Summer Minor FAQ

What is global public health?

Global 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. By definition, global health transcends geopolitical borders and standard academic disciplines, so a broad multidisciplinary approach to its study and understanding is required.


What is the Summer Minor/Certificate in Global Public Health?

Students complete coursework and an optional internship that provide content relative to a range of public health issues, factors that contribute to existing and emerging health issues, and applicable approaches to address and intervene. The summer minor can augment and enhance many different undergraduate bachelor degree programs and can expand knowledge and comprehension of domestic and international issues affecting the health of individuals and communities. In addition, global public health is of interest for its own sake, as a component of a rigorous liberal arts education. The certificate can be pursued by non-UC Berkeley students in or outside of California, including international students.

What kind of career and graduate educational paths will the minor or certificate prepare me for?

The 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. Students who complete the minor or certificate can enhance their preparation to pursue careers and jobs in public health departments, hospitals and health systems, health policy, community health settings, non-profit organizations, consulting firms, and health related start-ups and private companies. The minor can also strengthen student preparation for clinical careers, including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, optometry, physician assisting, and mental health and/or graduate degrees in public health, public policy, business, social work, law, and city planning. Even if not used directly in a professional setting or graduate program, the multidisciplinary approach of public health will provide students with a broader understanding of the world and tools to engage and influence his/her surroundings.

Is there an application process?

There is currently no application requirement for the Global Public Health Summer Minor/Certificate. However, once all the requirements have been completed, UC Berkeley students must complete the form on the Undergraduate Summer Minor in Global Public Health web page and return to Student Services, School of Public Health, Suite 417, University Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, or email to After it is confirmed that the course requirements have been fulfilled, a confirmation will be sent by email. A similar process is used for the certificate (non-UC Berkeley students).

Who is eligible to pursue a Summer Minor/Certificate?

All UC Berkeley students (excluding declared Public Health majors) are eligible for enrolling in courses to complete the minor. Visitors are eligible for the certificate program. Students from all University of California, California State University, and California Community College campuses are encouraged to enroll in courses to complete the certificate, as are students from public and private universities throughout the United States and worldwide. UC Berkeley provides a stimulating, diverse learning environment in which to enhance your knowledge of public health, make new connections, and enjoy the Berkeley experience. The certificate program is also open to professionals looking to expand their knowledge about global public health.

Are there prerequisites for participating?

There are no prerequisites required beyond being enrolled at UC Berkeley (Summer Minor) or other college/university as described above (Summer Certificate), or having a bachelor’s or more advanced degree, or having instructor permission (if in high school).

What are the required courses?

There are three required courses: PB HLTH 112, PB HLTH 250A, and PB HLTH 141. Students then must select two elective courses from the following: PB HLTH 150B, PB HLTH 150D, PB HLTH 162A, PB HLTH 118. Currently, only UC Berkeley students are eligible to select the global public health internship/seminar (PB HLTH 196/197 for Summer 2017) as one of the elective courses. The internship/seminar is not available to non-UC Berkeley students. Additional requirements apply to students who are interested in pursuing the internship. Please note if you have taken PB HLTH 142, this course may be applied to the minor in place of PB HLTH 141. 

What is required to select the global public health internship/seminar as an elective course?

In 2017, the internship elective will be available only to UC Berkeley students. Students must secure a full-time public health related summer internship for a minimum of 8 consecutive weeks between June and August. Students will develop an internship plan, complete meaningful projects, and submit a final deliverable. Interns will participate in a weekly seminar in addition to their field work. Domestic and international internships are eligible and available. Students must also have an overall GPA of 3.0. Students wanting to apply for an internship would submit an application to the Center for Public Health Practice and Leadership at UC Berkeley. The application will include: a one-page description of the internship scope and deliverables, a letter of commitment from the host organization, a resume, transcript and submit a 500-word statement describing why they want to pursue the internship.

Can I complete the minor or certificate over multiple summers?

Yes, students may complete the minor or certificate over one or two summers. It is possible to complete all five courses required for the minor or certificate in a single summer, if a student can attend both A and D sessions. UC Berkeley students who choose an internship as an elective cannot complete the minor in one summer; two summers will be required.

Are there any special requirements for international students?

We do require international students to show proof of passing scores in English Proficiency exams such as TOEFL. Many courses have a strong written and oral component; students are expected to be able to write, understand and speak English sufficiently to successful complete upper division health coursework. There is also the Learning Center on campus where both local and international students enrolled in summer session courses can get assistance. For international students there are no financial resources for support through UC Berkeley.

What are the grading requirements?

All required courses must be completed with a minimum of “C-” to be eligible for the minor or certificate.

As a UC Berkeley Student, can I take courses for the Global Health Summer Minor during the Fall or Spring semesters in the academic year?

The expectation for the summer minor (UC Berkeley students only) is that all courses must be taken during the summer. Some are only offered now in the summer (PB HLTH 112) or are restricted to or prioritized for public health majors during the academic year. For example, PB HLTH 150B is offered in the Fall semester and restricted to public health majors. PB HLTH 150D is offered in the Fall and Spring; public health majors are enrolled, and on occasion non-public health graduating seniors only may be enrolled, space permitting. If UC Berkeley students have already completed any of these courses during the Fall or Spring semesters prior to beginning the Summer Minor, application of this coursework to the summer minor will be considered. For example, PB HLTH 142 may be applied to the minor in place of PB HLTH 141.

Can courses taken at other universities be applied towards the minor/certificate?


Can courses taken at UC Berkeley be credited at another university?

Contact your home university to discuss the possibility of transferring courses taken at UC Berkeley.

Can I opt out of any of the required courses?

PB HLTH 142 may be applied to the minor in place of PB HLTH 141. No substitutions can be made for other courses.

When can I sign up for summer session courses?

Enrollment begins February 1, 2017, for Berkeley students and February 8 for visitors.

Can I take individual courses if I don’t want to complete the minor or certificate?

Yes. UC Berkeley undergraduate public health majors and non-majors who want to access public health coursework in the summer are encouraged to participate. Students from other universities are also welcome to take individual courses.

Can I get a scholarship for the summer minor if I am a UC Berkeley student?

Yes. UC Berkeley students who enroll in the minor in Global Public Health in Summer Sessions 2017 and complete it by the end of summer 2017 or by the end of summer 2018 are eligible for a $2,000 scholarship.

To be awarded the scholarship you must:

  • Be currently enrolled as a UC Berkeley student
  • Complete the academic requirements of the minor by the end of Summer Sessions 2017 or Summer Sessions 2018
  • Receive a grade of "C" or higher in all courses comprising the minor and complete all courses before graduation
  • Complete a Completion of Minor form and email or bring to the Office of Student Services at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health within two weeks of the start of your final course

This will trigger the process of awarding your scholarship. You will receive an acknowledgment from the School of Public Health that you have successfully completed the Minor. Your $2,000 scholarship will be posted as "Scholarship" to your CARS account by December 1 of that year. Please note that Certificate candidates and students not enrolled at UC Berkeley are not eligible for the scholarship. Please note also, in order to be eligible for the scholarship, all courses to be completed for the minor must be taken in summer session.

How do I ‘declare’ the summer minor if I am a UC Berkeley student?

At the start of your final summer session, fill out the Completion of Minor form. Email the form to or bring to the Office of Student Services at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Once it is confirmed that your course requirements are completed, you will receive a Completion of Minor document signed by the dean of the School of Public Health and the Global Public Health Minor program director. All major and minor requirements must be completed by the last day of finals of the semester you graduate. If you cannot finish all courses required for your minor by that time, visit a college adviser. In order to be eligible to have a notation of the minor placed on your transcript, you will need to remove yourself from that degree list and plan to graduate only after the minor course work has been completed. Completion of a minor program is posted on the transcript as an item in the memoranda section. Minor programs are not noted on diplomas. Effective Fall 2015, students must declare a minor with the minor-granting department the semester before they plan to graduate.

How do I receive my certificate if I am a non-UC Berkeley student?

At the start of your final summer session, fill out the Completion of Certificate form. Email the form to or bring to the Office of Student Services at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Once its confirmed that your course requirements are completed, you will receive a Certificate of Completion document signed by the dean of the School of Public Health and the Global Public Health Minor program director.