Anthropology of Health focuses on the anthropological study of how health and well-being are shaped, experienced, and understood in light of global, historical, and structural forces.

Medical Anthropology and Global Health

Medical anthropology draws on social, cultural, biological, and linguistic anthropology to better understand factors that influence health and well-being (broadly defined), the experience and distribution of illness, the prevention and treatment of sickness, healing processes, the social relations of therapy management and care, and the cultural importance and utilization of pluralistic medical systems. 

The program in Medical Anthropology & Global Health is designed to appeal to students who are interested in gaining a strong theoretical foundation in medical anthropology and instruction in empirical analysis of a range of global health issues.

Our interdisciplinary approach to health and healthcare seeks to raise the analytic rigor offered to students, challenging them to develop robust theoretical and empirical skills in order to act on contemporary health challenges. 


Bachelor's Degrees (BA or BS)

The Department of Anthropology offers both a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. The BS degree is more specialized and requires more math and science courses. Both degrees offer a strong foundation on which to build a professional career.

Master's Degree (MAA)

The Master of Applied Anthropology (MAA) is designed for students interested in careers outside of academia and for those who plan on continuing to a Ph.D. The program requires coursework in core classes ' an internship, and specialized courses in medical anthropology & global health.

Doctoral Degree (PhD)

The focus of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program is theoretical and methodological advancement and to direct original research, with the aim of improving anthropological practices and to contribute to the value and usefulness of the discipline. Doctoral students are prepared for research and development careers as well as for academic careers.               


Foundational Knowledge

  • ANTH210: Introduction to Medical Anthropology & Global Health
  • ANTH310/665: Method & Theory in Medical Anthropology & Global Health


  • ANTH265: Anthropology of Global Health
  • ANTH411/611: Anthropology of Im/migration and Health
  • ANTH412/612: Hypermarginality & Urban Health
  • ANTH413/613: Health Disparities in the United States
  • ANTH414/614: Women's Health: Ethnographic Approaches to Reproduction & Politics
  • ANTH415/615: Advanced Studies in Global Health
  • ANTH 416/616: Anthropology of Global Violence

Beyond required coursework, students have many opportunities to expand their learning: field schools, research with faculty, teaching assistantships, internships, independent studies, and study abroad programs.


The program faculty is committed to assisting students in identifying internship and career development opportunities that integrate a medical anthropology and global health focus with their own health and health care-related interests. In the past, students have completed internships with various governmental, non­governmental, and private organizations in the nation's capital and beyond.

  • Christina Getrich, PhD
    • Expertise: Health disparities & equity, primary care, health & immigration policy, Latinos, US-Mexico borderlands
  • Andrea Lopez, PhD
    • Expertise: Hypermarginality, addiction, social suffering, critical phenomenology, urban United States
  • Joseph Richardson, PhD
    • Expertise: Gun violence & trauma, incarceration, Black male youth, urban United States
  • Matthew Thomann, PhD
    • Expertise: Critical medical anthropology, queer anthropology, sexual and gender minority health and well-being, HIVS/AIDS, medialization, global health policy and implementation


Erik Hanson

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies Program


ehanson [at] umd [dot] edu

Nadine Dangerfield

Assistant Director of Graduate Studies

301-405-4 737

nadine [at] umd [dot] edu

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