Global Health Technologies Minor
Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health Technologies collaborates with a number of departments to offer Rice undergraduate students a minor in global health technologies (GLHT) through the Beyond Traditional Borders (BTB) initiative – a unique, multidisciplinary program to educate and train students to reach beyond traditional disciplinary and geographic boundaries to understand, address and solve global health disparities. With complementary contributions from the humanities, social science, policy, bioscience, and engineering programs at Rice, the GLHT minor prepares students to integrate diverse perspectives as they develop solutions to the complex problems of global health, using the formal approach of the engineering design process.
Advances in biotechnology and bioengineering are transforming how disease is detected and treated, and have led to significant advances in health over the last 50 years. Developing countries, however, have largely missed out on the gains in health enjoyed by the rest of the world, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic has greatly increased the complexity of health challenges faced by the world’s poorest regions. With the GLHT minor, BTB aims to create future leaders who can develop effective solutions to significant world health challenges. Many students pursuing the GLHT minor – having been trained to develop and implement appropriate biotechnology and bioengineering solutions that integrate scientific, engineering, health, policy and economic data perspectives – enter careers in medicine, public health, public policy, and international development.
Students begin the GLHT minor sequence (five core courses and two elective courses) in a multi-disciplinary gateway course. GLHT 201: Bioengineering & World Health provides an overview of the scientific, economic and policy issues associated with biotechnology and bioengineering advances required to address global health needs. Subsequent minor sequence courses foster a command of specialized knowledge relevant to the development of technologies appropriate for resource-constrained settings. Students conclude the GLHT minor with a common capstone course which enables them to benefit from one another’s major area proficiencies. GLHT 451/452: Global Health Design Challenges requires multidisciplinary teams of students, mentored by interdisciplinary faculty teams, to work together in a two-semester course to develop a solution to an international health challenge.
Requirements for Minoring in GLHT
Students must complete five core courses. In addition to the core course sequence, students must complete a science/engineering elective course and a humanities/social science elective course.
Core Course Sequence
§ GLHT 201 Bioengineering for Global Health Environments
§ GLHT 360 Appropriate Design for Global Health
§ GLHT 361 Metabolic Engineering for Global Health Environments
- or -
PSYC 370 Introduction to Human Factors & Ergonomics
- or -
SOCI 345 Medical Sociology
- or -
SOCI 381 Research Methods
§ GLHT 451/452 Global Health Design Challenges
All core courses will be offered each year: GLHT 201, PSYC 480, SOCI 381 and GLHT451 in the fall and GLHT 360, GLHT 361, SOCI 345 and GLHT 452 in the spring. The sequence indicated is the required sequence, as pre-requisites do apply. Prior to enrollment in the capstone course GLHT 451/452, students must successfully complete all other GLHT minor core course requirements, although electives may be taken concurrently. There is no requirement to initiate the GLHT minor in the freshman year. It can be initiated as late as the junior year (beginning of the 5th semester). It will be possible for students to receive credit for GLHT minor courses that also fulfill a requirement within their major.
Six (6) credit hours in elective courses, three (3) in science/engineering and three (3) in humanities/social science, are required from the following approved course lists:
Science / Engineering Elective Courses
| BIOC 324:
|| Microbiology and Biotechnology
| BIOC 331:
|| Biology of Infectious Disease
| BIOC 364:
|| Pediatric Global Health
| BIOC 372:
| BIOC 450:
| BIOC 460:
|| Cancer Biology
| BIOE 498:
|| Biomems & Medical Devices
| BIOC 540:
|| Metabolic Engineering
| BIOS 588:
|| Advanced Cell Biology
| BIOE 598:
|| Biomems & Medical Devices
| CEVE 314:
|| Sustainable Water Purification for the Developing World
| CEVE 434:
|| Fate and Transport of Contaminants in the Environment
| CEVE 484:
|| Environmental Risk Assessment and Human Health
|| Medical Chemistry I
|| Medical Chemistry II
|| Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
|| Mobile Device Applications Project
|| Environmental Health
|| Global Health Technology Independent Study
|| Technology Commercialization in Dev. Ctys. for Engineers
|| Data, Models, and Reality: An Intro to the Scientific Method
|| Intro to Statistics for Biosciences
| GLHT 510:
|| Seminar in Tropical Medicine
Note: Independent studies in other majors can be counted toward your elective requirements, but topic must be related to global health and approved in advance by your minor advisor
Humanities / Social Science Elective Courses
|| African Pre-History
|| Medical Anthropology
|| Biotechnology, 1900 to now
|| Medical Communications
|| International Development
|| World Economics & Social Development
|| Health Economics
| ENGI 307 :
|| Communication in Traditionally Structured Societies
|| Medical/Technical Communication
|| Literature and Medicine
| ENGL 273:
|| Medicine and Media
| FWIS 170:
|| Perspectives on Global Health
|| Representation, Healing, and the Body
|| Principles of Public & Community Health
|| Foundations of Health Promotion
|| Theory & Models of Health Behavior
|| Planning & Evaluation of Health Promotion
|| Seminar on International Health Problems
|| US/UK Comparative Healthcare
|| History of South Africa
|| Poverty & Social Justice in Latin America
|| The Making of Modern Africa
|| History of Human Rights
|| Health & Welfare During Industrialization
|| The Philosophy of Medicine
|| Ethics, Medicine, and Public Policy
|| Medical Ethics
|| Health Policy
|| The Shaping of Health Policy
|| Beliefs & Health
|| Methods in Human-Computer Interaction
|| Health Psychology
|| Introduction to Human Factors and Ergonomics
|| African Myths & Rituals
|| Poverty, Justice & Human Capabilities
|| Medical Sociology
|| Immigration & Public Health
|| Inequality & Health across the Life Course
|| Pharmaceutical Politics & Policy
|| Healthcare Reform in the 50 States
|| Healthcare - Competition & Managed Care
|| Language & Culture of Medicine and Healthcare
|| Poverty,Gender, & Development
|| Feminist Economics
How do I declare the GLHT Minor?
Undergraduate students wishing to pursue the GLHT minor need to submit i) two (2) completed copies of the Minor Declaration Form (available on Esther) and ii) a completed Undergraduate Student Fact Sheet to the Beyond Traditional Borders office in BRC174D. These documents will be filed with BTB and a copy of the signed Minor Declaration Form will be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.
Do I need to declare the minor to take GLHT courses?
Most GLHT minor courses are open to all Rice students, including those not pursing the GLHT minor, with the exception of GLHT 360 and the capstone course GLHT 451/452 which is restricted to students completing the GLHT minor.
In addition for GLHT 360, students are required to submit an application statement of 250-word statement explaining their interests in and reasons for taking the course. Application statements can be submitted via email to email@example.com to gain instructor permission to register for the course. Preferential admission to GLHT 360 will be given to students who indicate they are seeking to complete the GLHT minor course of studies.
What do I need to do for advising each semester?
Each semester, during the class registration and advising period, students pursuing the GLHT minor will need to meet with an Undergraduate Advisor (listed below) and fill out a GLHT Advising Form (corresponding to the year the minor was declared). The signed and completed GLHT Advising Form is to be returned to the Beyond Traditional Borders office (BRC174D), where it will be kept on file. Throughout the year, students may also meet with the Minor Advisor (listed below) for additional information and feedback regarding completion of the GLHT minor.
|Minor Director and
| Rebecca Richards-Kortum
| Undergraduate Advisors
|| Elias K. Bongmba
|| Maria Oden
| Minor Advisor
|| Veronica Leautaud
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the latest the minor sequence be started?
I'm not a science or engineering major, can I really complete the minor successfully?
What is the experience like in Global Health Design Challenges GLHT451/452? Do you really work with bioengineering students?
Yes, you really do work with bioengineering students all year, and it's wonderful.
Though GLT minor students might not have the same background as the seniors in bioengineering, the projects are such that every team member has plenty to contribute. Knowledge about disparities in international healthcare is just as valuable as experience with milling machines or tissue engineering. Most bioengineering students haven't worked on a design team before, either, so the playing field is much more level than it appears at first. Because the entire team learns new things together as the year progresses, the final design is truly a collaboration of everyone's efforts - my senior design project was by far the most challenging and rewarding experience of my time at Rice.
(Contributed by Katy Miller, B.A. History & English, Rice '09)
How flexible is the minor sequence?
GLHT201 must be successfully completed before applying to enroll in GLHT360.
GLHT451/GLHT452 must be taken in succession, after completion of all other GLHT minor core course, and can only be taken within the senior year.
Can I take any elective courses I wish to meet the GLHT minor elective requirement?
Students must complete two elective courses from the list of approved courses found on the BTB website and on the GLHT Advising Form. Students are to take one Science/Engineering elective and one Humanities/Social Science elective to complete the GLHT minor elective requirements. Designation of an elective course as “Science/Engineering” or “Humanities/Social Science” is based upon which school is offering the course; e.g. a statistics class offered through the sociology department is considered a Humanities/Social Science elective.
If I'd like to take an elective that is not on the list, how do I get it approved?
Students can petition the GLHT minor advisory committee to include a new elective on the approved list by emailing their request, with a course syllabus attached, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow 2-4 weeks for the committee to render a decision and for the change to be reflected within the GLHT minor.
I want to stay involved with my GLHT course design project once the semester ends, how do I do that?
Students can mentor teams working on future iterations of a project they have worked on in GLHT courses. Students may also prepare a continuing project proposal and apply for GLHT 400 (Independent Study). In either case, you should contact the GLHT minor advisor and Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum to explore these options.
When is the best time to go abroad and not interfere with completing the GLHT minor?
Fall of your junior year, if the minor sequence was started prior to that, or during any summer semester.
Can I make Global Health Technologies my major?
We discourage students from pursing a Global Health Technologies independent area major. These students are encouraged to pursue an existing area major and the GLHT minor instead. Only in extraordinary cases will the GLHT minor advising committee consider supporting a proposal for an independent area major in Global Health Technologies, i.e. when a student cannot achieve their educational objectives by pursing an existing major and the minor.