Program Description

The Certificate in Public Health Genetics (CPHG) is a program for students pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. View a slideshow providing an overview of the program (PDF).


The purpose of CPHG is to provide graduates with a base of knowledge and skills in public health genetics that will enable them to function as public health professionals at the cutting edge of this important new field. Students are trained to incorporate a knowledge of how genes, together with the environment and behavior, influence health and apply this insight into their area of practice or research. All areas of public health can be improved and expanded by examining the role of genetics in public health issues.

This is nota degree-granting program. The School of Public Health believes that public health genetics is an inherently cross-disciplinary field of study that requires experience in multiple public health disciplines. Therefore, the certificate program is done in conjunction with a departmental graduate degree program at the School of Public Health. Completion of the requirements is indicated on a graduate's transcript and on a certificate of completion.


The 11 credits of coursework can typically be completed in two years by a student enrolled in a 60-credit departmental masters-degree program, without adding additional credit hours, by using their program's elective credits. Students must receive a B or higher in each of the courses they plan to use to fulfill the requirements of the Certificate.

Students are also strongly encouraged to participate in special events (including speakers, presentations, receptions, dinners, etc.) that are organized for, or relevant to, to CPHG, and consider additional coursework when possible. More on course requirements.


Before beginning work towards their departmental graduate degree in public health, students are assigned a faculty advisor that is a part of both the student's department and a Public Health Genetics faculty member. These advisors assist students with course selection and help them identify internship, job, and research opportunities in genetics-related areas. Students should contact their Departmental Student Services Representative with questions regarding faculty advising.

Doctoral students in the School of Public Health should work with their mentor or to outline a course schedule that fits their needs and backgrounds.