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IPHG Undergraduate Sequence

The Institute for Public Health Genetics offers undergraduate coursework for students from a wide variety of majors interested in exploring the population health implications of genomic technologies.

By teaching classes that involve simultaneously studying genetics and public health, we support undergraduate students preparing for careers in genetic counseling, medicine, pharmacy, nursing and other healthcare professions, as well as those interested in becoming scientists in genomics- and public-health related disciplines. Many Public Health Genetics undergraduate courses have no prerequisites and fulfill both Natural Sciences and Social Sciences distribution requirements.

IPHG Undergraduate Sequence

The IPHG undergraduate sequence consists of IPHG's undergraduate courses. These courses can be taken in any order and offer students the opportunity to explore the interdisciplinary characteristics of the Public Health Genetics field. 

Students can also find other genetics course offerings across the UW on our resources page

PHG 200 - Implications of Public Health Genomics for the Modern World

This course is an approachable introduction to the field, focusing on understanding current news coverage of genomic technologies. This 3-credit course has no prerequisites and fulfills the Natural Sciences and Social Sciences requirements. It is popular with but not limited to first-years, and often cited as valuable in helping figure out major and career decisions. Quiz sections focus on leadership of informal discussions of articles from the popular press. Homework focuses on developing science communication skills in writing.

Find it in MyPlan; Offered in Autumn

PHG 301 - Introduction to Genetic Epidemiology

Genetic epidemiology is trying to untangle the genetic and environmental triggers that push some people into getting sick, while others remain unaffected. This is a 5-credit course which is focused on critically analyzing the methods that underlie claims being made in this field. Discussion sections pick traits of interest (often mental health, addiction, cancer susceptibility, or diseases of aging) and focus on searching and close reading of the scientific literature, in the company of classmates from a wide variety of academic backgrounds. This course has no prerequisites and fulfills Natural Sciences and Social Sciences distribution requirements.

Find it in MyPlan; Offered in Winter

PHG 302 - Forensic Genetics

This course explores the applications of DNA profiling to forensics contexts, with focus on the statistical issues that arise in matching crime scene profiles, determining parentage, identifying remains and doing familial searches of DNA databases. This 3 credit course fulfills Natural and Social Sciences as well as Reasoning (formerly quantitative and symbolic reasoning) distribution requirements. A prior genetics course, such as GENOME 371, is recommended.

On hiatus – contact for offering information

PHG 303 - Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: Uses and Issues

This course surveys all of the many interpretations that people are accessing of their own genomes in the commercial testing realm without any medical or scientific gate keepers standing in the way. This 5 credit course does not have any prerequisites and fulfills Natural and Social Science distribution requirements. Discussion sections focus on interpreting example test results and understanding the far-reaching implications those results can have for individuals, their families and society at large, including health and ancestry testing as well as the whole spectrum of associated marketing gimmicks.

Find it in MyPlan; Offered in Spring

PHG 401 - Computational and Applied Genetic Epidemiology

This is a 5-credit course takes a more hands-on approach to advanced topics in genetic epidemiology, looking at how interactions between genes and environment can cause health outcomes, and how that can be used to inform public health interventions. Population genetic and individual health data will be analyzed using R in a computer lab section. This course fulfills the Reasoning distribution requirement. It is recommended to have prior background in genetics and statistics, or else have taken the PHG 301 course.

On hiatus – contact for offering information