The College of Environmental Design's Department of City and Regional Planning and the School of Public Health offer a three-year concurrent degree program whereby students receive a Master of City Planning (M.C.P.) degree and a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree.
The purpose of the program is to train professionals to engage in research, practice, and advocacy at the intersection of the design professions, public health, and public policy. The program introduces students to the domestic and international issues confronting efforts to promote more healthy cities, metropolitan regions, and places more generally, and we place a special emphasis on investigating strategies to address persistent health inequities in urban areas.
Berkeley's concurrent program in city planning and public health is one of the oldest such programs in the United States. Building on the leadership and vision of program founders such as public health professors Leonard Duhl and Trevor Hancock and architecture professor Rosyln Lindheim, the concurrent MCP/MPH program grapples with understanding how urbanization and characteristics of urban life influence well-being and what practices and policies can improve the lives of the majority of the world's population now living in cities. The urban environment, and the planners and policies that shape it, influences many aspects of health and well-being: what people eat, the air they breathe and the water they drink, where (or if) they work, the housing that shelters them, where they go for health care, the danger they encounter on the street, who is available for emotional and financial support, and how political power is distributed and public resources allocated.
While the fields of modern city planning and public health emerged together in the 19th century to address urban inequities and infectious diseases, they were largely disconnected for much of the 20th century. In the 21st century, planning and public health are reconnecting to address the new health challenges of urbanization and globalization — from racial and ethnic disparities to land use sprawl to providing basic services to the millions of urban poor around the world living in informal slum settlements. How to reconnect the fields of planning and public health to address these and other 21st century urban health challenges is the focus of the concurrent master's degree program in city planning and public health.
Students and faculty affiliated with the program work closely with UC Berkeley's Center for Global Healthy Cities on action-research projects locally and around the world. The program trains students to think critically and apply knowledge to pressing problems using interdisciplinary research and practice methods and experiential learning. Outstanding students are offered financial aid and research assistantship opportunities, and many are encouraged to continue for a Ph.D. at Berkeley.
Students must complete the required core courses in both the city and regional planning and public health programs. Students must also take CY PLAN 256 Healthy Cities by the end of their second year and are strongly encouraged to take PB HLTH 267D Health Impact Assessment. Students can select any concentration area in planning and public health; however, we strongly recommend that students consult with core faculty before selecting concentration areas. Participation in program seminar series and a summer internship is also required. Students will complete one capstone project that satisifies both the M.C.P. and M.P.H. degrees. Students must seek approval for their final project by the end of their fourth semester.
The program is co-directed by Jason Corburn, Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning, and Darlene Francis, Associate Dean of Education, Equity, and Inclusion and Associate Professor of Public Health and Neuroscience.
One of the unique features of Berkeley's concurrent M.C.P./M.P.H. degree program is its close ties to practice in the Bay Area, California, and internationally. We have an advisory committee of professionals working in government, non-profits, philanthropy, and the private sector throughout the region who regularly offer internships and jobs. A sample of partner organizations include:
- African Population and Health Research Center
- Alameda County Public Health Department
- Casa de Oswaldo Cruz
- City of Richmond, Planning Division
- Contra Costa Health Services
- Ecoology Center
- Human Impact Partners
- Institute of Social Medicine (Instituto de Medicina Social, IMS) at Rio de Janeiro State University (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, UERJ)
- Muungano wa Wanavijiji
- Prevention Institute
- Public Health Institute
- Raimi + Associates
- San Francisco Department of Public Health
- Slum Dwellers International
- The California Endowment
- UN Habitat
- Université Paris Ouest - Nanterre La Défense (Space, Health and Territories Lab)
- Urban Habitat
- Urban Health Resource Centre
For more information about the concurrent M.C.P./M.P.H. degree program, please contact:
See Master of City Planning—Concurrent Degrees for information on how to apply to the concurrent degree programs.