Graduate Program in Health Management


Frequently Asked Questions


How do I apply to the dual degree or only the MBA program?

Where is a profile of the current MBA students?

What financial aid is available?

Can I enroll in the MPH program and sign up for the MBA later?

Can I enroll in the MBA program and sign up for the MPH later?

Given that the acceptance rate for the MBA/MPH program is very low compared to the MPH program on its own, can I apply to both?

In what sectors do most MBA/MPH graduates choose to work?

What percentage of students pursue careers with biotechnology, medical devices, and pharmaceutical firms?

How strong a healthcare background do I need to apply successfully for the MBA/MPH?

Do I need to have taken certain undergraduate courses for the MBA/MPH program?

What percentage of MBA/MPH applicants are offered admission?

What is the general profile of a successful MBA/MPH application?

What are the evaluation criteria for an admission application?


How do I apply to the dual degree or only the MBA program?

See http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/MBA/apply.html for application information.

Where is a profile of the current MBA students?

See a profile of current students at http://mba.haas.berkeley.edu/community_02.html.

What financial aid is available?

You can find information about costs and financial aid at http://mba.haas.berkeley.edu/finaid.html.

Can I enroll in the MPH program and sign up for the MBA later?

It is true that historically a few people have been accepted into the MPH program and then add the MBA in their second year. It is also true that the MBA program is more competitive, as only 11% of applicants were accepted last year.

However, getting into the MBA program is not any easier if you are already enrolled in the MPH program. In fact, it may be more difficult, since you will be going through the application process (i.e. taking the GMAT, getting letters of recommendation, writing essays, etc.) during your fall semester when you will be deep into classes. The acceptance rate into the dual degree program is slightly higher than the MBA-only, in part because it attracts "specialized" applicants, whereas the general MBA attracts such a wide pool that many who apply may not fit the Haas model.

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Can I enroll in the MBA program and sign up for the MPH later?

It is true that historically a few people have been accepted into the MBA program and then add the MPH in their first year. The problem with this is that you are always playing "catch up" because you are always behind in terms of classes compared to the MBA/MPH students who enter together in the fall. Entering MBA/MPH students take Healthcare in the 21st Century during their first fall semester: a critical prerequisite for subsequent health management classes. The MBA/MPH is a demanding program because you are fulfilling requirements for two degrees in 2 1/2 years: this means it is best if you enter with your class.

Given that the acceptance rate for the MBA/MPH program is very low compared to the MPH program on its own, can I apply to both?

By UC Berkeley rules, you must apply to only one graduate program at a time. Therefore you cannot apply to the MBA/MPH program and the MPH program simultaneously.

In what sectors do most MBA/MPH graduates choose to work?

Our program attracts a variety of students interested in biotech, pharma, digital health, international health, devices, consulting, insurance, managed care, and provider systems. It is quite an eclectic list, and this provides a rich environment.

What percentage of students pursue careers with biotechnology, medical devices, and pharmaceutical firms?

Approximately 40% of the students pursue careers in bio-business (biotech, pharma, devices), 20% are more interested in health systems/managed care/insurance, another 30% pursue consulting careers, and the remainder are interested in international health. More than 90% have jobs within two months of graduation.

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How strong a healthcare background do I need to apply successfully for the MBA/MPH?

You need to use your application to make a case for why you are interested in health management, and what skills you have acquired to date which will make your career transition possible. For example, a recent student had no professional healthcare experience, but had done volunteer work in hospices and wanted to pursue a career dealing with aging. Another student had no professional or volunteer background, but was able to make a convincing case that her personal health experiences gave her insights into the industry.

Do I need to have taken certain undergraduate courses for the MBA/MPH program?

Students in the program have eclectic undergraduate backgrounds ranging from business and pre-med to Egyptology and geography. Unlike medical school which requires certain undergraduate classes, the MBA/MPH program does not.

What percentage of MBA/MPH applicants are offered admission?

240 students enroll into the full-time MBA program each year, of which 10 to 15 are MBA/MPH students. About 15% of applicants are accepted to the MBA program, with slightly higher percentages to the MBA/MPH program. This likely reflects the fact that those who apply are better qualified in terms of work experience (i.e., they've worked in healthcare, as opposed to non-related business fields, which occurs in the general MBA pool).

What is the general profile of a successful MBA/MPH application?

Most of the students who enroll in the MBA/MPH program have on average five years of work experience. They are generally a diverse group in that they have worked in consulting, health management, biotech, pharma, devices, and so on. The one thing they all have in common is that they are leaders. This is evident through the promotions they receive at a faster than normal pace, the type of responsibility they are given for high-level projects, and the accolades of their superiors. Sometimes their leadership is exhibited in a work setting, but at other times it is through volunteer work, where they have, for example, spearheaded a major fundraising campaign, or organized a nonprofit organization. If you find your job is stimulating and intellectually challenging, and provides opportunity for advancement, then it is likely that you will make a strong case for admission.

What are the evaluation criteria for an admission application?

Your application will be judged on six things:

  • Your standardized test scores (GMAT/GRE and TOEFL)
  • Your undergraduate record
  • Your work experience
  • Your letters of reference
  • Your personal statement
  • Your other activities, such as volunteer work

Berkeley-Haas looks for people with a passion for healthcare and exhibit leadership. No one item is weighted more heavily than another; it is really the whole person we are looking at. To get a sense of the median MBA student in terms of work experience, test scores, GPA and so on, see http://mba.haas.berkeley.edu/community_02.html.

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