Information on Applying
If you want to work on the cutting edge of genomic medicine in a rewarding and expanding health care profession, the first step is to apply to an accredited genetic counseling graduate program. Currently, there are over 41 accredited programs in the United States and Canada, located at both private and public universities.
To find the list of accredited programs with links to each program’s website go to the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling’s website.
Programs differ with regard to coursework requirements and the types of clinical experiences available; however, all have to meet the same accreditation standards. Only students who have graduated from an accredited program are eligible to take the national genetic counselor certification examination.
In general, you must have a 4-year baccalaureate degree and undergraduate coursework in biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, statistics and psychology to be eligible to apply. In addition, you typically you need to do the following:
- Take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Examination. For information about registering for the GRE, click here.
- If you are an international student, take the TOEFL Examination. For information about this exam, click here.
- Submit transcripts from all the undergraduate and graduate institutions you attended.
- Obtain letters of recommendation (usually 3)
- Write a personal statement
- Get advocacy experience volunteering as a counselor (e.g., crisis counseling, bereavement counseling) or working with individuals who have a genetic conditions or disability.
- Job shadow or speak to a genetic counselor to show you have explored the field and are familiar with the profession. To find a genetic counselor in your area go to the ‘Find a Counselor’ link of the National Society of Genetic Counselors website.
- Research and/or laboratory experience can also strengthen your application
Individual programs have specific requirements. To learn about these, contact the program directly. You should review each program ‘s admissions criteria before applying. Most programs prefer an in-person interview as part of the admissions process. Please contact each program directly for more information.