University of Nebraska Medical Center

Genetic Counseling

Be a trailblazer in the expanding field of genetic counseling — and empower patients and providers who are navigating genetic health and precision medicines.

genetic counseling lab

Why Study Genetic Counseling?

Genetic counselors are professionals with training in both genetics and psychosocial sciences. They are trained to educate patients seeking more information about how inherited diseases and conditions might affect them or their families. They understand the worries patients may face, offer support and promote informed choices.

Job satisfaction is high in genetic counseling. In a recent survey, almost 90% of genetic counselors reported they were satisfied or very satisfied with their job. Providers increasingly recognize that genetic testing is a key component of precision medicine. As a result, genetic counseling is becoming more integrated into the health care system.

According to U.S. News and World Report 2024 Rankings, Genetic Counselor is #14 in 100 Best Jobs.

What is a genetic counselor? 

Why Study Genetic Counseling at UNMC?

Highest Standards

Our two-year master's degree program is housed in UNMC's College of Allied Health Professions, known for delivering programs that prepare graduates to provide high-quality, evidence-based and safe care for all patients. We partner with UNMC’s Munroe-Meyer Institute, which does groundbreaking work in genetics and employs genetic counselors at clinical sites throughout Nebraska.

Expert Faculty

Our program, the first genetic counseling program in Nebraska, has a class size of eight with the goal to eventually expand to ten. Our expert faculty members include program leadership as well as practicing genetic counselors. In the first month of the program, you are assigned an academic advisor. You also are matched with a second-year student through the Base Pair program that aims to provide peer mentorship.

Mission and Goals

We offer the next generation of genetic counselors a state-of-the-art education program dedicated to the pursuit of extraordinary patient care in this rapidly expanding field. See our Mission and Goals for more.


The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC), located at 7918 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 300, McLean, VA 22101. ACGC can be reached by phone at (703) 506-7667 or through their website at www.gceducation.org.

ACGC Website

Program Snapshot

Course Load
62 credit hours over 21 months (5 semesters)
Start Date
Fall semester begins in August

Program Highlights

Fieldwork Placements

Your first year includes clinic observations, in-class role plays, mock family history sessions and standardized patients. In the spring semester of the first year, you complete an eight-week placement practicing one day a week in a clinic setting. Over the summer, you participate in a three-day intensive workshop ahead of a five-week placement. Your second year includes several placements lasting between four and eight weeks each. As you gain confidence and proficiency, you'll have opportunities for independent work. You will complete placements in prenatal, pediatrics, and cancer while also having the unique opportunity to gain experiences with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, specialty clinics, and industry placements.

Overview & Degree Requirements

Diversity & Inclusion

Our program and faculty encourage vulnerability in the classroom and aim to promote inclusive teaching across the curriculum. Our students complete the implicit bias training available through the National Society of Genetic Counselors. Our Genetic Counseling and the Community class focuses on the lived experiences of individuals with genetic diagnoses and their families. This course has focused content and discussions related to disability, ableism and advocacy that builds on students’ prior education.


Careers and Outcomes

Genetic counseling is a fast-growing field. The number of genetic counselors in the U.S. is expected to increase 28% by 2026 due, in part, to the advances in genetic testing over the past decade.

Job Opportunities

  • University medical centers
  • Hospitals
  • Private medical facilities
  • Diagnostic laboratories
  • HMOs
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Advocacy organizations
  • Public health departments
  • Biotechnology companies

New Room for Genetic Counseling Students

A flexible, new classroom space is helping genetic counseling students focus and collaborate. Overhead cameras, microphones and speakers allow for specialists across the continent to videoconference with students.

new classroom

Before You Apply

National Matching Service

All genetic counseling programs participate in a National Matching Service (NMS), an electronic genetic counseling match. You must first register for the match with NMS before applying to participating programs, as the NMS identifier is required for the application.

A Student's View of Match Day

On our blog, read one student's view of Genetic Counseling Match Day at UNMC,