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Education / Graduate Education / Master's Degrees / Master’s Degree in Genetic Counseling

Master’s Degree in Genetic Counseling


The Master of Science in Genetic Counseling (MSGC) program is a full-time program that prepares students for a career as a genetic counselor. With the rapid advancement in knowledge of genetics and genomics, and increasing importance of this information for medical care, there is no better time to enter the field of genetic counseling.

Genetic counselors are essential players in the healthcare team, and possess the unique skills and knowledge necessary to support individuals and families in understanding and adapting to the medical and psychological implications of genetic conditions. The genetic counseling training program within the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry prepares students for a range of career opportunities available to genetic counselors and to shape the future direction of the field!

Who Are Genetic Counselors?
About Genetic Counseling

Program Highlights

  • 21 months over 5 semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall, Spring)
  • Program and students are embedded in the Division of Clinical Genetics within the Department of Pediatrics/Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center, a leading academic medical center within a top-tier research university
  • Current, dynamic curriculum taught by knowledgeable and experienced faculty members who have a passion for genetics and genomics
  • Curriculum tailored for genetic counseling students, while integrating meaningful interdisciplinary and collaborative learning experiences
  • Comprehensive fieldwork training in the medical center’s Genetics clinics spanning multiple departments, enabling students to gain unique fieldwork experiences, identify their practice interests, and exceed requirements for case logbooks
  • Completion of Master’s thesis, contributing knowledge to the genetic counseling field
  • Variety of additional educational and professional development opportunities

Our Program Mission

Our mission is to provide graduate students with the foundation of knowledge and skills critical for successful practice as genetic counselors in varied and emerging genetic counseling roles. The program is dedicated to providing a supportive and rigorous learning environment where students thrive and engage in comprehensive clinical training that includes both common areas of genetic counseling practice as well as more specialized areas. Our program emphasizes leadership development together with a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that prepares students to advance genetic and genomic health care for people of widely diverse backgrounds.

Program Objectives

Genetic counseling graduate students will:

  • Achieve a wide range of critical genetic counseling skills and competencies through completion of program components including didactic courses, clinical and fieldwork training, thesis research projects, and supplemental learning experiences.
  • Demonstrate readiness for immediate integration into the genetic counseling profession.
  • Engage in robust clinical trainings experiences which include both common areas of genetic counseling practice (Pediatric, Cancer, and Prenatal Genetics) as well as more specialized areas (such as Ocular Genetics, Neurogenetics, and Cardiogenetics).
  • Build strong professional relationships with peers and faculty that exemplify a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to patient care, research, and advocacy.
  • Develop effective leadership strategies and appreciate the vast leadership opportunities and needs within the genetic counseling field, including those aimed at building diversity, equity, and inclusion within genetic counseling graduate programs, the genetic counseling profession, research, and health care.
  • Develop research skills in designing and conducting a research study, which involves formulation of research question(s), data collection, data analysis, and oral and written presentation of findings.
  • Engage in ethical professional conduct, consistent with the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Code of Ethics, with respect to themselves, peers, faculty, patients, and society.​

Accreditation Status

The MSGC program at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC).

Contact Us

For information related to the Genetic Counseling Master's Degree program, please contact:

Audrey L. Schroeder, MS, CGC
MSGC Program Director
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry