Master of Science (M.S.) in Genetic Counseling / Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)
This unique dual-degree program, founded in 2008, provides students with an innovative learning experience that includes academic training, research skill development, and clinical instruction. The goals of the program are to: 1. promote health, prevent disease, and manage chronic illness; 2. understand the genetic and genomic basis of common, complex diseases; 3. understand how our genome interacts with social, environmental, and structural factors to influence health outcomes; 4. help individuals, families, and communities understand and adapt to the medical, psychological, and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease; and 5. guide the evolving practice of genomic medicine and and public health genomics.
The program is available through the Genetic Counseling Program (GCP), Department of Human Genetics (DHG) in the Medical School, and the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education (HBHE) or Health Management and Policy in the School of Public Health (SPH). The University of Michigan School of Public Health is currently ranked 5th in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
This 3-year course of study provides students with academic, research, and clinical training. Prospective students must apply separately to both the Genetic Counseling Program and the Health Behavior & Health Education Program, and be accepted into both in order to enroll in the dual-degree program. Acceptance into one program does not guarantee acceptance into the other. While students complete requirements for both Genetic Counseling (58 credit hours) and Public Health (48 credit hours) master's degree programs, the overlapping perspectives in genetic counseling and public health allow students to dual count some of these required credit hours. Students have some flexibility in the sequencing of their program, which is designed in consultation with the program directors. Students typically spend the first year based in Genetic Counseling, the second year in Public Health, with combined training in the third year.
Program graduates have gone on to rewarding careers in academic medical centers, research, and industry. They have obtained positions at the following sites:
- Boston Children's Hospital
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
- Huntsman Cancer Institute
- University of Michigan Health System
- Vanderbilt University Medical Center
- University of California - San Francisco
- Guardant Health
- Myriad Genetics
Applying to the Dual Degree Program:
Prospective students interested in the MS GC-MPH Dual Degree program will be required to meet each School’s entry requirements and standards of admission. Prospective students must apply separately to both the HBHE and GC programs, and be accepted into both in order to enroll in the MS-MPH Dual Degree program. Acceptance in one program does not guarantee acceptance in the other.
Timeline for application (with admission for the Fall term):
- Admission to the GCP is available through Rackham Graduate School, with a deadline of January 5, 2021.
- Admission to the MPH is available through SOPHAS. Check the School of Public Health website for additional details.
At present, students in the GCP-DHG receive limited financial support (including health care/dental coverage for all students and selected tuition stipends), and many students in HBHE-SPH receive financial support in the form of quarter, half and full scholarships. These forms of support will also be available to MS-MPH students.
For more information, contact the program co-directors:
- Genetic Counseling: Beverly M. Yashar, M.S., Ph.D. (Clinical Professor in Human Genetics)
- Public Health: Scott Roberts, Ph.D. (Professor in Health Behavior & Health Education)
The Michigan campus is home to a wide variety of other academic programs that are relevant to the practice of genetic counseling and genomic medicine. Interested students can develop a student-initiated dual degree program that would allow them to pursue a novel interdisciplinary program, resulting in an MS in Genetic Counseling and a second graduate degree in the student’s field of interest. Please speak directly with the Program Director if this option is of interest to you.