Student Engagement

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For Undergraduates

Global health presents multifaceted problems that need multidisciplinary solutions.  HGHI provides opportunities to Harvard undergraduates to think critically and creatively about global health challenges through experiences in the classroom, in research, and in experiential learning opportunities across the University and the world.  Students learn to work in a global community through interactive and student-driven workshops and can work directly with Harvard faculty during summer research and experiential learning opportunities. HGHI has also partnered with student organizations, other centers and institutes on campus, and other offices to facilitate unique opportunities for learning for students. It will take leaders from all disciplines and sectors to solve global health problems; HGHI is helping prepare the next generation of practitioners and leaders in global health.  Click here to learn more about ways to engage in global health beyond the classroom.

HGHI Internships Program

Learn about HGHI’s 2021 Interns

The Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI) offers returning Harvard undergraduates in good standing the opportunity to participate in summer research and internship placements on the Harvard campus as well as across the world. These opportunities connect classroom knowledge and skills to the complex issues in the field. They range from placements in laboratories and research groups, to field work with hospitals and community health clinics, to office-based internships with NGOS and international organizations. 

HGHI Undergraduate Courses

Confronting COVID-19: Science, History, Policy

Led by Allan Brandt and Ingrid Katz, this Gen Ed course “Confronting Covid 19: Science, History, Policy” will run in Fall 2020.

The ongoing Covid-19 epidemic presents an important opportunity for Harvard undergraduates to observe closely–utilizing a range of methods and approaches–this world-changing, historic episode and to analyze scientific, social, and political elements of the US and global responses.   

A number of scholars in the social sciences and humanities have deployed to investigate epidemics and patterns of health and disease through the exploration of how societies respond to and explain epidemics.  

The course will assess essential characteristics of contemporary scientific knowledge, medical practices, as well as deeper social structure and inequalities, policymaking, and values and ethics related to COVID-19.   

This will provide an opportunity for undergraduates at Harvard to deepen their understanding of a contemporary crisis as well as to explicate a wide range of disciplinary methods and skills.

WATCH Full Recordings of the Course Below

HarvardX: Confront COVID-19 on YouTube

Each course lecture will be recorded, captioned, and made available in the YouTube library over the course of the semester.

General Education and Global Health

Global health courses fulfill a number of requirements for the Harvard College Program on General Education (Gen Ed). The Gen Ed Program seeks to “connect a student’s liberal education – that is, an education conducted in a spirit of free inquiry, rewarding in its own right – to life beyond college.” General Education courses can be a great way to provide an introduction to global health concepts; Gen Ed courses have no prerequisites and can be taken by students at all levels.  Indeed, the foundational courses for the Secondary Field in Global Health and Health Policy are all part of the Gen Ed curriculum, and are an ideal way for students to begin a series of courses in global health topics.

Undergraduate students at Harvard College must complete one letter-graded course in each of the eight categories in General Education. Courses related to global health can be found in all eight categories:

  • Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (AI)
  • Culture and Belief (CB)
  • Empirical and Mathematical Reasoning (EMR)
  • Ethical Reasoning (ER)
  • Science of Living Systems (SLS)
  • Science of the Physical Universe (SPU)
  • Societies of the World (SW)
  • United States in the World (US/W)

Secondary Field in Global Health and Health Policy

The Global Health and Health Policy Secondary Field (GHHP) encourages students to explore interdisciplinary health challenges. Through a curriculum that encourages experiential learning, students can engage complex themes from a variety of perspectives. For example, areas of focus might include: accountability and governance, exploring the role of the state versus transnational organizations in global health; the risk of pandemic diseases and their economic and psychological impact on populations; the consequences of political change in a country’s health (e.g. post-Soviet Union); or the challenges resulting from complex emergencies and vulnerable populations in fragile states.

The natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities all contribute to the study of global health and health policy. Students may explore any one of a number of topics ranging from interdisciplinary health problems and social determinants to a concentrated focus on social responses, such as health systems and health policies.

Check out the blue book on the GHHP website for a comprehensive list of global health courses at Harvard.

Over the past five years, 546 students have completed the secondary field in Global Health and Health Policy, making it one of the largest secondary fields at the College. Students combine GHHP with over 40 concentrations, the most common of which are listed in the chart below: 

Here is a complete list of courses in global health and health policy that meet the secondary field requirements.

HGHI Global Health Ambassadors

The mission of the HGHI Global Health Ambassadors (GHA) is to build a community and idea-sharing space for undergraduate global health groups at Harvard. The GHA aims to support cross-disciplinary collaboration and communication among student groups and promote the exchange of resources, such as publicizing events, sharing contacts, and offering advice. Read more here about our 2020 GHA’s. This space provides undergraduates with opportunities to be involved with and to help inform HGHI’s work, especially on issues that affect student experiences. It also provides a platform from which students can learn about HGHI-supported opportunities (such as global health summer internships and courses) and request support for their own student-led projects and initiatives.


The SAC provides undergraduates with opportunities to be involved with and to help inform HGHI’s work, especially on issues that affect student experiences. It also provides a platform from which students can learn about HGHI-supported opportunities (such as global health summer internships and courses) and request support for their own student-led projects and initiatives.


  • Attend meetings, which occur monthly during the academic year: September, October, November, February, March, and April
    • The monthly meetings are required for SAC representatives, but are open to all
    • A substitute should attend if the SAC representative cannot attend

  • Share student group activities with SAC and seek relevant support from HGHI when needed
  • Share activities/opportunities/events discussed at SAC back with respective groups
  • Send a representative to SAC collaborative events, such as the Global Health Visitas event in the spring and the Global Health Open House in the fall.

Meet with us!

Are you interested in global health? Are you hoping to get more involved on campus but don’t know where to start? If so, talk to a Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI) Student Ambassador! We’re always happy to talk about global health classes, internships, research opportunities, and more. Feel free to schedule a virtual “coffee chat” with us or email us directly if you have any questions. We look forward to meeting you!

Allison Tu

Let’s meet!        


Hi! I’m Allison, a sophomore from Kentucky concentrating in Psychology with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. I’m passionate about global mental health and I’m happy to chat about classes, research, or anything else. In my free time, I love knitting and baking. Feel free to reach out about anything!

- Student groups: Student Mental Health Liaisons, The Food Lab for Kids, Peer Health Exchange, Harvard Knitting Circle, Partners in Health Engage

- Outside experiences: Internship with a mental health research group in India, youth mental health advocacy

- Research: Impacts of COVID-19 on mental health at HMS 

Anthony Zhong

Let’s meet!


Hi! My name’s Anthony and I’m a senior from Ottawa, Canada studying History and Science with a secondary in Government. I’m always happy to talk about classes, research, internships, volunteering, and pre-med requirements (also love giving pep talks) so please feel free to reach out!

- Student groups: Harvard Undergraduate Global Health Forum, Harvard Global Health and Leadership Conference, Institute of Politics Policy Program, Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program

- Outside experiences: Health law internship at Greater Boston Legal Services, summer study abroad in South Africa

- Research: Nutrition policy research at HSPH

Ashley Cooper

Let’s meet!


Hi! I’m Ashley and I’m a senior in Quincy House, originally from New Jersey, joint concentrating in Neuroscience and Social Anthropology, with a Secondary in History of Science and a Language Citation in French. I’m an aspiring physician-public servant, interested in the History of Medicine and Psychiatry. I also love to sing, act, and write. I’m very passionate about mentorship, volunteering, health accessibility, art as a form of care, and destigimizating mental health, so please never hesitate to reach out. Looking forward to talking with many of you soon!

- Student groups: Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC), Harvard Global Health and Leadership Conference, Indigo Peer Counseling, Harvard Medical Humanities Forum, Science Club for Girls Mentoring, Mellon Mays Fellowship, Public Service Representative

- Outside experiences: Writer for Ariana Huffington’s Thrive Global; Summer Study Abroad in Paris; Service Trip for FIMRC to Restauracion, Dominican Republic

- Research: fMRI Research on depression, anxiety, and family history of mental health diagnoses at McLean Hospital (Silveri Lab); fMRI and clinical research on schizophrenia and pre-psychotic symptoms in College students at MGH (Holt Lab)

Hana Kiros

Let’s Meet!


Hi! My name is Hana Kiros. I’m a Junior living in Pforzheimer House originally from Tallahassee, Florida. I’m happily concentrating in Integrative Biology with a secondary in Computer Science. I’m passionate about using therapeutic gene editing to develop treatments for currently untreatable disorders, and about ensuring that improvements in healthcare reach every region in the world, regardless of their development level. The thought of being pre-med has never crossed my mind, so if you sense you’re more interested in impacting global health through research rather than clinical work, let’s talk! Also, as someone who had a rough time adjusting to Harvard, I’m always open to chat about finding your way in this wonderful, but sometimes intimidating place.

- Student Groups: Harvard University Black Health Advocates, The Harvard Crimson, Association of Black Harvard Women, IOP Fellows and Study Groups

- Outside experiences: Internship with Library of Congress analyzing COVID data, Freelance journalism, Oslo Scholar Fellowship w/ Human Rights Foundation

- Research: Off-target effects of gene editing research at Massachusetts General Hospital, Urban biodiversity and environmental justice research in Harvard’s Organismal and Evolutionary Bio Dept, PRISE

Harrison Ngue

Let’s meet!  


Hi there! My name is Harrison, and I am a sophomore in Cabot House from Los Angeles, CA planning to study Biomedical Engineering. I absolutely love science (pretty much all fields of it) and have always hoped to connect this passion with a career in medicine. I realize that despite how far healthcare can and will advance, people across the world do not have equal access to it, so I strive to help find solutions to these issues. In my free time, I enjoy puzzle-solving, playing the clarinet, animating, teaching, and cooking. 

- Student groups: Harvard Undergraduate UNICEF Club, HealthPALs, GAMI, Chinatown Citizenship

- Outside experiences: Creative Researcher for UNICEF’s Global Development Commons

- Research: Post-transcriptional gene regulation in quiescent cancer cells at Massachusetts General Hospital

Izzy Kakala

Let’s meet!


My name’s Izzy and I’m a junior in Eliot House (best house) studying Integrative Biology with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. I’m an aspiring orthopedic surgeon and I am interested in sports medicine, epidemiology, and health economics and financing. I’m happy to talk about being pre-med, finding research opportunities, consulting/finance, traveling, or anything at all!

- Student groups: Harvard MEDLIFE, FIMRC, Harvard University Consulting for Business and the Environment, Institute of Politics Policy Program

- Outside experiences: Internships with Project N95 and Project Concern International, healthcare consulting at HBS

- Research: Nutrition policy research at HSPH, health economics research at HSPH

Joanne Hokayem

Let’s meet!  

Hello! My name is Joanne Hokayem, and I am a Junior in Mather House. I’m originally from Cleveland, so I’m used to the cold Boston weather. I’m concentrating in Neuroscience with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy and a citation in French. I have many interests, ranging from neuropsychiatric disorders to immunology and infectious diseases to global health policy developments. In my free time, I love taking walks by the Charles, eating ice cream, and cooking pesto pasta. 

- Student groups: Harvard Undergraduate UNICEF Club, HealthPALs, FIMRC (Costa Rica), IOP Citizenship Tutoring Program

- Outside experiences: Boston Children’s Hospital Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator

- Research: HIV research with Ragon Institute (in South Africa), Neuropharmacology lab at Mclean’s Hospital 

Sadia Demby

Let’s meet!          


My name is Sadia and I’m a junior in Kirkland House concentrating in Social Anthropology with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. I’m happy to talk about global health opportunities at Harvard, pursuing individual projects abroad, working with U.S. government health agencies, and being pre-med at Harvard with a non-STEM concentration. Feel free to reach out and chat about any and everything! 

- Student groups: Partners in Health Engage, HealthPals, Institute of Politics Policy Program, AAI Medical Humanities Fellowship 

- Outside experiences: Internships with Partners in Health, Dep. of Health and Human Services, Dep. of State, and nonprofit work

- Research: Health and social justice, health systems strengthening in sub-Saharan Africa, and urban politics and landscapes

Soy Choi

Let’s meet!


Hi! My name is Soy Choi, and I am a sophomore at Harvard College pursuing a concentration in Biomedical Engineering with a secondary in Economics. My hometown is Melbourne, a pleasant beach town on the east coast of Florida. I have an interest in policy research, educational equity, and economic analyses in the field of bioengineering! In my freetime, I enjoy playing golf and tennis with friends and family. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions!

- Student groups: Harvard Undergraduate Council, Harvard Student Agencies, Harvard Global Health and Leadership Conference Board, Institute of Politics STEAM Program, Harvard PERIOD, Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program, Harvard Crimson, Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra

- Outside experiences: Internship with Florida Democratic Party and public service organizations with focus in educational equity

- Research: Cyber Security policy research at Harvard Kennedy School, Nutrition policy research at HSPH

Suuba Demby

Let’s meet!

Hi everyone! My name is Suuba and I am a junior in Kirkland House studying remotely from Potomac, Maryland. I am concentrating in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a secondary in Energy and Environment. My interests surround infectious diseases as well as the impact of climate change on health and economic development. Happy to talk about classes, outside research or work experiences, non-profit work, volunteering, reaching out to professors or any other topics! 

- Student groups: CrimsonEMS, Harvard Black Premedical Society, Harvard Y2Y Homeless Shelter, MCB Diversity Task Force

- Outside experiences: Summer study abroad in Italy, non-profit work in epidemiology and youth     empowerment

- Research: Girls education policy research at HKS 

Tanisha Martheswaran

Let’s meet!


Hi! I’m Tanisha, and I’m currently a junior in Adams House from Utah concentrating in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology with a Secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. I’m an aspiring physician scientist interested in ophthalmology and neuroscience! I’m passionate about research, service, and youth education. Feel free to reach out to talk about campus orgs, volunteering, the pre-med life, research opportunities, internships, or anything at all! 

- Student groups: CrimsonEMS, Harvard Undergraduate Synapse Chapter, Harvard College Undergraduate Research Association (HCURA), Harvard SHARC, Peer Advising Fellow (PAF)

- Outside experiences: Internship with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in the Health Care Workforce Center (HCWC)

- Research: Neuro-ophthalmology research at Boston Children’s Hospital, Stem Cell research at Harvard Medical School, Clinical Research in Ophthalmology, Healthcare access research at the Mass DPH

Note: The HGHI Summer Research and Internships Program is administratively run by the Global Health & Health Policy (GHHP) Secondary Field. Please visit the GHHP website for more information.