Summer Minor or Certificate in Global Public Health

Download the Summer 2020 Minor/Certificate curriculum (.pdf)

The Global Public Health summer minor and certificate programs explore health-related issues affecting populations in the United States and worldwide. Students complete courses covering a range of disciplines and methods relevant to promoting and protecting human health, emerging health issues, and healthcare systems.

This type of program enhances students’ preparation for careers in the dynamic, growing field of public health, including clinical graduate training. Students learn strategies for addressing emerging population health issues locally and globally.

The minor and certificate can serve as precursors to further study in public health, other health professions, or any fields in which the health of persons and populations is a relevant concern. The programs can augment and enhance many different undergraduate bachelor degree programs and prepare students for professional and academic careers. In addition, public health is of interest for its own sake, as a component of a rigorous liberal arts education.

The summer minor is available to all UC Berkeley undergraduate students, including current or intended Public Health majors. The certificate can be pursued by non-UC Berkeley students in or outside of California.

Note for UC Berkeley students: Both Public Health and non-Public Health majors may earn a Global Public Health Summer Minor. Five courses are required for successful completion of the Global Public Health Summer Minor or Certificate. There are constraints from L&S requirements for Public Health majors to complete the Global Public Health minor. The difference in requirements for Public Health majors is as follows: Public Health majors will not take PH 250A and instead take another elective course; these three elective courses may not include PH 150B or PH 150D.

L&S Minor Declaration Policy

If you are a major within the College of Letters and Science (L&S) then per L&S Policy you must declare any minor (including the Global Public Health [GPH] Minor) by the last day of RRR week in the term preceding your EGT.

For example, if you are graduating with an EGT of Summer 2055 then you must declare your minor by the last day of RRR week in Spring 2055. Similarly, if you are graduating with an EGT of Spring 2055 then you must declare your minor by the last day of RRR week in Fall 2054.

IMPORTANT GPH Minor Declaration Processing Time information:
This means that you must submit your Global Public Health Declaration form two weeks prior to your appropriate RRR week. This will assure that we will be able to declare your minor within the appropriate time.
If there are any questions please reach out to the advisors at


Download the Summer 2020 Minor/Certificate curriculum (.pdf)

Both the Summer Minor in Global Public Health Program and Certificate in Global Public Health Program consist of five courses: three core courses and two elective courses (For non-public health majors and individual pursuing the certificate) or two core courses and three elective courses (for public health majors). The courses are taken over two consecutive six-week summer sessions.

All required courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C- to be eligible for the minor or certificate.

The expectation for the summer minor is that all courses must be taken during the summer. Some are only offered in the summer, or are restricted to or prioritized for public health majors during the academic year.

While enrollment is guaranteed during the summer, we do not guarantee enrollment during the academic year.

If UC Berkeley students have already completed any of these courses during the fall or spring semesters prior to beginning the summer minor, application of this coursework to the summer minor program will be considered.

Courses taken at other universities will not be applied towards Berkeley’s Global Public Health minor or certificate. Contact your home university to discuss the possibility of transferring or being credited for courses taken at UC Berkeley.

Note: UC Berkeley students and visiting students who do not want to pursue a minor or receive a certificate – but who are interested in taking public health classes – may enroll in as many courses as they wish.

Note: Summer Minor 2020 courses will be offered online.

Core Courses

The three courses below are required to complete the summer minor/certificate.

Note: If you are a Public Health major pursuing this minor, you will need to only take the following two core courses: PB HLTH 142 and PB HLTH N112/112.

(4 units) (Session A, p.m.)

Good health at the individual and community level is central to human happiness, economic development and societal progress. Good health, which is not simply the absence of illness and injury, is the result of the complex interplay of many factors. Within the relevant legal, social, political and physical contexts, good health is contingent on economic forces, cultural beliefs, human behaviors and religion. Additional factors include the availability of affordable preventive measures, curative services, nutritious food, safe water, sanitation and other basic human needs. By definition, global health transcends geopolitical borders and standard academic disciplines, so a broad multidisciplinary approach to its study and understanding is required. Students will be expected to read, understand and use sometimes advanced materials from diverse disciplines. Case-based discussions will be included in the course.

(3 units) (Session D, p.m.)

This introductory course presents the principles and methods of epidemiology, including descriptive and analytic approaches to assessing the distributions of health, disease and injury in populations and factors that influence those distributions. The emphasis is on developing an understanding of concepts, rather than quantitative methods, although calculations are involved. Through the combination of lectures, readings, critical review of papers and problem sets, students without prior coursework in epidemiology will acquire core competencies in epidemiology expected of all public health professionals. Examples are drawn from national and international public health issues.

Note for Enrollment: This is a graduate level course; therefore, you will need to obtain a permission number to enroll. Please email the professor asking for a permission number by simply stating you are looking to pursue the summer Global Public Health Minor/Certificate. If you have any questions email a program advisor.

(4 units) (Session D, a.m.)

This intensive introductory course covers statistical methods used in applied research with an emphasis on principles of statistical reasoning, underlying assumptions and careful interpretation of results. Topics covered include: descriptive statistics, graphical displays of data, introduction to probability, expectations and variance of random variables, confidence intervals and tests for means, differences of means, proportions, differences of proportions, chi-square tests for categorical variables, regression and multiple regression, an introduction to analysis of variance. R (programming language) will be used to supplement hand calculations.

Note: PB HLTH 142 may be applied to the minor in place of PB HLTH 141. No substitutions can be made for other courses.

Elective Courses

Select two of the following courses:

Note: If you are a Public Health major pursuing this minor, you will need to select three of the following courses. These electives cannot double count for your Public Health major’s required ten elective units.  You may not use PH 150B or PH 150D toward your Global Public Health Minor; if you choose to take these courses over the summer (and you can!) they will count toward your PH major only.  You must use electives that are unique from your major electives.  (i.e. you cannot use any minor electives toward your major electives).

(3 units) (Session D, p.m.)

Students will learn about the historical and theoretical underpinnings of global health, how social determinants affect medical outcomes and health policy, the principles of international law and health economics, and the structure of health delivery models. In the process, students will engage in topics related to social factors that impact health, including class, race, gender, and poverty. Class discussions will address contemporary global health priorities through the lens of human rights activism.

(3 units) (Session A, p.m.)

This course presents the relationship between chemical, physical and biological hazards in the environment and their impact on human health. The course focuses on the core areas of environmental health sciences: toxicology, microbial ecology, exposure assessment, risk assessment, environmental epidemiology, regulations/policies and GIS/spatial analysis. It examines the science, health considerations and regulations of contaminants in air, water and food in the context of both developed and developing countries. Other key topics such as ethics, environmental justice and occupational health and safety are also discussed. Local, national and international case studies are used to provide real-world examples of important environmental health concepts.

Note: If you are a Public Health major pursuing this minor, you may not use PH N150B/150B or PH 150D toward your Global Public Health Minor; if you choose to take these courses over the summer they will count toward your PH major only.

(3 units) (Session A, a.m.)

This course in health policy and management course will introduce students to health policy making and the organization of the United States healthcare system. Health policy and management applies concepts from economics, organizational behavior and political science to the structure, financing and regulation of the public health and health care delivery systems. Students will also learn about current issues in U.S. health policy and contemporary organizational challenges experienced by the U.S. healthcare system.

Note: If you are a Public Health major pursuing this minor, you may not use PH 150B or PH 150D toward your Global Public Health Minor; if you choose to take these courses over the summer they will count toward your PH major only.

(4 units) (Session D, a.m.)

This course presents the fundamentals of microbiology as it relates to the causes of disease and the promotion of health. The primary emphasis will be on infectious agents and the diseases that they produce in humans. To fully comprehend how these agents produce disease, we will learn their properties, how they are transmitted and what their effects are on humans. The course covers the host immune response to microbial infections as well as the prevention and treatment of infections. In addition, students will be introduced to microorganisms that usually do not cause disease but play indispensable and beneficial roles. Students will learn about the threat of infectious diseases nationally and globally.

(3 units) (Session A, a.m.)

This course focuses on low- and middle-income countries and will cover: the effects of nutrition throughout the lifecycle in pregnancy, infancy, childhood and adulthood; nutrition broadly in terms of issues of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and obesity; and how to analyze and evaluate actions taken to ameliorate the major nutritional problems facing vulnerable populations. Students will learn about ways in which organizations and governments design and implement policies and programs that affect food production and access to safe, affordable and nutritionally adequate diets. The course will address how stakeholders in the food system—consumer, health, industry, government and other groups—interact with each other to affect policy design and implementation; the historical, social, economic, environmental and political factors that determine stakeholder positions on policy issues; and the ways in which these factors promote or act as barriers to achieving a functional and sustainable food system that promotes optimal food, nutrition and health.

(2-3 units) (Session D)*

This course aims to expand students’ understanding of the interconnected factors that influence women’s global health and empowerment. Using an interdisciplinary approach, it will draw from many fields such as global health and development, medical and reproductive sciences, epidemiology, demography, law, sociology, economy, political science, advocacy and community health sciences. The curriculum follows a life course framework and includes the following topics: foundations of sexual and reproductive health for girls, adolescents and women throughout the life cycle; basic principles of gender and empowerment theory; historic paradigm shifts in political frameworks, health policies and global reproductive rights; demographic and societal changes and their impact on health, education, economic development and environmental resources; as well as the role of men and boys as allies for gender equity and women’s empowerment in different cultural, regional and global contexts. The course will be taught in a highly interactive format with discussions, group projects and case studies and will draw from the experiences of the students.

*Note: PB HLTH 155B previously had the course number PB HLTH 196: Women’s Global Health and Empowerment. If you have taken PB HLTH 196: Women’s Global Health and Empowerment before Summer 2020, it will still count for the minor. 

(3 units) (Session C, p.m.)

The internship elective is available only to UC Berkeley students. Students must secure a full-time public health related summer internship for a minimum of 8 consecutive weeks between June and August. Domestic and international internships are eligible and available. Students must also have an overall GPA of 3.0. Students wanting to apply for an internship would submit an application to the Undergraduate Public Health Program Director at UC Berkeley. The application will include: a one-page description of the internship scope and deliverables, a letter of commitment from the host organization, a resume, transcript and submit a 500-word statement describing why they want to pursue the internship.

A seminar is included as part of this enrollment designed to help students get the most from their internship experience and strengthen their potential leadership and career development. Students will also be able to reflect on professional and leadership style and development. Students will assess their strengths, styles and preferences, as well as areas they need to grow. They will be challenged to use and reflect on the internship experience as an opportunity to develop key competencies and to critically explore organizational cultural dynamics, modes of conduct and values. Moreover, students will be provided with the opportunity to integrate classroom learning and practice in a public health work environment. Students will make important contributions to the host organization, the community they serve and to the solution of global public health problems while developing personal confidence and leadership skills as an emerging public health professional.

(3 units) (Session A, p.m.)*

The course covers the global Public Health effects of war in the context of war’s destruction of the health care infrastructure and within the Social Ecological framework. Topics include war’s impact on infectious disease and as a barrier to the control of vaccine-preventable diseases; maternal child health; health of people displaced by war; and war’s psychosocial toll. The curriculum also includes modules focusing on the public health prevention approach to war and research methods for studying health outcomes in conflict zones.The curriculum also includes focusing on current global conflicts and the ramifications of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Students will also have an opportunity to listen to and ask questions during two panel discussions featuring members of the community who have experienced war and its health effects first-hand —veterans and refugees.

*Note: Please make sure to enroll in 3 units, not 1, 2, or 4 units.

CourseNon-Public Health MajorsPublic Health Majors
PH N112/112*
PH 250A*You will be taking PH 150A for your major-do not take PH 250A
PH 142*
PH 115
PH N150B/150BCannot take for minor
PH 150DCannot take for minor
PH 162A
PH 118
PH 155B
PH 196
PH 196(internship)


Declaration and Enrollment Process

For information on enrollment into the minor or certificate program, go to the Enrollment in the Undergraduate Summer Minor or Certificate in Global Public Health page.


A $2,000 scholarship is available to undergraduate students who are enrolled in a minor that is only available in the summer, including the Summer Minor in Global Public Health. International students are eligible for this scholarship if they are enrolled full-time during the academic year. Students would not have to apply to the scholarship, if you meet the eligibility requirements below then you will automatically be added to the scholarship list.

To be awarded the summer minor scholarship, you must:

  • Be currently enrolled as a UC Berkeley student,
  • Complete the academic requirements of the minor in one summer or during two consecutive summers,
  • Complete at least 4 of the 5 classes for the minor during the summer,
  • Complete all required courses with a minimum grade of C- to be eligible for the minor or certificate,
  • Complete all coursework with a letter grade prior to graduation and receive a minimum of a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) in courses used to satisfy the minor requirements; please note that a C- in all the classes would be a 1.70 GPA and a C in all the classes is a 2.0 GPA,
  • Fill out the Completion of Minor form within two weeks of the start of your final course or no later than two weeks prior to the completion of your final GPH Minor/Certificate Course. Please make sure you have also filled out the Declaration form in the Declaration and Enrollment Process section above.

If you are a senior taking your final class for the minor during the academic year and are graduating within that same academic year (Fall or Spring), it may affect your eligibility for the scholarship.

This scholarship will be credited to your CalCentral account in early December following your completion of the minor.

This scholarship is only available to students enrolled in the Global Public Health Minor. It is not available for those earning the Global Public Health Certificate.

If you are a senior taking your final class for the minor during the academic year and are graduating within that same academic year (Fall or Spring), it may affect your eligibility for the scholarship.

Beginning Summer 2020, if you plan to take one class for the minor during the academic year, you MUST take your final class during the summer to remain eligible for the $2,000 scholarship. If you take 4 classes over the summer and one class over the following Fall or Spring semester, you will no longer be eligible for the scholarship. If you take one class the Fall or Spring semester and complete the summer minor the following two consecutive summers or less, you are still eligible for the scholarship.


Students who complete the minor can enhance their preparation to pursue careers and jobs in public health departments, hospitals and health systems, health policy, community health settings, non-profit organizations, consulting firms and health related start-ups and private companies. The program can also strengthen student preparation for clinical careers, including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, optometry, physician assisting, and mental health and/or graduate degrees in public health, public policy, business, social work, law and city planning.

Even if not used directly in a professional setting or graduate program, the multidisciplinary approach of public health will provide students with a broader understanding of the world and tools to engage and influence their surroundings.

Interested in where our public health majors go after graduation? Visit UC Berkeley’s Career Center’s Destination Survey.

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Kimberly Henderson

Program Advisor
Kimberly Henderson

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