Precision Health FAQs

1.     Can you provide a brief overview of the program?

Precision Health Info Session - July 22, 2019 

The graduate certificate in Precision Health is a program for all UM graduate students and encompasses a combination of courses and seminars that complement and expand the student’s primary area of study, allowing them to apply their knowledge in order to improve patient and population health.

The 12-credit certificate program will allow students who are currently study different fields related to precision health to gain an introductory knowledge into various competencies that fall under the broad umbrella of precision health. These 12 credits include a minimum of 10 graduate credit hours of coursework and 2 credits of precision health related seminars in your home school or other departments that align with precision health. The key precision health competency areas include:

  1. Ethical, legal, and social implications of precision health
  2. Data science & predictive analytics
  3. Biosocial Determinants of Health/Policy/Economics
  4. Human Genetics in Health & Disease/Molecular Medicine
  5. Bioinformatics/Computational Genomics
  6. Consumer Health Informatics and Healthcare Systems Engineering

2.     Who is eligible to participate in the program?

The certificate is open to all PhD, MS, MA, M. Engineering, and masters or doctoral level graduate students enrolled at the University of Michigan. This would include students who are in graduate or professional degree programs not administered by Rackham such as an MPH, MSW, PharmD, DDS, JD, MBA just to name a few examples.

3.     Is it possible to complete the program in one academic year?

It is currently possible to complete the program in one academic year. Requirements can be met in 2-4 semesters, depending on when you complete the precision health related seminar/journal clubs in your home school/other departments that align with precision health. 

Below is a breakdown of how students can meet their seminar credit requirements. Breaking it down this way will allow the 2 credit seminar requirement to be met in one academic year if need be.

0.5 credits = attendance at 2 seminars, submission of 2 reflections + end of year symposium

1 credit = attendance at 4 seminars, submission of 4 reflections + end of year symposium

2 credits = attendance at 8 seminars, submission of 8 reflections + end of year symposium

4.     When will the Precision Health Seminar be held?

Seminar will be held in tandem with the University of Michigan Precision Health Seminars. The seminars are currently scheduled around the noon hour for Sept 25, Nov 11, January 14, February 11, March 10, April 14, and May 21. 

Precision Health students are required to attend 8 seminars. We highly encourage students to attend the Precision Health seminar series, but they can also attend Precision Health related seminars/journal clubs, etc. in their home department or other departments. Following each seminar, you will be required to submit a 1-page, double-spaced reflection focused on comparing/contrasting the seminar topic to your interests in Precision Health.

5.     Do you have to take courses from each of the competencies?

No, you do not have to take courses from each of the 6 competencies; however, you do need to complete coursework in at least 2 of the 6 and make every effort to include all precision health domains (Discovery, Treatment, and Health) in your course work.

6.     What is the policy on double-counting coursework credits towards the certificate?

As part of the Rackham Graduate School Rules, no more than one-sixth of the credits required for a masters degree may be double-counted for the PH certificate. This essentially means that you may count one, 3 credit course, that is required for your degree program, toward the requirements for the certificate.

7.     How many credits is needed to complete the certificate?

10 credits course work 

2 credits of precision health related seminars/journal clubs

8.     Can I substitute a seminar from my home school or other department to count towards the required 2 credits of precision health seminar?

Yes. You will also be required to submit a 1-page, double-spaced reflection focused on comparing/contrasting the seminar topic to your interests in Precision Health.

9.    As a new graduate student at UM, may I apply immediately or do I have to wait until my first semester grades are in?

First year graduate students can apply during their first semester, but not before, and submit their application by the application deadline. They must make satisfactory progress toward their degrees and have a minimum Rackham cumulative grade point average (GPA) of B (3.0 on a 4.0-point scale) to maintain satisfactory academic standing in order to be admitted into the program the following term. 

10.     What are potential career paths?

A certificate in precision health will put you at the forefront of the scientific and professional workforce because of the experience you will gain in diversity. As the health sciences continue to embrace the team science model, it is become even more important that our next generation of scientists and healthcare professionals have a broad understanding of the different fields associated with precision health. Thus, professionals with multiple skill sets will be needed to move this field forward.

As such, the curriculum for the certificate was chosen to introduce students from disparate fields to new concepts that are beyond their current field of study but are directly related to precision health. This will help to stimulate imaginative thinking among faculty and students as they work in these fields.

That said, potential career paths are vast and encompass a broad, multidisciplinary spectrum of capabilities that range from expertise in the discovery and preclinical stages to clinical development and settings. Careers in biology, immunology, bioinformatics, genetics, cellular and computational biology, clinical laboratory science, data analysis, and business will all be at the forefront of the precision health job market.