General Campus Information

In a traditional university in the United States, an academic year is made up of two semesters (Fall and Spring) with a 3 month summer break. There is another version where the academic year is broken up into four ‘quarters’. In the traditional system, courses offered between end of Spring semester and beginning of the Fall semester are called Summer session courses. UC Berkeley is on the traditional two-semester academic year. Online MPH uses the Summer session period to teach two courses, one at a time, each 6 weeks in duration. We call that our ‘Summer Semester’. Technically, our academic sessions could be called Trimesters, but as tradition has it, we have opted to stick with the term ‘semester’. This was a conscious choice to keep our vocabulary consistent with the rest of the campus, to avoid confusion about course credit units and to help ease communication with non-OOMPH students and Faculty on campus.

In general, Online MPH students take two courses per Semester. Our courses are offered one at a time in linear sequence. Each course is typically seven weeks long in Fall and Spring and 6 weeks in the Summer ‘semester’.

CalNet ID

CalNet ID is your online identity at UC Berkeley. It will be used for system access log-ins and authentication, and it will be your campus email address when combined with @berkeley.edu. Go to the CalNet ID set up page (https://net-auth.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/krbcpw?NewStudent) and follow the instructions to establish your CalNet ID and passphrase. In order to create your CalNet ID, you will need your Student Identification (SID) and the Personal Identification Number (PIN) that was provided by the admissions office.

Keep your CalNet passphrase confidential!

Do not disclose them to anyone. If you forget your passphrase, please contact:

Cal 1 Card office

180 Cesar Chavez Center

Lower Sproul Plaza

(510) 643-6839


U.C. Berkeley Student I.D. Cards

Online MPH students who live in the Berkeley-San Francisco area may obtain their Cal Student ID Card from the Cal 1 Card Office during the business hours. Non-local students may obtain their ID card while they are on Campus during Summer Campus Experience Week. Please have your 2 photo IDs ready, i.e. Driver’s License and a passport.

With a Cal Student ID Card, students can access all gyms on UC Berkeley Campus, and ride the Campus perimeter shuttles for free.

Activating your berkeley.edu Email Accounts

UC Berkeley campus policy requires all students to have and use a Berkeley email address. Students are welcome to have email forwarded to another mail client (e.g. gmail) but all administrative messages from SPH and UCB will be sent to the Berkeley.edu address and you are responsible for ensuring that you receive and read them.

Visit http://bconnected.berkeley.edu/, then Create New Account under Account Management to establish your “@berkeley.edu” e-mail address using your CalNet ID and pass phrase.

Please make sure you notify your Program Manager of your new Berkeley email address.

If you have any problems related to your Berkeley email address, contact CalMail Help Desk at bconnected@berkeley.edu, or call Campus Shared Services IT Help Desk, 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday. (510)664-9000, select Option 1 (for IT), then select the service you need.

MPH Competencies

Online MPH Program Competencies

The OOMPH courses build on each other from years 1 through 3. The competencies acquired will depends on the electives chosen. Students should carefully consider the competencies they will need for the jobs they are seeking, when choosing elective courses. Below is a list of competencies. The matrix shows how the competencies and their development is distributed across the OOMPH courses being offered.

Section: Evidence & Knowledge

  • Correctly use and define basic epidemiology terms.
  • Discuss concepts of prevention at all levels, including health promotion, screening and vaccination.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the biological basis of health and disease.
  • Critically evaluate the strengths & limitations of published studies and epidemiologic reports.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the major causes and trends of morbidity and mortality in the U.S.

Section: Research

  • 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.
  • Create graphical displays to effectively present data
  • Use and understand confidence intervals to quantify uncertainty about population parameters.
  • Explain and choose appropriate statistical tests when addressing a research question using data.
  • Demonstrate ability to manage research data, analyze data using a software package (e.g., Excel, R, Stata, or SAS) and interpret results.

Section: Ethics and Social Justice

  • Explain ethical concepts in health care, public health policy, and public health research, including the obligation to respect each individual’s autonomy.
  • Identify social determinants of health.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the organization of people in hierarchies through policies, economic systems, and social categories (such as race, socioeconomic status, gender, and sexuality); develop the capacity to recognize and respond to health and illness as the downstream effects of these broad power structures (structural competency).
  • Explain how to develop public health programs and strategies responsive to the diverse cultural values and traditions of the communities being served.
  • Understand and identify the interpersonal power dynamics that exist in our relationships with populations we study, research, and serve.
  • Be able to listen, learn, and engage respectfully with the values and priorities of communities and individuals that are different from our own.
  • Explain the concepts of globalization and sustainable development and their relationship to population health.

Section: Environment

  • Describe how social and political factors and policies influence environmental quality and communities differentially locally and globally.
  • 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 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 impacts of climate change and major options for mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Section: Community Engagement & Intervention

  • Define a public health problem and develop an appropriate project 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 (including via evolving technologies like social media), 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.

Section: Leadership and Professionalism

  • Demonstrate interpersonal skills and self-awareness 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 decisions makers. Demonstrate confidence and competence to influence change.
  • Effectively lead meetings and demonstrate group facilitation skills.
  • Demonstrate professional quality presentation and group facilitation skills, and effective call to action.
  • Communicate effectively verbally and in writing with a wide range of people in varying positions and organizations.

Section: Health Policy Analysis

  • 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 and global healthcare systems and of population health.
  • Articulate pivotal issues in the national debate on health care reform and cost trends in the USA.
  • Identify socio-economic determinants of access to health insurance and health care — and how this impacts marginalized communities.
  • Describe the main components and issues in the organization and payment methods for health services delivery.

Program-Specific Competencies for HPM

  • Use knowledge of the structures, stakeholders, political system and environmental context of health and health care to formulate solutions for health policy problems
  • Describe and apply the basic language and concepts that underpin managerial decision-making (financial, operations, organizational behavior, strategy).
  • Assess a health care management situation, develop alternative courses of action, and make appropriate managerial decisions consonant with that assessment, and aligned with recommendations from the management literature.
  • Explain the structure, organization, policy-making, delivery and financing of health care systems, and how these features affect system performance in terms of efficiency, quality, equity, and effectiveness.
  • Apply management principles and systems thinking to planning, organizing, leading and controlling health care enterprises.
  • Apply skills in financial accounting and analysis to healthcare administration decisions across multiple sectors
  • Apply principles of health economics in analyzing the behavior of healthcare market stakeholders
  • Apply policy analysis skills to agenda setting and policy implementation with a firm understanding of available points of access in the policy making process

Program Requirements

Each course in the Online MPH program is offered once per year. Each entering cohort takes 2 courses consecutively (one after the other) for a total of 6 units per semester. Each course ranges from 7- to 10-weeks in length. Most courses are 8 weeks long.

Requirements Overview

  • 14 courses (42 units).
  • 5 Required Core and Breadth Courses (must be taken for a letter grade and completed with a grade of B- or higher)
  • Required Courses for Epi/Bio, HPM and PHN Concentrations
  • Second-year PHW 289 Interdisciplinary Seminar (includes campus visit)
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater (good academic standing)
  • 2 On-campus Visits for a total of 15 days
  • Public Health Practicum (completed by second to last term)
  • Comprehensive Examination (taken in the final term)

Core and Breadth Courses

The required 5 core and breadth courses, taken in the first and second year of the program, provide students with a foundation in the concepts and competencies relevant to addressing determinants of health, using both qualitative and data-driven approaches:

  • PHW200G: Health and Social Behavior (3 units)
  • PHW200F: Intro to Environmental Health Science (2 units)
  • PHW200E: Health Policy and Management (3 units)
  • PHW142: Introduction to Probability and Statistics (4 units)
  • PHW250: Epidemiologic Methods (3 units)

Study Emphasis

Once students have completed the Public Health Required Core and Breadth courses, there are several options available for the remaining 27 units:

  • Health Policy and Management concentration*
  • Global Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Community Health Sciences
  • Spatial Data Science

A list of course descriptions for required core breadth and elective courses are found on the Online MPH Website

Information on program options can be found in the Online MPH Website

Course Sequence Recommendations

It is recommended that you complete all your first-year courses before taking any 2nd-year courses. The courses later on in the sequence are based on the assumption that you have learned all the basic knowledge introduced in this first-year course sequence.

Occasionally a student may elect for personal reasons to postpone the first-year course because of family commitments or illness. In such cases, the postponed course should be taken the next time it is offered. Such a postponement would not preclude students taking sequential 2nd year courses before the 1st year required course becomes available the following year.

After completion of the first year course sequence, you may take any remaining courses you choose in any sequence you wish as long as all required courses are taken before graduation. All required courses must be taken to be eligible for the MPH degree. Required Breadth and Core courses should be completed before taking the Comprehensive Exam (for more information on the Comprehensive Exam, please see below or click here.

Are students allowed to take more than 2 courses in any semester?

After completing all first year courses you may petition to take 1 additional course (total =3) per semester. To petition, the following criteria must be met:

  • Students must complete 3 semesters of breadth courses and18 units in the program. This includes having resolved Incompletes in required breadth courses (W142, W250, W200E, W200F, W200G). 
  • B+ grade or higher in all but one first year OOMPH courses.
  • The enrollment limit is 3 courses per Semester starting your 4th semester
  • Students who take 3 courses in a semester and do not achieve a semester GPA average of B or higher, will not be permitted to take 3 courses per semester in any subsequent semester.
  • You  must  receive approval from your faculty advisor

NOTE: No additional courses may be taken while enrolled in a hybrid class, i.e. a class that has an on-campus module (PHW289 and PHW200E). Both occur in the first of the two summer session periods.

Enrollment in Residential Courses

For students interested in enrolling in residential courses, please use the guidelines and policy below to aid in your planning and in conversation with your faculty advisor. On-Campus/Online (OOMPH) MPH students can enroll in a maximum of two residential courses/up to 6 units while enrolled in the program. Enrolling in residential courses is also subject to availability of seats, priority registration, and prerequisite completion. 

Enrolling in Residential Public Health Courses

On-Campus/Online (OOMPH) MPH students are approved to enroll in up to two Public Health residential courses or up to 6 units . Enrollment and course information can be found in the Public Health Course Catalog and Academic Year Courses Prior to enrolling, please consult with your faculty advisor for review and approval.

Enrolling in Residential Non-Public Health Courses

On-Campus/Online (OOMPH) MPH students can select from non-Public Health courses with approval. Residential non-Public Health courses count toward the two-course/6 unit maximum. Students will need to provide a written explanation of how the non-Public Health course aligns with their academic and professional goals. Prior to enrolling, please consult with your faculty advisor for review and approval. 

Additional considerations

Residential courses are primarily offered in-person with limited if any remote options, including in-person instruction and office hours offered during the day. In addition to your faculty advisor, please review the course syllabus and consult with the instructor prior to officially enrolling.

Please note that students must be enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) or have an approved SHIP waiver before setting foot on campus for any reason.

Summer On-Campus Visits

Online MPH curriculum has mandatory on-campus course sessions. You are required to be on Berkeley Campus, in California for 7 days during your first year and for 9 days during your second year with the program. These on-campus periods occur during the first Summer course in both years. There will be 8 hours of learning activities Monday through Saturday (no instruction on Sundays).

Mandatory attendance is required every day of the entire Campus visit period, without exception. If you will be unable to meet this requirement, we recommend that you withdraw from the course and take it the next time it is offered. Waivers will not be approved except in the case of unexpected circumstances such as deaths, hospitalizations, and medical emergencies.

On-Campus student housing and dormitories are only available to regular Summer Session students who spend their entire summer on the Berkeley Campus. Thus, you will not be eligible to use on-campus housing when you come to Berkeley. However, there may be a few rooms made available to our students at International house.

CalRental may provide listings to online students who visit Berkeley on a short-term basis. Visit their website at https://calrentals.housing.berkeley.edu/, for more information.

There are numerous websites where Berkeley and San Francisco Bay Area’s lodging information can be found, i.e. Hotels.com, AirBnB.com,VRBO.com, and similar sites.

Program Option Confirmation

OOMPH students declare their intended program option or area of interest as part of their application. However, during the first year of the program, students learn more about their public health professional goals and these initial interests can change. While OOMPH offers the flexibility for students to move between concentrations to accommodate shifting interests, we ask that you confirm the program option you plan to pursue by the end of your 4th semester or the completion of 24 units. Though it is still possible to change your option at a later time, this will help us coordinate our advising and program support as well as ensure that you sequence your courses to meet program option requirements and course prerequisites as you begin your second year. Before beginning this process, please consult with your Faculty Advisor or Program Manager.

Other Helpful Websites for your campus visit are:

City of Berkeley

Map of Public Parking, the City of Berkeley

Summer On-Campus Visit / Safety Tips:

The UC Police Department (UCPD) would like to remind the campus community about the following safety tips:

  • Utilize the free Night Safety Services
  • Travel with a friend or in a group
  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings
  • Avoid dark, vacant or deserted areas
  • Use well-lit, well-traveled routes
  • Dress in clothes and shoes which will not hamper movement
  • When out and about, keep your electronic devices out of public view as they are a popular robbery target
  • Dial 510-642-3333 or use a Blue Light emergency phone if you need help
    Beginning at dusk, 7 days a week, you can access the BearWalk web link to make a request for a safe way home. You can see a live map of our night safety buses and their proximity relative to your location. You can also contact BearWalk via phone at 510-642-WALK (9255) for a walking escort until 4 AM. Remember, shuttles stop on the North Side of Moffitt library every half hour. For further information please visit the UCPD website at http://police.berkeley.edu/bearwalk

As with any emergency situation, if you see suspicious activity, call 911 or from a cell phone on or near campus, call 510-642-3333. UCPD also feeds its crime alerts to Twitter (http://twitter.com/UCPD_Cal) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/UCPDCal).

Public Health Practicum

  • The field practicum is a mandatory requirement for certification of the School and its programs. This requirement applies to students who enter the program in Summer (Early Fall) 2015 and thereafter.
  • The practicum is designed to expose OOMPH students to possibilities in the professional world to apply your MPH. You will choose 1-3 field placements. This is in order for you to gain exposure and experience with the PH activities you may be interested in exploring.
  • All students must participate. (Partial waivers may be awarded depending on strict work history criteria*.)
  • The practicum placement can begin as early as the 2nd semester of enrollment (not before), but must be started no later than the beginning of the 4th semester. All students must start their first placement by the beginning of their 4th semester with the program. All field activities must be completed by the beginning of their final semester. All practicum requirements must be fulfilled/submitted before the beginning of the final course.
  • Like the comprehensive exam, the Practicum is a program requirement. Because it is not a course, there is no tuition fee for the practicum.
  • Review this page for a detailed description of the practicum, a timetable of recommended steps for your cohort and other helpful instructions.

Comprehensive Examination

The Online MPH Program requires a comprehensive examination consisting of written components covering subject matter in the On-Campus/Online MPH degree curriculum. The comprehensive examination is given during your last semester of attendance. The basic purpose of the examination is to demonstrate your ability to apply the knowledge acquired during the program to understand, assess and mitigate challenges to the public’s health. A significant component of the exam will be case based.

To be eligible for taking the Comprehensive examination, students must be in ‘good academic standing’. Therefore, if you are on academic probation, it is advised to delay taking your comprehensive examination until you are reinstated to ‘good academic standing’.

Students must pass the comprehensive examination to qualify for the MPH Degree. For more information about the Comprehensive Exam, please visit the Comprehensive Exam Information Page.

Breadth Course Substitutions

With advisors approval, if a student has prior training in statistics and is proficient in R software, they may substitute PHW241 for PHW142. Students with prior biostatistics training but no R experience are strongly encouraged to take PHW251 prior to enrolling in PHW241.

Likewise, with advisor’s approval, if a student possesses a strong background in epidemiology they can substitute PHW250B for PHW250.

Transferring Course Credits

The information below provides the Graduate Division’s policy on transferring course credits. Please note that transfer units will not be approved for required Breadth and Core courses.

Course credit transfer from institutions outside the University of California system

Student may transfer up to 4-semester units or 6-quarter units completed at another institution to meet unit requirements at Berkeley under strict criteria. Transferred units must be equivalent to the courses in the Berkeley graduate program.

Students may not use units from another institution to replace required 200 series courses at UC Berkeley. Courses taken at another institution to satisfy a previously awarded degree, may not be used as transfer units toward any degree at Berkeley.

NOTE: Please keep in mind that any approvals for proposed transferred credit units are done on a case-by-case basis by the graduate division of the University, not the program.

Please refer to the transferring course credit policy for details.

Unit credit from another UC campus

Students coming from another UC campus have the option to petition the Graduate Division to receive credit for no more than 4 semester or 6 quarter units of 200 series courses that were completed prior to a student’s first OOMPH semester. NOTE: Transferring units is done on a case-by-case basis and an exception is made for each approved petition.

For more details, please refer to Academic Senate Regulation 726.

Unit credit from Summer Session course work at UC Berkeley and other institutions.

This section applies only to newly admitted FALL COHORTS.

There is a possibility to use UC Berkeley Summer session unit/course credit towards the MPH degree. UC Berkeley Summer Session courses taken during the summer preceding enrollment carrying “XB” designation on University Extension transcripts may be counted toward the MPH degree if the offer of admission to OOMPH was issued before the end of that Summer Session.

For specifics on Berkeley Division Regulation A208

Please note: Transferring summer course credit completed at another institution toward the required credit hours for the OOMPH degree is not permitted.

Students who have graduated from UC Berkeley’s undergraduate Public Health program may have the option of either waiving a required Breadth or Core course that they have taken as an undergraduate or taking an Exemption Exam in the case of Epidemiology (W250) and Biostatistics (W142). While this will not reduce the number of required units needed for the MPH degree, students may have the option of taking advanced courses or other electives. If you graduated from UC Berkeley’s undergraduate Public Health program, please contact your Academic Advisor to discuss options.

Academic Progress

Tracking Academic Progress

The Academic Progress Report (APR) is a online tool available in CalCentral to help graduate students track their progress of their Graduate division and program requirements.

The following link includes images and steps to instruct graduate students on how to view an Academic Progress Report in CalCentral: https://sis.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/how_graduate_students_view_an_apr.pdf

Please note: If you have questions about the APR requirements, or status of your degree progress, please see your department advisor immediately.

Good Academic Standing

Refer to the graduate division page : http://grad.berkeley.edu/policy/coursework-grading-probation-and-dismissal-policy/#e15-academic-standing

Online MPH Grading

MPH students must complete Required Breadth (PHW200E, PHW200F, PHW200G) and Core (PHW250, PHW142), and required concentration courses for a letter grade with a passing grade of “B-“. Students attaining less than a “B-” will be required to retake the course for a passing grade in order to qualify for graduation. We encourage students to contact their academic advisor if they are concerned about passing a required course.

For courses taken for non-letter grade the level of performance must correspond to a minimum letter grade of B- for you to receive a grade of Satisfactory.

Please do not re-enroll in the course in order to remove an incomplete grade! Please see more on Incomplete grades below.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading Option

A grade of Satisfactory (S/U) is equivalent to a B- or better. The S/U is a grading option for elective options, not for breadth or required concentration courses.These units will not be factored into your G.P.A. at the end of the semester. A class taken S/U will NOT count towards your GPA. You must be in good standing to take classes S/U, and only with explicit consent from your faculty Graduate Adviser.


Receiving, Managing and Removing an Incomplete Grade

Instructors may assign an Incomplete if you are unable to complete the final or final assignment in time (due to circumstances beyond your control, such as sudden illness on the day of the exam).

It is your responsibility to create a written agreement with the Instructor on how the pending work will be completed including the new submission deadlines. This agreement must include a statement explaining the implications of failing to meet the agreed criteria within the designated time frame.

Removing an Incomplete Grade:

Unlike undergraduates, whose I grades become F grades or NP if not replaced within two semesters, graduate students have no specified time limit for removing an incomplete grade. The longest on record in the School of public health was 17 years.

You must finish the course requirements according to the written agreement for completion of work. To replace an Incomplete grade on a student’s record, you will need to file a “Petition to Remove an Incomplete Grade” (available in department offices or through the Registrar’s Office website) You have to complete Section I and submit the form to the instructor who must complete Section II and submit the form to the OOMPH Program Manager for further processing.

NOTE: The policy of the Office of the Registrar states that once a grade is assigned you must not handle the petition document. It is the program’s responsibility to transfer the completed petition to the Graduate Division.

This is what appears on your transcript: The “I” grade is not physically replaced or removed from the academic record. The course is listed on the transcript with an I grade. Completion of the work is reflected as a subsequent line entry on the transcript, with the final grade. The grade points earned are used to calculate the GPA for that semester.

Implications of unresolved Incomplete grades

If you have two or more Incompletes, you are academically ineligible to hold a student academic appointment, i.e. a GSI or GSR position.

You must remove ALL Incomplete grades in required courses to receive their degrees

If you accumulate more than two Incompletes grades, you will no longer be considered in good academic standing and will be placed on academic probation and you are at risk for dismissal.

You cannot be placed in a Public Health internship while on probation.

Each semester, the Graduate Division checks the records of master’s students who will receive degrees that term. If you have Incomplete (I) grades in courses listed on the advancement to candidacy form, the staff will assume that the Incomplete course(s) are required for the degree and will remove your name from the degree list. Therefore, courses with Incomplete grades on the transcript that are not required for the MPH degree should be so noted by a memo from the Head Graduate Adviser.

It is you and your adviser’s responsibility to review your student record well before the degree is expected and to inform the Graduate Division which Incompletes need completion for the degree requirements to be met. Your name will be removed from the degree list if the Registrar does not record final grades for required courses before the degree list is submitted to the Academic Senate.

Incomplete Grade and Financial Aid Eligibility:

IMPORTANT: Receiving an Incomplete may affect your financial aid eligibility!

You must complete at least 6 credit units every semester and maintain at least a 3.0 GPA to be eligible for financial aid. For details see http://grad.berkeley.edu/financial/aid/

Student Conduct

UC Berkeley Honor Code

We are pleased to announce a new Honor Code for UC Berkeley. The wording is brief and to the point:

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

These ideas are already an integral part of our Campus culture, as articulated, for example, in our Principles of Community. However, the Honor Code expresses them as a concise affirmation statement that can be easily remembered and repeated. It is an expression of our deep commitment to our core values as an educational institution.

Unlike honor codes at many academic institutions, the UC Berkeley Honor Code is not meant as a judicial code of conduct. We already have such guidelines for students as well as procedures to deal with violations. Rather, the Honor Code focuses on education and awareness, and is meant to be a springboard for conversation on issues related to honesty, integrity, and respect, whenever it is appropriate and beneficial to have such discussions. 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.

The Honor Code has emerged from a process of dialogue between the Deans of the College of Letters and Science, the Academic Senate, the Graduate Assembly, and the ASUC. The ASUC has taken the lead in the effort to generate Campus awareness and has created an Honor Code website to serve as a resource to the Campus.

We invite you to join us in making the UC Berkeley Honor Code an important part of our Campus community.

Academic Honesty

As members of the academic community, students are responsible for upholding the standards of academic integrity. The basic rules of academic study and inquiry call for honesty in the preparation of papers and assignments, acknowledging sources of ideas, and taking examinations on the foundation of one’s own knowledge.

The Berkeley Campus Regulations Implementing University Policies, which address standards of student conduct, were amended in January 2012, and are now published separately as “The Code of Student Conduct.”

Academic Writing


The School of Public Health and the University of California, Berkeley place high value on academic honesty, which prohibits cheating and plagiarism. What is meant by “cheating” is usually quite clear cut, but not so for “plagiarism”. The following memo, prepared by Professor William Bicknell at the Boston University School of Public Health for orientation of students, defines plagiarism quite well. Please read this carefully and discuss with your faculty adviser or with Associate Dean of Student Affairs if you have any questions.

Plagiarism: a memo by Dr. William J. Bicknell. The purpose of this memo is to make the following clear:

What plagiarism is.

How to avoid plagiarism and the consequences of plagiarism.

Misunderstanding is widespread about what plagiarism is and whether or not it is a serious offense. It is a serious offense and should be painstakingly avoided. Acceptable practice on citing sources of information differs as one moves from an academic environment to the world of work. There are also differences in custom between countries and cultures. This memo outlines practices appropriate to a U.S. academic environment.

What is plagiarism? Plagiarism is using someone else’s work, words, or ideas without giving them proper credit. An example of plagiarism, and an example of one acceptable way to avoid it, is shown below.

How to Avoid Plagiarism. Here are some simple guidelines for avoiding plagiarism:

If you use a phrase, sentence or more from any source, you must put them in quotation marks and cite the source in footnote.

If you recount someone else’s ideas in your own words (paraphrasing), you must provide a footnote at the end of the passage citing the source of the ideas.

if you draw on someone else’s ideas, even though you neither quote nor paraphrase them precisely, one of the following is called for:

A footnote crediting the source of the ideas.

A direct reference to the source within the text (for example, “Seligman has repeatedly made the point that.”, with facts of publication (title, etc.) provided in a footnote or bibliography.

Footnotes should be complete enough to enable the reader to accurately identify your sources. In addition to articles and books, sources may be personal communication, unpublished data, working memos and internal documents. A footnote should cite the author (if no author is named, the organization), as well as the title, date and page number(s). A bibliography, listing your sources but not linking them to specific points in your text, may well be desirable but is not a substitute for footnotes.

The Consequences of Plagiarism

The consequences of plagiarism are serious. Students can be expelled and lose all chance of completing their studies. Even if 99 percent of a student’s work has been above reproach, proven plagiarism could easily result in a degree not being granted.


A good paper typically demonstrates grasp of concepts, originality and appropriate attention to detail. The person who reads your paper assumes that the words and ideas originate with you unless you explicitly attribute them to others. Whenever you draw on someone else’s work, it is your obligation to say so. If you do not, you are operating under false pretenses. That is plagiarism.

Original Source (Attachment 1)

“Tribal pressures affect Kenyans’ behavior more than pronouncements arriving from the national seat of government but what ultimately counts is what an individual perceives as in his or her own best interest. For more than 80 percent of Kenya’s people who live and work on the land, children are seen as essential to survival and status. This is particularly true for women. Children and young adults provide an extra labor needed during peak planting and harvest times when everyone in the household must work long hours every day. For women, children are essential to lessen their heavy workload throughout the year: in a study of the Akamba tribe, three-quarters of the respondents gave this reason for having children.”

From Frank L. Mott and Susan H. Mott, “Kenya’s Record Population Growth: A Dilemma of Development, Population Bulletin, Vol. 35, No. 3 (Population Reference Bureau, Inc., Washington, D.C., 1980): 7-8.


Tribal pressures as essential to her survival and status. They provide the extra labor needed during peak planning and harvest times when everyone in the family must work for long hours and affect the Kenyan woman’s behavior more than pronouncements from the capital. She will perceive what is in her best interest. She sees children….

Properly Footnoted Citation

Why do Kenyans have so many children? Mott and Mott write that “tribal pressures affect Kenyans’ behavior more than pronouncements arriving from the national seat of government but what ultimately counts is what the individual perceives as in his or her own best interest.”1 They point out that children are seen as necessary for a woman’s livelihood as well as her place in society. Children work on the shamba and assist with all kinds of labor: planting, harvesting, fetching firewood and water.2

1 From Frank L. Mott and Susan H. Mott, “Kenya’s Record Publication Growth: A Dilemma of Development, “Population Bulletin, Vol. 35, No. 3 (Population Reference Bureau, Inc., Washington, D.C., 1980): 7.

2 Ibid: 7-8

Student Records


Physical diplomas are mailed to the address listed on your CalCentral student account via USPS. Ensure that all your fees are paid, your student account balance is $0, and your address in CalCentral is up to date. For Fall degrees, you will receive your physical diploma by April. For Spring degrees, you will receive it by September.


Fall degrees appear on your transcript in December. Spring degrees appear in June. Transcripts will have the “date of degree conferred”. Once your degree appears on your transcript, you can feel free to update your LinkedIn profile with your new MPH degree.

SPH Disclosure Policy

The Berkeley Campus policy Governing Disclosure of Information from Student Records, is issued by the Office of the Chancellor.

The Assistant Dean for Student Services is responsible for maintenance of all student records. The Assistant Dean is assisted by staff members who have need to access the records in the course of performing their duties. To implement the policy, the School of Public Health has established the procedures listed below which apply to currently registered and former students.

Public Records

The following types of information kept in the School of Public Health are considered matters of public record. The information is released, provided it is available to the office, if it is requested in writing. The information is not released if the student has requested in writing that it not be disclosed as a matter of public record:

Name of student


Telephone number

Dates of attendance

Degrees granted at Berkeley and date

If a student does not wish to have address (current and/or permanent), telephone number, or both to be considered public information, the request that this information be placed in the CONFIDENTIAL file in the Office of the Registrar (OR) may be submitted to the OR via an Address Change Form or in writing. The Office of the Registrar and the School of Public Health are under obligation to honor that request.

Confidential Records

All other records, such as general correspondence, admission application, and education al test scores, are confidential. The following persons have access to these records: The Office of the President or the University, the Ombudsperson, and academic and non-academic staff of the School of Public Health. 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

By the Student

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 are not 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 these recommendations.

To inspect theirs records, enrolled students should direct their request to the Student Services Staff. “Request for Review of Student’s Record Forms” are available in 417 University Hall; there is minimum of one working days’ notice but not later than 15 days after the request is made. The student may review his or her file in 417 University Hall, 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.

By a Third Party

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

Please note: For records of graduation or official grades for coursework completed at SPH, the official office of record is the campus Registrar (http://registrar.berkeley.edu/ferpa.html).

Challenge of Records

If a student believes that his or her records includes information that is inaccurate, misleading, inappropriate, or otherwise in violation of the student’s rights of privacy, and appointment should be made with the Assistant Dean for Student Services, to request that the records be amended. If the student is not satisfied with the result of the appointment, he or she may appeal to the Dean of the School of Public Health. 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. For information Grade Appeals, see Regulation A207 of the Academic Senate By-Laws, Berkeley Division.

While complaints and questions which have to do with student records would first be directed to the Assistant Dean for Student Services, 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.


Please refer to the Finances page here.