Summer Preparatory Seminar

The Summer Preparatory Seminar is a week-long program intended to prepare students for the transition to graduate-level studies and to life at Berkeley. The seminars focus on academic preparation, such as statistics and writing skills; introduction to key campus resources; and development of important skills such as leadership, conducting effective presentations, and managing stress.

The program also helps create and foster a network for underrepresented students that will serve as a support system for them while in graduate studies at UC Berkeley and beyond. It is open to all entering two-year MPH students. The majority of students who sign up for the program are historically underrepresented in graduate school, educationally and financially disadvantaged, first-generation college students, or allies who are committed to serving those groups most affected by health injustice.

What recent participants say about the value of the Summer Preparatory Seminar:


Megan FlavianoMegan Flaviano, Epidemiology/Biostatistics, MPH '17

The Summer Preparatory Seminar helped me put my best foot forward at SPH. The program itself previewed different aspects of leadership and diversity offered at the school. After listening to current professors and students as guest speakers, I knew I had chosen the right place to study public health. Of course, the incoming students who make up the seminar class made the whole opportunity worthwhile. During the highs and lows of my first year at graduate school, my cohort has been a source of inspiration, support, and fun.

Jessica Ng Luna KleinJessica Ng Luna Klein, Public Health Nutrition, MPH '16

The Summer Preparatory Seminar laid the foundation for my entire graduate school experience. Not only did it cover a lot of helpful material related to easing the transition into graduate school, but it also provided me with a network of both staff and peers who I could turn to when I needed support. Everyone that I met through this program genuinely wants to make a positive difference in the world and it was great to be surrounded by that kind of energy right from the start. I highly suggest taking advantage of this opportunity if you have the chance!

Jeremy RamirezJeremy Ramirez, Health Policy and Management, MPH '16

The Summer Preparatory Seminar experience was a perfect kickoff for me as a graduate student in the Berkeley School of Public Health. I met a diverse group of students who would later become an amazing group of friends throughout the rest of my time at Berkeley. From the moment I started the fall semester, I felt like I had a very inviting group of people to reach out to for questions, even if they were seminar students from the previous year. And, of course, I also reached out to seminar students in the year following my cohort to provide support. Out of all of the organizations I was involved in over the last two years, my best group of friends came out of this experience. We have helped each other during the internship application process, learn how to navigate difficult courses, and we all found each other during the breadth courses. Last, but not least, the mentorship from seminar staff and guests has been priceless. The Summer Preparatory Seminar was entirely responsible for my successful beginning at Berkeley!

Andrew SudlerAndrew Sudler, Health and Social Behavior, MPH '16

The Summer Preparatory Seminar was one of the most memorable experiences of my MPH program. As someone who enrolled in graduate school immediately after college, I knew that I was going to be one of the youngest students in my cohort, and I wanted the opportunity to forge relationships with other students before classes began. Not only were the people that I met in the seminar unique, extremely kind, and passionate about public health, but I also discovered that all of us came to Berkeley because we wanted to learn about public heath through the lens of social justice. This is when I first felt at home at Berkeley. I was able to bond with individuals who had similar values and principles as me, and this program gave us the opportunity to start graduate school with a close-knit group of people who we could draw on for support and inspiration. Furthermore, the activities and the guest speakers with whom we engaged during the week taught us about the importance of engaging in our public health education and working with cultural humility. They also helped us understand the importance of appreciating and building community in our own lives. Ultimately, the essence of this program created the wonderful community in which I would spend the next two years. I owe my trajectory at Berkeley to the seminar, and I would highly encourage everyone to apply!

Jonathan MalagonJonathan Malagon, MPH/MCP '14

The Summer Preparatory Seminar eased me through the transition from teacher to graduate student. The support and resources provided through the program were invaluable and shaped my first year at Berkeley. Abby Rincón is a nurturing mentor who established a community of support among seminar participants. I met incoming MPH students across every concentration, forming strong bonds and friendships. The statistics tutoring was invaluable (15 years had passed since my last stats course), the workshops fostered our academic and professional growth, and the introduction to campus resources provided a practical introduction to the campus experience. The Summer Preparatory Seminar helped me to begin the semester with confidence and it felt great to know that our stats professor was not speaking a foreign language. I even had the opportunity to practice my singing outside of the comfort of home. Do not pass on the opportunity to participate this summer!

Jazmine Garcia DelgadilloJazmine Garcia Delgadillo, Health and Social Behavior, MPH '13

The Summer Preparatory Seminar was an invaluable experience for me, as it was a great opportunity to really get to know students from other concentrations. Although there may be opportunity for this in other areas, I have found that none have been to the degree of that this seminar was. This is where I met most of my MPH friends and the people that I have continued to work with, both in and out of class settings. The seminar usually attracts a set of very unique individuals and really helps ease the tension of starting something that to all of us is very new. Not only do you get to meet amazing people, but you also have the opportunity to participate in workshops and learn about how to navigate within the program overall. The seminar was the stepping stone to a great start at Cal. Once it is over you will realize that you have a newfound support network of people who will help you in your journey towards completing your MPH program.