Skip subnavigation and go to article content

Berkeley Public Health Online is a 27-month program designed for working people interested in improving their knowledge and practice in public health. We provide a top-notch, flexible, practice based graduate education to professionals around the globe.

Curriculum

There are six required courses for all students earning an MPH degree. These courses, taken primarily during the first year of the program, solidify a foundation in the concepts and competencies relevant to addressing determinants of health, using both qualitative and data-driven approaches. Students complete the remaining units according to their own professional goals and interests.

Program Options

Students can design an interdisciplinary program by combining courses in the following study areas:

  • Health Care Management
  • Health Policy and Economics
  • Global Health
  • Epidemiology, Infectious Disease, and Regulatory Science
  • Community Health Sciences
  • Spatial Data Science for Public Health
  • Public Health Nutrition

Or, students can choose to complete a full concentration in Health Policy and Management, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, or Public Health Nutrition.

Academic Advisors

Kimberly MacPherson

Kimberly MacPherson MPH, MBA

Academic Advisor - Health Policy and Management

Sandra McCoy PhD, MPH

Sandra McCoy PhD, MPH

Academic Advisor - Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Evan vanDommelen-Gonzalez DrPH, MPH

Evan vanDommelen-Gonzalez DrPH, MPH

Academic Advisor; Faculty Lead for the Interdisciplinary Program

Applications

Applicants to this program must complete the graduate division application. We admit students two times a year: fall and spring. Visit our online programs admissions page for application dates and deadlines.

More Admissions Information

Frequently Asked Questions


About the UC Berkeley online MPH Program

This hybrid program enables mid-career professionals to move forward in their careers while earning an MPH from a world-leading university. The uniqueness of this program lies in its flexibility, giving the student the opportunity to earn an MPH while keeping their professional journey and pursuing their career.

Our program is ~90% online and ~10% on-campus. Most of your coursework will be online and asynchronous but you will also have opportunities to access faculty/GSI’s in real-time remotely during office hours. Many courses are built around group activities that help foster a sense of community, even in an online setting.

Our graduates have not reported to us any negative attitude towards an online degree by employers. We’re often recommended by employers due to our flexible learning environment. Many of our students are mid-career professionals who want to move forward in their careers while earning an MPH. The program is highly regarded and is much more practice-based than theoretical so that our students can apply their skills to the real world immediately. Also, when you’re applying for jobs, students list the degree as an “MPH” not an “online MPH”. Your diploma will only state “Master of Public Health”, the only place where “online” is displayed is on your transcript.

Programs

For the Online MPH program, we currently offer several areas of study. Please find them here.

Our Global Health curriculum offers an in depth examination of some of the most important aspects in Global Health. Through three courses taught by global health faculty from UC Berkeley and UCSF Global Health Sciences, students gain a true trans-disciplinary perspective of how global challenges are being addressed in the field across public health and health sciences disciplines.

Currently, you’ll be able to transfer up to 4 semester units of course(s) that were not used towards any degree. The transfer will have to be reviewed and assessed by the program and the final decision about whether or not units can be transferred rests with the Graduate Division. So, we are unable to guarantee whether or not a credit transfer would be approved prior to enrolling in the program. In addition, students cannot transfer units for required courses (i.e. our breadth/core courses), which may be similar to the courses they are taking in their first year. The review/ approval process will only happen after you’ve been admitted and enrolled to the program.

Other criteria:

  • The student must have an overall GPA of 3.3 or higher from the previous university and earned at least a “B” in each course.
  • The student must have a current GPA of 3.3 or higher while at UC Berkeley, which means you cannot apply for transfer credits until after your first semester at UC Berkeley.

Yes, all online MPH students can take any residential MPH courses at the same cost per credit unit as online MPH courses.

You’ll visit campus twice during the program, these campus visits are mandatory as you will be fulfilling 2 of 6 required Public Health and breadth courses during these visits:

The first visit will be for 5-6 days in June of your first year as part of the PHW200E: Health Policy and Management breadth course. This first visit is not an orientation, the program orientation will take place online a few weeks before the actual start of the program.

The second visit will be 10 days in June of your second year as part of the PHW289: Interdisciplinary Seminar breadth course.

On-campus visits include 8 hour days Monday through Saturday (no instruction on Sundays) full of learning activities. During your time on campus, you will attend guest lectures, participate in class discussions and work on team projects. While here you will meet with School of Public Health librarians and have access to Career Counseling/Leadership Development Services.

Our goal is to strengthen connections among online students and with BPH faculty through these popular on-campus visits.

More about Campus visit here: Campus Visit

Transferring to the on-campus MPH is possible. However, an online student needs to apply and be accepted into the residential program of his/her interests first. Once admitted into an on-campus program the student will work with the divisional program manager on transferring credits to the residential program. Students must complete 1 semester in the online program before transferring to an on campus program.

Timelines

Our Online MPH program is a 2 year and 1 semester long program (2.5 years). Some can finish in 2 years with approval by Academic Student Advisor.

On average a student is expected to spend 15-17 hours per week on his/her course work on top of their full-time professional work hours. Those hours include watching video lectures, doing problem sets, and engaging in group projects.

Tuition

The current tuition for the program is $1,341 per credit unit, with a minimum requirement of 42 units. The total cost is approximately $60,000 for all students including campus fees.

The UC Berkeley online MPH program is a self-supporting degree program (it receives no state funding), the options for financial aid are limited to:

  1. FAFSA (federal funding, available only to domestic students).
  2. External funding. FAFSA has its own eligibility which could be found here: https://fafsa.ed.gov. External funding refers to scholarships or fellowships not affiliated with UC Berkeley that you can seek out and apply to.

On behalf of the School of Public Health and the Graduate Division, we are pleased to offer the Dean’s Health Equity and Leadership Award. This fellowship is in recognition of students’ achievements and contributions to public service as well as their future endeavors in the field of public health. Sponsored by the School of Public Health, recipients will be awarded in the amount equivalent to the cost of one(1) unit per semester. Awardees are eligible to receive this award for a maximum of seven(7) semesters.

For more information, please visit the Online Program fees and financial aid page.

Tuition payment plans can be made. However, these arrangements are made through Student Billing Services and not through the School of Public Health.

Admissions

Ensure that you have complete at least one college-level stat/epi course with at least a grade of B+ or equivalent, BEFORE you apply. If you are currently in a stat/epi course this semester and are applying for the next semester, you can upload a transcript indicating your current enrollment and then it is up to the admissions reviewers to decide if that is satisfactory for admissions. The review committee wants to ensure that the candidate has a foundation in quantitative skills to successfully complete our biostatistics and Epidemiology core courses. Last keep in mind that the two years work requirement must be met by the time the student starts the program.

We have 3 admissions cycles. Students earn their degrees in 27 months, taking 14 courses and earning 42-semester units. The program includes two intensive one-week on-campus experiences.

On average, we receive 100-150 applications every term and accept 30% of them.

A minimum of two years of post-baccalaureate work experience is required for Health Policy & Management. While public health experience is preferred, it is not required. For all other concentrations, ideally one year of direct public health internship and/or volunteer experience will be considered.

English translations are required for transcripts in all languages except Spanish. English versions must be issued by the degree-awarding institution or by a certified ATA translator. The ATA number must appear on the certification to be considered, and notary certification is not acceptable. Unfortunately, we do not accept third-party evaluations (i.e., WES).

In addition to the general requirements, you’ll need to upload the following documents as part of your application:

  • Transcripts in the original language and in English translation
  • Degree certificate(s) (with title awarded and conferral dates) in the original language and in English translation

Our academic year has 3 application cycles (also referred to semesters or terms).

Fall (early-August start), Spring (early-January start), and Summer terms (early-May start).

Here is more information: Application Timeline

It is currently optional.

Please consider writing a short additional statement that explains any poor test scores or grades. Demonstrating interest and making a strong case for yourself with the goal of alleviating any concerns we’d have for your academic success would be a great addition to your application. You can also take a statistics course by earning a B+ or higher. By mentioning that you are taking this class (in the proposed additional statement above), and in performing well in this course, you can show the faculty review team that you are ready to hit the ground running in our program and that you have demonstrated the quantitative ability necessary for success.

Between 6-8 weeks.

UC Berkeley welcomes all international students to the program. Before applying for the program, please ensure you’ll be able to attend the on-campus required visits. In regards to your application materials, please check with our admissions office to ensure that you’ve submitted necessary requirements before the deadline.

English translations are required for transcripts in all languages except Spanish. English versions must be issued by the degree-awarding institution or by a certified ATA translator. The ATA number must appear on the certification to be considered, and notary certification is not acceptable. Unfortunately, we do not accept third-party evaluations (i.e., WES).

In addition to the general requirements, you’ll need to upload the following documents as part of your application:

  • Transcripts in the original language and in English translation
  • Degree certificate(s) (with title awarded and conferral dates) in the original language and in English translation

No, our graduate division needs all transcripts. Please order your official transcript and have it sent to our Admissions Coordinator’s attention.

It depends. All applicants from countries in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This requirement applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East,  Israel, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and non-English-speaking countries in Africa.

If you have completed at least one year of full-time academic coursework with grades of B or better in residence at a recognized U.S. institution, you do not need to take a standardized test. Instead, you must upload an unofficial transcript from the recognized U.S. institution.

To qualify for a TOEFL exemption you must:

  • Have a basic degree from a recognized institution in a country where the official language is English.
  • Have completed a basic or advanced degree at an institution, in the United States or abroad, where the language of instruction is English and the institution is accredited by one of the United States’ regional accrediting* agencies. (United States universities only)
  • Have completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with a grade B or better at a regionally accredited* institution within the United States.

For purposes of admission, your most recent score must be at least 90 for the Internet-based test (IBT), and 570 for the paper-based format (PBT). Guidelines on demonstrating English language proficiency through the TOEFL or IELTS exams are outlined on the UC Berkeley Graduate Division’s policy on international applicants. Be sure to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam early to be considered for admission.

When Accepted

A semester is 14–16 weeks long and consists of two 7-8-week courses, totalling 6 units. During the second year you might chose to take 3 courses per semester which will increase your total active learning time per week, but will allow you to earn your MPH in 2 or less years.

The Berkeley Online MPH is a part time program so you will be taking 6 units or two classes back to back during each of the 7 semesters. It is structured so that you take one class at a time, so half of the semester you take and complete one course, and the second half you’ll complete the second course.

After completing all first year courses you may petition to take 1 additional course (total =3) per semester. To petition, the following criteria must be met:

  • Completion of all first year courses
  • B+ grade or higher in all but one first year UC Berkeley online MPH courses.
  • The enrollment limit is 3 courses per Semester starting your 4th semester
  • Students who take 3 courses in a semester and do not achieve a semester GPA average of B or higher, will not be permitted to take 3 courses per semester in any subsequent semester.

First year: 3 – 6 units per semester. With 6 units considered a full load

Second year: 3 – 9 units per semester. Once students are in their second year they can take a third course in any semesters

Yes, you might have some life changes that require your full attention for a period of time. If needed, you have the option to skip one semester up to one year before resuming your professional online MPH program. You can also pause the program all together for a period of up to 5 years.

Students are required to complete 130 hours (subject to change) practicum experience starting in semester 2 and completed by semester 6. We do our best to support, guide, and provide contacts for students. It is set up to be a student-lead process where the student makes contacts and the field supervisor assists crafting a project that the student might do within that organization or agency.

The purpose of the field practicum is to provide a structured pathway for students to obtain practical experience within the field of public health and an opportunity to practice the skills they have acquired in the curriculum. The program encourages students to use this practicum requirement to broaden their exposure to working opportunities in the field of public health and to expand their network of professional contacts.

Transferring to the on-campus MPH is possible. However, an online student needs to apply and be accepted into the residential program of his/her interests first. Once admitted into an on-campus program the student will work with the divisional program manager on transferring credits to the residential program. Students must complete 1 semester in the online program before transferring to an on campus program.

The final comprehensive exam is administered during the last semester of the program. You’ll receive more information once you’re a student. It’s a comprehensive exam that tests your ability to apply what you’ve learned to real-world practice. This examination does not require a campus visit but will require a registered proctor.