Our specialty areas bring together faculty and students from across many disciplines. These academic areas of study offer students the opportunity to focus on various substantive topics, reflecting the changing public health problems that need to be addressed by public health practitioners and researchers.
Students in a two-year master’s or a doctoral program may elect to complete an additional specialty area as a minor. Students in a one-year master’s program may also add a specialty area, however we recommend talking to the relevant program coordinator for eligibility requirements.
Certificate in Food Systems
Current students in any master’s or doctoral degree program at UC Berkeley may elect to complete the graduate Certificate in Food Systems. The certificate responds to an escalating need to empower new leaders with the capacity to create innovative solutions to pressing food and agriculture challenges. Building on UC Berkeley’s strength as a multi-disciplinary pioneer in food systems studies, the Certificate in Food Systems prepares master’s and doctoral students to think critically about the multi-level, multi-system factors that affect food production, distribution and consumption locally, nationally and globally.
This interdisciplinary program is a collaboration between Berkeley Public Health, the College of Natural Resources and the Goldman School of Public Policy. This program complements a student’s primary fields of study by addressing the ecological, social, health, political, policy, legal and economic dimensions of food and agriculture, as well as providing graduates with the necessary theoretical framework and practical skills that can be applied across diverse and emerging food-system challenges.
Any UC Berkeley graduate student in good academic standing can earn the Certificate in Food Systems. Please visit the Berkeley Food Institute for more information on how to apply.
PBHLTH 290: Transforming Food Systems: From Agroecology to Population Health
This course takes a solutions-oriented approach to pressing problems in current food systems. We explore strategies used by the disciplines of agroecology, policy, law, public health and business to improve food systems and apply their varied approaches to real-world case studies. (three units, fall)
Two additional three unit courses from a list of approved classes. Students work with the certificate advisor and their main program advisor to ensure that elective courses complement their primary coursework.
Specialty Area in Global Health
Note: This page provides information about Global Health as a graduate specialty. If you are looking for information about the Undergraduate Global Public Health minor or certificate programs, go to the Summer Minor or Certificate program page.
The objectives of the Global Health Specialty Area (GHSA) are to support and cultivate student’s interests in global health, and to help develop competencies and skills in global public health that can be applied to students’ careers. The GHSA provides an opportunity for students to explore multidisciplinary issues in global health through coursework and global health engagement.
- Community: Connect with graduate-level students with various global health interests and backgrounds
- Networking: Join (virtual) Happy Hours, Meet & Greets, panel and discussion events that are organized to help connect with students, faculty, and staff interested in global public health and explore global health disciplines.
- Mentorship: Chat with public health scientists, researchers, and professors across the Bay Area, including UCSF, UC Davis, and Stanford faculty
- Education/training: Take a set of required hours to boost your global health specific knowledge
The Specialty is offered to all UC Berkeley School of Public Health students currently enrolled in the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program OR any other master’s or doctoral degree program in any Division of BPH. It is also open to Master of Development Practice (MDP) students and other students are also eligible on a case-by-case basis, with permission from schools/advisors. Please reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Health Coursework
(9 units, 2-yr program; 5 units, 1 -yr. program)
You will need to complete one of the following global health foundational courses:
- Fall 2023 (online): PHW212 Online Foundations of Global Health
Instructors: Hildy Fong Baker, Arthur Reingold (3 units)
Introduces the basic principles of global health that aim to improve population health at all levels in communities throughout the world. Introduces and applies essential concepts from public health disciplines to current global health challenges, to provide real-world context. Global health experts share their experiences and lessons learned from implementing global health research and programs. *PHW212 replaces the residential seminar, PH253 Foundations of Global Public Health, in Fall 2020
- Fall 2023: PH220E Global Health Policy
Instructor: Stefano Bertozzi (3 units)
This is a 3-unit course offering an introduction to current topics in international health policy. Taught by Dean Emeritus Prof. Stefano Bertozzi, the class will give students the opportunity to learn about how real-world policy decisions are made at the country and global levels. Students will learn about theories of governance as they apply to international settings and will evaluate the role of state actors, NGOs, and international agencies in producing key health outcomes. This is a great opportunity for students who are interested in exploring global health and/or strengthening their analytical and presentation skills.
- Fall 2023: PHW213 Global Health Ethics
Instructors: Rebecca DeBoer, Rohini Jonnalagadda Haar (3 units)
Introduces ethical frameworks, theories, and historical references that elevate the ethics conversation to the global stage. Links theory to practice by delving into ethical issues in global health research, experiential learning, and delivery. Considers ethical questions about the discipline of global public health and the roles of governments, academic institutions, organizations, health professions, and members of the public as stewards of health.
- Spring 2024: PHW209 Comparative Health Systems
Instructor: Neelam Feachem (3 units)
Examines health systems and their role in global health, and introduces current debates about health financing and universal health coverage (UHC). Investigates efforts to achieve UHC by balancing the goals of quality, affordability, and access in ways that are unique to each country and region. Studies the evidence on financing, delivery, and governance of health systems, and considers the policy context in which health systems operate.
In addition to the core course, you will need to complete additional units of global health-related coursework to meet the 9 unit or 5 unit GHSA requirement.
- 2-year program (i.e., most MPH students): 6–7 units depending on core course
- 1-year program (i.e., Interdisciplinary, one-year Epi students): 2–3 units depending on core course
- Eligible courses chosen from a list of approved courses. Other courses can qualify if it is reviewed and approved in advance, in consultation with a GHSA advisor.
- We encourage transdisciplinary coursework that can enhance your interests in a variety of global health areas. All coursework must be taken for a letter grade.
Global Health Engagement
- Community Events: This specialty also aims to bring together the UC Berkeley global health community. As such, we request all those in the GHSA to attend two global health seminars or events hosted by UC Berkeley or UCSF each semester (i.e., events hosted by the School of Public Health, Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases, Center for Global Public Health, Blum Center, Bixby Center, etc.). We will inform you about Bay Area global health events, news, and opportunities through our listserv. We also run a year-long workshop series on Global Health Internships.
- Mentorship: GHSA staff and faculty will cultivate connections and small group meetings that will help you build and navigate your mentor network. Activities will include opportunities to learn how to approach faculty, organizations, and researchers who will support your global health journey at UCB. We recommend speaking with your program coordinator and faculty advisor to explore avenues for global health mentorship at UC Berkeley.
- Internships: Global health internships are recommended, but not required. For students in 2-year programs, we encourage you to reach out to BPH and CGPH affiliated faculty to explore global health-related internships in the summer, either at home or abroad. While the responsibility for securing an acceptable international placement lies with the student, the Center for Public Health Practice & Leadership (CPHPL) and the Center for Global Public Health (CGPH) offer a number of events and resources throughout the year about global health internships. Please note that MPH internship placements must be approved by the CPHPL and should provide the student with a relevant and rigorous off-campus learning experience. Students in 1-year programs are encouraged to seek practical and/or research experiences in global health during their studies. You are welcome to contact CPHPL and CGPH advisors to explore opportunities.
If you are an eligible student, and would like to declare your intent to pursue the Global Health Specialty during your course of study at UC Berkeley, this is done at the beginning of the academic year. Please sign up here to indicate interest and we will follow up with you when the semester begins about an orientation session.
The Specialty Area in Global Health is supported by the Center for Global Public Health staff and affiliated faculty.
Graduate Certificate in Health Management
The new Graduate Certificate in Health Management from the Health Policy and Management Division at the School of Public Health supports graduate students at UC Berkeley in developing these critical competencies through a comprehensive trio of toolkit courses that focus on skill-building, frameworks, and applied learning. These courses complement a wide range of existing degree programs and will appear on official graduate transcripts.
Find more information, including course requirements, go to the Graduate Certificate in Health Management page.
Graduate Certificate in Racism, Health, and Social Justice
The School of Public Health, The Department of City and Regional Planning, and the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management are offering the Graduate Certificate in Racism, Health, and Social Justice. The certificate’s purpose is to provide theoretical, methodological, and applied training at the intersection of public health inequities, racial justice, and social justice to Masters and Doctoral students seeking an interdisciplinary learning experience. Understanding the root causes of health, racial injustice, and social inequities matters profoundly for designing interventions and solutions for pressing health and social problems.
This graduate certificate will provide interdisciplinary training across the spectrum of the social, economic, and political determinants that drive health inequalities and must be confronted to create a more equitable and just society. It is designed to complement students’ home disciplines. Recipients of this certificate will leave with deep subject matter expertise, well-articulated critical perspectives, and advanced skills to help transform our world into one that achieves social and racial justice, including health equity.
The graduate certificate will offer 2 anchor courses in the School of Public Health, both of which focus on health inequities, racism, and struggles for justice. This certificate will offer elective courses that delve into the relevant multi-level and multi-system factors shaping injustices from economic instability (Goldman School of Public Policy; Berkeley Law) and the neighborhood and physical environment (Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management; Department of City and Regional Planning) to education (School of Education), food (School of Public Health), community safety and the broader social context (Department of Sociology; School of Social Welfare) and health and social policies (School of Public Health).
- Be currently enrolled in a UC Berkeley graduate program
- In good academic standing: GPA of 3.0 or better
- The three courses (totaling 9 units) must be taken for a letter grade
There is currently no application requirement for the Graduate Certificate in Racism, Health, and Social Justice. Completion of the Graduate Certificate in Racism, Health, and Social Justice will be noted on the memorandum section of your official transcript (not the diploma). To receive this completion, please fill out the Certificate Completion Form after you have received a final grade for all required courses after your final semester. An official e-certificate will be sent to you. Final grades will be verified prior to award of the certificate.
For more information on the certificate, reach out to email@example.com.