MS in Human Genetics

Public Health Building

The MS in Human Genetics (MSHG) program prepares students for careers as contributing members of genetics and genomics research teams in academia or industry. Graduates of the program often go on to PhD level study and become independent scientists. The flexible curriculum provides a broad background in the field while allowing customized emphasis on laboratory genetics or genetic data analysis. In addition to core coursework and advanced classes in a chosen area of concentration, MS students pursue mentored research projects culminating in the production and defense of a thesis.


Our graduates will work at the forefront of academe and private enterprise in a future where genomics is central to health sciences research, practice, and policy.


To promote the scientific progress of genetics as a field of study; to advance the health of the public by investigating the impact of genetics on the causes and treatment of disease; to promote evidence-based disease prevention; to educate health sciences professionals and the public at large regarding hereditary and acquired genetic conditions; and to appreciate the role of genetic diversity within human populations.

Programs of Study

Students entering the Master of Science program can tailor their training by participating in research activities congruent with their interests and career goals:

Laboratory Genetics

Students interested in laboratory genetics will carry out research projects performing benchtop experimental studies in laboratories within the department or across the Schools of the Health Sciences. Students can further customize their training by choosing among many elective courses in human genetics, cell biology and molecular physiology, cellular and molecular pathology, immunology, molecular genetics and developmental biology, molecular pharmacology, and molecular virology and microbiology.

Laboratory Genetics Poster

Genetic Data Analysis

Students interested in genetic data analysis will carry out applied analysis or methodological research projects related to clinical or epidemiological studies. Students will work as members of statistical and computational research groups within the department or across the schools of the health sciences. Students can further customize their training by choosing advanced coursework in human genetics, biostatistics, biomedical informatics, computational and systems biology, and epidemiology.

Genetic Data Analysis Poster

Customize through Certificate Programs

Master of science students can shape their training experience through one or more of several public health certificate programs offered at Pitt Public Health.


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  • Integrity: Commit to honest and ethical conduct in research and scholarship
  • Scientific Rigor: Dedicate to excellence in the pursuit of knowledge
  • Cooperation: Commit to collaboration, mentorship, and academic-private partnerships
  • Collegiality: Respect independence of thought
  • Cultural competency: Embrace diversity; respect and value differences and individuality