The MPH degree program trains students in the fundamentals of public health genetics within the context of law, ethics, and policy. The degree requirements include course work in epidemiology, biostatistics, health services, environmental health, law, ethics, and sociocultural aspects of public health genetics; a practice experience (practicum); and completion of a research-based Master’s thesis. The program is designed to be completed in approximately two years. 

Prospective students are expected to have a bachelor’s degree and an excellent academic record with prior coursework, research experience, or training in genetics and/or genomics. Prospective students not meeting these qualifications are urged to complete GENOME 371 and/or GENOME 372 or equivalent courses. For information about admissions and financial aid, see our Prospective Students page.

MPH Curriculum

Program Outline

The MPH degree requires a minimum of 63-credit-hours, typically completed in six quarters of coursework (2 years). The program begins in the autumn quarter and requires on-site attendance for the majority of the program. You and your peers will move through the core requirements together. 

Learning Objectives

Upon satisfactory completion of a Master of Public Health in Public Health Genetics, graduates will be able to:

1. Meet the competencies established by the School of Public Health (SPH) and the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) for all MPH students.

2. Meet the core competencies established by the Institute for Public Health Genetics for all Public Health Genetics (MPH) students in knowledge areas A and B:

  • Knowledge Area A: Genomics in Public Health
    • Apply knowledge of inheritance and genomic advances, including cellular and molecular mechanisms and technical developments, to understanding the etiology of a variety of rare and common, complex diseases and health conditions
    • Apply epidemiological and statistical approaches to the study of risk factors and diseases with genetic component
    • Identify interactions among genes, environmental factors, and behaviors, and their roles in health and disease
    • Describe how genetic principles and genomic technologies apply to diagnosis, screening, and interventions for disease prevention and health promotion programs
  • Knowledge Area B: Implications of Genetics for Society
    • Identify the impact of genomics on the public health activities of assessment, policy development and assurance
    • Apply methods to address ethical implications of the use of genetic information and technologies in public health
    • Describe legal concepts and the role of the law in the development of policies relating to genetics and genomics; and identify legal implications of the application of genetics and genomic technologies in public health
    • Apply knowledge of key social science concepts in analysis of the political, social and cultural forces that influence the research and clinical application of genetic and genomic technology in public health
    • Analyze in interaction and impact of market forces and public policy on the development and delivery of genetic services

MPH Course Requirements in Public Health Genetics

Beginning in the autumn of 2020, the MPH programs in all UW School of Public Health departments introduced a new common core curriculum. These exciting changes provide students with rigorous, cutting-edge instruction, and integration of research and practice skills in preparation for career success. 

Curricular Overview

Summary of Required Coursework (63-credits)

  • 23 credits of graded MPH Core
  • 15 credits of graded PHG core courses
  • 6 credits of approved electives
  • 6 credits of the PHG Seminar
  • 4 credits (160 hrs) of the Master’s Practicum
  • 9 credits of Master’s Thesis

Schedule of Coursework

A typical course of study is outlined below. Actual student schedules can vary depending on personal and academic factors. 

1st Autumn

  • PHI 511 – Foundations of Public Health (3 CR)
  • PHI 512 – Analytic Skills for Public Health I (7 CR)
  • PHG 512 – Legal, Ethical, and Social Issues in Public Health Genetics (3 CR)
  • PHG 580 – PHG Seminar (1 CR)

1st Winter

  • PHI 513 – Analytic Skills for Public Health II (3 CR)
  • PHG 513 – Basic Concepts in Pharmacogenetics and Toxicogenomics (3 CR)
  • PHG 523 – Genetics and the Law (3 CR)
  • PHG 580 – PHG Seminar (1 CR)

1st Spring

  • PHI 515 – Implementing Public Health Interventions (4 CR)
  • PHG 511 – Genetic Epidemiology (3 CR)
  • PHG 527 – Social Science Research Methods (3 CR)
  • PHG 580 – PHG Seminar (1 CR)

1st Summer

  • MPH Practicum Experience Completed

2nd Autumn

  • PHG 595 – Master’s Practicum (4 CR/160 hrs)
  • PHG 580 – PHG Seminar (1 CR)
  • PHG 700 – Master’s Thesis (1-9 CR)

2nd Winter

  • PHI 514 – Determinants of Health (3 CR)
  • PHG 580 – PHG Seminar (1 CR)
  • PHG 700 – Master’s Thesis (1-9 CR)

2nd Spring

  • PHI 516 – Public Health Practice (3 CR)
  • PHG 580 – PHG Seminar (1 CR)
  • PHG 700 – Master’s Thesis (1-9 CR)

MPH students must also complete a minimum of 6-credits of approved Elective coursework. Electives are generally completed in the second year of study. 


If you have additional questions, please contact us