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To access all of the latest advising policies, procedures, and forms referenced below, visit WCAS's advising page.

Global Health Studies academic year advising in 2023-2024 will be conducted remotely either over email or via Zoom by default, though students may request in-person appointments. Please allow 24 business hours for a response to any email requests.

Information on each domain of academic advising can be found below:

Declaration of adjunct major or minor

Review the adjunct major requirements and minor requirements.

If you do not have any questions about the Program in order to declare, you may simply complete the major or minor declaration form and email it to the GHS Assistant Director, Greg Buchanan. He will virtually sign the form and submit it for processing. 

If you would like to change your minor to an adjunct major or vice versa, complete the appropriate form above and email Greg.

If you would like more information on the program and its requirements, you may contact Greg for more information.


Confirming/correcting student records in CAESAR

If there are inconsistencies in your CAESAR degree progress report dealing with approved courses/electives not populating correctly, email the GHS Assistant Director, Greg Buchanan.


Petitioning a non-GHS elective

If you are petitioning for a course that has not already been pre-approved as a GHS elective to fulfill a degree requirement, email the course title and description (and syllabus, if it better illustrates the global/health connection) to your DUS (Locke for last names A-K, Rodriguez for last names L-Z)

Courses that are not on the pre-approved list but that we’ll consider for global health electives must generally have a significant health component to them, and must be taken at the 200- or above level (that is, 2nd year or more advanced undergraduate courses). While there are several courses out there that topically may relate to health (for instance, on race, ethnicity, community, sexuality, environment), courses that focus on these topics but don’t relate them to health or consequences for social determinants of health are less likely to be approved.

Note that students may only count one 200-level course as an elective credit. All other electives must be taken at the 300- or advanced undergraduate level. While during pandemic times we were sometimes approving students to take additional GHS courses as electives, starting in Winter 2023, all student electives must be taken outside of the GHS program, with the exception of pre-approved independent study courses GHS 399.


Petitioning to graduate

Petitions to graduate can be completed following these instructions from the Registrar. The DUS will receive an email that they will review and sign electronically. 

If your CAESAR record needs any adjustments prior to submitting your petition, see  the above section "confirming/correcting student records in CAESAR" for instructions.


Northwestern or Northwestern-affiliated study abroad advising

The requirement for study abroad as part of the degree requirements for GHS has been waived, and is now optional. If you're interested in studying abroad, as you’re planning your study abroad experience – whether you’re researching program options, determining possible courses to complete, or have questions about financial aid – you should start by meeting with the Global Learning Office (GLO). The DUS is generally unable to answer these kinds of questions, and GLO has numerous resources available to help you decide programs of interest, or to tell you about timelines and programs other GHS students have pursued.

Head to the Global Learning Office’s website to make an appointment.


Non-Northwestern or unaffiliated study abroad advising

Students interested in a non-Northwstern/unaffiliated program should start this process by meeting with the Global Learning Office, as they can assist students in identifying program options. 

Generally, the GHS criteria for non-NU or non-NU-affiliated study abroad programs are as follows:

  1. The program is primarily course-based. In most cases, internships or volunteering are not eligible for course credit. Exceptions are for internships that have a significant course requirement with a minimum amount of contact hours accompanying the internship.
  2. Suggested courses are health-related, broadly construed.
  3. The courses in the study abroad program are region or area-specific, in that they’re specifically about the place where the student will undertake the study abroad, rather than general courses that don’t teach about the specific context. Courses should provide a deep dive into the context where a student studies.

Once you have met with GLO to discuss options, and have decided on a program and courses, it is a good idea to meet with the DUS to discuss your plans before going abroad. In such cases, email the DUS with documentation outlining the program you want to go on (with links to information provided), and the courses you propose taking. The DUS will let you know whether the program is likely to be approved for transfer elective credit (up to 2 electives can be counted towards your GHS degree). Overall, it is best to start this advising process with GLO early on, so that there is sufficient time for the DUS to review your proposal before you go abroad.


Transfer of non-Northwestern affiliated study abroad courses

Upon return from a non-NU affiliated study abroad program, once you have your transcript, you will need to petition to have your courses transferred to your NU record. Submit your information via a petition process, as well as accompanying documentation per the petition instructions. If the DUS has any questions, you will be contacted. If not, the DUS will return your form with signature within 1 week of receipt. 

Transfer of elective health-related courses taken at another institution

Some students opt to take an additional health-related class outside of Northwestern or a study abroad program in order to transfer the elective credit to count for the GHS adjunct major or minor. Courses students want to take at another institution must be pre-approved by the DUS in order to be counted towards the GHS degree, must meet the criteria above “Petitioning a non-GHS elective” (200 level or above, must have substantial health component), must follow all Registrar and Weinberg policies relating to transfer credit, and upon completion of the course along with the transfer petition the student must provide an official transcript along with a syllabus for the course. Courses taken at the 100-level, that do not have a substantive health component, or that have not been pre-approved by a GHS Director of Undergraduate Studies may not be counted for transfer credit for the GHS degree.


All other advising

Questions that don’t fall into the above categories should be directed to GHS Assistant Director, Greg Buchanan.