Student Experience

UC Berkeley’s online learning is a rewarding experience that provides you with relevant, unique skills in a way that integrates with your busy work-life schedule from anywhere in the world. The program provides you with valuable knowledge, perspective through coursework, and interactions with faculty and fellow students.

While an online degree is flexible, it requires a good deal of time management. Online courses, like any academic endeavor, require significant effort and a commitment to keeping up with weekly assignments and engaging with course materials in a timely manner. With this in mind, we offer some advice for how to get the most out of your online education.

Online Learning Tools

The UC Berkeley Online MPH learning experience is designed with both synchronous events and asynchronous instruction. It also includes an annual on-campus learning during the summer. Instructors and Teachers Assistants (TAs) hold weekly scheduled office hours, and are accessible anytime through your Student hub channels.

Tools for Online Learning

Asynchronous Class Time

You can login at your convenience anytime and listen to lectures, view video clips, get reading assignments, post questions, take quizzes, participate in discussion sessions, and submit homework. Course material, as well as technical support, is available 24/7.

Synchronous Class Time

Students and instructors interact live weekly whether during small working groups of 4 to 5 students or in a larger group setting. All the live discussion sessions are archived and can be reviewed throughout the duration of the course.

Work-Life-School Balance

Studying to achieve your master’s degree in public health will mean a big leap forward in your career- the benefits you gain simultaneously working while completing your studies, as well as the opportunity to connect with others in your field is unparalleled. But it’s important to remember that working full time while going to graduate school is a challenge.

Achieving true success means finding a balance between your work, school and home life. Balance doesn’t mean doing a little of everything all the time, but prioritizing certain areas of your life over others and making sacrifices. Equally important is checking in with yourself and your professors about how you are doing and setting realistic goals. This balancing act is not easy, so we’ve put together some resources that you can rely on as you progress throughout this journey, from your first class all the way to graduation day.


Balancing the work and academic lifestyle can be challenging, but we believe you can do it! Below are a few tips you can use to help with managing your new commitments:

— Map out your schedule and other commitments. Think about your top priorities at work and at home, and what you may be able to shift to create regular blocks of time for readings and assignments.

— Consider researching scholarships and options for financial aid if needed, and talk to your employer to find out if they can contribute to your education through an Employer Sponsored Professional Advancement program. The U.S. Department of Labor Scholarship Search Tool  and general information about federal student aid are great resources.

— Utilize time and resource management tips from the experts. Read how to optimize your time management here and here.

— You’ll be spending a lot of time online; make sure you have the right tools to make it happen. Make sure you have a strong internet connection that can support videos and online meetings. You’ll need access to a computer with a webcam/microphone to connect with your professors and cohort.

Below are articles on managing your time as a student and working professional:

On-Campus Campus Visit

While earning your online MPH, you are required to travel to UC Berkeley for two working visits, usually occurring during the month of June. During your first year, you will receive intensive on-campus instruction as part of your Health Policy and Management core course. Your second year instruction will cover part of the Interdisciplinary Seminar.

In addition to formal lectures, on-campus visits allow for in-person interaction with some of the best instructors Berkeley has to offer and a chance to connect with classmates and faculty who you’ve been working with online throughout the year. Through various working sessions, you’ll learn practical skills, such as negotiations and innovation, as well as build your professional network, share your professional experience and discuss best practices in public health.

Plan Your Campus Visit

Although your time on campus will be busy, if you have time or are able to extend your stay, consider taking advantage of the resources available to you. Most of these services are also available online all year around.

— Career counseling: Schedule an in-person career counseling appointment, Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Email Ruthann Haffke, career services manager, and check out the career services page.

— Meet your faculty: Reach out to your professors to set up a time to check-in and chat while you’re on campus.

Explore Berkeley

Nested in the foothills of Berkeley, the magnificent, wooded, 178-acre campus of UC Berkeley welcomes thousands of visitors each year.

— Visitor services: Reserve a free walking tour of campus, find out about events on campus during your visit, and more.

— Self-guided tours: Can’t make a formal tour? Have a look at these suggestions to create your own.

— Attend a Berkeley Event: There are always intellectual, cultural, athletic, and artistic events happening on and near the Berkeley campus.

— The Campanile (Sather Tower): Don’t forget to visit UC Berkeley’s most famous landmark. The observation deck provides visitors with a spectacular view of the Berkeley campus and San Francisco across the bay.

For more information please email us.


After you have submitted your final assignment for UC Berkeley’s Online Master in Public Health, it’s time to celebrate your accomplishments. Not only have you completed your degree, but you have realized this achievement while balancing a job and the rest of your busy life, a truly remarkable endeavor. Congratulations! It’s time to celebrate!

Commencement Process

You’ll be joined by your fellow classmates, family, and friends for a special graduation ceremony on the UC Berkeley campus. Celebrate your achievement with a special reception where we toast to you, a Master in Public Health. Dean Will Dow and the program team leads will address your graduating class, celebrating this milestone and wishing you well as you move into your next professional stage. You’re equipped with essential tools and knowledge to lead and influence the field of public health. You and your fellow classmates are invited to speak about your experiences and the impact this degree has had on your lives, both professionally and personally.

Graduation day is a special opportunity to build your network and connect with fellow students and faculty in person before embarking on the next step in your career.