Once the thing of science fiction, understanding and analyzing the human genome has given rise to advancement in medicine of which scientists could only dreamed. As research advances and more is learned of the human genetic code, the use of genetics to scientifically predict inherited disease or syndromes is becoming an important component of healthcare. People planning a family may want to assess the risk factor, for instance, of Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis, especially if there is a family history. Patients with a family history of breast cancer, may want a genetic assessment to determine their risk of developing the disease.
Best Medical Degrees previously ranked Genetic Counseling as one of the 50 Top Paying Healthcare Careers and U.S. News and World Report cited the career as being #14 Best Health Care Support Jobs and #73 in its 100 Best Jobs rankings. A relatively new field, currently (2017) there are only 37 graduate programs, nationwide, offering accredited Master’s in Genetic Counseling programs, with four schools having provided a letter of intent. Potential students for this degree must have a baccalaureate degree; and, some schools may require prerequisites in biology, genetics or counseling for admission. The GRE may be required for admission to some programs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the relatively new field of genetic counseling is expected to grow at a rapid 29% percent in the years 2014-2024, which is much faster than average. Requiring a masters degree, genetic counseling has a median salary of $72,090 with the highest 10% earning $109,650 and the lowest, $49,760 per year.
Genetic Counselors are employed in hospitals and specialty clinics, as well in physician offices and colleges, universities and professional schools. Typically, genetic counselors take extensive patient, and family, history, evaluate genetic risks, determine appropriate testing and provide education and counseling in explaining test results. The specialization of genetic counseling is increasing beyond cancer, prenatal and pediatric counseling; and, expanding into neurogenetics, cardiovascular and psychiatry.
The Accreditation Counsel for Genetic Counselors (ACGC) provides accreditation for qualified programs offering genetic counseling master degrees. Accreditation is important in that it assures you that the program you’ve chosen meets the educational criteria established by professional genetic counselors to provide proper training. Additionally, genetic counselors must be board certified by passing the American Board of Genetic Counseling. Some states may also require genetic counselors to be licensed.
Currently, there are only 37 genetic counseling programs in the U.S. accredited to meet the demand for certified genetic genetic counselors.
FUNDING YOUR DEGREE
Federal Financial Aid
Federal Financial Aid for graduate and professional degrees may be obtainable. Graduate students typically only qualify for Stafford student loans which requires you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Schools, and other funding opportunities, may request the a FASA for any scholarship consideration.
Fellowships, Scholarships and Assistantships
It may be that your college or department offers qualified graduate students financial assistance through fellowships or assistantships. Check with your departmental advisor to see if this may be an option for you.
Some employers will offer assistance, as part of an employee benefit package, for employees to return to school to advance their education. Your HR department should be able to advise you. This may not be an option if the program you choose requires full time, campus attendance.
Veterans and Active Military Personnel
Several schools offer tuition assistance for your service. Be sure to check with your school’s Bursar or Financial Aid Office to see if your service qualifies for a discount.
This ranking shows all 38 Accreditation Counsel for Genetic Counseling genetic counseling programs in the U.S.; and, offers a simple, “one stop” listing by estimated tuition costs available from schools websites. The ranking also includes program length, curriculum overview and rankings received from organizations such as U.S. News and World Report, Forbes and The Princeton Review.
1. University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Accredited by the Accreditation Counsel for Genetic Counseling, this Master of Genetic Counseling program is offered through the MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in association with the Division of Medical Genetics in the Department of Pediatrics at the McGovern Medical School. Offering a comprehensive curriculum covering human genetics, cancer genetics, statistics and research methodology, prenatal genetics, ethics and developmental biology. Students begin seeing patients in January of the first year during introductory to rotations; and, begin clinical rotations in their second year. Students complete a summer rotation which may be conducted in Houston or outside of the area; and, also participate in a two week laboratory rotation at Baylor College of Medicine Medical Genetics Laboratory in Houston. Also included in this degree is the completion of a thesis. Following rotations, and before graduation, students are required to demonstrate communication skills and knowledge during an Oral Comprehensive Exam.
The UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences was established in 1963 and preceded The University of Texas Medical School at Houston’s development in 1970; both programs fell under the auspices of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The school is ranked by U.S. News and World Report in the top 100 Best Medical Schools in Primary Care and Research. The world renowned University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has ranked #4 by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals in four adult specialty areas.
Program Length: 36 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $8,736 (Resident); $25,992 (Non Resident)
2. Oklahoma University College of Medicine
Oklahoma Medicine offers a Master of Genetic Counseling, Accreditation Counsel of Genetic Counseling (ACGC) approved, graduate program. The program requires 21 months of fulltime attendance. The program is divided into didactic coursework: genomics, introduction into counseling skills, psychosocial aspects of genetics counseling, molecular genetics, cytogenetics, pharmacogenomics, etc. Students are also expected to complete, and defend, a thesis. Students will also participate in clinical rotations which focus on: clinical genetics, prenatal diagnosis counseling, cancer genetics counseling, clinical metabolic genetics, and laboratory techniques in cytogenetics and molecular genetics.
Located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the OU medical school has received high rankings from U.S. News and World Report for its graduate programs in primary care (#69) and research endeavors (#73) in the magazines 2017 rankings. Oklahoma University received a #111 ranking as U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities. A public research school, Oklahoma University was founded in 1890 and has over 22,000 students currently enrolled with over 600 students enrolled in the College of Medicine.
Program Length: 48 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $8,789 (Resident); $33,941 (Non Resident)
3. University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health
The University of Pittsburgh offers both a Masters in Genetic Counseling and a dual program in MS Genetic Counseling and Masters of Public Health. Both programs have Accreditation Counsel of Genetic Counseling (ACGC) approval and may be completed in two years. Studies include: Principles of Genetic Counseling, Molecular Basis of Human Inherited Disease, Introduction to Statistical Methods, Human Population Genetics, Principles of Epidemiology, Bioinformatics Resources for Geneticists, Genetic Techniques, Risk Calculation for Genetic Counseling, etc. The second year of study includes clinical internships, ethics case conference and thesis hours.
This Genetic Counseling Program was established at the University of Pittsburgh in 1971, making it one of the country’s oldest such programs. With a current enrollment of over 32,000, the University of Pittsburgh ranks #68 in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities and #24 Top Public Schools. Founded in 1787, The University of Pittsburgh has also been recognized by the Kiplinger’s Report, Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings and Princeton Review; and, has been noted as a military friendly school.
Program Length: 24 Months
Estimated Tuition: $14,936 (Resident); $24,517 (Non Resident)
4. Indiana University
Indiana University has a MS Genetic Counseling degree offered through its Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics. This 21 month long program includes didactic studies and a robust clinical observation experience. Students also gain valuable laboratory and clinical research opportunities, as well as practical skills in clinical care research, medical documentation and patient counseling in a clinical settings. Students begin clinical rotations in the first year and throughout the entire second year. Accredited by the Accreditation Counsel for Genetic Counseling (ACGC); and, the school website claims a high success rate for students sitting for the American Board of Genetic Counseling. The department has been training genetic counselors for 25 years.
Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, the university was founded in 1820 and was one of the first public universities west of the Alleghany Mountains. The university currently has a student enrollment of 42,000 and has been ranked #41 by U.S. News and World Report 2017 Best Colleges is Regional Universities Midwest. The Indiana University System has 8 campuses and offers several degrees online.
Program Length: Two Years
Estimated Tuition: $17,000 (Resident); $45,000 (Non Resident)
5. University of North Carolina Greensboro
UNCG’s School of Health and Human Sciences offers a MS in Genetic Counseling which takes two years to complete. Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC), UNCG has ranked for 26 consecutive years in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities ranking and #125 in Top Public Schools. The curriculum includes: Human Molecular Genetics, Principles of Genetic Counseling, Genetic Counseling in the Community, Molecular Diagnostics, Medical and Clinical Genetics, Research Methods, Summer Clinical Rotation, Ethics and Genetics, Mental Health Issues for Genetic Counselors, etc. and concludes with a Research Project. Graduates are eligible to seek application to the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) for Active Candidate Status and sit for the ABGC Certification Examination.
Beginning in 1891, the University of North Carolina Greensboro, has an enrollment of over 19,000 undergraduate and graduate students. UNCG holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and has earned two classifications from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university has seven academic colleges, College of Arts & Sciences, Graduate School and the Lloyd International Honors College.
Program Length: 52 Credit Hours
Tuition Estimate: $17,296.49 (Resident); $46,710 (Non Resident)
6. University of South Florida Health
This is a Master of Public Health with a concentration in genetic counseling degree which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). A comprehensive program, the degree provides students with solid training in medical genetics/genomics, public health, counseling skills and communication. The program suggests applicants have prerequisites in undergraduate courses in biology, statistics, genetics; and, prior counseling experience is deemed helpful. Besides clinical research, students will take courses in introduction to genetic counseling, patient centered communication, human genetics/genomics in medicine and public health, health education and counseling, embryology, applied clinical genetics, introduction to genetic counseling, etc.
This Tampa, Florida based university is the educational home for over 50,000 students. Founded in 1984, the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health was the first public health school in the state of Florida. The University of South Florida was established in 1956 and ranks #83 in U.S. News and World Report’s Top Public Schools, #77 for Best Medical Schools-Primary Care, #56 for Best Medical Schools-Research and #159 in National Universities. A public school, USF
Program Length: 48 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $18,270 (Resident); $42,240 (Non Resident)
7. University of California Irvine
This six academic quarter MS Genetic Counseling program is offered through UC-Irvine’s School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics. The program has limited admission, typically admitting between 4 and 6 students a year, to best provide student opportunities to interact with faculty, patients and observe in the medical center and other sites. Students are also required to attend genetic clinics at area hospitals. Coursework includes studies in: genetics counseling theory, medical genetics, quantitative genetics, screening, cytogenetics, biochemical genetics and inborn errors of metabolism, human molecular genetics, heredity cancer counseling, research methodology, ethics and community resources. Students participate in clinical work during the summer between the first and second years. Graduates are eligible to sit for the board exam.
The University of California-Irvine was established in 1965 as part of the University of California state system. UC-I’s School of Medicine has been ranked in the top 50 for research by U.S. News and World Report and the university holds a #39 ranking by the magazine in its National Universities, #23 Best Colleges for Veterans and #48 Best Value Schools designations. The university has a current enrollment in excess of 30,000 students.
Program Length: 75 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $22,440 (Resident); $24,990 (Non Resident)
8. University of Arkansas for Medical Services
This is a MS Genetic Counseling program offered as an interactive distance and hands experience, allowing students to use telemedicine technology to understanding genetic counseling with first year students being afforded the opportunity to work closely with professional genetic counselors. During the last year of study, students will spend time working with counselors outside of the Arkansas area. First year coursework (among others) for this program includes studies in: Introduction to Molecular Genetics and Genomics, Counseling Theory and Skills for Genetic Counselors, Professional Issues in Genetic Counseling, Medical Genetics, Writing and Critical Analysis, Clinical Observation and Genetic Counseling Ethics. Second year students will cover: Population Genetics, System Disorders for the Genetic Counselor, Public Health Genomics, Teratology, Intermediate Clinical Clerkship and Thesis in Genetic Counseling. This program of the University of Arkansas for Medical Services through its College of Health Professions holds accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling.
This Little Rock university is the first medical school established in Arkansas, founded in 1879, and 2,870 students enrolled with 641 College of Health Professions students. According to the school’s website, UAMS ranks #2 by U.S. News and World Report as the most popular medical school to attend.
Program Length: 61 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $22,448 (Resident); $48,495 (Non Resident)
9. Stanford University Medicine
This ACGC accredited MS Genetics Counseling program requiring six academic quarters of coursework and fulltime clinical rotation requirements during the summer between the first and second years of study. Students receive training during the quarters in such topics as: development and disease mechanisms, human molecular genetics, research, foundations in biomedical ethics, genetic counseling observations, clinical rotations and research and counseling seminars.
U.S. News and World Report rates this program #1 in its Best Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics graduate schools; and, the medical school has received recognition in the top 50, nationwide, in research and primary care. Stanford Medicine has a long history of medical innovation (first use of linear accelerator in cancer treatment, first synthesis of biological active DNA, discovery of new immune response genes and more). The University of Stanford was founded in 1885 and has a current overall enrollment of over 16,000 students.
Program Length: 33 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $22,935
10. Indiana State University
This MS Genetic Counseling degree is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC), includes didactic coursework and clinical rotations. Coursework involves study in: Techniques of Counseling, Foundations in Genetic Counseling, Human Genetics, Diagnostic Genetics, Embryology, Multicultural Counseling, Foundations in Genetic Counseling, Cell and Tissue Culture, Human Ontogeny, Genomic Science, Medical Genetics, Research in Biology and Population Genetics, Bioinformatics, Cytogenetics and Bioethics of Genomic Science. Some of these courses are online. Clinical rotations will offer students the opportunity for real world experiences in the specialties of pediatrics, prenatal, cancer, adult, etc.
The Terre Haute, Indiana university was founded in 1865 and has a current enrollment in excess of 13,000 students. Indiana State University’s graduate programs have received rankings in the top 200 of U.S. News and World Report’s ratings; and, was ranked #162 in Forbes’ top colleges in the Midwest.
Program Length: 62 Credit Hours
Tuition Estimate: $24,738 (Resident); $30,938 (Non Resident)
11. University of South Carolina School of Medicine
This MS in Genetic Counseling was the 10th such program to be established in the country. Students will study a comprehensive curriculum which includes: medical genetics, genetic counseling process, biology, cancer genetics and counseling, counseling methods, ethical challenges in genetic counseling and contemporary issues in genetic counseling. Clinical rotation experiences are offered in hospitals and genetic centers throughout South Carolina with specialties in obstetrics and gynecology, prenatal, cancer, adult and pediatric and late-onset disorders.
The genetic counseling program became part of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in 1985 and has maintained ACGC accreditation since its inception. The school of medicine at the University of South Carolina, was established in the late 1960s and graduated its first 24 medical students in 1977. The University of South Carolina is a public school founded in 1801 with a current student enrollment in excess of 33,000 students and has been ranked #101 by U.S. News and World Report in its National Universities listing, #69 Best School for Veterans and #59 Top Public Schools.
Program Length: 56 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $27,048 (Resident); $55,540 (Non Resident)
12. Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center
The Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center’s Department of Human and Molecular Genetics has provided a ACGC accredite Master of Genetic Counseling degree since 1990. Students will be involved in academic studies which includes: practice and theories of genetic counseling, leadership, introduction to human genetics, medical genetics, research methods, cancer genetics, embryology; and, will participate in clinical placements and a directed research project. Clinical placements will occur in the tertiary care VCU Medical Center and will begin placements in the first semester to allow students to apply academic courses to real life experiences. Students will also attend weekly research seminars.
The Department of Human and Molecular Genetics was created in 1938 and is one the first such departments to use the word genetics in its name. Located in Richmond, Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University was established in 1838 and was ranked in the top 200 in U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 National Universities. The teaching VCU Medical Center has five schools and has been nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report. VCU has a current enrollment of over 31,000 students.
Estimated Tuition: $27,225
13. University of Colorado Denver
Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling, the University of Colorado Denver provides a MS Genetic Counseling degree through the Graduate School of UCD/Anschutz Medical Center. There are two options thesis and non thesis. Students will participate in intensive didactic studies in clinical, psychosocial and professional aspects as well a clinical rotations in pediatric, prenatal, adult and other specialties. Rotations are conducted in area genetic counseling centers, as well as at Children’s Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado Hospital in the Anschutz Centers for Advanced Medicine and University of Colorado Cancer Center and regional outreach genetic clinics in Colorado. Students also benefit from laboratory with research activities.
The University of Colorado Denver founded in 1912 and has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report rating in the top 200 of National Universities and has over 23,000 enrolled students. The Graduate School/Anschutz Medical Center was established in 1971.
Program Length: 45 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $27,405 (Resident); $53,505 (Non Resident)
14. University of Alabama Birmingham
The University of Alabama Birmingham School of Health Professions offers the only MS Genetic Counseling in the state and holds full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling. This program requires prerequisites in Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Statistics and Introductory Psychology (developmental, abnormal and general). The first two semesters provides didactic courses that explore medical genetics, genetic counseling principles and process, pediatric, cancer, and prenatal genetics, with a third semester involving clinical rotations. Second year students will participate in clinical training, a graduate project and coursework in research and laboratory genetic counseling, advanced concepts and genetic counseling principles and practice. Additional courses cover professional skills, “survival” Spanish for health professionals and clinical rotations.
Over 18,000 students attend the University of Alabama Birmingham, the School of Health Professions was established in 1969 by the Alabama State Legislature. The school has received recognition from U.S. News and World Report in the Nations Top 25; and, is in the top 10 in research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The school is one of the largest health professions school in the nation.
Program Length: 59 Credit Hours
Tuition Estimate: $28,299 (Resident); $66,177 (Non Resident)
15. University of Cincinnati
This Master of Genetic Counseling program is accredited by ACGC and is a collaboration of the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center. Coursework will include, among others, studies in: fundamentals of molecular genetics, human genetics, clinical embryology, introduction to cancer genomics, clinical teratology, statistics and experimental design for the biomedical sciences, interdisciplinary studies in developmental disabilities and masters thesis research. Two courses, cardiovascular genetics and laboratory genetic counseling are offered online. Students will begin clinical practicum work in included in all quarters enrolled, with a summer internship between the first and second year. Clinical rotations are completed in a variety of clinics at the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center. Off-site clinic rotations are also available in the Greater Cincinnati area.
The University of Cincinnati, established in 1870, ranks #135 in National Universities by U.S. News and World Report, #64 Top Public Schools and #90 Best Colleges for Veterans. The university has an enrollment of 36,000 students. Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center dates to 1887 and was ranked #3 Best Children’s Hospitals in U.S. News and World Report’s 2016-2017 national rankings.
Program Length: 70 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $28,936 (Resident); $52,420 (Non Resident)
16. The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Accredited through the ABGC, The Ohio State University College of Medicine provides a Master of Science Genetic Counseling degree boasts of a 100% pass rate for graduates sitting for the ABGC Board Certification Exam. The program includes coursework, clinical experiences and thesis in preparation of becoming a genetic counselor. Courses include studies in foundations in medicine, genetics and genetic counseling, clinical experiences (beginning in the first semester), advanced clinical skills in reproductive, adult, pediatric and cancer counseling; the program culminates in research methods and thesis/dissertation.
The Genetic Counseling Graduate Program was established in the college in 2016 and joins a long history of clinical academic programs since the College of Medicine was established in 1914. Located in Columbus, Ohio, OSU was founded in 1870 and has been ranked in the top 100 of U.S. News and World Report’s ratings of National Universities; and the College of Medicine also has received top 100 rankings in research, pediatrics and nursing.
Program Length:24 Months
Estimated Tuition: $29,000 (Resident); $58,000 (Non Resident)
17. Wayne State University School of Medicine
Through the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics this MS Genetic Counseling degree from Wayne State University cites a high first time pass rate for students taking board exams. Studies include coursework in principles and theories in genetic counseling, molecular biology, practical applications in genetic counseling, medical genetics, research and clinical experiences. Graduates must complete a research project of the student’s choosing.
The medical school has been ranked #73 in Best Medical Schools-Research by U.S. News and World Report. Located in Detroit, Michigan, Wayne State University was founded in 1868 with the School of Medicine starting as Detroit Medical College. Wayne State University has an enrollment exceeding 12,000 students; and, 1,200 of those are in the School of Medicine.
Program Length: 48 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $29,472 (Resident); $63,879 (Non Resident)
18. University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health
The Master of Genetic Counseling degree at UWM’s School of Medicine and Public Health is ACGC accredited and offers students science and counseling courses along with clinical experience. Science courses cover: Medical Genetics, Clinical Genetics,
Genetic Counseling for Inborn Errors of Metabolism, Human Cytogenetics and Molecular Diagnostics, Cancer Risk Assessment and Counseling, Clinical Embryology and Prenatal Diagnosis, Medical Genetic Counseling Research Seminar and Academic Methodologies. Students will learn: Theory and Practice of Interviewing, Interviewing and Counseling for the Genetic Counselor and Contemporary Professional Issues in Genetic Counseling to prepare for counseling situations. There is a clinical practicum in one of a variety of sites during the first year and the second year concentrates on an advance practicum. Students are also required to enroll in research, under the guidance of a professor, to develop a publishable research project.
Originally included in the University of Wisconsin in 1848, the school has been ranked in the top 100 of U.S. News and World Report’s ratings of Best Medical Schools: Research and Best Medical Schools: Primary Care for 2017. A public institution, located in Madison, Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin has an enrollment of over 43,000 students and has been ranked #44 in the National Universities by U.S. News and World Report.
Program Length: 41 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $31,387 (Resident); $65,537 (Non Resident)
19. Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Medical College
Thomas Jefferson University offers a Master’s of Genetic Counseling through its Jefferson College of Biomedical Sciences. The college requires prerequisite undergraduate study in one semester/quarter in genetics, biochemistry, psychology and statistics. It’s recommended that students also have had exposure to anatomy and physiology, molecular and cellular biology and counseling. Beyond didactic studies, students will be required to participate in clinical rotations, located throughout the Philadelphia area in the specialties of in prenatal, pediatric/general genetics, and cancer genetics; as well as in more defined rotations in ocular genetics, cardiogenetics and neurogenetics.
Opened in 1824 as the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Sidney Kimmel Medical College was officially founded in 1969. With a current enrollment of over 3,500 students, the college, generally, has a higher than the national norm for graduates achieving licensure and board certification.
Program Length: 19 Months
Estimated Tuition: $32,000
20. University of Maryland School of Medicine
This Master of Genetic Counseling degree is ACGC accredited and combines coursework, interactive seminars and conferences, laboratory and clinical experiences. Students will study human and clinical genetics, clinical cancer genetics and research in the first year; and, three 12-week clinical, specialty rotations (i.e., cancer, pediatrics, adult, etc.) and attendance at Grand Rounds, workshops and conferences held on campus.
The Genetics Counseling Program was established in 1995; and, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 and is the fifth oldest medical school in the nation. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the school has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report in the top 100 nationwide for its research and primary care programs. The school has a limited enrollment and currently hosts 689 fulltime students in 25 academic departments, 6 programs and 3 institutes.
Program Length: 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $33,872 (Resident); $55,880 (Non Resident)
21. Rutgers University
Offered by the School of Arts and Sciences, the Genetic Counseling Master’s Program requires prerequisite courses in genetics, statistics and biochemistry for admission. The core concepts of this program encompass coursework, clinical rotations in various locations throughout New Jersey and a research project. Clinical rotations are expected each semester and coursework will include studies in: genetic counseling foundations, medical and human genetics, counseling techniques for genetic counselors, etc. Clinical rotations allow the student to be mentored by practicing genetic counselors and begin practicing counseling skills. The program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Counsel for Genetic Counseling.
The state university of New Jersey, Rutgers is the flagship university and is located in New Brunswick, NJ. Established in 1766, it is the eighth oldest university in the nation. With a current enrollment in excess of 49,000 students, Rutgers University holds a #70 ranking by U.S. News and World Report in its National Universities ratings, #42 Best Colleges for Veterans and #25 Top Public Schools.
Program Length: 56 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $38,584 (Resident); $65,632 (Non Resident)
22. University of Minnesota
Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC), the University of Minnesota provides a MS Genetics with an emphasis in genetic counseling. This degree, with a concentration in counseling, consists of a curriculum which includes: Medical Genetics/Biochemistry, Introduction to Genetic Counseling Skills and Practice, Intro to Behavioral Genetics, Molecular Lab Rotation, Genetic Counseling in Practice, Advanced Human Genetics and Genomics, Clinical Internship, Psychosocial Issues in Genetic Counseling and Ethical & Legal Issues in Genetic Counseling, etc. Students are also required to complete a graduate research project.
This program is one of 35 graduate programs in the country and was established in 1989 in the university’s College of Biological Sciences. Located in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota has been recognized #34 by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Graduate Schools in Biological Sciences. Founded in 1851, UM is the flagship, land grant university in the state. The university has a graduate enrollment of over 16,000 students.
Program Length: 57 Credit Hours
Tuition Estimate: $42,359 (Resident); $61,519 (Non Resident)
23. Case Western Reserve University
The Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences of Case Western Reserve University offers an ACGC accredited Master of Genetic Counseling program. The program includes didactic study, accompanied by laboratory exposure, research experience and extensive clinical training. The department holds an international reputation and students will study: advanced medical genetic studies in molecular & cytogenetics, quantitative genetics & genomics, metabolic disorders, ethics, psychosocial issues in genetic counseling, etc.; as well as, clinical and laboratory rotations and research. Clinical rotations for students include: Specialty Clinics such as Marfan Clinic, Prader-Willi Clinic and Craniofacial Clinic; Prenatal Diagnosis Clinic, and Cancer Genetics Clinic which occur at These rotations take place in The Center for Human Genetics at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, the Genomic Medicine Institute at the Cleveland Clinic and MetroHealth Medical Center.
U.S. News and World Report ranked Case Western Reserve University #37 in its National Universities and #43 in Best Value Schools. The university was ranked #1 in Ohio by The Washington Monthly. With the main campus in Cleveland, Ohio, Case Western Reserve University was founded in 1826 (taking its name from the surrounding area, at that time, known as the Western Reserve of Connecticut) The school now has an enrollment of over 11,000 students studying in one of the university’s 9 colleges.
Estimated Tuition: $43,215
24. Stanislaus State
ACGC accredited, this school offers a MS in Genetic Counseling program that can be obtained in two years. The program mixes academic coursework, clinical experiences and research for a well rounded degree. Academic courses included: clinical embryology and parental genetics, advanced medical genetics, clinical cytogenetics and molecular biology, principles of human genetics, cancer genetics, bioethics and research methodology. Summer clinical rotations are required at the end of the first year and there are 3 additional 10-week rotations during the second year. The program has prerequisites for admission, so be certain to check the website to determine what is required.
Part of the California State University, Stanislaus State is located in Turlock, California and was established in 1957 and ranks #61 in U.S. News and World Report’s Regional Universities West and #14 in Top Public Schools ratings. With an enrollment of over 9,000 students, Stanislaus State’s first campus was on the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in 1960 before moving to its current site in 1965.
Program Length: 43 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $49,000
25. Augustana University
Augustana University enrolled its first class for its Master of Genetic Counseling students in 2016. This is a collaborative program between the university and Sanford Health and is the only program of its type in South Dakota. Accredited by ACGC, Augustana University’s Graduate Education Department supervises the program’s curriculum. That curriculum includes studies in genetic diagnosis, laboratory methods, communication and interviewing skills, genetic counseling, cancer and reproductive genetics, etc. Students also participate in research and practicum experiences. Second year students clinical experiences are in either Sioux Falls or San Diego, California. All students are required to complete a master’s project and presentation for graduation.
This private institution receives high marks from U.S. News and World Report, ranking #3 in Regional Colleges Midwest, #2 in Best Colleges for Veterans and #2 in Best Value Schools. Established in 1860, Augustana University is affiliated with the Lutheran Church, offering over 100 majors to over 1,800 students. The university campus is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Program Length: 62 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $49,440
26. University of Michigan Medical School
A pioneer in the field of genetics, the University of Michigan Medical School opened the first genetic clinic in the nation in 1956 and the school at the began its MS Genetic Counseling program in 1979. Located in the Department of Human Genetics, the program has three components: coursework, clinical training and research. Establishing a basis in genetics, students will also study anatomy, cancer genetics, medical embryology, genetic counseling, medical genetics, death, loss and grief and clinical training. Students begin clinical training in the first semester, using one-on-one mentoring in a variety of genetic clinical specialties including cancer, adult, pediatric, neurology, cardiovascular, prenatal, biochemical and ophthalmic processes. The department offers a wide variety of clinical training sites. The school also provides a dual MS Genetics Counseling and MS Public Health degree option.
Situated in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the University of Michigan Medical School was established in 1850; and, has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report with a top 10 ranking in its research medical schools listing. The university has also been noted as being a Best College for Vets and Top Public Schools by U.S. News and World Report.
Program Length: 24 Months
Estimated Cost: $51,700 (Resident); $104,425 (Non Resident)
27. Bay Path University
This hybrid MS Genetic Counseling program which combines studies from other disciplines, such as clinical mental health counseling, physician assistant studies and leadership skills. In the students’ first year, studies focus on general genetics and counseling proficiencies; followed the second year with clinical experiences and a capstone project. In depth studies of evidence based medicine, cancer genetic counseling, family systems, counseling theory, techniques and skills and clinical experiences complete the ACGC accredited program.
Founded in 1897, Bay Path received its name from the footpath used by Native Americans to travel between Connecticut settlements and the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the early years of the country. Located in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, this school ranks in the top 200 of Regional Universities as rated by U.S. News and World Report. Bay Path University is a private, women’s college with an enrollment of around 3225 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs.
Program Length: 50 Credit Hours
Tuition Estimate: $52,250
28. Long Island University Post
A MS in Genetic Counseling, this program holds Accreditation Counsel for Genetic Counseling accreditation. The program requires students to complete coursework, professional and clinical activities. Didactic studies include molecular genetics, cytogenetics, human development, pathophysiology, design and analysis in genetics research, biochemical genetics, special topics, seminars and conferences. Clinical rotations begin in the summer between the first and second years; and, there is a thesis requirement. The program offers clinical rotation sites in both New York and New Jersey and will allow students to work in the specialties of cancer, pediatrics, general genetics, neurogenetics and prenatal genetics.
Ranked #114 overall in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities, Long Island University Post, is located in Brookville, New York on Long Island’s Gold Coast. With a current enrollment of over 8,600, Long Island University is a private school, founded in 1926. The LIU Post campus is 27 miles from New York City and was established in 1951. This is the third such graduate genetics program to offer training in the state of New York.
Program Length: 46 Credit Hours
Tuition Estimate: $55,246
29. Sarah Lawrence College
The Joan H. Marks Graduate Program in Human Genetics at Sarah Lawrence College provides a Genetics Counseling Masters degree for students seeking training in the medical, genetic counseling and scientific studies in human genetics. Studies include ethics, clinical and public health genomics, biochemistry and clinical practicum. The program can be completed in 21 months with fulltime attendance; and, in some cases, students are admitted on a parttime basis. Students are also required to conduct clinical training and fieldwork during each year, with a summer rotation also required. The school offers over 50 clinical training sites in genetic centers in the NY metropolitan area, including such prestigious centers as Columbia University Medical Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Rutgers/University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey and New York Genome Center.
The college accepted its first genetic counseling students in 1969, following the discovery of the DNA structure. Located in Bronxville, NY, Sarah Lawrence College was established as a private college in 1926, the college now has over 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Sarah Lawrence College ranks #59 in National Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News and World Report. The college is ranked #1 for Best Classroom Experience by The Princeton Review and #110 Top Colleges and #226 America’s Best Value Colleges by Forbes Magazine.
Program Length: 70 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $57,720
30. Emory University School of Medicine
This well known Georgia school has a Master of Medical Science (MMSc) degree in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling program accredited by the ACGC. Graduates are eligible to sit for the American Board of Genetic Counseling exam and boasts a 100% first time pass rate. The degree includes academic coursework in: human and medical genetics, public health genomics, genetic counseling theory and practice, genetics of common diseases, biomedical ethics, etc. The program also provides clinical experiences and a 5-week research-based Focus Internship in areas like public health genomics, clinical genetics practice and research, and laboratory genetic services.
Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Emory University traces its roots to its founding by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1836 in Oxford, Georgia, before a million dollar and Atlanta land donation in 1915 from Coca Cola founder Asa Candler. Since then, Emory University has been recognized by such prestigious ranking organizations as Forbes, The Princeton Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education; and, has been ranked #20 by U.S. News and World Report as #20 in National Universities, #11 Best Colleges for Veterans and #17 Best Value Schools. The medical school ranks in the top 50 of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Medical Schools in primary care and research.
Program Length: 75 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $58,200
31. Arcadia University
Through its College of Health Sciences, Arcadia University provides a Master of Genetic Counseling degree which includes classroom work, clinical experience and a research thesis project. Students study Advanced Genetics, medical physiology, human embryology and teratology, introduction to cancer genetics, psychological theories and techniques, cancer, reproductive, medical, biochemical and developmental genetics and ethics. Students begin practicum work during the first semester, clinical internships begin during the summer between the first and second years. The program culminates with a research/thesis project before graduation.
This private Pennsylvania university, located in Glenside, approximately 12 miles north of Philadelphia,was founded in 1853; and, currently has an enrollment of 3,900 students. The school is ranked #42 in National Universities, #24 in Best Colleges for Veterans and #15 in Best Value Schools.
Program Length: 88 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $66,500
32. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) supports a MS Genetic Counseling program which is a collaborative effort of the school’s Department of Genetics and Genomics Sciences, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and the School of Medicine. Courses emphasize studies in genetics and genomics, molecules and cells, ethics, biostatistics, genetic counseling and embryology. Beginning in the Spring of the first year, the program offers clinical rotations within the Mount Sinai Health System and allows for the integration of clinical experience with the didactic coursework. Clinical experiences, under supervision, and exposes students to the taking of patient histories, interviewing skills, psychosocial and genetic risk assessment. Graduates are also required to complete an Institutional Review Board approved thesis project.
Part of the Mount Sinai Health System which includes seven New York City hospitals, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, ranks in the top 50 of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Medical Schools in Research. The Mount Sinai hospitals have histories which date as far back as 1820 (New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai); and the system has over 3,400 beds in total.
Estimated Tuition: $69,039
33. Brandeis University
ACGC accredited, Brandeis University provides a MS Genetic Counseling degree. In the first year of this two year program, students will study: molecular biotechnology, human genetics, human reproductive and development, introduction to genetic counseling, counseling theory and technique, clinical genetics and genetic counseling field placement. Second year students participate in case conferences and family counseling, internships and studies in genetics, laws and social policy, as well as thesis research. Clinical and laboratory internships are required. Clinical internships may be conducted within the Greater Boston area, or with faculty approval, in areas beneficial to the student.
Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, the university is ranked #34 in National Universities by U.S. News and World Report and was founded in 1934, and is a private institution. With a student enrollment of over 5,700 students, Brandeis University is ranked #30 by U.S. News and World Report as a Best Value School. The Genetics Counseling Program was established in 1992 during the early years of modern genetic research. The school boasts over 200 graduates of its Genetic Counseling Program.
Program Length: 24 Months
Estimated Tuition: $70,960
34. Boston University School of Medicine
A Master of Genetic Counseling ACGC accredited program, Boston University School of Medicine’s first year curriculum includes academic studies in: genetic counseling techniques, professional issues, social, cultural and ethical concerns in genetic counseling, embryology, teratology, and prenatal genetics and genetic counseling seminars. The second year, students will participate in clinical experiences and research project development alongside advanced genetic counseling studies. Graduates will participate in a Capstone Project, possibly involving case studies and literature reviews, clinical or laboratory research or a clinical application.
Boston University Medical School was established in 1848 as the New England Female Medical College; and, was one of the first medical schools in the world to admit women and graduated the first black female physician. The school now has over 1,600 students and is ranked #30 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Medical Schools in Research and #34 in research. Boston University, founded in 1839, is recognized as #39 in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities and has an overall enrollment in excess of 32,000 students in graduate and undergraduate programs.
Program Length: 24 Months
Estimated Tuition: $74,400
35. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
A Master of Genetic Counseling degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Center for Genetic Medicine enrolls approximately 12 years per year. The program requires enrollment for six ten-week quarters of study which includes the scientific and medical areas of genetics, as well as counseling, research and clinical rotations. Clinical rotations begin in the second quarter of the first year and fulltime during the summer between the first and second years. Rotations concentrate on parental counseling, cancer and adult counseling and pediatric and general genetic counseling; and, may be completed in Chicago or outside of the Chicago area. A graduate thesis is required of all graduates. The school also offers a dual degree option.
The Feinberg School of Medicine has been highly ranked for ten consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report. The 2017 rankings placed the school #17th in the Best Medical Schools, nationwide. With its beginnings in 1859 as part of Lind University, renamed the Chicago College of Medicine in 1863 and became part of Northwestern University in 1906. A private university, Northwestern University has over 20,000 enrolled students and is located in Evanston, Illinois.
Program Length: 18 Months
Estimated Tuition Cost: $86,286
36. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
This Master of Genetic Counseling program, while costly, is a unique, joint program with National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Students will study at both the Johns Hopkins campus and the NIH; and, the curriculum includes academic, clinical rotation and thesis requirements. Courses cover topics in: epidemiology, practical genetics counseling, counseling theory and practice, introduction to genetics counseling, therapeutic genetic counseling, ethics, public policy and research methodology and supervised clinical rotation, etc. The program requires 400 contact hours in clinical rotation. Accredited by ACGC, the program was initiated during the late 1990s.
The public health school at Johns Hopkins was established in 1916 and currently has a student enrollment of off over 2,200 students. Johns Hopkins University is a world renown university opened in 1847 through a $7 million dollar gift from Maryland philanthropist and abolitionist, Johns Hopkins. Ranked #10 in National Universities by U.S. News and World Report, #20 in Best Value Schools, #11 Best Global Universities and #3 in Best Medical Schools for Research. The National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR), which was established in 1989 to spearhead the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the International Human Genome Project (HGP).
Program Length: 34 Months
Estimated Tuition: $104,736