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Education / Graduate Education / Master's Degrees / Genetic Counseling / Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

Application and Admissions Process

Are GRE scores required?

No. GRE scores are not required and will not be reviewed. We request that you do not add GRE scores to your application.

What is the minimum GPA requirement for applicants?

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above (4.0 scale) is highly recommended, however, waiving of this requirement may be considered for otherwise highly qualified candidates.

National data regarding average GPA scores of students is available through the Genetic Counseling Admissions Match statistics page ( 2022 Admissions Match data indicates that the average GPA of registered applicants who matched with a program was approximately 3.6.

When must my prerequisite courses be completed by?

All prerequisite courses must be completed and submitted for review by the University of Rochester MSGC application deadline of January 15th, 2023. Applications are not considered complete without these courses, and will not be reviewed.

Are official transcripts required for my application?

No. Unofficial electronic transcripts may be submitted for the purpose of the application. However, once enrolled in the MSGC program, students are required to provide official university transcripts.

Do you require shadowing with a genetic counselor?

Exposure to the genetic counseling profession is a required application component, however, this can be achieved in a number of ways. Shadowing of genetic counselors is not specifically required, but is highly encouraged. Exposure to the genetic counseling profession can also be obtained through activities such as a genetic counseling internship, work as a genetic counseling assistant (GCA), work in a research setting directly relevant to the field of genetic counseling, informational interviews with genetic counselors, participation in genetic counseling career fairs, and attendance at professional educational presentations/seminars.

What other types of experiences are recommended for applicants?

In addition to exposure to the genetic counseling profession (as summarized for question above), a wide range of other experiences can also be valuable in preparing for the program, such as mentoring, tutoring/teaching, advocacy experience, counseling experience, and other research experiences. Many applicants will have paid or volunteer work experience with community health organizations, reproductive health clinics, crisis or suicide hotlines, domestic abuse shelters or hotlines, and organizations serving individuals/families with developmental disabilities. We look forward to seeing the unique experiences from each of our applicants!

I am an international applicant. Where can I find more information about applying?

International applicants are encouraged to apply to the University of Rochester MSGC program! Information for international applicants can be found at:

Our genetic counseling program is coded as a STEM program, thus eligible for STEM OPT Extension.

Information regarding international student applications is also provided by the National Society of Genetic Counselors:

When will I be notified if I have been invited to interview?

Invitations to interview will be extended (via email) in early February. Interviews will be conducted in February and March.

Can I interview in person?

No. All of our interviews will be held virtually.

General MSGC Program Questions

Is the program accredited?

Yes, the program received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC) in 2022 and will have the first cohort of students begin Fall semester of 2023.

How many students will you enroll per year?

6 students will be accepted per year.

Can I enroll as a part-time student?

Due to the schedule of the Program’s course design, clinical rotations, and other components, full-time enrollment is required for the entire 21-month duration of the program.

What are the classes like?

The majority of the courses for the Program have been developed specifically for our MSGC students. This means that most class sizes are small (6-12 students) and consist of only MSGC students. There are a few required courses that students will take alongside medical students, nursing students, or others. For example, the Molecules to Cells course that MSGC students take in Spring semester of first year is taken alongside the first-year medical students. The majority of courses take place in-person.

Where are the clinical rotations located?

We are fortunate to have a number of robust and unique clinical rotation sites available for students to complete their formal clinical training. The majority of the clinical rotations are located at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC)/Strong Memorial Hospital main medical campus, which is on the same campus as the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry. Some rotations also take place at a nearby URMC location within a 10-15 minute drive, or with one of our regional affiliated rotation sites such as Elizabeth Wende Breast Care (Rochester, NY) and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (located just over an hour drive west in Buffalo, NY).

At the beginning of the program, students will meet one-on-one with the Clinical Fieldwork Coordinator to ensure that each student has adequate transportation to get to all assigned rotation sites.

I am interested in doing an away rotation, is this feasible?

Students who are interested in a rotation at a site that is not currently part of the MSGC program should discuss this with the Clinical Fieldwork Coordinator as early as possible in the program. Our program will try to accommodate a request for an away rotation, however, this cannot be guaranteed. There is an approximate 4-week gap between rotations at the end of the Summer semester (between Year 1 and Year 2 of the program) that could allow for an away rotation.

Where can I find out more about the genetic counseling profession?

Genetic Counseling Professional Organizations:

National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC)

American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC)

Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC)

Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD)

URMC Genetic Counseling Informational Meetings

Genetic counselors from across the University of Rochester Medical Center host regular, virtual interest meetings for prospective students and others interested in learning more about genetic counseling throughout the year. Typically, at least 2-3 genetic counselors representing different services (i.e., pediatrics, neurology, ocular genetics, reproductive genetics, etc) are present for each meeting. Topics such as genetic counselor roles, applying to graduate programs, and what to expect in a graduate program will be discussed. Time will be allowed for Q&A; you can submit your specific questions on the sign-up form below.

Upcoming 2022 meetings:

  • October 21, 2022 at 3:30pm
  • December 9, 2022 at 3:30pm

*Meeting dates for 2023 will be posted in January.

*You may sign up for as many meetings as you would like, and will receive detailed information via email including the Zoom link to join as the meeting date gets closer.

Sign Up for an Informational Meeting