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Hi all,

Starting this fall, I will be applying to Genetic Counseling programs. Eventually, I would like to go for my DrPH. I'm highly interested in integrating public health and genetics together and doing research based on community genetics,  screening programs, and the like. 

I know that I don't want a Ph.D. I feel that the DrPH is much more aligned with my goals. That being said, I don't think I would be applying to DrPH programs with an MPH, just my MS in genetic counseling. Would programs still consider me? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Disclaimer: not a DrPH student or prospective applicant, but a number of my friends/colleagues have a DrPH, are in a program, or will apply in the coming season. 

The short answer is "no." A relevant master's is preferred, and most successful applicants will have an MPH or MSPH, but many will enter with another type of master's degree (some of my friends/colleagues have an MS, MBA, etc.). However, the more important facet of the application is experience. Do you have professional experience in healthcare? Do you intend on returning to the workforce after the genetic counseling program and before applying for a DrPH program? Since DrPH programs tend to recruit mid-career professionals who intend to use the degree as a stepping stone, applying without much working experience may diminish your chances. I don't know your age or your experience, but if you're pretty young (<30 years) and looking to apply right away, don't rule out the PhD entirely! 

Of course, I would recommend contacting a few schools that interest you, talk to their professors, and gauge their reaction. Good luck!

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On 7/26/2016 at 11:07 AM, Familiar Heron said:

Disclaimer: not a DrPH student or prospective applicant, but a number of my friends/colleagues have a DrPH, are in a program, or will apply in the coming season. 

The short answer is "no." A relevant master's is preferred, and most successful applicants will have an MPH or MSPH, but many will enter with another type of master's degree (some of my friends/colleagues have an MS, MBA, etc.). However, the more important facet of the application is experience. Do you have professional experience in healthcare? Do you intend on returning to the workforce after the genetic counseling program and before applying for a DrPH program? Since DrPH programs tend to recruit mid-career professionals who intend to use the degree as a stepping stone, applying without much working experience may diminish your chances. I don't know your age or your experience, but if you're pretty young (<30 years) and looking to apply right away, don't rule out the PhD entirely! 

Of course, I would recommend contacting a few schools that interest you, talk to their professors, and gauge their reaction. Good luck!

Thank you for the reply! I do plan on working for a few years before returning for my DrPH, ideally in a clinical community setting. 
I know a lot of DrPH programs require a prior MPH but it's good to hear that a many students have non-MPH,  relevant masters w/ work experience. 

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5 hours ago, GCPH said:

Thank you for the reply! I do plan on working for a few years before returning for my DrPH, ideally in a clinical community setting. 
I know a lot of DrPH programs require a prior MPH but it's good to hear that a many students have non-MPH,  relevant masters w/ work experience. 

No problem! I think that if a place wants a prior MPH, it's usually because they want to ensure that students have a core understanding of statistics, health policy, etc. I don't know what your program would entail, but if you could pick up some of those classes on the side (or even part time after earning your master's), that could suffice. 

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