Moresky is incredible and passionate about global health, and in this course you will learn directly from world experts. Moresky makes a real effort to make what could be a dry topic into an enjoyable class, largely through her sort of infectious excitement about it. The guest lecturers are the bulk of the course, and 90% of them were fantastic. The course exposes students to a huge variety of topics, so it's always something new, and will likely speak to you in some way. I wish more of the public health courses were like this, and less about the tedium of statistics and systems. Several short responses, a group project, a midterm, and a final. If you pay attention to the broad strokes, you're solid. I didn't find any of the readings all that helpful. The exams had several writing prompts, and you pick a few to write about. The group project was actually enjoyable with my group, and you can pick what topic you want to cover. The TAs were alright.
I thought I was going to love this class, but by the end it was a drag. I learned quite a bit about public health, and we had a fantastic guest lecture by Chelsea Clinton (who has an MPH). Many of the other guest lecturers (almost every class is led by a different expert) were incredible as well, although because they were all guests it didn't really come together into one cohesive curriculum. The TAs and professors were pretty unhelpful when it came to understanding the material. My classmates made up for it by being kind, insightful, and amazing, and making this class bearable. The reading, I felt, was also too specific and medical (diagnoses for different illnesses) to be really relevant for me (a poli sci major). I also felt that the course is really geared towards people who want to pursue careers as an MPH or MD (both the profs are physicians). Except for the pop quizzes, I found the reading unhelpful. I also thought that having both a final and a final project was too much.
This is a class I would recommend to anyone who has any potential interest in medicine, global health, or an interest in how the global health system (or lack of) ties into politics and international relations. Overall it is an easy class and you could probably get away with a B by just going to the lectures and not taking notes. Personally I enjoyed this class A LOT! There were different guest lecturers every class (except for two or three where the professors gave lectures) which really showed how vast the field was, and while you don't really get to go that deep in each subject because of the short time frame for each, the lecturers are always glad to stay back a few minutes and have a discussion, and so are both professors. The TAs and professors are always willing to answer questions or meet outside of class and they really make an effort to get to know students and become more approachable. The professors are both very knowledgeable and their work abroad is inspiring. It's a class that made me want to learn more about medicine and health and my place in it.
The best professor I've had at CU. He is so enthusiastic and NICE. He legitimately cares about his students. Of the three assignments we had, I turned in two of them late and he graded them normally. The readings for this class are absolutely amazing (Frankenstein, The Argonauts, Never Let Me Go, a few fantastic medical anthropology pieces) and while you could get away without doing them, I always prioritized them – simply because they are worth reading and discussion is worth participating in. He took us out for beers etc for the last class and is really just such a homie. Also open invitation to shadow him at the emergency department at CUMC (where he is an attending). Super reasonable grader. Not easy A, but an A is possible.
This class was every reason why I came to Columbia for grad school. I mean, where else would you get the pleasure to be taught by classroom filled with people who have worked (and who continue to work) at the top ranks in some of the most high-profile and devastating emergencies: Rwanda, the Congo, the Asian tsunami, etc, etc.? Do a quick Google search on each of the five professors and you'll see what I mean. The course is broken down into themes: Water and Sanitation, Nutrition, Health/Communicable diseases, Reproductive Health, Humanitarian protection and Human Rights and Psychosocial interventions. Each of these themes is taught by an expert professor, with the help of PowerPoint, case studies and class discussions. The profs obviously try their best (and succeed) in making this course a positive learning experience and genuinely want us students to succeed. The environment is pleasant and friendly. Sometimes the class was really quiet, but perhaps that was because it was a 9 am class... Take it if you can - you won't regret it. You'll definitely come away feeling more aware of what's going on in the world, and you'd thank yourself for it. If you ever dreamed of being a humanitarian aid worker and have wondered what it's like to be out there on the field, experiencing poverty, disease and conflict first-hand, you MUST take this course (even if it doesn't count towards your "concentration" requirements). You owe it to yourself. And as long as you do everything that you're supposed to do, it's not that hard to do well (though I didn't manage to get an A... totally bombed the op-ed and one of the quizzes... yeah, I'm horribly disappointed, but that doesn't detract from the fact that this is a gold-star class).