Genetic Counseling

UAB has the only Genetic Counseling program in Alabama and one of the few in the Southeast region of the U.S. The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling.

You will receive comprehensive educational and clinical training in the field of genetic counseling from highly trained faculty from UAB’s Schools of Health Professions (GC Program), Medicine (Department of Genetics) and Education (Counselor Education Program).

At UAB, you will join a diverse group of students from across the country with strong interests in the field of genetics and genetic counseling. You will have access to a unique curriculum designed to prepare you to be competitive and successful genetic counselors. In addition to core classes designed to teach genetic counseling skills and medical genetics, you will have opportunities to learn phlebotomy skills, Spanish for medical professionals, research and laboratory genetic counseling skills and much more.

Your experience at UAB will include clinic simulation training each semester of your second year. Thanks to a partnership with Children’s of Alabama, you will experience the challenge of disclosing results well before entering the workforce. This is an unrivaled counseling simulation experience available for you at UAB.

You will also complete a plan II project while at UAB. You will design and implement a project of interest that contributes to your field.

You will also find yourself amidst convenient, progressive, and impressive facilities, located in the heart of Birmingham’s medical district.  You will have access to many onsite and offsite locations for clinical training.

The UAB program is a 21 month full-time university based curriculum. You will be admitted in the fall of an academic year and proceed through the program as a group. Your first two semesters are didactic coursework in the areas of medical genetics, genetic counseling principles and process, pediatric, cancer, and prenatal genetics. You will be supported by clinical exposure in each area.

Your clinical rotations begin in the summer following successful completion of the first year.

Your 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.

Traditionally, genetic counselors have been in medical settings caring for individuals and families with genetic conditions, disabilities, or predisposition to disease. Recent advances in genetics have greatly expanded the amount of genetic testing available and the applications of genetic testing outside of the traditional setting.

You will have access to a myriad of new employment opportunities 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. You will graduate well prepared for roles in traditional clinical settings as well as emerging areas of genetic counseling such as research and laboratory based genetic counseling.

To find out more about the profession of genetic counseling, visit the website of our national professional organization NSGC.

For additional information please email:

Did You Know?

  • Genetic Counselor was named one of the “25 Amazing Healthcare Support
    Jobs” for 2016 in an article published by U.S. News and World Report.

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth rate of 29% for genetic
    counseling positions over the years 2014 - 2024. This far exceeds the average
    growth rate of 7% for all occupations.
The UAB genetic counselling program is designed to lead to professional certification through the American Board of Genetic Counseling, Inc (ABGC). While there is a national certification exam offered by ABGC, board certification does not confer state licensure. Specific licensure requirements vary from state to state. UAB is working to develop an online, publicly-accessible database to assist in providing this state-by-state information. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning about potential professional licensure requirements in your state for a specific degree program, please contact UAB State Authorization at, or call eLearning and Professional Learning S staff at (205) 934-3258.