The MPH in Public Health Genetics curriculum is designed to give students a strong knowledge base in Human Genetics with a broad understanding of the field of public health.  Through the coursework, students are immersed in current topics in human genetics, public health, and the ethical, legal and social issues important to the field of public health genetics.  The curriculum, practicum experience, and public health essay focus on the development of skills that are desirable to employers after graduation including critical thinking, scientific writing, and statistical analysis.

A minimum of 47 credits is required for the MPH. This total is made up of public health core courses, a core of required courses in the Department of Human Genetics, and electives relevant to the student’s program goals. The program is designed to be completed in two years, though some students may choose an accelerated path and complete the program in 1 1/2 years. There is also the option to complete the program on a part-time basis.

The MPH in Public Health Genetics course schedule can be customized to meet individual student goals, interests, and circumstances.  Examples of courses offered through other departments that may help a student specialize their studies can be found in the general list of suggestions for elective courses.  The following represents one example of a course schedule for completing the program in two years.

First Year Course Schedule

Summer Term Schedule

Year 2

Second Year Course Schedule

*Students in the Public Health Genetics program with adequate prior background may apply to be exempted from the requirement to take Public Health Biology. Most students do this.

Public Health Essay

Students must write a master’s essay, which may be based on the practicum experience or on another topic related to public health genetics. All essays must include analysis of data. The essay topic must be approved by the Director of the MPH in Public Health Genetics program. The essay is read and approved by an MPH essay Committee that must consist of at least one of the Public Health Genetics faculty members in human genetics and one from outside the department. The MPH Essay Committee must be approved by the office of student sffairs. The essay must be approved by unanimous vote of the committee.

Recent Essay Titles

  • The Impact of Fertility on Public Health
  • Public Health Significance of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
  • Oral Health and Oral Health Disparities in Appalachia
  • The Public Health Significance of Mitochondrial Diseases
  • Analysis of Birth Defects in Allegheny County
  • Genetic Counseling at Manovikas Kendra Rehabilitation and Research Institute for the Handicapped in Kolkata, India

Browse further titles in D-Scholarship, the institutional repository for research output at the University of Pittsburgh.