Master of Public Health/Master of Science in Human Genetics
The M.P.H./M.S. dual degree program provides students with an innovative learning experience that includes academic training, research skill development, and clinical instruction focused on addressing issues that occur at the intersection of the fields of health behavior and health education and genetic counseling. Given that the genetic basis of common disease (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, cancer) has expanded the reach of genetics to include the entire population, there are great opportunities and complex challenges for genetic counseling, medical genetics, and public health.
The University of Michigan program is available through the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at SPH and the Genetic Counseling Program, Department of Human Genetics, in the Medical School. Program goals are to:
- promote health, prevent disease, and manage chronic illness;
- understand the genetic basis of common complex diseases;
- help individuals and families understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease;
- understand the impact of genetics on health; and
- guide the evolving practice of genomic medicine and public health genomics.
A three-year course of study comprises academic, research, and clinical training. Students have some flexibility in the sequencing of their program, which will be designed in consultation with the program directors. They typically spend the two years completing one year of training toward their public health degree and one year toward their genetic counseling degree. In the third year, they combine training in genetic counseling and public health. Students are able to develop a strong sense of community in both schools. The program includes academic coursework, an individual research project, and practical experience in genetic counseling and public health. The following course work is required in each discipline.
Toward the M.P.H. degree:
- a total of 48 credit hours, at least 24 of which need to come from courses within HBHE;
- Breadth, Integration, and Capstone requirements in Public Health (BIC) to ensure a broad exposure to public health topics in the areas of (a) biostatistics, (b) epidemiology, (c) health management and policy, and (d) environmental health sciences;
- six core HBHE courses including HBEHED 600: Psychosocial Factors in Health-Related Behavior, HBEHED 622: Program Evaluation in Health Education, HBEHED 651: Program Development in Health Education, HBEHED 698: Foundational Skills in the Practice of HBHE, HBEHED 699: Career Development & Capstone in Public Health, and a research methods course;
- two public health genetics courses (HMP 517: Issues in Public Health Genetics and HBHE 669: Genetics, Health Behavior, and Health Education).
- an internship of at least 318 hours and up to 636 hours (which can be used for a reduction of 3-6 credit hours required for graduation)
Toward the M.S. degree:
- 46 hours of graduate study coursework with a cumulative grade point average of B (5.0) in all graduate courses applied toward the M.S. degree;
- six clinical internships;
- presentation of two student seminars; and
- an individualized genetic counseling research project in collaboration with a faculty member.
The primary purpose of the internship is to help students learn how to apply theory and principles to work situations and to develop and expand professional skills and competencies essential to these tasks. It is intended to help students explore areas of interest and affords the opportunity to become acquainted with agencies and community groups commonly engaged in public health education and behavioral change programs.
The specific locale of the placement is an individual decision reached by students with the guidance of the HBHE Director of Internships and Alumni Relations and their Advisor. This requirement is typically fulfilled during the months of May through August.
Learn about the experiences of our HBHE Summer 2017 interns here.
Prospective students interested in the M.P.H./M.S. 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 Health Behavior and Health Education and Genetic Counseling programs and be accepted into both in order to enroll in the M.P.H./M.S. dual-degree program. Acceptance in one program does not guarantee acceptance to the other.
Those interested in more information regarding the M.P.H./M.S. dual degree program should contact the program’s co-directors: Beverly Yashar, M.S., Ph.D. (Clinical Associate Professor in Human Genetics) at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or Scott Roberts, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor in Health Behavior and Health Education) at email@example.com.