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Welcome, incoming Berkeley Public Health (BPH) students! We are happy to provide this  2021–2022 Student Handbook for your use. This Student Handbook should be used as a first start to understanding how to navigate through your Berkeley Public Health experience. This handbook is designed to be  interactive. It includes school-specific policies and procedures and should be used with the 2021 Graduate Division Student Handbook. Please refer to your program specific handbook for information about each program.

We hope that you find this information useful and we are happy to welcome you to our BPH Community.

Happy reading!

The School at a Glance


Our Structure and Size

The School of Public Health is organized into seven divisions. Five of them (Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, Health Policy & Management, and Infectious Diseases & Vaccinology) offer a range of eponymous graduate degree programs (master’s and doctoral). The Community Health Sciences division houses master’s programs in Public Health Nutrition, Maternal & Child Health, and Health & Social Behavior. The Environmental Health Sciences division also houses masters degree programs in Global Health and Environment. The  Interdisciplinary division houses the undergraduate degree program, the Doctor of Public Health, the Online MPH, the Interdisciplinary MPH, concurrent MPH programs, and the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, as well as the Center for Public Health Practice and Leadership. The figure below illustrates the variety of degree offerings at the School by division:

Unless otherwise indicated, the MPH is a 2-year program. In addition to the above programs, the School offers joint, concurrent, and dual degree programs for students who are interested in combining other fields and disciplines with their public health studies. These include partnerships with the Haas School of Business (MBA), the College of Environmental Design (MCP), the Graduate School of Journalism (MJ), the Goldman School of Public Policy (MPP), and the School of Social Welfare (MSW).

Research Strengths

The School’s vision for research focuses on solving the most pressing public health challenges, locally and globally. We demonstrate our commitment to maximum population health impact by focusing our research and service efforts in areas with the potential to have a transformative impact on the health of populations, particularly among those most vulnerable. Many of our research initiatives are collaborative across the School, UC Berkeley, and other UC campuses. Our faculty members are leaders in their fields and their research efforts provide learning and enrichment opportunities for students. The School is focused on six core areas of research:

BPH Enrollment Information


Registration

Becoming a fully registered student involves two steps: (1) enrolling in at least 12 units and (2) paying fees. Note that you will not have any fees assessed to your account until you have enrolled in at least one class.

Enrollment Appointments in Cal Central

Students enroll in classes via CalCentral, which can be accessed online. CalCentral provides up-to-the-minute feedback on the status of registration and class requests. While most graduate and professional students will follow the standard process of enrollment in CalCentral, some may have different enrollment dates and processes. Please contact the respective program office  for more information about class enrollment if you are a student participating in one of the following graduate/professional programs:

  • School of Law;
  • Haas School of Business MBA, EMBA, EWMBA;
  • School of Optometry OD;
  • School of Information MIDS;
  • BPH On-campus/Online MPH;
  •  Goldman School of Public Policy MPP.

For all students: Enrollment appointments in CalCentral will be available for incoming students starting mid-July. You MUST enroll in at least 12 units to be eligible for academic appointments, stipends from university fellowships and grants, and access to services and programs. If you experience technical issues, email Student Information Systems (SIS) at sishelp@berkeley.edu.

Cal Central Job Aids

For assistance in how to use Cal Central to enroll, billing and finances, financial aid and other academic matters please refer to Student Job Aids.

Berkeley Time

At Berkeley, classes start 10 minutes after their scheduled times, known as “Berkeley Time,” this time provides a buffer  for students with back-to-back classes.

For example, if your schedule says you have

  • Class A from 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
  • Class B from 11:30 AM –1:00 PM

Don’t worry!

  • Class A will start at 9:10 AM and end at 11:30 AM, and
  • Class B will start at 11:40 AM and end at 1:00 PM,

giving you 10 minutes to travel from class A to B.

Note: Berkeley Time only applies to your class schedule. You should expect meetings and events to begin at the scheduled time unless otherwise indicated.

Add and Drop

Students may drop classes through CalCentral without a $10 late fee by the Friday of the second week of instruction and add classes through CalCentral without a $5 late fee by the Friday of the third week of instruction. The final deadline to drop or add classes through CalCentral is the Friday of the fifth week of instruction. To drop or add classes after the deadline, students must submit a Petition to Change Class Schedule form to their Program Manager. To add classes after the deadline, you also need the signature of the instructor on the form.

The Graduate Division does not have to approve the petition if it is filed prior to the last day of instruction. Students will automatically be charged a fee for each course added and a fee for each course dropped after the deadlines. Students may also petition to change the grading option for classes using the same Petition to Change Class Schedule form through the last day of instruction. You can find the specific dates for the Fall and Spring enrollment deadlines in the Student Enrollment Calendar.

Late Registration and Enrollment Policy

If you are not registered in at least one class in CalCentral by the Friday of the third week of instruction, you will be charged a $150 late enrollment fee. If you are not enrolled through CalCentral by the Friday of the fifth week of instruction, you will no longer be able to enroll yourself through CalCentral and  must reach out to your Program Manager to submit a re-enrollment request on your behalf in addition to paying the late fee.

International Students Who Register and Enroll Late

International students with For J-visa status who fail to enroll in at least one class by the end of the third week of classes must consult with an advisor at the Berkeley International Office as soon as possible. Failure to do so could result in invalidation of the student’s immigration status and lead to deportation and ineligibility to reenter the United States. A Petition for Late Enrollment/ Registration must also be submitted. Details about full-time enrollment requirements can be found online.

Establishing California Residency

UC Berkeley classifies each student as either a resident or a nonresident for purposes of tuition and fees. Because of the high cost of out-of-state tuition, students are highly encouraged to establish legal residency in California. Some of the steps for establishing California residency should be fulfilled immediately upon arrival in Berkeley (August) because it takes one year to establish intent to reside in California.

In order to meet the University of California residency requirements, graduate students must be in an eligible immigration status and satisfy the “Physical Presence” and “Intent to Remain in California” requirements by the residence determination date, which is the first day of instruction. Please refer to the Office of the Registrar website for detailed information about applying for Residency.

If you are a continuing nonresident graduate student and wish to apply for a resident classification for an ensuing term, you must submit a Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) by that semester’s deadline.

The amendments around the special circumstances regarding Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, COVID-19, can be found on the Graduate Division website.

On-campus/Online MPH (OOMPH) – Online Courses Enrollment Policy

Residential students are welcome to enroll in On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH) courses, but must first complete the one time required OOMPH 101 tutorial. After completion, they contact their respective program manager for a permission code. The following restrictions apply: residential students may take no more than two OOMPH classes per semester. Additionally, any student wanting to take an online course to satisfy one of the breadth requirements (PH 200J, K, L), must first receive exceptional approval from the Division and the Assistant Dean for Students.

Minimum Unit Requirements (for DrPH and MPH Students)

Note: Academic degree programs (MA, MS, PhD) may have additional or different enrollment policies than professional degree programs (MPH, DrPH). Please check with your program manager.

A minimum of 42-48 units (depending on the program) are required for the MPH degree. A course load of 12-16 units per semester is acceptable for public health graduate students. A student who wishes to take fewer than 12 or more than 20 units is required to obtain special approval.

Per Graduate Division Policy Graduate students must follow the requirements for full-time status listed below:

The minimum enrollment requirement is 12 units per semester for all MPH and DrPH graduate students prior to advancement to candidacy, unless they are subject to a specific categorical or individual exception.*

A full program of study for International students on F or J visas is normally 12 units. The student’s academic program may advise fewer units in exceptional circumstances. International students with exceptional circumstances should consult with the Berkeley International Office (BIO) to ensure compliance with the regulations of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

In exceptional cases such as personal or family illness, and upon recommendation of the student’s Graduate Advisor and the BPH Office of Student Services and Admissions, the Dean of the Graduate Division may approve a reduced course load. Carrying a reduced course load may result in a prolonged degree program.

* GSI and GSR students must be enrolled in 12 units.

Grades

Minimum Grade Requirements

All graduate students are required to maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 (B) in all upper division and graduate course work. Check with your program manager for the requirements in your department, as some departments may have higher standards for their students.

A passing grade for a Breadth Course Requirement is a B-. MPH students must take Breadth Course Requirements (PH 142, PH 200J, PH 200K, PH 200L, and PH 250A) and a course in Public Health Leadership for a letter grade. This also applies for the alternative courses which are listed later in this document. Students attaining less than a B- will be required to retake the course in order to qualify for graduation.

Good Academic Standing

Students must be in good academic standing to be placed in BPH internships and residencies. Students are normally considered to be in good academic standing if they are making adequate progress toward the completion of degree requirements and:

  • Have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0;
  • Do not have more than 2 unfinished incomplete grades on their record; and
  • Have not received warning letters from the department or been placed on formal probation for academic or clinical deficiencies.

Grading Standards

In order for students to be in good academic standing, they must maintain an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 on the basis of all upper division undergraduate (100 to 199 level) and graduate courses (200 – 299 level) taken in graduate standing. Grade-points earned in Berkeley courses numbered below 100 or above 300 are not included in determining a student’s grade point average for remaining in good standing or earning a degree. Some departments may have higher performance standards than the minimum B average required by the Graduate Division. BPH considers a grade of lower than B- in any individual course to be a sign of academic concern. Students are required to earn a grade of “B-” or better in required courses (please see your program handbook or consult your Program Manager).

It is important for first-year students to take courses on a letter-graded basis in order to establish a grade-point average for future consideration regarding fellowships and academic appointments. Refer to the Graduate Division Policy for more details.

University and School Policies


Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Prevention Education

Both the University and the School have made it a priority to ensure that harm and violence have no place at Berkeley. This can include, but is not limited to, hate or bias related incidents, sexual violence, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. Through numerous trainings, we are equipping our campus with the skills to recognize instances of potential harm or violence and offer help safely, be that by de-escalating, intervening in, or reporting any potentially violent or concerning situations.

All students are required to complete the following trainings in order to be able to register for classes. This includes two components:

  1. Online training: Students will receive “Sexual Assault Prevention for Graduate Students” training via a personalized link emailed to their berkeley.edu email address and listed as a task in CalCentral.
  2. Synchronous training: Students will need to complete the “Cultivating a Respectful Graduate Community” training in-person* during the first semester.

Remember: Both components must be completed, or a hold will be placed on your registration. Students must check their CalCentral for pending tasks such as these trainings that impact their registration for the following semester.

*In Fall 2021 Synchronous training will be provided remotely, but students must still attend the training live. Recordings will not be made available.

Standards of Ethical Content

The University’s Statement of Ethical Values and Standards of Ethical Conduct commits everyone in the UC community to the highest ethical standards in furtherance of the University’s mission of teaching, research, and public service. It identifies the University’s core ethical values as integrity, excellence, accountability, and respect.

In summary, we are committed to the following:

  1. Fair Dealing. We will always conduct ourselves ethically, honestly, and with integrity.
  2. Individual Responsibility and Accountability. We will accept responsibility appropriate to our positions and delegated authorities.
  3. Respect for Others. We will treat everyone we contact with respect and dignity.
  4. Compliance with Applicable Laws and Regulations. We will learn and abide by federal, state, and local laws that affect our campus roles.
  5. Compliance with Applicable University Policies, Procedures and Other Forms of Guidance. We will learn and abide by University and campus policies and procedures that affect our campus roles.
  6. Conflicts of Interest or Commitment. We will avoid both actual conflicts of interest and the appearance of such conflicts and devote our primary professional allegiance to the University and its mission of teaching, research, and public service.
  7. Ethical Conduct of Research. We will conduct our research with integrity and intellectual honesty and show the greatest care for human or animal subjects.
  8. Records: Confidentiality/Privacy and Access. We will follow applicable laws and University policies when accessing, using, protecting, or disclosing records.
  9. Internal Controls. We will ensure that internal controls are established, properly documented, and maintained for activities within our jurisdictions.
  10. Use of University Resources. We will ensure that campus resources are used only on behalf of the University.
  11. Financial Reporting. We will ensure that accounting and financial records are accurate, clear, and complete.
  12. Reporting Violations and Protection from Retaliation. We will report all known or suspected improper governmental activities under the provisions of the University’s Whistleblower Policy, recognizing that everyone is protected from retaliation for making such reports under the Whistleblower Retaliation Policy.

Honor Code

The Associated Students of University of California (ASUC) in conjunction with the Graduate Assembly, the Academic Senate, and the Letters and Sciences (L&S) Deans have developed a UC Berkeley Honor Code to support an environment of academic integrity and respect on campus. While the statement of the Honor Code itself is brief, it is an affirmation of our highest ideals as Golden Bears:

As a member of the UC Berkeley community, I act with honesty, integrity, and respect for others.

The purpose of the Honor Code is to enhance awareness of the need for the highest possible levels of integrity and respect on campus, both within and outside the academic context.

We hope and believe that the code will catalyze a series of ongoing conversations about our principles and practices. Together, through engagement, we can create a consistent message and ethos in our classrooms, labs, departments, and throughout the academic enterprise to ensure that the core values of academic integrity and honesty are being embraced by both students and faculty. For more information, see Honor Code Frequently Asked Questions.

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is any action or attempted action that may result in creating an unfair academic advantage for oneself or an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for any other member or members of the academic community. This includes a wide variety of behaviors such as cheating, plagiarism, altering academic documents or transcripts, gaining access to materials before they are intended to be available, and helping a friend to gain an unfair academic advantage. See the Center for Student Conduct website for basic definitions and examples of academic misconduct. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and individual departments may have differing expectations for students, and therefore students are responsible for clarifying the standards and expectations of their individual departments.

Intellectual Property

The aim of UC Berkeley policies on the protection of intellectual property rights is to make available research to others for the public benefit, while providing recognition to individual researchers and inventors and encouraging the prompt and open dissemination of research results. The UC Berkeley Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) works with campus inventors to facilitate transfers of technologies created at UC Berkeley to the commercial sector for public use and benefit. OTL also has a peer division, the Industry Alliances Office (IAO), which enables innovative research relationships by negotiating research contracts between Berkeley employees and private industry.

Withdrawing from the University

If instruction has already begun and a student wishes to discontinue study, a withdrawal must be formally requested and processed. By withdrawing, enrollment in all classes will be dropped, and a student will no longer be able to attend for that semester or any future semester unless readmitted. Students may withdraw temporarily without penalty. Many students take a semester off during the program. Please review the Graduate Division website for details. Withdrawal requests are submitted through an eForm found by clicking on the “Special Enrollment Petition” link in CalCentral.

Please contact your program manager for more comprehensive instructions on the withdrawal process.

Re-enrollment After Withdrawal

If you completely withdraw from your program, you must submit readmission paperwork and subsequent fees to re-enroll. Re-enrollment after complete withdrawal is left to the discretion of the programs. There is a possibility of being denied re-admittance. Think very carefully when considering withdrawing completely. The timing of your withdrawal request will affect your refund eligibility (full vs. partial vs. fee credit). Please review the Re-enrollment process on the Graduate Division website.

Guide to Graduate Policy

Policies and procedures that govern graduate work at Berkeley are found in the Guide to Graduate Policy on the Graduate Division website.

Student Records and Privacy


Public Records

As a student, you will have a variety of records maintained by the University of California. Disclosure of information contained in these records is governed by state and federal law and by campus policy. The Berkeley Campus Policy Governing Disclosure of Information from Student Records is posted on the Office of the Registrar website. Unless you request “non-disclosure” (in writing), the Registrar and the School of Public Health consider the following categories to be public information once you become a registered graduate student:

  • Name of student
  • Birthday
  • Address
  • Email
  • Telephone number
  • Major field of study
  • Degrees granted at Berkeley
  • Dates of attendance

The Assistant Dean for Students is responsible for the maintenance of all student records. The Assistant Dean is assisted by staff members who have the need to access student records in the course of performing their duties. When requested, we will release the information noted above, if available in our offices. If you do not want this information released, in whole or part, you must submit a written request to withhold this information from public disclosure. You can do this by letter or by completing a form that is available from Graduate Services Degrees, 318 Sproul Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-5900. The written request will be honored until you graduate or withdraw from the University or for a five-year period, whichever comes first.

Confidential Records

All other records, such as general correspondence, admission application, and educational test scores, are confidential. The following persons have access to these records: The Office of the President of the University, the Ombudsperson, and academic and non-academic staff of the BPH. Other campus personnel are granted access when such access is necessary for the normal performance of their assigned duties. The procedures by which students and persons or organizations outside the campus may gain access are described below. Complete records of degree recipients, as well as those of inactive students who have not finished their degrees, are kept for five years after the last semester of registration.

Procedures for Access to Confidential Records

Students have the right to inspect their own confidential records provided they present adequate identification. Letters of recommendation and statements of evaluation dated before January 1, 1975, will not be disclosed since these are not covered by congressional legislation. Letters and evaluations placed in the file after January 1, 1975, are not disclosed if the student has waived the right to inspect and review those recommendations.

To inspect their records, enrolled students should direct their request to the Student Services and Admissions Staff. Copies will be made for legal actions only. We regret that it is not possible to make copies of any or all parts of a student’s record file for the purpose of applying for admission or employment elsewhere.

Disclosure to a third party can be made only with the written consent of the student, which must name the third party, the records to be released, and the reasons for the disclosure.

Note: For records of graduation or official grades for coursework completed at the School, the official office of record is the campus Registrar.

Challenge of Records

If a student believes that their record includes information that is inaccurate, misleading, inappropriate, or otherwise in violation of the students rights of privacy, an appointment should be made with the Assistant Dean for Students to request that the records be amended. If the student is not satisfied with the result of the appointment, they may appeal to the Dean of BPH. If the student is still not satisfied, there will be a hearing, presided over by a campus official or other party who does not have direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. The hearing will be within a reasonable length of time and will provide an opportunity for the correction or deletion of any inaccurate, misleading, or inappropriate data and for the inclusion in the student’s records of a written explanation.

Note: Grading and other evaluations of students’ work by course instructors do not fall within the scope of such a hearing.

While complaints and questions that have to do with student records would first be directed to the Assistant Dean for Students, they may also be submitted to the Office of the Registrar, 127 Sproul Hall. Complaints regarding violation of the rights accorded students by the 1974 Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley) may also be filed with the Family Compliance Office, US Department of Education, 600 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.

Grievance and Appeals Procedures


Grade Grievance and Appeals

In the event of any grievance or dispute, students are encouraged to contact the Ombudsman Office for Students and Postdoctoral Appointees.

Initial jurisdiction over grade grievances lies within academic departments, which make recommendations to the Committee on Course of Instruction (COCI), which determines the final resolution. COCI considers grades to be a matter of academic judgment and subject to challenge only on the basis of Berkeley Division Regulation A207.A. (Grade Appeals: Appeal Process), which states that the grounds for grievance are:

  • Application of non-academic criteria, such as: considerations of race, politics, religion, sex, or other criteria not directly reflective of performance related to course requirements
  • Sexual harassment
  • Improper academic procedures that unfairly affect a student’s grade

For more information, visit Procedures for Grade Appeals Based on the Alleged Use of Non-Academic Criteria. 

Informal Grievance

Students who wish to appeal a grade in a public health course must first begin discussions with the instructor. Students may contact the department chair, the student Ombudsperson, or another mutually acceptable third party such as the Assistant Dean for Students who can attempt to mediate the dispute informally and impartially. If the matter is resolved informally between the instructor and student and requires a grade change, the case will be referred to COCI, which will review the case and notify the Registrar’s Office if it is determined that a grade change is required. If the matter cannot be resolved informally by the student and instructor or by a third party, then the student may begin the formal grievance process. 

Formal Grievance

If the matter cannot be resolved informally and it has been less than one calendar year since the last day of the semester in which the course in question was taken, then the formal grievance process may begin. Neither the informal nor the formal grievance process may begin if one calendar year has passed.

The student shall submit the case in writing to the Assistant Dean for Students, who shall form an ad hoc Grievance Committee composed of three faculty members, including a committee chair, only two of whom may be from the same program. The original instructor cannot be a member of the committee. The committee will also consist of two students in good standing appointed by the BPH Graduate Student Council. Student members must have been in residence for at least one year and, ideally, will have passed courses or an examination in the unit at least at the level of the disputed course or examination.

A new ad hoc committee will be formed for each case presented. In cases where multiple grievances are presented (e.g., more than one student grieving grades for the same course or one student grieving grades from multiple courses), a single ad hoc committee will be formed with the student’s or students’ written consent.

After the student has submitted their appeal to the Assistant Dean for Students, the committee will then obtain a written response from the instructor and will allow both parties to submit additional information orally or in writing. After the grievance committee reaches a decision, they will submit their recommendation, including minority view, to the Assistant Dean, student, and instructor.

The Assistant Dean will then forward the committee’s recommendation to COCI. If COCI finds in favor of the student, they may change a failing grade to P or S, drop a course retroactively, retain the course but eliminate the grade from the GPA, or adopt the letter grade, if applicable, recommended by 4 out of 5 members of the grievance committee.

Graduate Appeal Procedure

The purpose of this procedure is to afford Berkeley graduate students an opportunity to resolve complaints about dismissal from graduate standing, placement on probationary status, denial of readmission to the same program (if the student was previously in good standing), disputes over joint authorship of research in accordance with joint authorship policies of campus departments or units, and other administrative or academic decisions that terminate or otherwise impede progress toward academic or professional degree goals.

The scope of this procedure is limited to the matters listed above and excludes complaints regarding student records, grades in courses of instruction, student employment, student discipline, and auxiliary student services (such as housing, child care, etc.). This procedure may not be used for complaints regarding actions based solely on faculty evaluation of the academic quality of a student’s performance or decanal evaluations of a student’s appropriate academic progress unless the complaint alleges that the actions may have been influenced by non-academic criteria, such as considerations of race, politics, religion, sex, or other criteria.

The University has a variety of mechanisms to deal with complaints. An overview of grievance and appeals procedures that address administrative or academic decisions that impede or terminate progress toward a degree are discussed in Graduate Appeal Procedure.

The general rule, in the event of a dispute, is to begin with the parties closest to the situation. The principle is illustrated in the following policy adopted by BPH faculty for professional degree students. It pertains to administrative or academic decisions that impede or terminate progress toward a degree goal but does not cover grade appeals.

  1. The student should first discuss the complaint with his/her Faculty Advisor or Program Director.
    1. If the situation is not resolved, the student and/or the Faculty Advisor should consult either the Division Head or the Head Graduate Advisor.
    2. If still unresolved, the next step is to consult the Head Graduate Advisor.
  2. Only if the above steps are followed without satisfactory resolution should the student bring the grievance or appeal to the Dean of the Graduate Division.

Graduate students may contact the Office of the Ombudsman for Students for informal assistance with complaint resolution. The Associate Deans of the Graduate Division also may be consulted for informal resolution at any stage of the process. Civil law remedies, including injunctions, restraining or other court orders, and monetary damages also may be available to complainants.

Fees, Bills, and Other Fiscal Matters


Registration Fees

Your registration fees are billed through the Billing and Payment Services Office. Registration fees can be found on the Office of the Registrar website.

Your first billing statement (e-Bill) will be available in early August and must be viewed online through CalCentral. Paper bills are not generated; your only notification will be by email. E-Bills are generated once a month and once the e-Bill is created it does not update. Before making a payment, it is important to first view your updated balance by logging into CalCentral. If you are eligible for financial aid, please note that the August e-Bill will not show your financial aid payments, including loan disbursements, for the Fall semester. 

Payment Options

Students will use CalCentral >> My Finances for billing activities, including viewing new charges, account balances, transaction history, and paying bills. If you wish to grant a trusted individual access to seeing and paying your bills, use the link on My Finances to grant authorization.

Students can pay university bills online by eCheck at no cost, with a credit card convenience fee may apply, or with foreign currency through a Western Union wire transfer. More information for continuing undergraduates and graduate students can be found online on the Billing Services page.

You must pay your registration fees in full or enroll in the Fee Payment Plan. If your fees are not paid on time, your enrollment in classes may be canceled, any fellowship or stipend payments may be placed on hold, and you may not be able to access campus services such as the library or Recreational Sports Facility or be able to obtain a bus pass. For details, options, and deadlines, please refer to the Billing Services page of the SIS website. 

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

Recipients of fellowships, stipends, and financial aid are strongly encouraged to sign up for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to expedite receipt of their disbursements or refunds via direct deposit to your personal bank account. Students using EFT receive their refunds faster and avoid standing in line. EFT is secure and saves resources. Visit the EFT website to sign up online. Refunds paid to students by a paper check can be picked up in person at the Cal Student Central office located at 120 Sproul Hall. Checks that are not picked up in a timely manner will be mailed to the local address on file in  CalCentral. Make sure your local address is current to avoid delays in payment and problems with returned mail due to an outdated address.

For billing inquiries, contact:

Cal Student Central (different from CalCentral)

120 Sproul Hall,
Berkeley, CA 94720-5900
+1-510-664-9181
studentcentral@berkeley.edu

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. –4 p.m.

Financial Aid

To be eligible for University funding, all graduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are required to submit the annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available on the FAFSA website.

Federal Direct Loans and work-study awards are administered by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. The programs are based entirely on demonstrated financial need and require a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), independent of the fellowship application. The FAFSA form is available on the FAFSA website.

Only U.S. citizens or students with permanent resident status may apply for the federal loans and work-study funds administered by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. In most cases, students will be eligible to borrow Federal Direct Loans sufficient to cover their academic year budget (tuition and fees, living expenses, books, etc.), less awards from other sources. If you have not filed a FAFSA, do so as soon as possible to ensure you have loan funding available for the current academic year.

Financial Aid for Student Parents

Registered graduate student parents (single or married) with dependent children may apply for a variety of aid programs: Graduate Student Parent Grants; Childbirth Accommodation Funding; Family and Childbearing Leaves; Child Care Reimbursement for Graduate Student Researchers; Back-Up Child Care; and Breastfeeding Support Program. For more information, see visit the Support for Student Parents website.

Please direct questions about need-based loans to Cal Student Central, 120 Sproul Hall, 510-664-9181. You can also consult the graduate student section of the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office website. 

Fellowships and Scholarships (for Graduate Students)

The Fellowships website is an excellent place to begin researching extramural fellowships, including those awarded by government agencies, foundations, and corporations. Check the website for the most up-to-date fellowship information. Graduate Services Fellowships also offers workshops on some extramural fellowships (i.e., Fulbright, FLAS, NSF, etc.). Fellowship workshops will be announced via email from Graduate Student Affairs Officers and via GradNews.

Graduate Fellowships Office

318 Sproul Hall #5900,
Berkeley, CA 94720-5900
510-642-0672

If you were awarded financial assistance through the University for this academic year, you will receive information directly from the appropriate office concerning payment of the award. Graduate students will find numerous opportunities for funding once they begin their academic careers. Keep in mind that fellowships funded by foundations or government agencies often have early Fall deadlines. Students are advised to continue to apply for fellowships even if they have already received funding for their first two or three years of graduate school.

Emergency Loan Program

The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office offers short-term emergency loans to graduate and undergraduate students. These interest-free loans are designed to help students meet unanticipated expenses directly related to the cost of education. Information on the Emergency Loan Program is on the Cal Student Central website and the Financial Aid & Scholarships website.

Basic Needs Center

The Basic Needs Center serves as a resource hub for undergraduate and graduate students who need support around their food, housing and financial needs. The Center also is a space for students to create community and access coordinated support for their basic needs. Services include case management, emergency housing, CalFresh and emergency food resources, as well as basic needs drop-in services. If you or someone you know is in immediate need of emergency food, housing or financial resources, please email basicneedssupport@berkeley.edu or come to the Basic Needs Center (Monday–Friday 10–6 PM) located in the BNORTH (lower-level) inside the MLK Student Union. More information can be found at basicneeds.berkeley.edu.

Work-Study

Working part-time while in school is a great way to pay for some of your expenses and keep your student loan debt to a minimum. The Federal Work-Study program at UC Berkeley creates job opportunities for students. As many campus jobs are restricted to work-study students, it is a good idea to find out if you are currently eligible for work-study or could become eligible by converting loans.

For work-study questions, students can contact Cal Student Central. Employers with questions should email wsp@berkeley.edu.

Fee Remissions

Graduate students who hold academic appointments (GSI, GSR, Reader, Tutor) may be eligible for fee remissions that offset a portion or all of their educational and health insurance fees. The amount of the fee remission depends on the type of appointment that is held during the current semester. Although the specifics of a graduate student appointment may vary, the following fee remissions generally apply for students appointed the full semester:

  • GSI (25-50%): Partial Fee Remission
  • GSR (24-44%): Partial Fee Remission
  • GSR (45% or greater): Full Fee Remission

Typically, though not always, GSIs/GSRs who are hired for at least 25% time (10 hrs/week) receive most of their tuition/fees paid (everything except for Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition, Class Pass, and Berkeley Campus Fees), as well as an hourly salary and student health insurance. GSIs/GSRs hired at least 45% time also receive the Class Pass and Berkeley Campus fees paid as part of the benefit. The Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition must still be paid. All graduate students are restricted to working no more than half-time (50%) during fall / spring semesters, regardless of the position they hold. A request for an exception can be submitted to the Head Graduate Advisor. Many departments appoint graduate students for less than 50%. For example, a GSI typically works 16 to 20 hours per week, on average.

Note: If you are not a resident of California, you typically will not qualify to get your non-resident supplemental fee paid for as a GSI, no matter what percent time you work, unless otherwise stated by your department.

Note: Students on Filing Fee status are not eligible for fee remissions or holding graduate student academic appointments.

Filing Fee Information and Policies

The Filing Fee is a reduced fee, one-half of the Student Services Fee (formerly the University Registration fee), for doctoral students who have completed all requirements for the degree except for filing the dissertation (Plans A and B) and presenting the Final Defense (Plan A). It is also available to master’s students with no requirements remaining except for filing the thesis (Plan I) or taking the final comprehensive examination (Plan II). Filing Fee is available for the fall and spring semesters only. File the Special Enrollment Petition eForm in CalCentral by the Filing Fee Submission deadline.

The Filing Fee is not a form of registration. If students wish to use University services that are supported by registration fees, they must pay those fees. Students on Filing Fee status are not eligible to hold academic appointments because they are not registered.

If a student does not complete the final degree requirements (filing the dissertation or thesis, or passing the final comprehensive exam) during the semester for which the Filing Fee is approved, the student must apply for readmission and pay regular registration fees during a subsequent semester to complete the requirements.

Note: The Filing Fee may be used only once during a student’s career.

Teaching and Research Assistantships


Academic Student Employment (ASE)

Many graduate students are offered academic appointments, such as Graduate Student Instructor (GSI, synonymous with “teaching assistant”), Tutor, or Reader. These titles are Academic Student Employees (ASE) and are regulated by a union contract. The contract is available online. Students also may be offered an appointment as a Graduate Student Researcher (GSR). Please note that academic appointments have minimum academic requirements, such as GPA and English language proficiency, as well as registration and other requirements. Some positions are eligible for fee remissions in addition to salary appointment eligibility.

Before you begin any work, you should first  contact the personnel assistant in your hiring department to complete all the necessary paperwork and ensure that you understand what your position will entail and what to expect in terms of salary and fee remissions. For GSI appointments, the hiring department is required to send you an official appointment letter and any supplemental information required. For GSR appointments, you should receive a signed copy of the GSR Appointment Form from your department outlining the details of your GSR appointment.

Your appointment is not final until you have accepted the job offer in writing. Ask about University deadlines, and make sure that you have met all the requirements for your position. For more information, please read the GSI, GSR, Reader, Tutor Guide.

The Role of the GSI

A Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) serves as a teaching apprentice under the supervision of the instructor in charge of the course. GSI duties may include lesson planning and lab preparation, teaching sections or labs, office and email consultation, and grading exams and papers.

The Role of the GSR

A Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) performs research work broadly related to his or her degree program under the direction of a faculty member or principal investigator. GSR duties may include participant recruitment, data collection and analysis (may require working knowledge of Stata, SAS, or R), and manuscript editing and writing.

How to Find GSI/GSR Opportunities

Graduate Student Instructor positions are available primarily for doctoral or continuing master’s students; however, incoming master’s students may secure a position as a GSI for an undergraduate course. Typically, departments send out announcements when they are ready to look for GSIs (usually late March through August for Fall semester appointments). If you are interested in a particular department, contact the department and join their mailing list (usually late October to November for Spring semester appointments).

Applications for GSI positions are made directly by the student to the department in which they want to GSI for. Students must apply to each department separately and only after they have committed to come to the School of Public Health (i.e., submitted the Statement of Intent to Register).

General Tips

  • Check UC Berkeley departmental websites for application details and deadlines
  • Check the BPH Bulletin emailed out weekly by BPH Communications
  • Check the BPH Student Digest emailed out weekly by the Office of Student Services and Admissions
  • Check PHLEX (the Public Health Leadership & Experience Exchange, requires CalNet ID login) for new posts regarding GSI/GSR positions. Check frequently, as positions are high in demand and may be filled quickly. You can also see other part-time jobs for students that are available.
  • Look for emails concerning GSI/GSR opportunities from your program manager, faculty, and BPH staff.
  • Begin your search early; check departmental websites for GSI application deadlines.
  • Apply broadly and ask to be put on a waitlist in case someone decides not to take a GSI position that is offered to them.
  • GSR appointments can be made at any point throughout the year, so continue your search.
  • Try not to get discouraged; finding and securing a GSI/GSR position takes initiative and a lot of follow-up, but most students who have wanted to get a position manage to do so by their second year.

Tips for Finding GSI Positions

If you are an incoming master’s student, you are eligible to apply for GSI appointments in undergraduate courses. Please note that each department has its own application and its own submission deadlines. More information can be found on UC Berkeley departmental websites. In addition to applying online, you may consider contacting faculty or department heads directly.

If you are a doctoral or continuing master’s student, you are welcome to apply for GSI appointments in undergraduate and graduate courses. In addition to applying online, you may consider contacting faculty directly.

Remember: You can be a GSI in any department in which you feel you have experience. DO NOT apply to be a GSI for a course in which you are not knowledgeable and adequately prepared to teach.

Tips for Finding GSR Positions

If you are interested in doing research with a particular faculty member at UC Berkeley, you are encouraged to reach out to them directly and inquire about GSR positions. Ask faculty or staff well before the beginning of the semester for which you want to be appointed about research projects that may need GSRs. You should also check department websites and talk to your graduate student colleagues, who may have suggestions. 

GSI, GSR, Reader, and Tutor Guide

Detailed information about academic student employment can be found in the GSI, GSR, Reader, and Tutor Guide. This is a complete guide that outlines:

GSI Teaching and Resource Center

This Graduate Division office provides teaching support for new and continuing GSIs and prepares graduate students for the teaching they may do in future academic and nonacademic careers. The GSI Teaching and Resource Center includes teaching conferences, workshops, course improvement grants, teaching awards, consultations, and a Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. The Center’s Language Proficiency Program administers SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) and OPT (Oral Proficiency Test) exams for prospective GSIs who do not speak English as a native language. The Center also assists departments and faculty in their role of preparing GSIs for teaching through grants, web-based materials, and an annual seminar for faculty on mentoring GSIs in teaching.

The GSI Teaching and Resource Center website includes an online teaching guide and a rich array of materials to assist GSIs. Visit the GSI Teaching and Resource Center at 301 Sproul Hall to find books, videos, and other reference materials on teaching. For more information, email gradappt@berkeley.edu or call 510-642-4456.

Language Proficiency

Students who do not speak English as a native language and who do not hold a Bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution must demonstrate oral English proficiency to be appointed as a GSI. In those countries where the internet-based (iBT) TOEFL is available, English language proficiency for teaching is determined by the speaking section score of the iBT TOEFL. In those countries where the iBT TOEFL is not available, students can demonstrate their proficiency by taking and passing the Oral Proficiency Test (OPT) offered on the Berkeley campus. Information on passing scores, testing options, and language courses can be found on the GSI Teaching and Resource Center’s Language Proficiency web pages.

Pedagogy Courses

GSIs are required to take pedagogy courses. All GSIs teaching for the first time at Berkeley are required to enroll and complete a 375-level course (2 units) on teaching in the discipline prior to or concurrent with their first appointment. However, please note that courses in the 375 series do not count toward the 42/48 unit requirement for the MPH degree. More information can be found GSI Teaching & Resource Center’s Pedagogy Course for First-Time GSI’s web page.

School of Public Health Resources


Website and Social Media

You can find the main BPH website at publichealth.berkeley.edu. A few handy pages on the site for students are the Student Government page, the Student Resources page, and the Student Groups page. You can visit the BPH Calendar for School- and campus-wide events of interest.

We also encourage students to follow and engage with the School on social media:

General information for all graduate students may be found on the Berkeley Graduate Division website.

Berkeley Way West

Berkeley Way West is the home of the School of Public Health. Students may request access to Berkeley Way West outside normal open hours (Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) by submitting the UC Berkeley CardKey Application. The form will be routed to your Program Manager for review and approval. Once approved, it will be sent to UCPD for processing. Please allow 2-3 weeks for building access.

The Joint Medical Program and many research centers are located in University Hall. Students may request access to UHall outside normal open hours through the same process as requesting access to BWW.

Facilities Access

BWW is a secure building and anyone entering prior to 7am or after 6pm on weekdays, anytime on weekends, and those accessing first floor classrooms or fifth floor offices must first obtain a Cal1Card. You must make sure that you have completed all the tasks that appear in your CalCentral profile. For new students, Student Services will be picking up everyone’s ID cards and passing them out at Orientation. For more information on building access you can visit the Berkeley Public Health website.

Please also take some time to review BWW building etiquette, policies, etc on the BPH website.

Student Space in BWW

There are two dedicated student spaces for BPH Graduate students.. On the second floor, a Graduate Student Lounge, room 2500. This lounge is behind key card access and access must be applied for (see key card access section above for details). This lounge is shared by all 3 schools in the building (BPH, Graduate School of Education (GSE), and the Department of Psychology) and is limited to graduate students only. The second dedicated student space foBPH Students at Berkeley Way West is on the 5th floor- Suite 5241: the Graduate Student Research Suite. This open office layout has several rows of workstations and touchdown spaces. This space is reserved for PhD students and actively employed graduate student researchers (GSRs). The space is intended to be a quiet library-like space for independent research and should not be used for office hours or other collaborative GSI work.

Additionally, any space in the suite that does not have signage is considered “touchdown” (an unassigned workstations shared between part-time employees, visitors, etc as needed). These are generally large flat desks with no height management (not a sit/stand desk). This includes both the non-sit/stand desks in the center of the suite and half of the sit/stand workstations. Moreover, there are many soft spaces scattered throughout the building. Students are encouraged to utilize any space that works with their personal workflow. Please note that floors 3 and 4 are reserved for Graduate School of Educations and School of Psychology students.

Student Services and Admissions

The Office of Student Services and Admissions is located at 2210 Berkeley Way West. The Student Services and Admissions team in the School of Public Health works year round to ensure that all students have access to the campus services they may need. Issues dealing with admissions, financial aid, course registration, student life, advising, and all policies concerning education come through this office. It is also responsible for planning several major events during the year, including New Student Orientation, Spring Visit Day, and Commencement. The Joint Medical Program Student Services office is located in UHall.

Center for Public Health Practice and Leadership

The mission of the Center for Public Health Practice & Leadership (CPHPL) is to support students, faculty, alumni, and practitioners as current and emerging health leaders to achieve excellence in practice as they promote individual and community health. The center collaborates with academic, practice, and community partners to make the link between teaching, research, and the practice of public health, and provides inteservices appropriate to the needs of its key constituents. The center promotes a commitment to diversity, human rights, and social justice as it offers guidance in meeting the public health practice requirement, career support, and leadership development opportunities. Learn more about the practice requirement for 2- and 3-year MPH students.

Joint Medical Program students should contact their faculty advisor and refer to the UCSF Office of Career and Professional Development website for more information.

For additional questions, please email cphpl@berkeley.edu.

Career Services for Graduate Students and Alumni

The Career Services office as part of CPHPL provides a full range of resources designed to support students and alumni at all points along their career development. Career Services manages the Public Health Leadership & Experience Exchange (PHLEX), the School of Public Health’s online platform where you can:

  • Search for full-time or part-time jobs, fellowships, internships/practicums, GSI/GSR/on-campus positions, and volunteer opportunities.
  • Browse employer profiles and find out which employers are actively recruiting School of Public Health students and alumni.
  • Create custom searches, review your application history, and store your resume, cover letter, and other documents.
  • View the calendar to find and sign up for workshops, employer information sessions, and special events.
  • Schedule a career counseling or pre-health advising* appointment (graduate students and alumni only). Discuss career decision-making or job/internship/practicum search strategies, review your resume or cover letter, conduct a mock interview, evaluate a job offer, or more! *Career Services also offers advising and support to students preparing to apply to medical school or other graduate level health professional programs.

For additional questions, please email publichealthcareers@berkeley.edu. 

DREAM Office

The Diversity Respect Equity Action Multiculturalism Office (DREAM) office is located at 2220 Berkeley Way West. The mission of the DREAM Office is to increase diversity in the public health workforce by encouraging students from historically underrepresented or disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue graduate degrees in the health professions. We work to reduce barriers to entry into graduate school and to help those interested in working with vulnerable populations to succeed in their goals.

At the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, we have a longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as pathways to excellence at all levels of the School—via recruiting, mentoring, and inclusively engaging with diverse populations of students, faculty, staff, and community partners. To learn more about the UC Berkeley campus wide commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, visit the Berkeley Diversity website.

The Library

“The Library helps current and future users find, evaluate, use, and create knowledge to better the world.” 

The library offers thousands of online databases in every subject area, and millions of books, journals, videos, datasets, and other types of material for your research needs. In addition, there are several dozen subject expert librarians, including the Public Health Librarian, to assist you in finding and using articles, books, data, etc.; conducting literature reviews; managing citations; and more.

During normal times, BPH students have access to all the campus libraries, including the Bioscience, Natural Resources & Public Health Library. In addition, librarians offer online office hours; email the Public Health Librarian for times and Zoom links.

Helpful links:

Please check with the different locations for hours of operations and covid protocols.

Listserv Announcements

The BPH Student Digest is sent out each week throughout the year and more frequently at the start and completion of semesters when more announcements are necessary. In addition, to keep students in the loop, the BPH Bulletin, an e-newsletter for faculty and staff, is also sent out. If you have an announcement to submit, please email it to sph_communications@berkeley.edu.

Be sure to read ALL emails from the followings addresses:

  • BPH Communications: sph_communications@berkeley.edu
  • Assistant Dean for Students, Quin Hussey: whussey@berkeley.edu
  • Executive Associate Dean, Amani M. Allen: amaniallen@berkeley.edu
  • Dean Michael Lu: sph_dean@berkeley.edu

Health and Wellness


University Health Services (Tang Center)

University Health Services (UHS) at the Tang Center is a comprehensive outpatient center, complete with medical, mental health, wellness, and insurance programs. Services provided include primary, urgent, and specialty medical care; pharmacy, laboratory, and radiology services; physical therapy; counseling and psychological services, and health promotion services.

While UHS is certainly available to assist students in times of illness and distress, a mission of the health center is keeping students well and focused on school.

Registered students can use all services at UHS whether or not they have a Berkeley Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). However, students without SHIP will pay a fee. To make an appointment, call 510-642-2000 or go to the online Tang Patient Portal (CalNet ID required). For more information, including a list of providers and services, visit the University Health Services website.

Student Health Insurance Plan (Ship)

As a condition of enrollment, all UC Berkeley students, including students in the OOMPH program, are required to have major medical health insurance to cover hospitalization and other care outside University Health Services. Students are automatically enrolled in Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), which is administered by UHS. SHIP coverage is worldwide and includes excellent medical, mental health, dental and vision benefits. The Fall semester coverage period is August 1-December 31, and Spring semester covers January 1-July 31. Students must be enrolled in at least 1 unit before Phase 1 ends. Dependent plans and free Insurance Helpline are also offered.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers short term counseling for academic, career, and personal issues. There is no charge to get started, and all registered students can access services regardless of their insurance plan. Professional counselors are available to meet with students to talk about personal, academic, and career issues, including adjusting to school, deciding on a career or major, dealing with family or relationships, sexual orientation and identity, and coping with personal crises. Groups and workshops are also available on a variety of topics, including managing stress, anxiety, and depression.

Office Hours

  • Monday-Wednesday: 8 am–5:30 pm
  • Thursday: 9 am–5:30 pm
  • Friday: 8 am–5 pm
  • Crisis drop-in: Monday–Friday, 10 am–5 pm

Recreational Sports Facility (RSF)

You can find just about everything you’ll need to stay fit at the Recreational Sports Facility (RSF), including swimming pools, racquetball and handball courts, weight rooms, cardiovascular machines, basketball, volleyball, badminton courts, intramural sports leagues, and more. Student memberships are included in campus fees, so you don’t need to pay anything extra to become a member—although you will still need to fill out a liability waiver. Students also receive special rates on fitness classes, personal training, intramural sports, and outdoor adventure classes.

All members get access to the RSF, the Fitness Center at the Memorial Stadium, tennis courts, running tracks, the Strawberry Canyon Recreation Area, Hearst Pool, and the Golden Bear Recreation Center, group exercise classes, and discounted rates on personal training, instructional fitness classes, massage therapy, and outdoor adventure classes at the Berkeley Marina. The weekly schedule for group exercise classes is posted every week, and drop-ins are welcome.

Members can sponsor one additional person who meets the following criteria: legal spouse, domestic partner, or adult (at least 17 years old) at the same shared residence to receive a discounted membership rate. Call 510-642-7796 for more information, or visit the Recreational Sports website.

Campus Safety

On campus and in the surrounding area, you should take the precautions that you would in any urban setting. When you arrive, take the opportunity to tour the campus during daylight hours to become familiar with your surroundings. When you are on campus at night, stay on lighted, well-traveled walkways, or use Night Safety Services such as BearWALK. For resources and tips regarding how to stay safe on campus, visit the Health & Safety website.

The UC Police Department (UCPD) is a full-service police department operating around the clock. The UCPD provides a number of crime prevention and safety programs. UCPD regularly publishes Crime Alerts for the community, notifying of criminal activity on or near campus. Alerts will be sent to your @berkeley.edu email address via Nixle’s UC Berkeley Private Group. For more information, see the UCPD website.

For emergency situations, call BPD (911) or UCPD (510-642-3333)

For non-emergency situations with time-sensitive response:

If there is a mental health crisis situation:

City of Berkeley Mobile Crisis Team (police will still be present)
(510) 981-5254
Leave message and receive callback within the hour
Wed-Fri, Sun-Mon, 11:30 am–10 pm

This team can come to campus to help out someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis.

If there is a need for an immediate response, if it is not a mental health crisis situation, or if outside Mobile Crisis Team hours:

City Berkeley Police non-emergency dispatch
(510) 981-5900
Staffed 24/7

You can ask for the Mobile Crisis Team to come for a mental health evaluation.

For connecting unhoused individuals to supportive services (non-emergency):

  • UC Berkeley Homeless Outreach Coordinator: 510-365-4394
  • City of Berkeley Homeless Outreach and Treatment Team (HOTT): (510) 502-1829, M–F 8 am–4 pm

BearWALK

BearWALK is largely a student-run operation that provides walking escorts to safely escort students home after dark. UCPD’s Community Service Officers (CSOs) provide you with a walking escort from dusk until last pick up at 3:00a.m., 365 nights a year. BearWALK CSOs will meet you at, and walk you to, locations within these service boundaries:

  • North: Cedar Street
  • West: Milvia Street
  • South: Derby Street
  • East: Prospect Street
How to request a walk

To book a free walking escort call 510-642-9255 (642-WALK) or visit the BearWalk website. You will need your CalNet ID to request a walk. Please call or make your online request no earlier than 15 minutes before your desired pick-up time.

  • BearWALK Service Hours: 6 p.m.–3 a.m. (call by 2:30am)

After 3am, you can request a Door-To-Door Shuttle (Hours: 3 a.m.-6:00 a.m.) A shuttle will be dispatched to your location within the BearWalk pickup area and will drop you almost anywhere within the drop off service area boundaries of:

  • North: Hopkins/Yolo/Eunice
  • East: Hillside/Panoramic
  • South: Ashby
  • West: Sacramento

For more information about Night Safety Services, visit nightsafety.berkeley.edu.

How to Report a Crime to Berkeley Police

UCPD strongly encourages the reporting of criminal or suspicious activity in a timely manner to assist police in intervening in potential criminal actively and apprehending suspects.

To report an emergency on or off campus:

call 911 from any telephone

From cell phones, to report on-campus emergencies:

call 510-642-3333 or use a Blue Light emergency phone.

For non-emergency assistance:

call 510-642-6760.

Each year, the UC Police Department publishes the campus annual security report, which contains campus crime statistics and campus security policies. A print copy is available on request. To receive print copies, call UCPD Community Outreach at 510-642-3679 or email UCPD at police@berkeley.edu.

Emergency Preparedness

The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has information on how to prepare for earthquakes, fires, and other major emergencies. OEM has created a free emergency preparedness mobile app that contains Berkeley-specific tips and guidance for a wide range of emergencies. Please visit the OEM website for download instructions and to access further information on campus emergency procedures, including a list of supplies to keep on hand. If you are a Graduate Student Instructor, learn where to direct your class if you need to evacuate by reviewing evacuation maps in each campus building. As a graduate student, you have been automatically enrolled in WarnMe, the campus alert system via your berkeley.edu email address. To receive WarnMe emergency warnings via any other method, such as by text or phone, you must log onto the WarnMe website and input your contact information. Text messages are the fastest way to get notified and should be your first alert priority.

The campus home page is your first stop for emergency information; if the home page isn’t available, go to the campus campus emergency website. News and instructions will also be updated regularly on an emergency hotline, 1-800-705-9998, and on radio broadcasts in the Bay Area from KALX 90.7FM or KCBS 740AM.

Useful Links

Academic Degree Planning


Academic Advising

All graduate students are assigned a faculty advisor upon admission to UC Berkeley. Students are expected to meet with their  faculty advisors on a regular basis to discuss career development and academic questions and concerns. It is each student’s responsibility to schedule appointments with their advisor several times per semester. If your advisor’s office hours conflict with your course schedule, please contact him or her to request alternate appointment times. If you email your advisor and do not receive a reply please allow 72 hours and then email them again. If you still do not receive a reply please notify your program manager for assistance.

Faculty office hours are available to you whether or not you have a class with your advisor that semester. You are encouraged to reach out to whichever faculty advisor you deem appropriate for your particular questions. If you find a better fit with another faculty advisor, you are welcome to switch advisors provided that your new advisor is willing to take you on.

Program Managers are available to answer questions regarding course schedules, curricular and graduation requirements, and to provide information about program, school, and campus resources. If you have any questions or concerns about the program, please contact either your faculty advisor or Program Manager.

If you are experiencing difficulty in the program, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can explore arrangements to assist you.

Exemption Exams

All MPH students are required to have and demonstrate competence in the disciplines of biostatistics and epidemiology through taking PBHLTH 142 Introduction to Statistics and Biology in Public Health and PBHLTH 250A Epidemiologic Methods I. For students who have recently taken equivalent coursework  and do not wish to take breadth courses in these areas, we offer exemption exams. The exemption exam must be taken and passed in the summer prior to the first semester in the program; continuing students are not eligible to take the exam. Also, MPH students in the Epidemiology/Biostatistics concentration are not eligible to sit for the exemption exams.

Additional information about the exemption exams, including the material covered and registration information will be provided by your Program Manager in the summer before the start of your first semester.

Additional details regarding the Biostatistics Exemption Exam and the Epidemiology Exemption Exam are available on the BPH website.

Summer Sessions

The School of Public Health offers several courses during Summer Sessions. Intro to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health (PH 142) and Epidemiologic Methods I (PH250A) can fulfill two of the MPH Degree breadth requirements and are generally offered in the session beginning in early July. These courses are generally offered to students who matriculate in summer. Students that start in the fall term should consult their program for advisement on summer session courses.  Please check the online schedule for summer session courses and exact dates. Registration for incoming graduate students is usually available in June. More information can be found on the Summer Sessions website.

Public Health Specialty Areas

Public health students who wish to focus on additional areas of interest to complement their concentration curricula may complete a Specialty Area certificate. Completing a specialty typically involves completing a core course in the area of interest plus two to three elective courses from a list of offerings for a total of 9 units. Some Specialty Areas have additional requirements. A certificate is awarded upon graduation in addition to your degree. Please contact the Specialty Area Advisor for guidance early in your academic career if you plan to complete a certificate.

Specialty areaContact email
Aging*
Note: Temporarily Discontinued
aging_specialty@berkeley.edu
Global Healthgh_specialty@berkeley.edu
Food Systemsrzfanshel@berkeley.edu
Health Management Certificatehpm_mph@berkeley.edu
Maternal, Child and Adolescent Healthmcahprogram@berkeley.edu
Multicultural Healthsphdiversity@berkeley.edu
Public Health Nutritionphnprogram@berkeley.edu

Doctoral Degrees With a Designated Emphasis

A “Designated Emphasis” is defined as an area of study constituting a new method of inquiry or an important field of application relevant to two or more existing doctoral degree programs. It is not a free-standing degree program, but must be added as an additional major along with an existing doctoral degree program. Students electing to add a Designated Emphasis are required to complete the academic work in the Designated Emphasis in addition to all the requirements of the doctoral program. There are no adjustments made to the normative time of the student’s major when a student undertakes a Designated Emphasis.

To qualify for the Designated Emphasis, students must have on the Qualifying Examination committee a representative of the DE and must be examined in that area of study. Students are consequently required to be admitted to the DE before taking the Qualifying Examination. When students also enrolled in a DE are advanced to candidacy, the advancement application must include the signature of the Head Graduate Advisor for the DE to signify that the dissertation committee had an appropriate representative of the DE in its membership and that the student was examined on the area of the Designated Emphasis.

Prior to filing for the degree, a Final Report for the Designated Emphasis, verifying that all of the requirements for the DE have been met, must be submitted. Students approved for a DE must include the name of the DE on the title page of the dissertation, following the major name.

The following Designated Emphases have been approved by the Graduate Council:

  • Computational and Data Science and Engineering
  • Computational and Genomic Biology
  • Critical Theory
  • Development Engineering
  • Dutch Studies
  • Energy Science and Technology
  • European Studies
  • Film Studies
  • Folklore
  • Global Metropolitan Studies
  • Indigenous Language Revitalization
  • Jewish Studies
  • New Media
  • Renaissance and Early Modern Studies
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality

Courses in Other Graduate Schools

Graduate students in the School of Public health are permitted to take courses in other UC Berkeley Schools and departments. Please be aware that enrollment, in some cases, is restricted to students in those schools.

Berkeley School of Law, the Goldman School of Public Policy, and the Haas School of Business have specific procedures for students from the School of Public Health who wish to enroll in their courses. The procedures for each school are as follows:

Berkeley School of Law

Note: Classes in the Law School start 2 weeks early.

  • You must apply to enroll in a law school course. You cannot enroll via CalCentral.
  • There are a number of signatures you need to obtain. Once you submit the form to the law school registrar, they will put you on a waiting list for the course. If there are any seats left after the law students enroll, then a seat will be given to you. This means that you can’t count on being in the class until a couple of weeks into the Fall semester. But you should attend the first several weeks of class.
  • If you have any other questions, please call Berkeley Law School Student Services at (510) 643-2744 or visit their office in 280 Simon Hall.

Goldman School of Public Policy

  • Elective courses are open to all students. You can enroll via CalCentral.
  • Core courses are restricted and not open to students outside Goldman, unless permission is granted by the professor teaching the course.
  • If you wish to take a core course: contact the professor teaching the course. If s/he agrees, obtain an instructor consent form, please contact Jalilah LaBrie at 510-643-1940 or jalilah@berkeley.edu and request the appropriate form.

Haas School of Business

  • There are two elective courses open to non-Haas students that do not require permission. You can enroll directly via CalCentral. These include:
  • MBA 209F–Fundamentals of Business
  • MBA 296–Personal Finance Management
  • Haas School of Business will provide a list of other MBA courses open to non-Haas students and how to request enrollment before each term.
  • The process to enroll in available MBA courses is not first-come, first-served and not managed by the course faculty but centrally by the MBA Programs Office Team. As long as students submit their request before the deadline, their request will be considered. Haas will accommodate requests on a space available basis. In cases where demand for a course exceeds supply, there will be a lottery to determine who gets in. Students will be informed by the Monday of the 3rd week of classes whether there is space available and they have been added to the course.
  • For questions and information about application deadline, please direct your inquiries to ftacademics@haas.berkeley.edu

Concurrent and Dual Degree Programs

Continuing graduate students who wish to supplement their academic and professional training with another discipline may arrange to pursue another master’s degree on the Berkeley campus. The School of Public Health has established concurrent and dual degree programs with other schools and departments on campus that allow students to take advantage of the unique opportunities for interdisciplinary study that Berkeley offers. In these programs, students follow a carefully designed curriculum that allows them to complete the requirements for two degrees in less time than is normally required to complete the two degrees separately. A separate application and admission to the other department are required (see the specific department for application deadlines and procedures).

Unless otherwise stated, current MPH students are given no preferential treatment in the selection process over other applicants. If accepted into a second master’s program, students are expected to meet the degree requirements for both degrees. Getting two graduate degrees at UC Berkeley is a rigorous commitment, and may require advanced and creative planning to avoid conflicts in course scheduling. Please see your graduate student advisor if you are interested in a dual degree.

Public Health and Business Administration (MBA/MPH)

This 2.5 year concurrent degree program is offered jointly with the Haas School of Business. Applications for this program are made directly to the Haas School of Business, prior to matriculation at Berkeley. Students in the MBA/MPH fulfill both the MBA core and the MPH core and then take elective classes to reach a minimum total of 80 units. Students generally complete two summer internships and fulfill the HPM Capstone requirements. Graduates of this program are prepared for leadership roles in business, social determinants of health system aspects of healthcare delivery, financing, social impact and product sectors. If a current MPH student wants to consider adding the MBA during the first fall semester they would apply to Haas and be expected to meet the UC Berkeley MBA requirements for admission. MPH students do not receive any preferential application status relative to other Haas applicants and would be adding the MBA as a 2nd (dual) degree and not joining the accelerated MBA/MPH concurrent degree program.

Haas School of Business
MBA/MPH
Kimberly MacPherson
kmacpherson@berkeley.edu

Public Health and City Planning, MCP/MPH

This dual degree program with the Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP) meets the demand for health planners looking to broaden their skills, expertise, and areas of interest. It is offered with the College of Environmental Design (CED). Applications for this program are typically made directly to the CED during your first fall semester as a School of Public Health student. Applicants are expected to meet the UC Berkeley MCP requirements for admission and do not receive any preferential application status relative to other CED applicants. Program length is generally 3 years and students essentially earn two separate degrees: the MPH and the MCP. Interested applicants may contact the MCP student services advisor in CED.

Department of City and Regional Planning
MCP/MPH
Jason Corburn
jcorburn@berkeley.edu

School of Public Health
MCP/MPH
Mahasin Mujahid
mmujahid@berkeley.edu

Public Health and Journalism, MJ/MPH

The three-year MJ/MPH allows students to combine their interests in public health, journalism, communications, and media. The program is designed to produce public health professionals who are effective media practitioners and communicators as well as journalists with the training and knowledge necessary to cover public health and medical issues for online, print, broadcast, and other media platforms. Students select one of four public health concentrations (Environmental Health, Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology/Biostatistics, Health and Social Behavior) and simultaneously develop their reporting and multimedia skills. Interested applicants may contact the MJ graduate program manager.

Graduate School of Journalism
MJ/MPH
Elena Conis
econis@berkeley.edu

Public Health and Public Policy, MPP/MPH

This is a three-year concurrent program. Applicants apply to the MPP/MPH degree track in the School of Public Health and indicate the Health Policy and Management area of concentration. Preference is given to applicants who have work experience in health policy. Graduates assume research and policy analysis positions in federal and state governmental agencies, consulting organizations, health advocacy groups, and health care associations. Interested applicants may contact the MPP student services advisor in GSPP.

Goldman School of Public Policy
MPP/MPH
Lezley Hightower
mppadm@berkeley.edu

School of Public Health
MPP/MPH
Kimberly MacPherson
kmacpherson@berkeley.edu

Public Health and Social Welfare, MSW/MPH

The School of Social Welfare and the School of Public Health offer both a 3-year concurrent degree program, as well as a 3-4 year dual degree program. Each will provide interdisciplinary preparation in the classroom and in fieldwork settings. The concurrent degree program is designed to permit students the maximum amount of flexibility while fulfilling the requirements for both degrees. Students will be enrolled in a concentration in Maternal and Child Health, Public Health Nutrition, or Health and Social Behavior in the School of Public Health, and with the concentration in Direct Practice in Health or Management and Planning in the School of Social Welfare. Admissions will be made in consultation with the admissions officers of each school and will be consistent with the admissions requirements of each school. Note that the application to the MSW/MPH concurrent degree is made prior to admission to either School. Current students in the School of Public Health may apply to the MSW/MPH dual degree program. Interested applicants may contact the MSW graduate program manager.

School of Social Welfare
MSW/MPH
Claire Snell-Rood
clairesnellrood@berkeley.edu

Joint Degrees With Other Institutions

UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program

The UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program (JMP) is a five-year graduate/medical degree program. The pre-clerkship years are spent at UC Berkeley, engaging in a leading-edge integrated Problem-Based Learning medical curriculum while simultaneously earning a master’s degree (MS) in Health and Medical Sciences at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. After two and half years, students move to UCSF to finish their medical education and receive their medical doctorate (MD).

The JMP attracts people who are passionately dedicated to improving the world’s health through scholarly self-directed yet collaborative inquiry. This is reflected in both the medical curriculum and master’s program.

UC Berkeley JMP
jmp@berkeley.edu
510-642-5671

MPH Student Requirements


The master of public health (MPH) is a practice-based, professional degree that prepares students to be leaders in a public health practice setting. The MPH degree program is designed to be completed in two years. There is also an 11-month program in some areas of study, which is intended for students who already have doctoral degrees or who are enrolled concurrently in a doctoral program. All graduate students pursuing MPH degrees are expected to fulfill certain requirements.

MPH Core Competencies

Upon satisfactory completion of the MPH curriculum, all graduates will be able to demonstrate the following competencies.

Evidence and Knowledge: Apply evidence-based principles and existing knowledge to critical evaluation and decision-making in public health.

  • Correctly use basic epidemiology terminology and definitions.
  • Discuss concepts of prevention at all levels, including health promotion, screening, etc.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the biological basis of health and disease.
  • Critically evaluate the strengths & limitations of published studies and epidemiologic reports.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of multiple interactive influences, including biological, social, psychological, and structural (poverty, racism), on health outcomes.
  • Identify strategies for promoting health equity.

Research: Design a research study related to public health.

  • State a public health problem and formulate a research question and hypothesis.
  • Identify appropriate data sources for the purpose of describing a public health problem.
  • Explain the strengths and limitations of various study designs (i.e. qualitative, observational, quasi-experimental and experimental) used to assess health and disease across populations.
  • Explain and choose appropriate statistical tests when asking questions of data sets.
  • Demonstrate ability to manage research data, analyze data using a software package (e.g., Excel, R, Stata, or SAS) and interpret results.

Ethics and Social Justice: Demonstrate ethics, values, and professional practices in public health decision-making, including social accountability and community stewardship.

  • Explain ethical concepts in health care, public health policy, and public health research.
  • Explain how to develop public health programs and strategies responsive to the diverse cultural values and traditions of the communities being served.
  • Identify social determinants of health and explain how they represent downstream consequences of larger structural contexts (e.g., racism, classism, heterosexism).
  • Explain the concepts of globalization and sustainable development and their relationship to population health.

Environment: Explain effects of environmental factors on human health locally and globally.

  • Describe how social and political factors and policies influence environmental quality differentially across local and global communities.
  • Explain the term “exposure” and identify pathways through which individuals and communities can be exposed to environmental agents and factors.
  • Recognize patterns of disease potentially related to environmental factors.
  • Show how standards for media such as air or water are used to define what is acceptable in environmental and occupational health, and interpret such standards.
  • Discuss major policy and intervention strategies to reduce environmental exposures and identify those that can be applied “upstream” on a pathway.
  • Identify major options for mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Community Engagement and Intervention: Identify and engage critical stakeholders for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs, policies and interventions.

  • Define a public health problem and develop an appropriate grant, project or research proposal to address the problem.
  • Compare and contrast approaches at various levels (intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, community, societal, etc.) to improve a public health problem.
  • Apply methods of advocacy, such as coalition-building, persuasive communications, negotiating with stakeholders, etc. to influence public health outcomes
  • Know how to plan, execute, monitor and evaluate projects, including creating and staying within timelines and budgets.
  • Use a variety of communication methods to advocate for community public health programs and policies, including evolving technologies like social media.

Leadership and Professionalism: Understand how to influence, motivate and facilitate a group of people to work toward and achieve a common goal or vision, with cultural and institutional humility.

  • Develop interpersonal skills to cultivate inclusive environments and establish and sustain professional relationships.
  • Demonstrate ability to work in a collaborative manner in a team setting.
  • Demonstrate initiative, strategic thinking, and problem solving skills.
  • Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue.
  • Describe the formal and informal decision-making structures and power relationships within an organization. Be able to identify stakeholders and decision makers.
  • Successfully lead meetings, including developing agendas, keeping the meeting on task, and delegating follow up.
  • Demonstrate professional quality presentation and group facilitation skills, and effective call to action.
  • Communicate effectively in writing with a wide range of people in varying positions and organizations.

Health Policy Analysis: Understand the role that major systems and policies play in population health and healthcare.

  • Describe the policymaking process and the respective roles of government and markets in influencing health and healthcare.
  • Explain the institutional, cultural, economic, and political foundations of the US healthcare system and of population health.
  • Articulate pivotal issues in the national debate on health care reform and cost trends in the USA.
  • Identify socio-economic variables and other inequalities in access to health insurance and health care—and how these impact marginalized communities.
  • Describe the main components and issues in the organization and payment methods for health services delivery.

MPH Curriculum

The curriculum for the MPH programs are offered to post baccalaureate students who seek competency in analytic, research, and programmatic skills in their chosen area of study (Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Epidemiology/Biostatistics, Health & Social Behavior, Health Policy & Management, Infectious Diseases & Vaccinology, Interdisciplinary, Maternal & Child Health, and Public Health Nutrition).

The 11 month MPH requires completion of a master’s paper that fulfills the comprehensive examination requirement for the School of Public Health. The two-year MPH requires completion of a capstone project as well as a 3-month supervised summer field study. The course PH HLTH 297 (Field Study in Public Health) must be taken in Fall of the second year, following the summer field study.

Note: Modifications in program requirements and course offerings may occur from year to year.

MPH Breadth Course Requirements

  • MPH students must take academic Breadth Course Requirements (PH142, PH200J, PH200K, PH200L and PH250A) and a course in public health leadership for a letter grade
  • PH297 must be taken for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grade
  • A passing grade for an academic Breadth Course Requirement is a “B-”
  • Students attaining less than a “B-” will be required to retake the course for a passing grade in order to qualify for graduation
  • Grade requirements apply to alternative courses listed below:
Degree RequirementsAlternatives/Notes
PH200J Health Policy and Management Breadth Course
2 units, Fall
  • PH223A/MBA297 Introduction to Health Care System, 3 units, Fall (for MBA/MPH students only)
  • PH223D Foundations of Health Policy and Management, 2 units, Fall (for HPM students only)

PH200K Environmental Health Sciences Breadth Course
2 units, Spring
  • PH270, Introduction to Environmental Health Sciences, 3 units, Fall
    (for EHS students only)
PH200L Health and Social Behavior Breadth Course
2 units, Fall
  • PH203A Theories of Health and Social Behavior, 3 units, Fall
    (for HSB students only)
PH142 Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health
4 units, Fall or Spring
4-8 units required, determined by division/program, confirm with advisor
  • PH241 Statistical Analysis of Categorical Data, 4 units, Spring
  • PH245 Introduction to Multivariate Statistics, 4 units, Fall
  • Exemption exam (offered during Welcome Week)

PH250A Epidemiology Methods
3 units, Fall or Summer
  • PH250B Epidemiologic Methods II, 4 units, Fall
  • Exemption exam (offered during Welcome Week)
PH297 Public Health Field Study
3 units, Fall
NOTE: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only
  • Field study is after the first year of instruction.
  • No exemptions or alternatives for this requirement. Waiver may be agreed upon individually with the Head Graduate Advisor.

PH291A Preparation for Public Health Practice
3 units, Fall or Spring
  • All of our MPH are expected to fulfill this requirement through PH 291A or an equivalent (PH W289, PH 223C, PH 224A). For additional information regarding PH 291A, please see these FAQs. PH 210K is currently restricted to MCAH students and those in the MCAH specialty area.
  • Note: DrPH students will fulfill their leadership requirements through PB HLTH 290: Foundations of Public Health Leadership and Practice.

*Some courses have prerequisites.

See the Berkeley Academic Guide for course descriptions and additional information.

Epidemiology Breadth Requirement

Students may satisfy the epidemiology breadth requirement by receiving a final grade of a “B-” or higher in PH250A (Epidemiologic Methods I, fall or summer) or PH W250 (online).

  • Students attaining less than a “B-” will be required to retake the course for a passing grade in order to qualify for graduation.
  • Students will be granted a maximum of three attempts to pass PH250A (or PHW250).
  • The exemption exam (described below) cannot be used for satisfaction of the epidemiology breadth requirement after a student has received less than a “B-” in PH250A (or equivalent).

Students may substitute PH250B: Epidemiologic Methods II (fall) for the epidemiology breadth requirement. Students must take the course for a letter grade and achieve a “B-” or higher.

Students who have epidemiology competence upon entry to the program (e.g., successful completion of an introductory epidemiology course prior to enrollment) may attempt to satisfy the epidemiology breadth requirement by passing the exemption exam:

  • The exemption exam is offered during Welcome Week before the start of instruction in the fall semester.
  • A passing grade is 75% or higher.
  • Students may attempt the exam one time only, and only in their first year.

In exceptional situations, students may satisfy the epidemiology breadth requirement by special arrangement with the Epidemiology Division. It is expected that these situations will be extremely rare, and are not applicable to students who have received less than a “B-” in PH250A (or equivalent); such students would need to repeat the course to satisfy the breadth requirement.

Biostatistics Breadth Requirement

Students may satisfy the Biostatistics breadth requirement by receiving a final grade of a “B-” or higher in PH142 (Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health, any semester).

The exemption exam (described below) cannot be used for satisfaction of the biostatistics breadth requirement after a student has received less than a “B-” in PH142 (or equivalent).

Students who have taken PH142 within the past 3 years of beginning MPH course work, with a final grade of A- or better, have satisfied the biostatistics breadth Requirement. Students may also take PH241 or PH245 to meet the biostatistics breadth requirement. Students must take the course for a letter grade and achieve a “B-” or higher. Students who have basic statistical competence upon entry to the program (e.g., successful completion of an introductory probability and statistics course prior to enrollment) may attempt to satisfy the biostatistics breadth requirement by passing the exemption exam:

  1. The exemption exam is offered during Welcome Week.
  2. A passing grade is 75% or higher.
  3. Students may attempt the exemption exam one time, and only in their first year..

By special arrangement, students may satisfy the biostatistics requirement by taking PH W142 (online) with a grade of B- or higher.

Minimum Unit Requirement

Two-Year MPH students are required to complete a minimum of 48 units of coursework (42 units for 11 month MPH students and Online MPH students.). The Graduate Council requires that all graduate students be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units per semester regardless of their employment status. This is especially important for students receiving Block grant and other campus fellowships/awards; the campus will rescind their award for under enrollment/ non-compliance if this unit requirement is not followed. 300 level courses and lower division undergraduate courses do not count toward the 48 units needed for the degree, however they do count toward the 12 unit semester minimum.

Minimum Grade Requirement

MPH students are required to attain a B- or better in Breadth Course Requirements (Epidemiology PB HLTH 250A; Biostatistics PB HLTH 142; Health Policy & Management PB HLTH 200J; Environmental Health PB HLTH 200K; Health and Social Behavior PB HLTH 200L) and a course in Public Health Leadership. Students attaining less than a B− will be required to retake the course. To receive the MPH degree, the student must also meet the Good Academic Standing Rule, i.e. average overall GPA is a B average (3.0).

Public Health Practice  Requirement

Each MPH student completes a full-time (40 hours/week) public health  internship for a minimum of 12 weeks. This experience provides opportunities for students to:

  • Apply and enhance public health competencies
  • Experience how one public health organization functions
  • Strengthen their professional identity
  • Explore personal growth and career direction
  • Examine leadership strengths and areas for further growth

Although the internship takes place during the summer between the two years of study, students register for 3 units of PH 297: Public Health Field Study in the Fall of their second year. Internship sites reflect diverse health sectors and focus areas and are identified based on the student’s objectives for professional development and the needs of the organization. Historically, many internship sites are located in the Bay Area, but also extend to other parts of California, nationally, and internationally.

Students are encouraged to plan for the practice experience early in their program. See below for a general timeline of important events, activities, and deadlines for the internship requirement. It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of the dates and deadlines set by the Center for Public Health Practice & Leadership (CPHPL).

The internship is typically secured through: 1.) hiring mechanisms described in postings made by an employer/community partner through PHLEX or 2.) a student’s own networking efforts through informational interviews and personal contacts.

Most students choose to apply to postings through PHLEX as well as explore external opportunities to optimize their options. Of note, it is important to remember that external sites may have their own deadlines for making hiring decisions, which may not coincide with CPHPL’s deadline for committing to an internship. When interviewing and applying externally, it is your responsibility to understand these deadlines and to consider whether you will be able to meet the deadlines in confirming your internship. This is similar to the sensitive nature of “timing” job offers— you may be asked to make a decision on one offer before knowing the status of other offers that you have been pursuing.

An overview of the internship process and requirements will be provided in the fall, typically during the first-year core seminars required for each concentration. Students will also have the opportunity to hear second-year MPH students’ lessons learned from their internships and strategies to make the most of their experiences. Moreover, students are strongly encouraged to participate in the professional and leadership development workshops/trainings hosted by CPHPL throughout the academic year. These offerings are aimed at students’ preparation for their public health careers, including strengthening their impact in the workplace and enhancing communication skills that effectively reflect their personal brand.

Field Consultants

Your designated Field Consultant is a resource to you throughout your internship process. Individual and small group meetings facilitated by Field Consultants provide the opportunity to explore internship opportunities and decide what best aligns with your career interests and priorities. Field Consultants also provide support during the summer to learn about the accomplishments to date, help address any challenges that may have come up, and answer any questions about the internship.

Current Field Consultants include: Kandis Rodgers (EPI/BIO, IDV, & PHN), Robin Flagg (HPM & 4+1 MPH), Kim MacPherson (MBA/MPH), Liza Lutzker (EHS & GHE), and TBA (MCAH & HSB).

Timeline of Public Health Practice Experience

Internship activities generally take place in the timeline described below. Specific dates will be shared during the academic year by CPHPL and BPH Field Consultants.

November

  • Recruitment of MPH field study postings for PHLEX begins.
  • Students schedule informational interviews with individuals/organizations whose work reflects their interests.

December

  • Submission of student applications to PHLEX postings and other external opportunities begin.

January–March

  • Submission of applications and internship interviews continue.
  • Students attend Career Cafe (February) to connect with BPH alumni and organizations offering internship opportunities.
  • Students explore and apply to opportunities that will supplement unpaid or underpaid field studies (via BPH, campus, and other external sources).

April–May

  • Students finalize plans and submit their Confirmation Form.
  • Students attend group launch meetings hosted by CPHPL/Field Consultants.

June

  • Students begin their internship no later than the first Monday in June.
  • Students draft, review, and finalize their Learning Agreement with their Preceptor(s).

July

  • Students and Preceptors complete check-in/site visit with BPH Field Consultant.

August

  • Students and Preceptors complete an online evaluation to describe their internship experiences and suggestions for further improvement.
  • Students submit organizational deliverables.

September

  • Students and Preceptors attend the annual celebration event hosted by CPHPL.

Capstone Requirement

The Graduate Division of UC Berkeley and the School of Public Health requires all MPH students to complete a capstone project with both written and oral components or a comprehensive exam depending on your program, to be completed in the final Spring Semester. All students must receive a passing grade on their paper and oral examination in order to receive the MPH degree. The comprehensive examination is intended to be a culminating experience for MPH students, requiring synthesis and integration of knowledge acquired through coursework, internships, and other experiences.