Our program is an accelerated, one-year program designed to meet the needs of mature scholars with diverse cultural and professional backgrounds who have specific public health career goals in mind.
The program focuses on an interdisciplinary understanding of complex issues and the leadership challenges of successful interventions in public health. Graduates leave as well-rounded public health professionals with a heightened understanding of the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to public health practice.
This program runs from July to May. Students take a heavy course load (17-19 units per semester), in addition to one or two summer courses (4-8 units) to satisfy the 42-unit requirement. The program’s curricular flexibility allows students, in consultation with their faculty advisers, to develop an individualized course of study tailored to meet their career objectives. Beyond the required courses within Berkeley Public Health, students may choose electives from any of the academic offerings across the Berkeley campus. A year-long, mentored project is required for completion of the program.
Only those who are enrolled in a graduate program at the time of application or hold a graduate degree (master’s or equivalent) by the start of the program are eligible to apply.
Successful applicants are professionals with a demonstrated ability to work both independently and within a team-based structure. While many successful applicants are already health professionals, applicants from disciplines not traditionally associated with public health are also encouraged to apply. The program is also appropriate for dual-degree students completing an MPH in conjunction with an MD, DDS or other graduate degree. Medical students from Stanford University and UCSF should consult their dual degree liaisons for details on our inter-campus collaboration.
Note: Students in the one-year program in public health nutrition should have at least two years of practice as a registered dietitian (RD). This may include the dietetic internship, but exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Professional backgrounds of recent students
- Social Work
- Public Policy
- Business Administration
- Environmental Science, Policy and Management
Graduates have gone on to pursue diverse employment opportunities that incorporate public health within their original field of training. Some transition to public health jobs in non-profit organizations, government agencies (federal, county and local health departments) or the private sector. Other alumni have embarked on academic careers in public health or become domestic and/or global health consultants.
With a highly selective applicant pool, the program receives about 60 applications per cycle. Our student cohorts typically consists of 25 students per year.
Additional Admissions Information
We look at an application in its entirety to determine a person’s strengths and relative fit to our program and within the incoming cohort: areas of research and work interest, work experience related to public health and beyond, future public health career plans, academic history, as well as a clear focus for skills to acquire are important considerations. Letters of recommendation are also carefully reviewed. For foreign applicants, English language skills are an important consideration.
The Admissions Committee will begin reviewing Priority Deadline applications in mid-January; decisions are generally made by the beginning of March. In the event that the admission slots are not full, the Admissions Committee will review Secondary Deadline applications in mid-March. Admissions decisions for the second round are made by the end of March.
Waitlisted candidates will receive information about their final status on or before June 1.
After students accept their invitation to be admitted into the program and enroll, they can reach out to UC Berkeley faculty and request a meeting to discuss advising. The Interdisciplinary Program faculty will assist you when searching for an adviser. Most students start this process once they are on campus and have narrowed down their focus for their research project and selected their courses.
Students are required to attend a summer session prior to the fall semester. The summer session runs from early July to mid-August. During this time, students are required to take the Summer Interdisciplinary MPH Seminar (PH292) to start planning their research project. We also highly recommend that students take Biostatistics (PH142) and Epidemiology (PH250A) during the summer session to decrease the remaining required coursework to a manageable load during the fall and spring semesters.
Anke Hemmerling MD, PhD, MPH
Lecturer, Interdisciplinary MPH Program
Phuoc Le MD, MPH, DTM&H
Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary MPH
Kristine Madsen MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Joint Medical Program; Public Health Nutrition; Community Health Sciences
Jaspal S. Sandhu PhD
Assistant Adjunct Professor, Community Health Sciences
Karen Sokal-Gutierrez MD, MPH
Clinical Professor, Co-Director, Interdisciplinary MPH Program