
  • Study abroad programs with a public health focus/internship (NS 4060 )

8. Social & Behavioral Health Selective (3-4 credits)

Choose one course from the following options:

NS 2450 - Social Science Perspectives on Food and Nutrition  (F, 3 cr)

ANTHR 2468 - Medicine, Culture, and Society  (S, 3 cr)

COMM 4760 - [Population Health Communication]  (S, 3 cr)

DSOC 2200  / LSP 2200 - Sociology of Health and Ethnic Minorities  (F, 3 cr)

DSOC 3020 - [Political Ecologies of Health]  (S, 3 cr)

PAM 3280  / DSOC 3280 - Fundamentals of Population Health  (F, 3 cr)

PAM 4280  / ECON 3710 - The Economics of Risky Health Behaviors  (S, 3 cr)

SOC 4120 - Health and Social Context  (S, 4 cr)

9. Biological Aspects of Public Health Selective (3-4 credits)

Choose one course from the following options:

NS 3030 - Nutrition, Health and Vegetarian Diets  (S, 3 cr)

NS 3060 - [Nutrition and Global Health]  (alt odd S , 3 cr)

NS 3150 - Obesity and the Regulation of Body Weight  (alt even S, 3 cr)

NS 4200 - Diet and the Microbiome  (S, 3 cr)

NS 4300 - Proteins, Transcripts, and Metabolism: Big Data in Molecular Nutrition  (S, 3 cr)

NS 4410 - Nutrition and Disease  (F, 4 cr)

BIOMG 4390 - Molecular Basis of Disease  (S, 3 cr)

BIOMG 4870 - Human Genomics  (F, 3 cr)

BIOMI 2600 - Microbiology of Human Contagious Diseases  (S, 3 cr)

BIOMI 2950 - Biology of Infectious Disease: From Molecules to Ecosystems  (F, 3 cr)

BIOMI 3210 - Human Microbes and Health  (F, 3 cr)

10. Environmental Health Selective (3-4 credits)

Choose one course from the following options:

DEA 2700 - [Healthy Places: Design, Planning and Public Health]  (F, 3 cr)

DSOC 3020 - [Political Ecologies of Health]  (S, 3 cr)

DSOC 3400 - Agriculture, Food, Sustainability and Social Justice  (F, 3 cr)

BIOMI 2500 - Public Health Microbiology  (F, 3 cr)

BIOMI 2950 - Biology of Infectious Disease: From Molecules to Ecosystems  (F, 3 cr)

BIOMI 4310  / BIOMS 4310 - Medical Parasitology  (F, 2 cr)

CEE 5970  / TOX 5970 - Risk Analysis and Management  (S, 3 cr)

COMM 2850  / STS 2851 - Communication, Environment, Science, and Health  (S, 3 cr)

ENTOM 2100  / BSOC 2101 - [Plagues and People]  (S, 2-3 cr)

ENTOM 3070  / TOX 3070 - Pesticides, the Environment, and Human Health  (even F, 2 cr)

FDSC 3960 - Food Safety Assurance  (S, 2 cr)

PLBIO 2100 - Medical Ethnobotany  (S, 3 cr)

11. Health Policy & Practice Selective (3-4 credits)

Choose one course from the following options:

NS 4450  / AEM 4450 - Toward a Sustainable Global Food System: Food Policy for Developing Countries  (F, 3 cr)

NS 4500 - Public Health Nutrition  (S, 3 cr)

NS 4570  / ECON 3910 - Health, Poverty, and Inequality: A Global Perspective  (even F, 3 cr)

NS 4800 - Implementation and Impact in Global and Public Health  (S, 4 cr; restricted to students in the Cornell in Washington program)

AMST 2225  / GOVT 2225  / DSOC 2220  / ILROB 2220  / PAM 2220  / SOC 2220  / PHIL 1950 - Controversies About Inequality  (F, 4 cr)

ANTHR 4458  / EDUC 4458  / FGSS 4458 - [Girls, Women, and Education in Global Perspective: Feminist Ethnography and Praxis]  (F, 4 cr)

NS 4800 - Implementation and Impact in Global and Public Health  (F, 3 cr)

DSOC 2050 - International Development  (F, 3-4 cr)

DSOC 2090  / PAM 2208  / SOC 2208 - Social Inequality  (S/Su, 4 cr)

DSOC 3020 - [Political Ecologies of Health]  (alt even S, 3 cr)

DSOC 3700  / SOC 3710 - Comparative Social Inequalities  (S, 3 cr)

DSOC 4230 - Gender and Health: Concepts, Data, Theories and Evidence  (F, 3 cr)

ECON 3740  / PAM 4140 - [Global Health Economics and Policy]  (S, 3 cr)

GOVT 3032 - Politics of Public Policy in the U.S.  (F, 4 cr)

PAM 2030 - Population and Public Policy  (S, 3-4 cr)

PAM 2350 - The U.S. Health Care System  (F, 3 cr)

PAM 3110 - Pharmaceutical Management and Policy  (F, 3 cr)

PAM 3780 - Sick Around the World? Comparing Health Care Systems Around the World  (S, 3 cr)

PAM 3870  / PAM 5870 - Economic Evaluations in Health Care  (S, 3 cr)

12. First Year Writing Seminars (6 credits)

Note: The 2 required first year writing seminar courses must be completed during the first two semesters at Cornell.

13. Communications (9 credits)

Complete 9 credits of courses in written and oral expression, at least 6 of which must be written expression. Select courses from First-year Writing Seminars and COMM or ENGL classes as per CALS distribution requirements. Note: Potential courses to fulfill this and any CALS distribution requirement may be found in “DUST.”

14. Social Sciences and Humanities (12 credits)

Complete 12 credits, including four courses of at least 3 cr each:

  • The four chosen courses must include at least 3 different categories from the following list: Cultural Analysis (CA), Human Diversity (D), Foreign Language (FL), Historical Analysis (HA), Knowledge, Cognition, and Moral Reasoning (KCM), Literature and the Arts (LA), and Social and Behavioral Analysis (SBA).
  • At least one course must be in Human Diversity (D).

15. Statistics (3-4 credits)*

STSCI 2150 - Introductory Statistics for Biology  (F/S, 4 cr)

*Must be taken at Cornell; AP Statistics is not accepted.

16. Additional Requirements (10-12 credits)

Any course with the Course Distribution PBS, SBA, KCM, MQR, LA, CA, or HA. Language courses may count here.

For example, students interested in pre-health tracks (e.g. medicine or physical therapy) could fulfill this requirement by taking required pre-health courses such as CHEM 2080 - General Chemistry II  , organic chemistry lab, and two-course sequences in organic chemistry and physics. 

17. Electives (Variable)

Any courses that are not taken in Areas 1-16 above, count as Electives.

18. Physical Education Requirement (2 courses)

Physical Education must be completed in order to graduate. However, physical education does not count toward college and university minimum credit requirements for full-time status, nor does it count towards the 120 credits required for graduation.

19. Swim Test Requirement

A successful swim test must be completed in order to graduate.


College Policies

  • 120 Overall Credits
    • Students must complete 120 credits toward graduation.
    • A maximum of 15 credits of AP credit and in absentia credit can count towards the 120 total credits.
    • 15 credits of Study Abroad/Exchange, Cornell-In-Washington, or Capital semester can count towards total electives.
    • A course can only count towards the 120 total credits required once.
    • Students who exceed the above parameters—i.e., by taking more than 15 credits in cases (a), (b), and (c), or taking a course more than once—will have their total required credits increase by the same amount, and all credits will be counted toward their GPA. For example, a student who takes a 3-credit course twice to improve their grade will then be required to complete 123 total credits, and will have both grades factored into their GPA.
  • 55 CALS Credits
    • Students must complete a minimum of 55 CALS credits.
  • 9 CALS Credits outside the major
    • Students must complete a minimum of 9 CALS credits outside of NS. These credits are given for any CALS course other than NS courses or those cross-listed with NS courses. These can be taken S/U only if the course is NOT used to fulfill a curriculum requirement.
  • Pass/Fail Courses [S/U]
    • S/U grading option may NOT be used for any required course [Areas 1-16] unless it is the only grade option offered for those courses.  
    • S/Us MAY be used for the 9 HE Credits outside the major and for electives in Area 17.
    • Students may apply no more than 12 credits of S/U towards graduation requirements. If a required course is only offered S/U, it will not count towards this limit. Students may take more S/Us if they choose, but the additional credit will not be applied towards graduation.
    • The deadline for changing grade options is the 57th calendar day of the semester, the same as the “drop” deadline.
  • Special Study Courses [4000, 4010, 4020, 4030]
    • A maximum of 12 credits of special study course work from Human Ecology or other colleges will count towards the 120 overall credits (e.g. DNS special studies course work includes NS 4000 , NS 4010 , NS 4020 , and NS 4030 ). Courses will be indicated on the class roster with a Component of either IND or RSC. [Additional credits can be taken but will not be applied.]
    • A maximum of 12 credits of NS 4000-4030 may count toward the 43 HE credit requirement.
    • A maximum of 3 credits of NS 4000-4020 (not including NS 4030 ) may count towards the 9 credits outside the major requirement as long as the special study is in a department outside the student’s major.
    • Students cannot TA (NS 4030 ) the same course for credit more than once or take and TA the same course simultaneously. NS 4030  does not fulfill any requirements towards the major.  Registration for NS 4030  may not exceed 5 credit hours per semester.
    • Students who wish to take NS Special Studies Courses must have taken and passed at least 2 S/U credits of the same course.