COVID-19 Related Updates

  • For the 2021 admissions cycle, the GRE is not required and will not be reviewed. It has not been determined if the GRE will be required for the 2022 admissions cycle.
  • Classes that were taken Pass/Fail will be accepted. However, if students have the option, it is preferred for courses to be taken for a letter grade, especially prerequisite courses.
  • The UAB Genetic Counseling Program understands that COVID-19 restrictions have limited shadowing and advocacy experiences and will take this into consideration when reviewing applications.

Watch this webinar to learn more about the UAB Genetic Counseling Program admissions requirements.

Application Process

Application Deadlines:

January 7

Application Fees:

  • Domestic applicants and green card holders: $50
  • International applicants: $60

There is an additional fee of $100 USD to register with National Matching Services (NMS) (see more information below), which facilitates admissions for all genetic counseling graduate programs in the United States. The NMS fee is only paid once (regardless of how many genetic counseling programs you apply to).

UAB cannot consider applicants who are not registered with NMS. Domestic and international applicants must both register with NMS.

Instructions for Completing the NMS Application

National Matching Services Registration: The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Genetic Counseling Graduate Program is participating in the Genetic Counseling Admissions Match through National Matching Services (NMS) beginning with admissions for Fall 2018.

Before completing the UAB Graduate school application, please visit the NMS website to register for the match, review detailed information about the matching process, and to view a demonstration of how the matching algorithm works. Applicants will be asked to input their NMS registration number as part of the UAB Genetic Counseling Program online application. There is a fee of $100 USD to register for the Match. The registration fee is non-refundable, non-transferable and irrevocable.

Match Fee Waiver Application

The Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors has established a waiver for the $100 fee associated with the NMS Match. Prospective students who demonstrate financial need AND have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater can apply for a match fee waiver. Prospective students should apply for a fee waiver BEFORE registering for an NMS number.

Applications for the match fee waiver are due by October 1, 2020. Applicants will be notified on October 30, 2020 as to whether they have received a waiver. There are a limited number of waivers, so not all applicants will receive a waiver. Instructions for how to register for the NMS match will be provided to those who receive a waiver.

Waivers are non-transferable to future match cycles or other prospective students. Prospective students who are applying for a match fee waiver will be required to write a short essay and to upload at least one of the following documents demonstrating financial need:

  1. A copy of a letter on official letterhead from a government agency verifying that you or your family have qualified for public assistance based on low income criteria anytime within the past 5 years
  2. A copy of your financial aid award letter from another / previous institution dated within 5 the past years
  3. A copy of your approved GRE fee waiver (for tests taken within 5 years of the application deadline)
  4. A copy of your federal Student Aid Report (SAR) that verifies you qualified for financial aid within the past 5 years based on a family contribution* of:
    • Not more than $1,500 if the student is a dependent student
    • Not more than $1,900 if the student is an independent student

Instructions for Completing the UAB Application

Applications are submitted online through the UAB Graduate School. All required Admissions documents must be received by the UAB Graduate School by January 7. Materials received after this date will not be considered.

Official transcripts from each institution where college credit was received can be mailed to:

UAB Graduate School
LHL G03, 1720 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294-0013

Transcripts can be submitted electronically by choosing University of Alabama at Birmingham - Graduate Admission or using the email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Example for Completing Application:

  • Register with the National Matching Service and obtain your NMS registration number.
  • Complete the UAB application
    • For which of the following are you applying? Master’s Degree
    • Intended program of study: Genetic Counseling
    • Concentration: Not Applicable – Selected program does not offer concentrations
    • Term: Fall 20XX

Requirements

Prerequisite Requirements

The following coursework must be completed or in progress at the time of application to the program:

  • Biology I (with lab) - 3-4 hours
  • Biology II (with lab) - 3-4 hours
  • Biochemistry - 3-4 hours
  • Genetics - 2-4 hours
  • Statistics - 3 hours
  • Psychology (general, developmental, abnormal) - 3/4 Hours

Admission to the program will be dependent on successful completion of all prerequisite coursework. Students must have a BA or BS degree and meet all UAB Graduate School requirements.

Prerequisite Supplemental Activities

  • Shadowing or interviewing a genetic counselor. (Required)
  • Paid or volunteer experience in a crisis counseling or peer counseling setting, or with individuals with genetic conditions or risk, special needs, or chronic illnesses.
  • Research or teaching experience in biology or genetics

Application Requirements

  • NMS registration number.
  • 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.)
  • Official Transcripts: Students should send official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. We recommend students send transcripts that include their most recent Fall grades.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three (3) letters of recommendation.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores from the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytic sections: For the 2021 admissions cycle, the GRE is not required and will not be reviewed. It has not been determined if the GRE will be required for the 2022 admissions cycle.
  • A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0).
  • Resume or CV: This should account for a description and timeline of any paid or volunteer work experience in a crisis or peer counseling setting, shadowing/internships, working with individuals with genetic conditions or disabilities, technical work in laboratories, or teaching 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.

International Requirements

International Students must submit a transcript evaluation from World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. Other requirements include a financial affidavit of support and immigration documentation (if currently residing in the United States).

The Graduate School now monitors English proficiency to make sure applicants meet our minimum scores which are listed below.

  • IELTS – 6.5
  • TOEFL – 80
  • PTEA – 53

Essential Functions

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.

Application Review Process

Applications are reviewed after the admissions deadline of January 7. Invitations to interview are sent via email in February.

Assistantships and Scholarships

Availability of graduate assistantships and student employment opportunities change yearly, and should be discussed with the program director at interviews. Select scholarships are also available through the School of Health Professions based on student need, for minorities, and for some otherwise qualified students. UAB's Financial Aid Office may also be able to answer additional questions regarding costs.

Additional Information

Learn more about tuition and fees on the UAB Admissions website. UAB’s Genetic Counseling Program participates in the Academic Common Market. If you are a student in another state in the Southeast and your state participates in this program, you may be eligible to attend our program for in-state tuition.