Goldman School of Public Policy - University of California, Berkeley

Additional Coursework

Master of Public Affairs (MPA)

The MPA is a flexible degree that allows students to choose electives that best fit their academic and career goals.  For those completing the in-residence track, on-campus electives within the Goldman School provide MPA students with a wide range of choices.  A select set of electives offered online allows students to complete the degree while continuing their careers. Actual course availability varies year to year and is subject to change.

Required Courses (Online)

PUBAFF W202: Policy Analysis Toolkit
Fall term

This course will equip students to utilize a powerful, eight-step method for analyzing public policy problems and formulating recommendations for addressing them. Students will examine specific policy examples and learn to apply this method to the social challenges they wish to concentrate upon in their own work.

PUBAFF W207: The Capstone
Spring term

The Capstone Project will require that each student conduct a thorough analysis of a major policy question facing a “real-world” organization or practitioner, applying the interdisciplinary methods, approaches, and perspectives studied in the MPA’s core curriculum.

Electives (In-Residence or Online)

In-residence Courses

Courses offered in person are held on the Berkeley campus and require students to attend class sessions two to three times per week.  Class times vary and are often during normal business hours.

Online Courses

The following classes are offered online.  All online courses include a live (or synchronous) session at least once a week during the term.

PUBPOL 250: Political and Agency Management Aspects of Public Policy

Fall term

This course examines the political and organizational factors involved in developing new policies, choosing among alternatives, gaining acceptance, assuring implementation, and coping with unanticipated consequences. Materials will include case studies, theoretical, empirical, and interpretive works from several disciplines.

PUBPOL 290: Negotiations

Fall term

The objective of this course is to improve negotiation skills and to increase the ability to resolve conflicts in a multitude of situations, including public policy disputes. Topics will include: distributive and integrative bargaining; preparation strategies; defense to ploys; power and perceptions; team and multi-party negotiations; political, legislative and regulatory negotiations; emotions and gender, email negotiations, handling difficult negotiators, impact of personality traits and public policy mediation. Simulated negotiation exercises and role-plays will be used extensively.

DATA SCI W231: Legal, Policy, and Ethical Considerations for Data Scientists
Fall or Spring term
Offered by the UC Berkeley School of Information.  Intro to the legal, policy, and ethical implications of data, including privacy, surveillance, security, classification, discrimination, decisional-autonomy, and duties to warn or act. Examines legal, policy, and ethical issues throughout the full data-science life cycle collection, storage, processing, analysis, and use with case studies from criminal justice, national security, health, marketing, politics, education, employment, athletics, and development. Includes legal and policy constraints and considerations for specific domains and data-types, collection methods, and institutions; technical, legal, and market approaches to mitigating and managing concerns; and the strengths and benefits of competing and complementary approaches.
PBHLTH W205: Program Planning
Fall term

The purpose of this 3 unit course is to provide students with the necessary skills to plan effective public health programs. Students will examine the principles and methods underlying program planning, emphasizing multi-disciplinary, collaborative, and “real world” planning processes. Real world application of program planning principles will be taught throughout the course through critique and discussion of case studies as well as through a central project: the development of a complete program plan. The class will end with audio/visual presentations where students will make a “pitch” for their proposed programs.

PBHLTH W224: Healthcare Org & Management
Fall term

A solid understanding of organizational behavior is critical for the effective management of the complex demands and arrangements in health care and public health organizations. The main objective of this course is to introduce students to the active theories and perspectives in management and organizational theory. By the end of this course, students will have a solid comprehension of a diverse set of frameworks and theories relevant to understanding health care delivery and public health organizations.

PBHLTH W202: Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Public Health
Fall term
This 3 unit course examines ethnic and cultural differences in health status among historically marginalized communities in the United States, including African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, as well as sexual minorities. Readings will draw from epidemiological, anthropological, and demographic research, as well as relevant social theory (e.g., social class, acculturation, race theory and class theory) to understand the influence of ethnicity, culture, race and social determinants such as racism and classism on concepts of health, illness, and disease patterns among diverse communities. The implications of cultural diversity for public health policy and intervention programs will also be explored.
PBHLTH W200F: Intro to EHS
Spring term

Offered by the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. The environment affects health in many ways. Perhaps we think first of factories that emit air pollution and water pollution. But a wide array of environmental agents and factors contribute to disease, including some that have been widely recognized only recently, such as flame retardants in furniture in the developed world, combustion of biomass fuels in the developing world, or the design of buildings and communities. This 2 unit course covers a wide range of topics in environmental health sciences. Students will receive a general introduction to the core concepts of environmental health (i.e. exposure assessment, toxicology, epidemiology and risk assessment); and ways to examine environmental health issues by applying core concepts. Additionally, students will get a brief introduction to a few methods for measuring pollutants in the environment—mainly air pollution, along with how-to effectively control environmental hazards. Environmental health issues in both developed and developing countries will be presented.

PBHLTH W219: Survey Design/Methods
Spring term

Offered by the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. In this 3 unit course students will have the opportunity to practice a variety of skills related to survey research in its different forms, including traditional pencil-and-paper surveys, telephone interviews, and web surveys. Focusing on a project topic of choice, students will develop a survey instrument in the first portion of the class, and then will write a research plan to use that instrument in the second portion of the class.

PBHLTH W223: Strategic Management and the Health Sector
Spring term

Offered by the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. The overall purpose of this 3 unit course is to assist students in developing leadership skills involving strategic planning, analysis, and implementation. Emphasis is placed upon the leader's role in simultaneously taking into account a wide variety of internal and external factors to improve organization and system performance in meeting the health needs of individuals and communities. Particular attention is given to the importance of developing and implementing innovative strategies and the process of innovation itself. Students are expected to have had at least one course dealing with the health care system or relevant work-related experience.  Students are required to have general background knowledge of the health system.

PUBPOL: Principles of Benefit-Cost Analysis for Policy Leaders
Spring term

The goal of this course is to teach students the theory and practice of benefit-cost analysis, with an eye to preparing students to confidently and immediately participate in or lead the conduct of a real-world benefit-cost analysis for an employer or client. Along the way the class will provide students with a suite of tools that will be useful in many forms of applied quantitative and economic analysis.