Our two-year program is designed for students with a bachelor’s degree who demonstrate great potential for leadership and have a keen interest in research, including quantitative data collection and analysis.
The curriculum is a full-time course of study, requiring a minimum of 48 units over four academic semesters, completion of a capstone research project and a 480 hour internship.
By the end of their studies, graduates will be able to:
- Discuss the major health and social problems facing maternal, child and adolescent populations from demographic, health, social, political and community perspectives, as well as the scientific basis for these concerns and strategies to address them.
- Describe the historical roots and current structure of maternal, child and adolescent health services in the United States, including Title V legislation, and be able to discuss the core values and strategic objectives that necessitate a special focus on these populations to promote equity in health care.
- Identify the major sources of information related to maternal, child and adolescent populations, assess their strengths and limitations and use population data to assist in determining the needs of a population for the purposes of designing programs, formulating policy and conducting research or training.
- Learn basic principles and applications of quantitative research and epidemiology for addressing problems and demonstrate expertise in these skills by completing a capstone research project
Our program is a quantitative, research-based program. The required coursework and capstone project are designed to ensure our students gain the necessary knowledge, skills and tools to comprehensively understand and conduct epidemiologic research. Students may choose to take electives in qualitative methods.
Students are required to take a minimum of 48 units over four academic semesters. In addition to the school-wide breadth courses, students are required to complete all five of the program’s core courses. Students are also required to complete an additional biostatistics course and one programmatic course.
- Foundations of MCAH Policy, Practice and Science
- Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Journal Club
- Foundations of Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Leadership
- Practicum in MCAH Data Analysis I
- Practicum in MCAH Data Analysis II
Capstone Research Project
As part of the requirement for the degree, each student must complete a quantitative capstone research project. This project consists of a written and an oral component and is considered to be the comprehensive examination for students. Students are enrolled in seminars designed to support them in the capstone process.
Students strengthen their leadership and practice knowledge and skills by completing a 480 hour internship. The internship experience is required for all two-year program students.
Typically, these placements are a 12-week, full-time work experience during the summer between the first and second year of the program.
Examples of recent field placement sites include:
- Planned Parenthood Northern CA
- Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies; UCSF
- Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) UCSF
- Prevention Institute
- California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)
- Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute
- California Department of Maternal and Child Health
- Homeless Prenatal Program
- Alameda County Public Health Department: Nutrition Services
- The Edible Schoolyard
Graduates of our program become leaders at the local, national and global level. We have alumni working in almost every state, as well as in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. We also have alumni working across the globe in dozens of countries across six continents. Approximately 83% of our alumni continue to work in maternal, child and adolescent health; and 88% specifically address issues related to underserved or vulnerable populations (e.g., immigrant populations). Our alumni also work across a variety of public health sectors. Approximately 33% work in clinical health care settings (e.g., hospitals or health clinics), 28% in academic settings, 28% in private or non-profit settings, and 5% work in government agencies.*
*Data based on a sample of 2008, 2013 and 2016 graduates surveyed in 2018.
Successful applicants need to meet both Berkeley Public Health’s general graduate admissions requirements and our program admissions requirements, including the following criteria:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution.
- Have a minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA). The admissions committee may occasionally consider applicants who do not meet this requirement if other measures of performance are particularly strong.
- Have completed at least one college-level mathematics or statistics course with at least a grade of B or equivalent, reflected on an official transcript.
- Have a minimum of two years of post-baccalaureate work experience. Work experience in the maternal, child and adolescent field or public health sectors is preferred, but not required. The admissions committee may occasionally consider applicants who do not meet this requirement if other measures of performance, such as research experience, are particularly strong.
- Possess work and research interests and aspirations in the maternal, child and adolescent areas of public health and epidemiology.
- Demonstrate leadership potential.
- Demonstrate academic and professional capability to study at the graduate level in a quantitatively focused program.
Based on data from 2017-2019
Funding for Admitted Students
Our program can provide some financial support to admitted and enrolled students in a variety of ways. Almost all funding provided is through our Center of Excellence in Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health (MCAH), which is a funded training center through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
- Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible for financial support from our Center of Excellence in MCAH and efforts are made to support all students in need for at least one semester during their time in the program.
- Admitted students who would like to participate in Spring Visit Day but need financial assistance to attend can contact the program manager to see if funding is available for travel support.
- A limited number of traineeships are awarded to students annually. Traineeships are small financial awards that typically cover a portion of tuition and fees for the semester. These awards are based on faculty review and student applications, so we recommend making applications as strong as possible.
- The program also provides some financial support for summer internships. Students are asked to submit an application if they are requesting financial support for a summer placement.
- The program also supports students through Graduate Student Instructors (GSI) and Graduate Student Researchers (GSR) positions. The availability of these positions are not guaranteed each semester.
- Lastly, students may be eligible for GSI or GSR positions through our affiliated research centers.
Students who wish to work during the program are usually able to do so and both on-campus and external employment possibilities exist.
Julianna Deardorff PhD
Associate Professor, Community Health Sciences
Kim Harley PhD
Associate Adjunct Professor, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health
Cassondra Marshall DrPH, MPH
Assistant Professor, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Program
Ndola Prata MD, MSc
Professor, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health
Jaspal S. Sandhu PhD
Assistant Adjunct Professor, Community Health Sciences
Brenda Eskenazi MA, PhD
Barbara Abrams DrPH, RD
Professor of the Graduate School, Epidemiology, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, and Public Health Nutrition
Sylvia Guendelman PhD, MSW
Professor of the Graduate School, Public Health
Cheri Pies DrPH, MSW
Clinical Professor Emerita , Public Health
Malcolm Potts MB, BChir, PhD, FRCOG
Professor of the Graduate School, UC Berkeley School of Public Health