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The Major Program

The Global Disease Biology (GDB) major offers students the opportunity to study disease and its relationship to the health of people, animals, plants, and the environment. The program uses an integrated approach to advance student understanding of the concept(s) of disease, the societal and personal impacts of past, present and future diseases, and the science behind disease discoveries, causes, evolution, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The program recognizes the interconnectedness of people, animals, plants, and the environment and aims to identify and address the fundamental causes of poor health around the world. Managing global disease problems requires a multifaceted, holistic approach to address the full spectrum of human, animal, plant, and environmental health risks (also known as a One Health approach). Throughout a series of core courses, issues related to human, animal, and plant health, along with tools available to solve these problems, will be introduced to provide students with real-world scenarios in which they can apply and advance their creative and critical thinking skills. The major prepares graduates with the knowledge, leadership skills and experiences required to excel in professions associated with global health, the environment, food safety and security, biological safety and security, and health policy. For more information, see http://gdb.ucdavis.edu.

The Program. The Global Disease Biology major provides students with broad preparatory scientific course work, global disease biology core classes, flexibility in upper division electives, and a strong research experience. Global Disease Biology core classes are intended to be transdisciplinary and focus on concepts that cut across human, animal, and plant diseases offering a unifying ecological and quantitative perspective on disease.

Students plan their chosen emphasis of study as part of a required discussion course and in consultation with their adviser. Students will draw from many undergraduate courses currently offered on disease and health in a way that compliments the core courses required for the Global Disease Biology major. The major includes a senior research project, which each student designs to bridge the disciplines of the major.

Internships and Career Alternatives. The program and interests of each student in solving societal problems guides students to a range of internship and career choices. On and off-campus internship opportunities are available in research laboratories, in field situations, with governmental agencies, with private industry, and in international programs. A degree in Global Disease Biology prepares students for careers in research, teaching, governmental regulation, health care industry, or agriculture (food safety/ food security) as each relates to disease and health of people, animals, and plants. Students in the major gain research experience and may choose to continue their training at the graduate or professional level in a variety of biological disciplines. Careers in medicine, veterinary medicine, and plant pathology are open to Global Disease Biology majors.

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Updated: March 22, 2017 10:38 AM