Genetic counseling is a career in which a counselor will meet with patients, order genetic testing, and then provide results. This helps individuals determine their inherited medical conditions or the risk of passing those on to their children.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the demand for people in this role is expected to grow by 29% between 2016 and 2026, which is extremely rapidly compared to other fields.
Top 5 Masters in Genetic Counseling
|1||The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston||Houston, Texas|
|2||Indiana State University||Terre Haute, Indiana|
|3||University of Maryland||College Park, Maryland|
|4||The University of Colorado Denver||Denver, Colorado|
|5||Augustana University||Sioux Falls, South Dakota|
Choosing a Masters in Genetic Counseling
When you look at master’s programs in this field, you should look for an accredited program. Usually, they are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling. You will also need to select an accredited school to sit for the genetic counseling board exam.
Beneficially, the median salary of a genetic counselor was $80,370 in 2018, and that’s only expected to grow.
In this list, we’ve put together 15 of the best schools for a Masters in Genetic Counseling. These programs are listed in order from the best to worst based on enrollment levels and the cost of tuition. If you’re struggling to find the right program for your schooling, reach out. We’re here to help.
The Best 15 Schools for a Masters in Genetic Counseling
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
The University of Texas offers a Genetic Counseling program that takes two years to complete. The program sets students up with clinical rotations starting the spring of the first year and throughout the second year. Thesis research is required for the second year of study.
Indiana State University
Indiana State University offers a two-year genetic counseling master’s degree program. The program is highly competitive and teaches specialty areas in prenatal, neurology, pediatric, ophthalmology and cardiology genetics.
University of Maryland
The University of Maryland offers a Master’s in Genetic Counseling. The program focuses on research, genetic counseling, clinical genetics and other important coursework. It’s a two-year program with clinical rotations and lab work.
The University of Colorado Denver
The University of Colorado in Denver offers a Master’s in Genetic Counseling. The comprehensive program offers support with hands-on clinical experience and didactic coursework. The program only accepts six students each year.
Augustana University offers a Master of Science in Genetic Counseling in its challenging program. The program is a collaborative program and is the only accredited program in South Dakota. Only 10 students are admitted annually into the 21-month program.
Case Western Reserve University
Case Western University offers a Master of Science in Genetic Counseling as well as a dual-degree program with a Master of Arts in Bioethics. The program is a two-year degree with didactic coursework, extensive clinical training, research experience and laboratory exposure.
Virginia Commonwealth University
At Virginia Commonwealth University, students can get an M.S. in Genetic Counseling. The program covers courses such as medical genetics, cancer genetic counseling, and responsible scientific conduct. The program includes didactic clinical and research activities.
University of South Florida
The University of South Florida, located in Tampa, is the only program to offer a Master’s of Science in Public Health degree with a concentration in Genetic Counseling. This program admits 5 students each year and is a 21-month degree with both didactic and skills-based coursework in addition to a research thesis.
The University of Alabama
The University of Alabama offers a 21-month Master’s in Genetic Counseling. The program only accepts six to 10 students yearly, so class sizes are small. Students study prenatal genetics, cancer and adult genetics, genetics in medicine and more.
University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh offers an MS in Human Genetics, Genetic Counseling, or Public Health Genetics. The Genetic Counseling program takes two years to complete when students participate full-time.
*For a full breakdown of tuition and costs, please visit the Financial Considerations page.
Northwestern University trains students in disability studies, risk assessment, dysmorphology, and other genetics programs during its 18-month program. The graduate program in genetic counseling has six 10-week quarters that students complete to graduate.
Ohio State University
Ohio State University offers a Master of Science in Genetic Counseling. The program trains graduates to work in the field and accepts international applicants who can pass appropriate English examinations.
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins/National Institutes of Health Genetic Counseling Training Program is a collaborative program in which students spend half of their time at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and half at the National Institutes of Health (National Human Genome Research Institute and National Cancer Institute). The program is completed in 2.5 years of full-time study and emphasizes training in genetics and genomics, psychotherapeutic genetic counseling, and research. The academic year is on a quarter system, with 10 eight week quarters and 2 intervening summers. Students begin their clinical work in the second quarter of first year with a standardized patient rotation with rotations in actual clinics starting in the spring of the first year and continuing throughout the remainder of the training program. Students have 7-8 different placements on average in a variety of clinics, labs, and other types of fieldwork settings (policy, advocacy, bioethics). All students are required to complete a research-based thesis of publishable quality addressing a key question in the practice of genetic counseling. The program enrolls 6 students per year.
*This reflects a 30% tuition reduction that all students in the program receive. In addition, all first year students receive a $10,000 scholarship, and all U.S. citizens and permanent residents are employed as NIH fellows: https://www.training.nih.gov/predoctoral_irta_stipend_levels
Rutgers University offers a 22-month program in genetic counseling. The master’s degree prepares students to work in clinical and non-clinical settings. Lab rotations and clinical rotations are both required during the program.
Boston University trains students in counseling techniques, cancer genetic counseling, and other coursework during the MS in Genetic Counseling program. Students primarily focus on coursework for the first year and then perform clinicals the second.
In this article, the schools above were ranked based on their total cost of enrollment as well as total enrollment. High tuition rates resulted in lower scores. Low enrollment resulted in higher scores.
Every effort has been made to create a list of accurate information. This list is subject to change and is not guaranteed. If you’re interested in pursuing a PhD in counseling, check out our other pages.
If you have questions about your school’s ranking here or want to correct any information on this list, please reach out to us. If you’re interested in having your facility added to one of our lists, we’d also be happy to hear from you. We are here to help and are waiting to take your inquiry now.