GC Program Description
The UAB Genetic Counseling Graduate Program is a collaborative program offered by UAB’s School of Health Professions that engages faculty in School of Medicine’s Department of Genetics and School of Education’s Counselor Education Program to provide comprehensive educational and clinical training in the field of genetic counseling. UAB is the only program in Alabama and one of the few in this region of the country. The program has provisional accreditation as a new program from the American Board of Genetic Counseling.
Our program and students have access to state of the art medical facilities including the UAB Medical Center , the UAB Women and Infant’s Center , The Kirklin Clinic , and the Children’s Hospital of Alabama . This provides a wide variety of clinical training experiences and a diverse patient population. Student instruction utilizes internationally recognized genetics and teaching faculty to provide a wide-ranging and exciting education in the field of genetic counseling.
In 2010, the first class of students in the UAB Genetic Counseling Program was enrolled. Our students come from across the country and have a variety of backgrounds. We are actively seeking prospective students with a strong interest in the field of genetics and genetic counseling. Interested applicants should click here . Students have the unique opportunity to work with the program faculty to shape the program to maximize the variety of genetic resources available at UAB.
The UAB program is a 21 month full-time university based curriculum. All students are admitted in the fall of each academic year and proceed through the program as a group. The first two semesters are didactic coursework in the areas of medical genetics, genetic counseling principles and process, pediatric, cancer, and prenatal genetics - supported by clinical exposure in each area. Students will also participate in ethics and research methods courses during their first year. Clinical rotations for the program begin in the summer following successful completion of the first year. The second year of the curriculum includes extensive clinical training, graduate project development and completion, and didactic coursework in research and laboratory genetic counseling, advanced genetic counseling principles and practice, and advanced concepts in genetics.
Graduates will be well prepared for roles in traditional clinical settings as well as emerging areas of genetic counseling such as research and laboratory based genetic counseling. Traditionally, genetic counselors have been in medical settings caring for individuals and families with genetic conditions, disabilities, or predisposition to disease. Most counselors find this work very satisfying because they are able to work with families to educate them about the genetic implications of their condition, review personal options and provide support. Recent advances in genetics have greatly expanded the amount of genetic testing available and the applications of genetic testing. This has opened new employment avenues for genetic counselors to assist in the applications of these new technologies in the direct to consumer marketing of genetic testing, research and laboratory settings.