Program Curriculum

First Year


Fall Term (16 credit hours)
GC 501, GC 510, GC 560, GC 725, CDS 501, CDS 610, ECG 621

Spring Term (16 credit hours)
GC 504, GC 505, GC 506, GC 560, CDS Elective, CDS 502, ECG 638

Summer Term (6 credit hours)
GC 650, GC 651

Second Year


Fall Term (11 credit hours)
GC 560, GC 600, GC 652, GC 653, CDS 503, CDS 500, GC 698

Spring Term (10 credit hours)
GC 560, GC 602, GC 654, GC 655, GC 698, CDS 605

Course descriptions


GC 501: Genetics in Medicine. 3 Hours. Overview of the clinical evaluation and assessment of an individual with a congenital anomaly, mental retardation and/or genetic condition; includes introduction to etiology of common genetic conditions, pediatric genetic counseling, and testing and treatment options for genetic disorders.

GC 504: Prenatal Genetics, Embryology and Teratology. 3 Hours. Basic concepts of embryology, teratology and physiology as related to human development and genetic disease and their applications in prenatal genetic counseling.

GC 505: Principles of Cancer and Adult Genetics and Counseling. 3 Hours. Genetic mechanisms of cancer syndromes, cancer predisposition, and adult onset disorders; psychosocial issues related to these conditions that influence the genetic counseling process.

GC 506: Theory and Practice of Genetic Counseling. 3 Hours. Development of advanced genetic counseling skills for application in clinical settings.

GC 510: Introduction to Genetic Counseling. 3 Hours. Introduction to the field of genetic counseling and the basic principles of the profession.

GC 560: Genetic Counseling Journal Club. 1 Hour. Review, presentation and discussion of relevant literature in medical genetics and genetic counseling.

GC 600: Advanced Clinical Skills in Genetic Counseling. 2 Hours. This course provides students with advanced genetic counseling clinical skills utilized in reflective practice, industry, and psychosocial counseling. Students will also have opportunities to understand and participate in the lived experiences of people with disabilities through clinical and non-clinical professional duties as a genetic counselor. Attention will be placed on personal and group reflection of these experiences, including service learning with a community partner, and simulations.

GC 602: Advanced Topics in Genetic Counseling. 2 Hours. Exploration of advanced topics in genetic counseling related to clinical practice and non-clinical professional duties as a genetic counselor.

GC 650: Clinical Laboratory Rotation. 2 Hours. Exposure to genetic testing protocols, laboratory genetic counseling, and specimen processing and reporting through rotation in biochemical, molecular, and cytogenetic laboratories.

GC 651: Clinical Rotation I. 4 Hours. Initial clinical rotation to establish basic skill sets in genetic counseling. Supervised and direct patient contact in prenatal, pediatric, adult, cancer, and specialty clinics will allow students to acquire cases for ABGC certification.

GC 652: Clinical Rotation II. 2 Hours. Students utilize intermediate clinical skills in assigned clinical setting. Students interact with an array of genetic specialists. Supervised and direct patient contact in prenatal, pediatric, adult, cancer and specialty clinics will allow students to acquire cases for ABGC certification.

GC 653: Clinical Rotation III. 2 Hours. Students will apply progressive genetic counseling skills in a clinical setting. Students will interact with an array of genetic specialists. Supervised and direct patient contact in prenatal, pediatric, adult, cancer and specialty clinics will allow students to acquire cases for ABGC certification.

GC 654: Clinical Rotation IV. 2 Hours. Students will apply progressive genetic counseling skills in a clinical setting. Students will interact with an array of genetic specialists. Supervised and direct patient contact in prenatal, pediatric, adult, cancer and specialty clinics will allow students to acquire cases for ABGC certification.

GC 655: Clinical Rotation V. 2 Hours. Students will apply progressive genetic counseling skills in a clinical setting. Students will interact with an array of genetic specialists. Supervised and direct patient contact in prenatal, pediatric, adult, cancer and specialty clinics will allow students to acquire cases for ABGC certification.

GC 698: Non Thesis Research. 2 Hours. Graduate level research project under the supervision of clinical faculty.

GC 725: Advanced Medical Genetics and Genomics. 3 Hours. Medical application of advances in genetics and genomics; chromosome structure and function and major types of chromosomal abnormalities, cancer genetics and cytogenetics; current strategies for detection of mutations associated with genetic disorders, genetic risk assessment and population genetics; genomic approaches to diagnosis and risk stratification.

CDS 501 – 503: Professional Skills I – III. 1 hour total. Series of courses focusing on the development of behavioral competencies to address the growing emphasis healthcare is placing on the skills due to their impact on the delivery of quality care.

CDS 610: Research Design and Statistics. 3 hours. This course will introduce the student to clinical research methods and review concepts involved in descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics covered include overview of the research process, literature review, research hypothesis, research designs, sample selection, measurement methods, descriptive statistics, and inferential statistics.

CDS 500: Fundamentals of Phlebotomy and Body Fluid Collection. 1 hour. An in depth course in phlebotomy covering aspects of safety procedures, hygiene, capillary puncture, venipuncture, arterial access and maintenance, intravenous access and maintenance, drug administration via IV, intramuscular and subcutaneous methods and non-blood collections of bodily fluids.

CDS 605: Survival Spanish for Health Care Professionals. 1 hour. Health care professionals will be introduced to basic vocabulary, useful questions, and expressions in Spanish needed to communicate in practical health care situations. Students will participate in speaking exercises, dialogue, and role-play activities (field-specific scenarios).

ECG 621: Theories of Individual Counseling. 3 hours. Educational, vocational, and personal counseling. Observations and simulations.

ECG 638: Practicum I: Clinical Skills / Techniques. 3 hours. Practicum introducing the counseling process.

This website is updated annually.

Contact Us


For detailed information or questions about the curriculum you can either call 205-975-4CDS (4237) or email AskCDS@uab.edu.

You can also send correspondence to:
Program Director
Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling
UAB School of Health Professions
SHPB 444
1705 University Boulevard
Birmingham, AL 35294-1212

And you can always visit our website at www.uab.edu/msgc.