Application Requirements

Global Health is a competitive minor and not every student who is interested and in turn applies will necessarily be admitted. Students will be admitted into the minor at the start of the fall semester of each calendar year and must be at least fifth semester standing at the time of commencing the minor. Ideally, students should apply for the minor in the spring semester of their sophomore year. It is critical that students begin this process of developing their global health study plan early, because of the fieldwork requirement that is necessary for all Global Health minor students to graduate and because many of the elective supporting courses have lower level prerequisite courses.

The department anticipates admitting up to approximately 20 - 25 students each academic year.

Successful applicants must:

  • Have declared a major field of study (students from any department or college in the university are eligible to apply)
  • Be enrolled at the University Park campus
  • Be willing to plan, fund (fully or partially), and engage in substantial field work experience, either internationally or domestically

Students will be selected for admission based on their academic experience and achievements, the perceived extent to which they will benefit from completing the GLBHL minor, the perceived extent to which they can contribute to the learning of the whole GLBHL minor cohort, and their level of personal and professional maturity and discipline (necessary to ensure the successful completion of the fieldwork component of the minor). A faculty committee selects each cohort of students.

Students are notified of the selection committee’s decision in writing through their Penn State email in late March.


Students may not self-enroll in the minor via Lionpath. They must formally apply and then be accepted into the program. Applications are distributed following a meeting with the Global Health minor director and include the following materials.

  1. Global Health Minor Application package (from the Global Health Program director) that consists of three parts:
    1. Application form
    2. Personal statement and short essays
    3. Proposed plan of study
  2. Résumé
  3. Copy of Penn State transcript
  4. Two Global Health Minor Recommendation Forms (from the Global Health Program director) completed by faculty members, advisers or other professionals who are familiar with your career/life goals, academic aptitude, personal characteristics and strengths, etc.

During the application review period (i.e. mid-February to mid-March), students may be called to attend a personal interview.

To obtain a copy of the Global Health minor application materials, as well as guidance in tailoring their proposed global health study plan to their own individual interests, goals and schedule, students must meet with the minor director. To schedule a thirty minute advising appointment, contact the staff of the Department of Biobehavioral Health at 814-863-7256. Please DO NOT telephone or email the minor director directly.

Prior to meeting with the Global Health minor director, students are strongly advised to first attend an on-campus Global Health Minor information session.

Application Deadline

All completed applications for the 2017-18 academic year intake must be submitted both by e-mail and in hardcopy (two copies) to the minor director by February 15, 2018. Incomplete and late applications will not be reviewed.

In preparing your application for the Global Health minor, please pay careful attention to the following submission instructions. Failure to do so may result in your application being screened out as being incomplete.

Submission Instructions for the Global Health Minor

Please forward all application materials to:

Dana Naughton, Ph.D.
Director, Global Health Minor Program
The Pennsylvania State University
Department of Biobehavioral Health
127 Biobehavioral Health Building
University Park, PA 16802