UC Berkeley School of Public Health
|Affiliation||University of California, Berkeley|
|Location||Berkeley, California, U.S.|
The University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, commonly called the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, is one of 14 schools and colleges at the University of California, Berkeley. The School of Public Health is consistently rated among the best in the nation, with recent rankings placing its doctoral programs in Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences 1st, its doctoral program in Health Policy 2nd, and its Master of Public Health program 8th in their respective categories. Established in 1943, it was the first school of public health west of the Mississippi River. The school is currently accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.
The School of Public Health has its origins in the Department of Hygiene, which pioneered much of California's start of the 20th century public health endeavors. It was Karl F. Meyer, however, whose compelling 1930s Public Health curriculum demonstrated a pressing need for a school devoted to the study and practice of public health. Local professional leaders, including Lawrence Arnstein, Ford Rigby, and William Sheppard, used the momentum set in motion by this curriculum to successfully appeal the California State Legislature to create such a school. The result was AB515, signed into law by Governor Earl Warren in 1943, which appropriated funds for a school of public health at the University of California. Shortly thereafter, in 1944, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health held its first commencement. It was accredited by the American Public Health Association two years later, becoming the only accredited school of public health west of the Mississippi River.
In 1955, the school was relocated to be closer to the state health department; Earl Warren Hall was dedicated by Clark Kerr as the new home of the School of Public Health. The baccalaureate degree program continued, but the school began to devote much of its resources to graduate training. At this point, graduate enrollment hovered near 100 students. It soon trebled to 335 students in the mid-1960s, with an annual conferment of around 150 degrees.
Key laboratories in the School of Public Health during the middle of the century were the Naval Biological Laboratory, which focused primarily on aerobiology and related microbial research, and the Sanitary Engineering Research Laboratory which, maintained with the UC Berkeley College of Engineering, pioneered inquiry in the Environmental Health Sciences. The school also played a direct role in community health for years, working with the unified school district, Visiting Nurse Association, and city to provide health services to the Berkeley community through the Berkeley Unified Health Plan.
Once enrolled at the School of Public Health, students may seek education in one of nine concentrations: Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Health & Social Behavior, Health Policy & Management, Health Services & Policy Analysis, Infections Diseases & Vaccinology, Maternal & Child Health, and Public Health Nutrition.
In 2011, the school enrolled 410 students and graduated 207. Among those graduated, 160 received a Master of Public Health (MPH), 8 received a Master of Arts (MA), and 5 received a Master of Science (MS). The university also awarded 26 MPH degrees to joint candidates, including 14 Master of Business Administration (MBA) students, 2 Master of City Planning (MCP) students, 5 Master of Public Policy (MPP) students, 4 Master of Social Work (MSW) students, and 1 Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) student. Berkeley also offers a joint MD/MPH with the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The UC Berkeley School of Public Health has the following values:
Health as a Right: We believe in social justice and the basic human right to a healthy life. We strive to reduce or eliminate inequity and injustice that affects the health and dignity of all people, especially those who are most vulnerable. We live a shared commitment to equity among our faculty, students, and staff.
Strength Through Diversity: We embrace diversity in our education, research, and service. It’s the right thing to do and the best strategy for successfully engaging and transforming the communities we care about.
Think Forward: We innovate and train our students to lead innovation. We build a culture that challenges conventional thinking, leverages technology, and builds bridges between basic research, translational research, implementation research, public policy, education, and action.
Impact First: We demonstrate our commitment to maximum population health impact by focusing our research, education, and service efforts in areas with the potential to have transformative impact on the health of populations locally and globally.
The most recent (2010) National Research Council Rankings, widely considered the authority on ranking US doctoral programs, identified UC Berkeley as the university with the highest number of programs in the top-five in their field, the highest number of programs in the top-ten in their field, and the second-highest number of programs rated as the best in their field. Specifically, Berkeley received four top rankings in the field of Public Health: #1 for Epidemiology, #6 for Environmental Health Sciences (1st among all Environmental Health Science programs), #6 for Health Services and Policy Analysis (2nd among Health Policy programs); and #35 for Biostatistics (tied for 13th among all Biostatistics programs).
US News and World Report ranks UC Berkeley's Master of Public Health program 8th in the nation. Graduate programs administered through or in affiliation with the School of Public Health also receive high marks from US News, with Environmental Health (College of Engineering) ranked 1st, Health Policy and Management (Goldman School of Public Policy) ranked 3rd, and Biostatistics ranked 17th.
- Gordon Belcourt, former Executive Director of the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council, named a Public Health Hero by the Berkeley School of Public Health in 2003.
- Susan Desmond-Hellmann, Chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and incoming chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
- Kenneth P. Moritsugu, US Surgeon General under George W. Bush in 2002 and from 2006-2007
- Sir Michael Marmot, pioneer in research on health inequalities and Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London
- Kirk R. Smith, leading expert on the health and climate effects of indoor air pollution in developing countries, 2012 Tyler Laureate, contributor to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, member of the National Academy of Sciences
- "School of Public Health History". UC Berkeley. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley" (PDF). UC Berkeley. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "2010 Rankings: Doctoral Programs in America". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "University of California--Berkeley Graduate Programs". Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "Schools of Public Health and Public Health programs Accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health" (PDF). Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "About Us". UC Berkeley. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "Timeline: School of Public Health". UC Berkeley. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "Areas of Concentration". UC Berkeley. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- Devlin, Vince (2013-07-17). "Gordon Belcourt remembered as advocate for Indian Country". The Missoulian. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
- "UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann to Step Down". Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH: Chancellor. UCSF. Retrieved 18 December 2013.