What Can I Do with My Biology of Global Health Major?

The major in biology of global health addresses current global health issues, at the local, national, and international levels, combining strengths from across the University in basic science and disease research with interdisciplinary work in policy, economics, ethics, law, and sociology. Though the emphasis in the major is on biology, students also gain a comprehensive perspective of how science fits in with other influences on global health. Students will take many biology courses as well as corollary work in chemistry, mathematics, and statistics, but will also explore the connections between science and society more broadly. The major also culminates in a senior thesis, allowing students the opportunity to conduct research during their undergraduate years. Study abroad is encouraged but not required within this major.

Students who major in biology of global health will be prepared to work on multidisciplinary teams towards finding solutions to global health issues. In addition, they will be well-positioned to continue their education in areas of research, medicine, and public health.

Biology of global health students will develop skills in evidence-based analysis, quantitative reasoning, and communication. Throughout your experience in the program, you will obtain the following skills:

Critical Thinking Skills

  • Interpret and critique scientific text, presentations, and primary literature
  • Structure and place understanding with appropriate references to literature
  • Speculate on meanings of data and on possible future directions
  • Ability to relate biology to other disciplines

Effective Communication Skills

  • Present scientific understanding to both scientific and general audiences
  • Speak and write precisely
  • Present scientific ideas arguing from evidence
  • Stimulate interest of audience

Research Skills

  • Design and perform experiments
  • Construct mathematical models in order to test scientific hypotheses
  • Use a variety of sources to develop questions and hypotheses
  • Collection and presentation of data
  • Construct, evaluate, and interpret both qualitative and quantitative data

You can use the examples above, and experiences from classes or research projects to enhance your resume. Try plugging in some of your experiences or skills gained into this formula: Accomplished (X) as measured by (Y) by doing (Z).

Sample Resume Class 1, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Member of Class, taught by Prof. _____

  • Developed advanced understanding of mechanisms used by bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic pathogens to replicate in hosts, transmit between hosts, and produce disease states in hosts by (insert lab work/course projects and assignments) in Infection and Immunity course 
  • Gained historical perspective on global health issues faced today (e.g. Concept X, Y, and Z), and analyzed how past epidemics can help us understand current and future outbreaks, such as that of COVID-19, by (insert course projects/assignments
  • Developed background in problem solving approaches in virology and viral disease pathogenesis using published experimental data and relevant clinical and epidemiological observations by (insert course lab work/projects/assignments) in Virology and Viral Disease course

Georgetown Alumni have taken their biology of global health degree across multiple different industries and have applied the skills they learned in biology of global health across multiple disciplines. 

Additional information about these outcomes can be found in Cawley’s Post Graduation Outcome Report

“My favorite part about studying the biology of global health was getting to be part of the amazing, close-knit biology department while also having a lot of flexibility to take classes outside biology (i.e. international courses). My major prepared me for a global pandemic! I learned skills I could apply to help COVID-19 efforts and start a career in public health & medicine.” – 2020 Georgetown College Grad, Biology of Global Health

Helpful Keywords to Improve Searches
There are lots of ways to find good keywords to help your job or internship search process, or even just to learn more about the types of jobs you can do within a specific major. One way to explore this is by checking out the job search tool on Google. 

Once you are in, type in something generic like your major and the world internship afterward. Once you hit enter, it will give you lots of options to explore, but if you want to explore titles, possible career paths, or keywords, hover your mouse over the ‘Title’ tab on the top of the page. This will give you a ton of ideas and options to explore possible keywords.

Sample Internship Opportunities

  • Government agencies/Government relations (e.g., National Institutes of Health, Institute of Biotechnology, Environmental Science, and Computing)
  • Nonprofit agencies (e.g., Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History)
  • Health care (e.g., Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy)
  • Biotechnology (e.g., Millennium Pharmaceuticals)

The Georgetown Biology Department Website is rich with additional information on studying Biology of Global Health.

GU Biology Department

Professional Associations are a great place to go to dive deeper into the field of global health and learn more about what post grad life might look like. 

Vault is a fantastic resource to learn more about specific career fields in global health. Vault has information such as salary information, work environment, education and training requirements, outlooks, and specific tips for entering into the field. 

Professors & Academic Deans
Georgetown professors and faculty members can be a wonderful resource for Georgetown students. If you are still curious to learn more about the disciplines of a specific major, we’d encourage you to connect with your professors! Outside of office hours, Georgetown has an online interface called GU360 where students can explore and connect with faculty members that are eager to mentor and support students. You can use this interface to learn more about specific department research, specialties, and areas of study within a major.  

You can also connect with your academic dean or counselor to further discuss opportunities within a given major. 

Lastly, each department has a dedicated Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). This is the individual in charge of coordinating the major program or department as a whole. You can find the Director of Undergraduate Studies by exploring the faculty and staff pages of individual departments websites.

Connecting with alumni is a fantastic way to explore a day in the life of any given major student. There are several different ways to connect with Georgetown Alums. Hoya Gateway is Georgetown’s premier networking platform which connects alumni and students to have meaningful conversations and build a strong network of support. This is a platform alumni opt into with the sole purpose of supporting current students, which means there is an extremely high response rate. 

You can also utilize LinkedIn to connect with Georgetown Alum. A simple alumni search on Georgetown’s LinkedIn profile will help you get connected to approximately 130 thousand alumni, which you can then filter to meet the location, major, industry, or skills that you are interested in exploring.

You can also check out our Post Graduation Outcomes to learn more about what Georgetown alumni in specific majors are up to after graduation. We survey our seniors at the end of each year and into the following year to learn about jobs they secured, service opportunities they committed to, or graduate schools they decided to attend. You can filter by first major to get an idea of what life after Georgetown looks like. You’ll see in many cases that alums are using majors in a wide variety of ways, and your major doesn’t always equal your career path. 

Career Center Staff
You can also connect with career center staff to talk through the possible outcomes of one major over another. In short, there are endless opportunities no matter what major you choose. However, connecting with someone might help you navigate your decision making process a little bit easier. 

At the career center, you have the opportunity to meet with either a Career Exploration Counselor or an Industry Advisor. Career Exploration Counselors can help you talk through concerns, goals, the big picture, and strategies to move forward. You can think of them as generalists and a great place to get started. Industry Advisors can help you think through specific questions about a given career path and provide specific industry information and trends. You can think of them as specialists for once you start to narrow down your possible path. If you think an appointment with one of these individuals would benefit you, you can make an appointment on Handshake.

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