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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 relevant  Summer Minor or Certificate program pages.

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


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 2020 (online): PHW212 Online Foundations of Global Health

Instructors: Art Reingold, George, Rutherford, Hildy Fong Baker (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 2020: 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.

  • Spring 2021 (online): PHW213 Global Health Ethics

Instructors: Madhavi Dandu, Rohini Haar, Rebecca DeBoer (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 2021 (online): PHW209 Comparative Health Systems (Feachem, 3 units)

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 HealthCenter for Emerging and Neglected DiseasesCenter for Global Public HealthBlum CenterBixby 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. In 2020-21, we ask that you attend virtual events.
  • 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.

Signing up for the Global Health Specialty in 2020-21

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.

GHSA Advisors

The Specialty Area in Global Health is supported by the Center for Global Public Health staff and affiliated faculty.