Core Courses & Suggested Electives

Core Courses

The following courses are required for all 11-month, 2-year, 4+1 MPH, and MSW/MPH in MCAH. In addition to these courses, the degree requires completion of the BPH breadth requirements and (1) a course in the area of assessment, planning, and evaluation and (2) a course in the area of methods of measurement and analysis. Information about elective offerings can be found in the student handbook and the Berkeley course catalog.

PBHLTH 210: Foundations of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Policy, Practice and Science

This course will explore issues related to maternal, child, and adolescent health throughout the life course with a focus on the social determinants of health, health disparities, and social justice. Discussion will focus on current issues central to maternal and child health policy and practice and the history and organization of MCH health services in the US. It will analyze the ways in which the political context in the US and internationally affects the health and well-being of families, including a critical examination of how knowledge about an issue, an understanding of the social strategies to address that issue, and political will are all leveraged to infuence the creation of MCH policy.

PBHLTH 210J: Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Journal Club

This course is a discussion and analysis of peer-reviewed research articles in the field of Maternal Child and Adolescent Health (MCAH), as well as of conceptual and methodological problems in planning and conducting health research.

PBHLTH 210E & 210F: Practicum in MCH Data Analysis I & II

The course is designed to support MCH students working on their Master’s Capstone project. The course goal is to support students in various methodological and practical issues. The course is a combination of formal class meetings and one-on-one meetings.  Part I is offered in the Fall and Part II is offered in Spring.

PBHLTH 210K: Foundations of Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Leadership

This course introduces students to theories and concepts of leadership and explores ways of applying these to maternal and child health issues. This course provides opportunities for students to develop skills and resources to further develop their own leadership. The skills taught in this course will prepare students to “provide and promote coordinated, comprehensive, culturally competent care, programs, and policies for diverse MCH populations.”


MCAH Students may take electives in any school or department on the UC Berkeley campus. The following electives offered in the Division of Community Health Sciences are highly recommended. For courses beyond MCAH, please refer to the Berkeley course catalog. Students are encouraged to discuss their program plan and electives with our MCAH program staff. Our program has compiled a resource of courses that may be of interest to MCAH Students: UC Berkeley Elective List for MCAH Students

PBHLTH 210B: Adolescent Health

This course is designed to provide an understanding of the epidemiology and etiology of critical health issues among adolescents, including complex contextual influences and individual processes related to this dynamic period of life. Each adolescent health outcome will be considered in light of developmental issues related to the pubertal transition and multilevel influences that contribute to adolescent health and well-being, including 1) biological, 2) cognitive, 3) behavioral, and 4) social-culture factors. The course will emphasize: empirical evidence for the etiology of adolescent health problems, documented risk and protective factors, and content and timing of preventive intervention efforts to ameliorate risk. This course is typically offered every other Spring semester (e.g. Spring 2025, Spring 2027).

PBHLTH 212A: International Maternal and Child Health

This course assesses the health status of mothers, infants, and children worldwide, with a special emphasis on problems, policies, and programs affecting MCH and family planning in developing countries. This course is typically offered in the Fall semester.

PBHLTH 213A: Family Planning, Population Change, & Health

The course examines the determinants of family size and the role played by contraception, voluntary sterilization, and induced abortion in the transition to small families. It looks at the factors controlling access to fertility regulation in developed and developing countries. It discusses the factors that have made for successful family programs as well as those that have generated controversy. The course looks at the relationship between family planning and the health of women and children and at the role of family size in economic development and environmental problems. It looks at advances in family planning, organization, and promotion of services and discusses ethical issues facing providers. This course is typically offered every other Fall semester (e.g. Fall 2024, Fall 2026).

PBHLTH 207A: Public Health Aspects of Maternal & Child Nutrition

Nutrition plays a vital role in human reproduction and child growth and development. This course provides an overview of the major nutritional issues faced by women of childbearing age, infants, children, and adolescents in the United States and around the world, with selected topics explored in greater depth. Nutritional problems are multifactorial and occur at multiple levels and we will study them from a variety of viewpoints (biological, psychological, socio-cultural, economic, political, and behavioral) as well as from individual and population perspectives. Participants in the course will become acquainted with nutritional research, policies, and interventions designed to enhance reproduction, growth, and development. This course will also explore health disparities in maternal and child nutrition in both a domestic and international context. This course is typically offered in the Fall semester.

PBHLTH 210D: Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology

This course focuses on research methods and issues in perinatal and reproductive epidemiology with an emphasis on methodologies and specific case studies. Specific adverse reproductive outcomes, risk factors, and prevalence will be discussed. This course is typically taught every other Spring semester (e.g. Spring 2025, Spring 2027).

PBHLTH 290: Abortion: Implications for Public Health

"Health Issues Seminar"

This seminar orients students to important definitions, tools, and activities to understand the public health implications of abortion, to inform their and others’ attitudes and beliefs about abortion, and ultimately, to prevent morbidity and mortality caused by unsafe abortion. The course explores women’s rights, reproductive rights, human rights, and foster discussion about access to abortion services as a form of empowerment. This course is typically taught every other Fall semester (e.g. Fall 2023, Fall 2025).

PBHLTH 290: The Art of Public Health

"Health Issues Seminar"

This course is a multidisciplinary, interactive, making-based course to introduce students to the variety of ways that Art shapes Public Health practice.  The course is organized into three major modules, each relating to the respective intention of art: Communication (behavior change), Advocacy (systems change), and Community (building and healing). Regular creative exercises will culminate in a public gallery show for the campus community. This course is typically taught every Spring semester.