The UC Berkeley School of Public Health’s Online Master of Public Health is a two-year program designed for working professionals that prepares them for rapid career growth. Our expert faculty will help you develop your understanding of and skills in core areas in public health, including biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, social and behavioral science, healthcare management, and health policy.

You will gain the knowledge needed to lead the effort in protecting against environmental hazards, preventing the spread of disease, encouraging healthy behaviors, helping communities recover from disaster, implementing best practices, and advocating for health care quality and accessibility. The master’s degree is awarded once you’ve completed 14 courses (a minimum of 42 semester units of course work).

Your 14 courses can be from a broad interdisciplinary curriculum or from concentrating in a particular area, including health policy and management, global health, or comparative health systems. Each option is discussed below.

Interdisciplinary MPH

With the online interdisciplinary MPH you’ll take six core courses in your first year and two core courses in your second year. All other courses can be chosen from the interdisciplinary courses pool offered by UC Berkeley.

Health Policy and Management Concentration

One-fifth of the United States’ economy is spent on healthcare. With more people gaining access to healthcare via the Affordable Care Act and the rapid growth in prescription drug spending, that share will only climb. And with that climb will be a continual need for professionals who possess the knowledge and tools to make our healthcare system more effective, efficient and equitable.

As a master’s student in the Health Policy and Management (HPM) concentration, you will gain the knowledge, skills, and partners to become a high-impact leader in the healthcare sector. You will enjoy experiences in and out of the classroom that challenge convention, set new trends, and help you grow as a healthcare leader.

Our faculty — who bring their expertise in economics, policy, organization behavior, finance, negotiation, and strategy — believe that a strong working knowledge of management and policy are necessary to be an effective healthcare leader. With the Berkeley MPH Online HPM concentration, you will acquire the knowledge and tools to improve healthcare systems by gaining a deeper understanding of the determinants of health, both inside and outside of a healthcare system.

The curriculum is designed for a variety of professionals — from clinicians to managers to policy leaders — across a range of healthcare areas, such as systems, providers, hospitals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and health insurers within for-profit, nonprofit, public health, and government organizations. You take the same five breadth courses as the online Interdisciplinary MPH, but then dig into HPM with six specific courses. To fulfill the remaining three courses of the 14-course graduation requirement, you take the Interdisciplinary Seminar in your second summer and two electives.

Health Policy and Management Concentration-Specific Courses
Like all UC Berkeley online MPH students, you will take the Health Policy and Management breadth course.To complete the HPM concentration within UC Berkeley online MPH, you will be required to take the six HPM courses listed below as part of MPH’s 14-course total: three courses in healthcare management, one course in health policy, and two courses in health economics.

The three management courses span strategy, organizations, and finance. They provide you with theories, case studies, leadership strategies, and analytic tools. In the health policy course, you will build upon the HPM breadth course by gaining a deeper understanding of policy analysis so you can craft policy via briefs, regulatory comments, and media advocacy. The two health economics courses provide you with economic-based analytic tools that can be applied to both management and policy settings.

Learn more about the HPM concentration by viewing this 30-minute video.

Global Health Concentration

“Projections developed by WHO and the World Bank on requirements to attain high and effective coverage of the broad range of health services necessary to ensure healthy lives for all imply the need to train and deploy 40–50 million new health and social care workers globally by 2030.” — WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030, 
presented to Executive Board, January 2016

The Global Health MPH concentration offers students from different levels of public health background an opportunity to apply fundamental principles toward improving population health at a global level. Through diverse courses taught by global health faculty from UC Berkeley and UCSF Global Health Sciences, students gain a trans-disciplinary perspective of how global challenges are being addressed in the field across public health and health science disciplines. Students will be trained on how to integrate new knowledge with their professional and personal experiences.

In every course, whether the focus is global health systems, global infectious disease, or risk management, our faculty will share their real-world experience conducting research studies and interventions throughout the world. The global health concentration features the most current research, field trends, innovations, and case studies from this emerging and rapidly moving field. Dynamic lectures, workshops, assignments, and group work provide opportunities for students to engage critically and creatively around the art and science of practice, so they can rise to become active leaders helping to solve the world’s biggest challenges.

Foundations of Global Public Health – starting Fall ’17: This course introduces students to the basic principles of global public health that are used to improve population health at all levels. The course will start with an introduction to essential concepts from public health disciplines that are the foundations of global practice. Students will then apply these concepts to current global health challenges through course activities, assignments, and readings that provide a real-world context. Throughout the course, global health experts share their experiences and lessons learned from implementing global health research and programs. Students gain critical and creative thinking experience in applying tools and frameworks toward addressing diverse global health needs. Student will be encouraged to relate course work to their professional interests.

Course objectives:

  • Define global public health and describe its basic tenets and principles
  • Identify major global health threats, including infectious and non-communicable diseases, and critically appraise strategies to respond (i.e., vaccines, prevention, control, etc.)
  • Describe the roles of diverse members of the global health community, such as key bilateral/multilateral institutions, political bodies, and NGOs that contribute to health promotion and policies
  • Evaluate interventions using different frameworks that are designed to improve global health
  • Identify the effects of globalization and urbanization on population health, and the trans-disciplinary global health response
  • Be prepared to participate in complex global health work using a sound, ethical approach
  • Analyze the global health connection between humans and the environment (air, water, food)
  • Apply knowledge of global health governance and decision making at different levels to global health-oriented policy, research, and action.

Comparative Health Systems – starting Fall ’17

This course examines the most important models for financing and delivering health care around the world. Students will be introduced to the UCSF Health Systems Mapping Tool; and will have an opportunity to diagram and analyze the systems of countries at various income levels, as well as analyze the strengths and weaknesses of these systems in achieving health and financial protection goals. Students will learn about, and have a chance to participate in, current debates about health systems, health financing, and universal health coverage (UHC). Innovative models of health services delivery and financing will be presented, with invited speakers who are at the forefront of global health systems.

Course Objectives:
Empower students to be able to identify components of a health system – via the mapping tool – and be able to compare systems
Achieve this by answering:

  • Who pays? – Revenue schemes, including taxes, premiums, and other OPs
  • Who purchases? – Public or private pays the doctors and keeps the lights on?
  • Who Provides? – Public or private, physician or nurse
  • Who Receives? – Populations covered, special services for special needs?
  • Performance – How do we evaluate the system? GDP? SDG?
  • Scope – How much and what services do we provide?
  • Stewardship – Laws that govern

For more information please email us.