Dual Degrees

The Department of Health Behavior & Health Education offers dual degrees both within Public Health as well as with other graduate programs across the University. Dual degrees provide students with the opportunity to complete two graduate degrees in a reduced amount of time in most cases. The decision to pursue a dual degree may be made prior to beginning a program of study or during the first year of a degree program. Dual degree programs lead to two different degree listings on the transcript and two separate diplomas. Dual degree options are:

  • Formal Dual Degree - A written agreement between two U-M schools. Multiple Dependent Degree Programs (MDDP) are created out of shared interest. MDDPs typically have a specified number of credits and courses required to complete both degrees.
  • Self-Initiated Dual Degree - Complete two degree programs based on student interests. Self-initiated dual degree programs are typically completed within 3 years. Please refer to the School of Public Health's Self-Initiated Dual Degree Policy for more information.
  • Dual degree candidates should also note that there is no guarantee or expectation that Health Behavior & Health Education Department Scholarship awards will align with financial awards from other University of Michigan units.

Health Behavior & Health Education's Dual Degree Options

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 public health genomics. 


This 3-year course of study provides students with academic, research, and clinical training. Prospective students must apply separately to both the Health Behavior & Health Education and Genetic Counseling programs, and be accepted into both in order to enroll in the dual-degree program. Acceptance in one program does not guarantee acceptance in the other. While Students students complete requirements for both Public Health (48 credit hours) and Genetic Counseling master’s degree (58 credit hours) programs, the overlapping perspectives in public health and genetic counseling 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 
  • Humana

Additional Information

Those interested in additional information on the MPH/MS dual-degree program may contact the program's co-directors: Scott Roberts, PhD (Professor in Health Behavior & Health Education) and/or Beverly Yashar, MS, PhD (Clinical Professor in Human Genetics).

A student may seek approval for an individualized U-M dual degree program that is not among those formally approved by Health Behavior & Health Education. Dual degree options may be within Public Health (i.e., MPH in Health Behavior & Health Education and MPH in Nutritional Sciences, MPH in Health Behavior & Health Education and MHSA in Health Management & Policy) or within the University (i.e., M.S.W., M.U.R.P., M.P.P., or M.B.A.). 


  • Students must complete the Health Behavior & Health Education MPH curriculum requirements and degree requirements for the chosen dual degree program.
  • Self-Initiated dual degree students are limited to a 3 credit hour reduction for the required internship (318 hours) 
  • Self-initiated dual degree programs are typically completed within 3 years.


  • Admission to the MPH is available through SOPHAS, with a priority deadline of December 1.
  • First-year U-M graduate students who wish to add Health Behavior & Health Education's MPH to their graduate experience at the University of Michigan should contact sph-inquiries@umich.edu for a Public Health Dual Degree PDF application.This option is only for current University of Michigan-Ann Arbor graduate students enrolled in their first year at any school or college on campus. Public Health only admits for Fall semester and will accept your previous transcripts and letters of recommendation from your admitting school or college. Applicants are required to submit two Public Health essays.

Prospective students interested in the Self-Initiated dual-degree program will be required to meet each school's entry requirements and standards of admission.

Additional Information

Please follow the School of Public Health's Self-Initiated Dual Degree Policy.

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