About the Program
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
The Berkeley Public Health (a graduate school) offers an undergraduate major through the College of Letters & Science. The goal of the major is to provide students with an understanding of epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health behavior, and health policy. These areas of emphasis range across the spectrum of natural science to social science. Public health is the interdisciplinary science of preventing disease and injury to improve the health of communities and populations. Public health professionals work to identify solutions to address complex issues as wide ranging as air pollution, chronic disease, gun violence, infectious diseases, tobacco control and mental health.
Declaring the Major
Although the major remains capped (impacted), the department encourages all qualified students to apply. To qualify, students must have completed the prerequisites in math, biology, and the social sciences. For further information regarding these prerequisites, please see the Major Requirements tab on this page.
Students should apply to the public health major after completion of the lower division requirements. Non-transfer students must apply to the major by the end of their fifth semester in attendance at UC Berkeley. Transfer students must apply by the end of their first semester in attendance at UC Berkeley.
After completing the prerequisites, students should submit an application, which includes the following:
- A review of an applicant's academic preparation (Coursework and GPA)
- Two essays (Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement)
- Resume or CV
For more information, please see the Berkeley Public Health website.
While completing the prerequisites for public health, students should also take the necessary steps to prepare themselves to declare an alternate major. While the department will do its best to bring in all qualified students, there is no guarantee that any one particular student will be admitted into the major. Therefore, students interested in the public health major should prepare an alternate major in case they are not admitted into the major. Public health demands everyone's attention — there are myriad undergraduate majors at UC Berkeley that will help students prepare to work in this field. All students interested in the major, or the field of public health in general, are encouraged to consult with an academic adviser.
Summer Minor or Certificate Program
Public health seeks to improve human health through the development and application of knowledge that prevents disease, protects the public from harm, and promotes health throughout the state, the nation, and the world. Under the global public health summer minor or certificate, students will develop and apply knowledge from multiple disciplines for the promotion and protection of the health of the human population, giving due consideration to principles of human rights and many cultural perspectives in our multicultural country and world. The summer minor or certificate can serve as a precursor to further study in public health, other health professions, or any fields in which the health of persons and populations is a relevant concern. The summer minor can augment and enhance many different undergraduate bachelor degree programs and prepare students for professional and academic careers. In addition, public health is of interest for its own sake, as a component of a rigorous liberal arts education. Please note: the Summer Minor is only available to Berkeley students, and the Summer Certificate is only available to non-Berkeley students.
In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill requirements specific to their major program.
- All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit, other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.
- No more than two upper division courses may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's double major within L&S. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's minor within L&S. Majors and minors offered outside of the College of Letters & Science may have different restrictions. Please contact the Public Health Advisors for more information.
- A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements.
For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.
Lower Division Prerequisites
All prerequisite courses must be completed before declaring the major with a minimum grade of C- or above. Public Health accepts Advanced Placement (AP) Exam and International Baccalaureate (IB) Exam units for the Math and Social Science prerequisites. If students have taken both an AP exam or IB exam and the equivalent college-level course, we will only take the grade from the college-level course into consideration for admissions purposes.
For more information around Lower Division Prerequisites, please see the Berkeley Public Health website Undergraduate Admissions section.
|Select 7 units from the following:|
|BIOLOGY 1A||General Biology Lecture||3|
|BIOLOGY 1B||General Biology Lecture and Laboratory||4|
|MCELLBI 32||Introduction to Human Physiology||3|
|MCELLBI 38||Stem Cell Biology, Ethics and Societal Impact||3|
|MCELLBI 50||The Immune System and Disease||4|
|MCELLBI 55||Plagues and Pandemics||3|
|MCELLBI/PSYCH C61||Brain, Mind, and Behavior||3|
|NUSCTX 10||Introduction to Human Nutrition||3|
|or NUSCTX 10S||Introduction to Human Nutrition: Managing Life|
|Select two of the following, or their equivalents:|
|MATH 10A||Methods of Mathematics: Calculus, Statistics, and Combinatorics||4|
|MATH 10B||Methods of Mathematics: Calculus, Statistics, and Combinatorics||4|
|MATH 16A||Analytic Geometry and Calculus||3|
|MATH 16B||Analytic Geometry and Calculus||3|
|Select three courses from at least two of the following areas:|
|ANTHRO 3||Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology||4|
|or ANTHRO 3AC||Introduction to Social/Cultural Anthropology (American Cultures)|
|ECON 1||Introduction to Economics||4|
|or ECON 2||Introduction to Economics--Lecture Format|
|or ECON C3||Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy|
|POL SCI 2||Introduction to Comparative Politics||4|
|POL SCI 4||Introduction to Political Theory||4|
|PSYCH 1||General Psychology||3|
|or PSYCH 2||Principles of Psychology|
|SOCIOL 1||Introduction to Sociology||4|
|or SOCIOL 3||Course Not Available|
|or SOCIOL 3AC||Principles of Sociology: American Cultures|
|SOCIOL 5||Evaluation of Evidence||4|
Lower Division Requirements
This is a major requirement, not a prerequisite however it is best to take this course earlier.
|DATA/STAT/COMPSCI/INFO C8||Foundations of Data Science||4|
Upper Division Requirements
|PB HLTH 142||Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health 1||4|
|PB HLTH 150A||Introduction to Epidemiology and Human Disease||4|
|PB HLTH 150B||Human Health and the Environment in a Changing World||3|
|or PB HLTH N150B||Human Health and the Environment in a Changing World|
|PB HLTH 150D||Introduction to Health Policy and Management||3|
|PB HLTH 150E||Introduction to Community Health and Human Development||3|
|Capstone Requirement - This is NOT the full list. Please see our website for the most up to date list at publichealth.berkeley.edu/undergraduate|
|PB HLTH 130||Advanced Health Policy||3|
|PB HLTH H195A||Special Study for Honors Candidates in Public Health 2||3|
|PB HLTH 155A||Senior Research Seminar in Public Health||3|
|PB HLTH 155D||Preparation for Public Health Practice and Leadership Seminar||3|
Students are required to enroll in Fall Semester's PB HLTH 155A and Spring Semester's PB HLTH H195B (with permission from the department) during their senior year to complete the honors thesis and earn honors in the major.
Elective Requirements - These courses listed below are approved examples. Our electives list grows during the academic year. Please see our website for the most up to date list at publichealth.berkeley.edu/undergraduate
|10 Units of Electives|
|4 out of 10 elective units must be Upper Division (courses numbered 100 and above). Courses may be selected from the list below. It is not required for students to choose a specific subject concentration. Any PB HLTH courses (excluding the DeCal, group study, and independent research courses) can also meet elective requirements. Graduate courses at the School of Public Health can also count towards elective units. Study abroad courses may be consiered.|
|COMPSCI/STAT C100||Principles & Techniques of Data Science||4|
|DEMOG 110||Introduction to Population Analysis||3|
|MATH 53||Multivariable Calculus||4|
|MATH 54||Linear Algebra and Differential Equations||4|
|PB HLTH 145||Statistical Analysis of Continuous Outcome Data||4|
|STAT 133||Concepts in Computing with Data||3|
|STAT 134||Concepts of Probability||4|
|STAT 135||Concepts of Statistics||4|
|STAT 150||Stochastic Processes||3|
|STAT 151A||Linear Modelling: Theory and Applications||4|
|STAT 153||Introduction to Time Series||4|
|CHEM 135||Chemical Biology||3|
|ESPM C138/MCELLBI C114/PLANTBI C114||Introduction to Comparative Virology||4|
|INTEGBI 114||Infectious Disease Dynamics||4|
|INTEGBI 116L||Medical Parasitology||4|
|INTEGBI 131||General Human Anatomy||3|
|INTEGBI 132||Survey of Human Physiology||4|
|INTEGBI 137||Human Endocrinology||4|
|INTEGBI 139||The Neurobiology of Stress||4|
|INTEGBI 141||Human Genetics||3|
|MCELLBI C100A/CHEM C130||Biophysical Chemistry: Physical Principles and the Molecules of Life||4|
|MCELLBI 102||Survey of the Principles of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology||4|
|MCELLBI C114||Introduction to Comparative Virology||4|
|MCELLBI 130||Cell and Systems Biology||4|
|MCELLBI 140||General Genetics||4|
|MCELLBI 150||Molecular Immunology||4|
|MCELLBI 160||Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology||4|
|PLANTBI C110L||Biology of Fungi with Laboratory||4|
|PB HLTH 162A||Public Health Microbiology||4|
|DEMOG 110||Introduction to Population Analysis||3|
|DEMOG/SOCIOL C126||Sex, Death, and Data||4|
|GEOG 130||Food and the Environment||4|
|INTEGBI 131||General Human Anatomy||3|
|INTEGBI 132||Survey of Human Physiology||4|
|INTEGBI 140||Biology of Human Reproduction||4|
|MCELLBI 140||General Genetics||4|
|PB HLTH 112||Global Health: A Multidisciplinary Examination||4|
|Environmental Health Sciences|
|CIV ENG 111||Environmental Engineering||3|
|PB HLTH 177||Applied GIS for Public Health||3|
|PB HLTH 170C||Drinking Water and Health||3|
|CIV ENG 113||Ecological Engineering for Water Quality Improvement||3|
|CIV ENG 114||Environmental Microbiology||3|
|ECON/ENVECON C102||Natural Resource Economics||4|
|ECON C171/ENVECON C151||Development Economics||4|
|ECON/ENVECON C181||International Trade||4|
|ENE,RES C100/PUB POL C184||Energy and Society||4|
|ENE,RES 102||Quantitative Aspects of Global Environmental Problems||4|
|ENVECON 131||Globalization and the Natural Environment||3|
|ENVECON 152||Advanced Topics in Development and International Trade||3|
|ENVECON 153||Population, Environment, and Development||3|
|ENVECON 161||Advanced Topics in Environmental and Resource Economics||4|
|ESPM 162A||Health, Medicine, Society and Environment||4|
|ESPM 163AC||Environmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment||4|
|ESPM 168||Political Ecology||4|
|ESPM 169||International Environmental Politics||4|
|GEOG 123/DEV STD 150||Postcolonial Geographies||4|
|GEOG 130||Food and the Environment||4|
|GEOG 138||Global Environmental Politics||4|
|GEOG 187||Geographic Information Analysis||4|
|GEOG/LD ARCH C188||Geographic Information Science||4|
|HISTORY 120AC||American Environmental and Cultural History||4|
|INTEGBI 117||Medical Ethnobotany||2|
|IAS/ENVECON C175||The Economics of Climate Change||4|
|ISF 100D||Introduction to Technology, Society, and Culture||4|
|ISF 100G||Introduction to Science, Society, and Ethics||4|
|NUSCTX 20||Personal Food Security and Wellness||2|
|NUSCTX 160||Metabolic Bases of Human Health and Diseases||4|
|PB HLTH C160/ESPM C167||Environmental Health and Development||4|
|SOCIOL 121||Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Social and Cultural Context||4|
|SOCIOL 166||Society and Technology||4|
|ENVECON C151/ECON C171||Development Economics||4|
|ENVECON/ECON C181||International Trade||4|
|ESPM C167||Environmental Health and Development||4|
|Health Policy & Management|
|CY PLAN 120||Community Planning and Public Policy for Disability||3|
|ECON 157||Health Economics||4|
|ESPM 102D||Climate and Energy Policy||4|
|ENVECON C176||Climate Change Economics||4|
|LEGALST 103||Theories of Law and Society||4|
|LEGALST 107||Theories of Justice||4|
|LEGALST 168||Sex, Reproduction and the Law||4|
|PB HLTH 116||Seminar on Social, Political, and Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine||3|
|MEDIAST 112||Media Theories and Processes||4|
|PB HLTH 126||Health Economics and Public Policy||3|
|PB HLTH 181||Poverty and Population||3|
|POL SCI 103||Congress||4|
|POL SCI 150||The American Legal System||4|
|POL SCI 171||California Politics||4|
|PUB POL 101||Introduction to Public Policy Analysis||4|
|PUB POL C103||Wealth and Poverty||4|
|PUB POL 117AC||Race, Ethnicity, and Public Policy||4|
|PUB POL 156||Program and Policy Design||4|
|PUB POL 179||Course Not Available||4|
|SOCIOL 115G||Health in a Global Society||4|
|SOC WEL 112||Social Welfare Policy||3|
|SPANISH 102C||Advanced Writing Workshop (Volunteering, Global Education, and Good Writing)||4|
|Community Health & Human Development|
|ASAMST 143AC||Asian American Health||3|
|CHICANO 174||Chicanos, Law, and Criminal Justice||4|
|CHICANO 176||Chicanos and Health Care||3|
|PB HLTH 155E||Seeing People:Understanding Homelessness' Roots, Stigmas & Solutions-A Berkeley Changemaker Course||3|
|PB HLTH 155C||War and Public Health||3|
|PB HLTH N112||Global Health: A Multidisciplinary Examination||4|
|ESPM 163AC/SOCIOL 137AC||Environmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment||4|
|ISF C100G||Introduction to Science, Technology, and Society||4|
|HISTORY C191/HMEDSCI C133/UGIS C133||Death, Dying, and Modern Medicine: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives||4|
|NUSCTX 166||Nutrition in the Community||3|
|PB HLTH 14||Course Not Available||4|
|PB HLTH 15||Introduction to Global Health Equity||3|
|PB HLTH 101||A Sustainable World: Challenges and Opportunities||3|
|PB HLTH 104A|
& PB HLTH 104B
|Course Not Available|
and Health Promotion in a College Setting
|PB HLTH 107||Violence, Social Justice, and Public Health||2|
|PB HLTH W108||Women's Health, Gender And Empowerment||3|
|PB HLTH 118||Global Nutrition||3|
|PB HLTH 129||The Aging Human Brain||3|
|PB HLTH C155/SOCIOL C115||Sociology of Health and Medicine||4|
|PSYCH 134||Health Psychology||3|
Summer Minor Requirements
The summer Global Public Health Minor/Certificate explores health-related issues affecting populations in the United States and worldwide. Students complete courses covering a range of disciplines and methods relevant to promotion and protection of human health, emerging health issues, healthcare systems, and approaches to address and intervene. It will expand knowledge and comprehension of domestic and international challenges for human health. Valuable internship experience, completed locally, nationally, or abroad, and the development of both technical and public health practice skills is part of the available curriculum. The certificate can be pursued by non-UC Berkeley students in or outside of California, including international students.
Please note: This program option is only available during the summer.
The two options available are described below:
Summer Global Public Health Minor for UC Berkeley students: The Summer Minor in Global Public Health consists of three core and two elective courses taught in two consecutive, six-week summer sessions. Completion of core courses and any two electives listed below will satisfy the minor. A local or global public health 8-week internship with a required seminar can also serve as one of the elective courses. Students interested in declaring a GPH minor must submit the minor/certificate declaration form. The minor can be completed in one or two summers. Students pursuing the 8-week internship as one elective will need two summers to complete the minor.
Summer Global Public Health Certificate for non-UC Berkeley students: The Summer Certificate in Global Public Health consists of three core and two elective courses taught in two consecutive, six-week summer sessions. Once the required core courses are completed, any two electives listed below will satisfy the requirements of the certificate. Students interested in completing the GPH certificate program must submit the minor/certificate declaration form. The certificate can be completed in one or two summers.
Students must declare the minor anytime prior to the first day of classes of the student's EGT. If the semester before the EGT is summer, the deadline to declare the minor is anytime prior to the first day of classes for Summer Session A. To declare a minor, review the declaration process on the website and submit the minor/certificate declaration form.
UC Berkeley and visiting students who do not want to declare the minor or receive a certificate, but are interested in these classes may enroll in as many courses as they wish.
For more information about the requirements for the Summer Minor, please visit the website.
Undergraduate students must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.
For detailed lists of courses that fulfill college requirements, please review the College of Letters & Sciences page in this Guide. For College advising appointments, please visit the L&S Advising Pages.
University of California Requirements
All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley.
The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university, should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.
Berkeley Campus Requirement
All undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass this course in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.
College of Letters & Science Essential Skills Requirements
The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.
The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.
In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete parts A & B reading and composition courses in sequential order by the end of their fourth semester.
College of Letters & Science 7 Course Breadth Requirements
The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.
120 total units
Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units
- Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department
For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years, or two years for transfer students. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.
Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.
Senior Residence Requirement
After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your BA degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.
You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.
Modified Senior Residence Requirement
Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.
Upper Division Residence Requirement
You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding UCEAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.
Student Learning Goals
Learning Goals for the Major
- Critical Thinking Skills
- Describe the public health framework of the determinants of the health of populations.
- Recognize the public health perspective of disease prevention and health promotion.
- Explain how public health studies the interplay between biology, environment, and behavior.
- Understand the basic concepts from the social and behavioral sciences in public health.
- Quantitative Skills
- Recognize commonly used measures of population health.
- Identify commonly used methods of measuring risk.
- Describe common study designs for assessing risk from exposures.
- Assemble and display summary measures using graphs and tables.
- Recognize the basics of statistical hypothesis testing.
- Know how to calculate and interpret confidence intervals.
- Communication Skills
- Incorporate statistical and scientific findings into written materials.
- Prepare fact sheets and other health education tools.
- Know how to interpret public health reports and scientific literature.
- Create and give presentations on public health issues.
- Problem-Solving Skills
- Research and summarize relevant public health literature.
- Apply the systems thinking approach to issues in public health.
- Identify problems in public health with upstream-downstream model.
- Specialized Knowledge
- Integrate human biology and genetics with public health issues.
- Comprehend the basics of infectious disease.
- Understand the basics of chronic disease.
- Examine and assess environmental health issues.
- Describe the organization and financing of the United States health care system.
- Lifelong Learning Skills
- Identify ethical issues of public health.
- Be able to perform data collection and research.
- Acknowledge the role of disparities in public health.
Major Maps help undergraduate students discover academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities at UC Berkeley based on intended major or field of interest. Developed by the Division of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with academic departments, these experience maps will help you:
Explore your major and gain a better understanding of your field of study
Connect with people and programs that inspire and sustain your creativity, drive, curiosity and success
Discover opportunities for independent inquiry, enterprise, and creative expression
Engage locally and globally to broaden your perspectives and change the world
- Reflect on your academic career and prepare for life after Berkeley
Use the Major Maps as a guide to planning your undergraduate journey and designing your own unique Berkeley experience.
Berkeley Public Health
2121 Berkeley Way West
Michael C. Lu, MD, MS, MPH
Assistant Dean for Students
Quin Hussey, MPH
2121 Berkeley Way West, Suite 2220
2121 Berkeley Way West, Suite 2210
2121 Berkeley Way West, Suite 2210
Drop in Calendar: tinyurl.com/sphugpeers