December 6, 2011
First online degree program at UC Berkeley to address public health workforce need
|Nap Hosang, Head, On-Campus/Online M.P.H. Professional Degree Program|
In direct response to the serious, growing need for educated public health leaders, the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health is launching the first ever online degree program on campus. The new On-Campus/Online Professional M.P.H. Degree Program received final approval on Tuesday, Dec. 6, from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Schools.
Students enrolled in the new program, to begin Spring 2012, will be able to earn a master of public health (M.P.H.) degree by completing 85 percent of their coursework online and attending three on-campus sessions totaling 15 days over the first two years. The courses are offered all year round (spring, summer, and fall semesters) and can be completed in two and a half years.
The program is expected to expand the School of Public Health's capacity to address an estimated national shortage of 250,000 trained public health professionals, with a shortage of 25,000 to 30,000 in California alone. California will have an even greater need for public health professionals in the future due to the state's projected growth of 9 million people between 2010 and 2030.
"Offering coursework online makes a UC Berkeley-quality public health education accessible to a larger population of working professionals who cannot leave their full-time jobs to obtain a degree," said School of Public Health Dean Stephen Shortell. "At the same time, the on-campus component of the program enriches the students' experience and learning by allowing them to connect face-to-face with faculty, classmates, and other graduate students on campus."
George W. Breslauer, UC Berkeley executive vice chancellor and provost, said, "This innovative, well-designed program reflects our principles of access and excellence."
The School of Public Health has identified qualified candidates for admission and plans to admit an inaugural class of 10 students in Spring 2012. At full capacity, the School expects approximately 220 students pursuing the degree at a given point in time. Dr. Nap Hosang, director of the School's Interdisciplinary M.P.H. Program and head of the On-campus/Online Professional M.P.H. Degree Program, noted the broad range of professionals represented in the first group.
"It's a diverse mix of clinicians, administrators, researchers, health educators, and one journalist," he said.
For further information, visit the program's website at onlinemph.berkeley.edu.
About the UC Berkeley School of Public Health
The first school of public health west of the Mississippi, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health was founded in 1943. Its mission is to develop, apply and share knowledge from multiple disciplines that promote and protect the health of the human population, with sensitivity to multicultural perspectives and informed by human rights.
Consistently rated among the nation's top schools of public health, Berkeley is noted for the high quality of its teaching, research, and service activities. Its programs are grounded in an understanding of the basic sciences and integrated through a focus on communities located throughout the state, nation, and world. One of the top 10 schools of public health ranked by U.S. News & World Report, with extensive participation in the public health community, the School of Public Health is accredited by the Council of Education for Public Health.