Application Deadline: January 15.
The following coursework must be completed or in progress at the time of application to the program:
Biology (one full year freshman level course sequence)
Biochemistry (one upper level semester course)
Genetics (one semester course to include Mendelian and molecular genetics)
General Psychology (one semester)
**Statistics (one semester)
**Another Statistics (applicable toward a degree) may be substituted by the GC program director.
Students must have a BA or BS degree, meet all graduate school requirements and be accepted to the graduate program.
Admission to the program will be dependent on successful completion of all prerequisite coursework.
Work or Volunteer Experience
Paid or volunteer experience in a crisis counseling setting, peer counseling setting, with individuals with genetic conditions or disabilities, technical work in genetics laboratories or teaching experience in biology or genetics are recommended and encouraged in preparation for entering the genetic counseling field. It is also strongly recommended for applicants to speak with or meet with a genetic counselor and/or observe clinical genetic counseling activities to gather details about the profession.
In addition to the program specific admissions requirements listed above, admissions requirements also include:
- Baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited college/university
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores from the Verbal, Quantitative and Analytic sections. Applicants with advanced degrees whose GRE scores are older than 5 years (the time limit that ETS will send scores) can send reports from previously attended graduate programs.
- A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0)
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 in natural science courses
- A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in the program prerequisite courses, with a minimum grade of C in each
- Interview with faculty
- Satisfactory screening on health data questionnaire by the UAB Medical Center Student Health Service.
All prospective students must meet the UAB Graduate School admissions requirements, and must apply for admission through the Graduate School (UAB Graduate School On-line Application).
The UAB Graduate School On-Line Application requires the following items, which you need to give consideration to before completing the on-line application:
- Personal Statement - A statement that highlights your motivation to become a genetic counselor, and emphasizes your prior and current experiences and how they will benefit you in the profession. (No more than 500 words.)
- Letters of Recommendation - Three (3) letters of recommendation
- A two page resume or CV. - This should account for a description and timeline of any paid or volunteer work experience in a crisis counseling or peer counseling setting, working with individuals with genetic conditions or disabilities, technical work in laboratories, or teaching experience.
Assistantships and Scholarships
The UAB Genetic Counseling program does offer graduate assistantships to select students to help offset tuition or provide in-state tuition. Select scholarships are also available through the School of Health Professions based on student need, for minorities, and for some otherwise qualified students. Additional information on non-UAB scholarship opportunities can be found here. Some students have had luck with the Perkins student loan forgiveness programs as well. Availability of these change yearly, and should be discussed wirth the program director at interviews or when gathering information about our program. UAB's Financial Aid Office may also be able to answer additional questions regarding costs.
Tuition and Fees
In order to successfully complete the degree requirements for the Curriculum for the Master of Science (M.S.) in Genetic Counseling Program, students must complete the academic and clinical practice requirements of the program in preparation to practice as an entry-level genetic counselor(s). As defined by the program’s accrediting body, the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling, an entry-level genetic counselor may demonstrate mastery of a broad body of genetics knowledge, and develop skills in the following domains: Communication Skills; Critical-Thinking Skills; Interpersonal, Counseling and Psychosocial Assessment Skills; and Professional Ethics and Values. Graduate training is a rigorous and intense training process that places specific requirements and demands on enrolled students.
The essential functions below extend beyond academic requirements for admission and are standards that all enrolled students must possess in order to successfully complete graduate training.
All genetic counseling students must meet the following requirements:
- Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and members of the health care team.
- Possess the mental capacity for critical thinking including the ability to assimilate, analyze, synthesize, and integrate concepts and to problem solve in a timely fashion.
- Possess the emotional health and psychological stability required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, exercise good judgment, prompt completion of all responsibilities and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and other members of the health care team.
- Adapt to changing environments and function effectively under stress
- Students must be able to demonstrate proficiency of all ABGC Practice Based Competencies. ABGC Practice Based Competencies are available in the UAB GCP Student Handbook and online at www.ABGC.net.