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University of Pittsburgh    
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Sep 17, 2021
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Human Genetics, MS

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The Master of Science program in Human Genetics 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 interest, MS students pursue mentored research projects culminating in the production and defense of a thesis.

More information about the program can be found by visiting the Pitt Public Health website, Department of Human Genetics, and accessing the Master if Science (MS) in Human Genetics program designation.

MS Program Requirements


Students will gain proficiency in the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to begin a career as a scientist. These educational goals are organized into five MS program competencies. After successful completion of the Master of Science program, students will be able to:

  • Describe basic genetic mechanisms and how they affect proteins, chromosomes, cells, individuals, and populations of organisms in normal and disease states
  • Describe mechanisms by which genes and the environment interact to affect the distribution of health and disease in human populations
  • Use their conceptual and methodological knowledge to analyze data and interpret research results.
  • Apply fundamental principles of ethical research practice.
  • Query bioinformatic resources to facilitate clinical decision-making or interpret research results.



Coursework for MS students is typically undertaken during the first year in the program, although advanced courses may be taken in the second year. All MS students will complete the core Human Genetics courses as well as the core Public Health curriculum. Advanced courses offered through Human Genetics and other departments will provide students instruction in their chosen area of concentration. Certificate programs offered through the Graduate School of Public Health can be pursued to further customize the education of MS students.

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