MS/MPH Dual Degree Program

The Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine and the Boston University School of Public Health coordinate top-tier graduate programs across health disciplines, and now offer a dual degree program for students to earn a Master of Science in Genetic Counseling degree and a Master of Public Health degree in 2.5 years of study altogether. In working at the Frontline of Medicine at Boston Medical Center, this collaboration highlights the intersection of genetic medicine and the social, political, behavioral, and environmental determinants of population health and healthcare systems.

Why Join the Dual Degree Program?

Enhance your graduate education experience with a second degree and novel skill set for engaging in genetics and public health programming, care, and research. This dual degree format provides flexibility in course scheduling (including hybrid/online public health coursework), overlapping credit hours to count toward both curricula, and a cost- and time-effective means to support continued learning and scholarship opportunities for interested students.

While genetic counseling coursework and fieldwork experience remain uninterrupted, dual degree students can select a functional certificate in public health to complement their counseling skills with aligned areas of academic interest. These include Health Policy and Law, Health Communication and Promotion, and Epidemiology/Biostatistics.

By coordinating the genetic counseling capstone project and public health practicum experience, students can strengthen the breadth of their education in research design, execution, and community engagement.


Admission to the Genetic Counseling program must first be obtained, at which point application and admission to the School of Public Health is coordinated. The deadline to complete the Application for the School of Public Health is May 1st for matched applicants who wish to matriculate into the dual degree program at Boston University. All admitted MS GC students have the option of enrolling in the MPH dual degree program.


In addition to the tuition for the MS in Genetic Counseling degree, tuition for the additional coursework necessary to fulfill degree requirements for the Master’s in Public Health is approximately $65,000 for the 40 incremental credits of coursework.


Total MS/GMS credits: 48
Total MPH/SPH credits: 40 (8 credits from the MS degree will count toward the MPH degree)

The Genetic Counseling Capstone requirement will align with the Public Health Practicum Experience.

Prior to the start of classes:
SPH PH700 | Foundations of Public Health (0 cr; online)

Fall 1 (Students require permission to enroll in >18 credits)

  • GMS GC601  | Professional Issues in Genetic Counseling (3 cr)
  • GMS GC603 | Embryology, Teratology, and Prenatal Genetics (3 cr)
  • GMS GC605 | Clinical Applications in Human Genetics (4 cr)
  • GMS GC608 | Fundamentals of Counseling in Genetics (3 cr)
  • GMS GC700 | Genetic Counseling Fieldwork I (2 cr)
  • SPH PH717  | Quantitative Methods for Public Health (4 cr; online/hybrid)

Spring 1

  • GMS GC600 | Genetic Diagnosis and Laboratory Methods (3 cr)
  • GMS GC602 | Clinical Genetics (3 cr)
  • GMS GC604 | Cancer Genetic Counseling (3 cr)
  • SPH PH718 | Leadership and Management in Public Health (4 cr; online/hybrid)

Summer 1

  • GMS GC702 | Genetic Counseling Fieldwork II (2 cr)
  • SPH PH719  | Health Systems, Law, and Policy (4 cr; online/hybrid)
  • SPH PH720 | Individual, Community, and Population Health (4 cr; online/hybrid)

Fall 2

  • GMS GC606 | Genetic Counseling Seminar (2 cr)
  • GMS GC703 | Genetic Counseling Fieldwork III (2 cr)
  • GMS GC711  | Advanced Genetic Counseling (4 cr)
  • GMS GC712 | Metabolic Genetics/Advanced Risk Assessment (3 cr)
  • SPH PH746 | Career PREP (0 cr)
  • GMS/SPH | elective #1
  • GMS | elective #2

Spring 2

  • GMS GC714  | Advanced Topics in Medical Genetics (3 cr)
  • GMS GC716  | Social, Cultural, and Ethical Issues in Genetics (3 cr)
  • GMS GC704 | Genetic Counseling Fieldwork IV (2 cr)
  • SPH  | functional specialization course 1 (4 cr)
  • SPH | functional specialization course 2 (4 cr)

Completion of Master’s of Science in Genetic Counseling. Graduates are ABGC certification exam eligible and eligible for genetic counseling licensure as appropriate.

Summer 2

  • SPH | functional specialization course 3 (4 cr)
  • SPH PH976 | Practicum or equivalent (0 cr)

Fall 3

  • SPH | functional specialization course 4 (4 cr)
  • SPH | elective 2 (4 cr)
  • SPH PH845 | Integrative learning experience (0 cr)