Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about applying to Genetic Counseling Programs

Please click the down arrow next to each question for a detailed answer.

What can I do to improve my application?

Each genetic counseling applicant will have strengths and weaknesses to his or her application. Most training programs will look at an applicant in his or her entirety and look for clues that the applicant would be a good fit for the genetic counseling field and the particular program. When beefing up your resume, try to look at your application from the program’s perspective. What makes you unique? What is your weak spot? If you have a weak spot – think of ways you can correct it – taking the GRE again could increase your score. Retaking a class could help you get a better grade.

Another way to hide a weak spot is to be particularly strong in another area. Maybe your GPA is a little lower than you would prefer, but you have amazing counseling experience! Think about the things that make you unique because you are more than just a piece of paper. Finally, consider your statement of intent. This is your chance to tell the program everything they need to know about you that isn’t on your application. This is your chance to call out weak points and explain why you are still a great fit!

Is my GPA good enough?

Most graduate programs require a minimum 3.0 GPA. However, you may want to contact the program to find out if there are other opportunities to demonstrate your academic aptitude. For example, if your GPA is lower than required, you may be able to submit an application with additional letters of reference or an explanation for why it fell below 3.0.

Is my GRE score good enough?

Each genetic counseling program has a different expectation for the GRE score, and you will want to check with that program to find out the specifics.  Some programs no longer require the GRE.  Others that do require the GRE may use the score only if it can help improve your application.  Reach out to one of our GCs or the program directly with concerns.

My degree is B, but the program website says it prefers X, Y, and Z degrees.  Is that ok?

Certain degrees will prepare you the best for a master’s degree in genetic counseling. These are the preferred degrees, which meet admission requirements without needing to make any supplemental classes. Other degrees are absolutely acceptable, as long as you have fulfilled the pre-requisite requirements. Remember that some pre-requisite requirements will require you to take one or more less-advanced classes in order to take the higher-level course, so you will need to prepare accordingly. Your unique experiences associated with your degree may have prepared you in other ways for genetic counseling, so remember that your degree is still valuable, but we also want to make sure you’re adequately prepared to succeed in our program.

My extracurricular activities are not directly related to genetics/genetic counseling.  Can they still count?

Yes!  What's important to recognize about genetic counseling is that many life experiences can be tied back to our field!  A genetic counseling program wants to see how you were able to draw experience and inspiration from your non-genetics activities in order to be a more well-rounded applicant and GC professional in the future.