Genetic Counseling

Genetic Counseling is an Allied Health Profession.

Overview

Genetic counselors are health professionals with specialized graduate degrees and experience in the areas of medical genetics and counseling. Most enter the field from a variety of disciplines, including biology, genetics, nursing, psychology, public health, and social work.  Genetic counselors work as members of a health care team, providing information and support to families who have members with birth defects or genetic disorders and to families who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions. They identify families at risk, investigate the problem present in the family, interpret information about the disorder, analyze inheritance patterns and risks of recurrence and review available options with the family.  (National Society of Genetic Counselors)

While at CSU

Genetic Counseling requires a masters degree from an accredited graduate program.  To apply to a graduate program in genetic counseling, a student will need:

1.     An earned BS or BA degree with a 3.0 minimum GPA

2.     Prerequisite Courses (see table below)

3.     GRE score

4.     Experience in counseling and laboratory settings and a strong understanding of the genetic counseling field.  A searchable directory of genetic counselors willing to talk to potential applicants considering this career field is available at the NSGC (linked below).

Common Pre-requisite coursework for masters programs in genetic counseling.  These courses are provided as GENERAL pre-requisites and may not represent a complete list of requirements.  It is the student’s responsibility to check with each professional school in order to determine specific pre-requisites courses and equivalencies for each institution.
Requirement CSU Equivalent Course(s)
Biology, full year sequence LIFE 102 and LIFE103
General Chemistry, full year sequence CHEM111/112 and CHEM113/114
General Biochemistry BC351 or BC401 and 403/404
Genetics BZ350
General Psychology PSYC100
Anatomy & Physiology (recommended) BMS300/302 and BMS301
Molecular/Cellular Biology (recommended) BZ310, LIFE210/212
Introductory Statistics (recommended) STAT201, 301, 307, or higher
Organic Chemistry (recommended) CHEM245/246 or CHEM341 and CHEM343/344

Programs and Preperation

·         Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling:  http://gceducation.org/Pages/Accredited-Programs.aspx

Accredited Programs in Colorado: 

·         University of Colorado – Denver:  http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/graduate-school/academic-programs/genetic-counseling/Pages/default.aspx

Admissions Tests

GRE

Application Services

Apply to programs individually

Associations

National Society of Genetic Counselors:  http://www.nsgc.org/

American Board of Genetic Counselors:  http://www.abgc.net/ABGC/AmericanBoardofGeneticCounselors.asp