UC Berkeley School of Public Health Review

University of California-Berkeley is a public school in Berkeley, California that was founded in 1868. It currently is ranked overall as the #20 best college according to US News and World Report. It also has a high quality and affordable Master of Public Health (MPH) program that currently is ranked #9 by US News and World Report. That program also is ranked #1 by MPH online.

Favorite Features

Public health college is accredited by the CEPH

One of the most critical parts of choosing any graduate degree program is whether or not the program itself has been accredited by a respected accreditation agency in that specific field. While most universities in the US are regionally accredited, not as many specific programs are accredited as well.

In the public health field, you should ensure that your graduate program has been accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, or CEPH. This is the nationally known accreditation organization for public health programs and schools of public health.

A public health school or program that is CEPH-accredited has shown that it is a high quality program. The CEPH accreditation process stresses rigor, comprehensiveness, flexibility, qualification, and recognition.

The School of Public Health at Berkeley is CEPH accredited.

Public health alumni is more than 12,000 strong

One of the benefits of attending a prestigious public health school is that it has a very accomplished and respected alumni. Berkeley has a public health alumni group of more than 12,000 MPH and DrPH graduates that are working throughout the world in the public and private sectors. Many graduates have major public health roles in health departments, hospitals, government, voluntary health groups and in health care and health promotion entities.

This esteemed group of public health graduates can be an excellent resource for you for inspiration, career advice and possible employment in some cases.

Only top 10 public health school not on a medical school campus

Having a public health school on a medical school campus certainly has advantages. But experts say that because the Berkeley public health program is located on the general campus without a medical school, it provides students access to many top collaborators in all areas of science and humanities.

Some of these disciplines that are critical to public health are engineering, computer science, social welfare, journalism, public policy, international development, law, and business.

The public health school also is part of the larger University of California system. This provides it with a wide capacity and network that can be used to the advantage of both online and campus based students in public health.

Berkeley students and faculty are leaders in public health

Those who attend a master of public health program will want to be in the company of students and professors and alumni who have made significant contributions to public health. This is true for Berkeley. Since it was founded in 1943, the School of Public Health has had faculty, students and alumni make major contributions to the health and welfare of the world community.

For example, the school was instrumental in the first vaccine available for coccidioidomycosis, which is a respiratory infection that is also known as valley fever. It also was critical to the development for a vaccine for brucellosis in the 1950s, and is the only such vaccine available today.

In the area of public health policy, the school and its students and faculty helped to found the entire health planning field in the US. It also developed the method to measure level of exposure to tobacco smoke in the environment that was eventually adopted by the EPA. This led to banning of smoking cigarettes on domestic airlines.

Berkeley MPH students complete highly focused internship

All two and three year students are required to do a closely supervised and approved public health internship. This will give you the chance to apply public health practice based skills, assess your overall public health abilities, and to network in your public health speciality.

This program is overseen by the Center for Public Health Practice and Leadership. This Center ensures that every summer public health internship for all students are as rewarding to their career goals as possible.

Tuition for MPH program is affordable

The tuition for the online MPH program at Berkeley is very reasonable, given that it is a high-quality online MPH degree. The total tuition cost per semester full time is only $5610 for in state students. For out of state students there is a $6122 additional charge per semester. While this is a high price to pay for out of state students, the total tuition cost is still very affordable.

For California residents especially, an MPH from Berkeley is extremely affordable, coming in at less than $25,000 for tuition for the two years of the program.

Least Favorite Features

GRE test scores still are required for admission

Berkeley requires that all graduate students take the General Record Exam or GRE and submit their scores. There is no minimum cut off score by the public health school, however.

Note that applicants who have a PhD or MD when they apply do not need to submit their GRE scores.

Some experts contend that GRE scores are not an effective way to decide who will be the best graduate students, but many universities still require standardized test scores to be considered for admission.

Other requirements of this program include 3.0 GPA in the last two years of your undergraduate degree, personal history and purpose statements, three letters of recommendation, updated resume, transcripts, and work experience that is specific to your public health concentration.

The Details

General Information

  • Founded in 1868
  • Application deadline: Nov. 30
  • Application fee: $50
  • School type: Private
  • Term Schedule: Semester
  • Location: Berkeley, California
  • Student-faculty ratio: 17:1
  • 59% of classes feature fewer than 20 students
  • 15% overall acceptance rate, making it extremely selective

Tuition Rates

  • Bachelor’s: In state tuition per year is $13,509; out of state is $40,191
  • Master’s: In state tuition per year is $11,200; out of state is $22,100

Public Health Degrees

  • Master of Public Health
  • Doctor of Public Health

 Public Health Concentrations

Class Profile

  • Total student body is 27,496
  • 52% female, 48% male
  • 570 total students in MPH and DrPH degree programs
  • Public health school consists of 43% white and 41% minority
  • 4% international students in public health school
  • 74% female, 26% male in public health school

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 4 year graduation rate overall is 73%
  • Total graduation rate for entire college is 90%
  • 96% of students come back for their second year, which is much better than the 70.9% national average
  • Only 9% of students fail to graduate within 150% of their expected time, which is excellent

US News Rankings

  • Best national university: 20
  • Best school of public health: 9
  • Best colleges for veterans: 11

Other Rankings

  • Best online MPH program – MPH Online publication – #1
Robert Sanchez
Written by Robert Sanchez
Robert Sanchez is HealthGrad.com's Chief Editorialist. Robert Sanchez has over 10 years experience in the Healthcare field and more recently has become an avid writer advising on career and job topics in this exciting field.

More posts from Robert Sanchez