Admission Requirements for Genetic Counseling
At UNMC, we value well-rounded, unique individuals and strive to create a diverse learning community. We perform a holistic review of all applications, considering both academic and non-academic experiences. Enrollment in the program is limited and competitive. The admissions committee of the program, composed of program faculty and administration, evaluates the qualifications of each applicant and makes the final selections for admission.
Degree and GPA
Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree and a minimum cumulative overall grade point average of 3.0 (based on 4.0 scale). We take a closer look at the last 30 semester hours in the sciences (defined as any courses in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and genetics). Specific degree not required but the genetics and psychology pre-requisites must be met at the time of the application. Most applicants have a degree in biology, genetics, chemistry, psychology, social work, nursing or related field.
- Admission to the program will be dependent on successful completion of all prerequisite coursework. While a prerequisite course can be in progress, genetics and psychology must be completed prior to submitting your application.
- Any repeated course grades (original and repeated) will be averaged in the GPA calculations and used accordingly in evaluation of the application.
- Any graduate level work in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and/or genetics will be reviewed.
One semester of AP, CLEP, and DSST credit can count toward the general biology and chemistry requirements but cannot completely fill this requirement. In addition, these courses will not satisfy the genetics, biochemistry, statistics, or psychology requirements.
- 2 semesters or equivalent of general biology with lab (biology for majors)
- 2 semesters or equivalent of general chemistry with lab (chemistry for majors)
- 1 semester or equivalent of upper level biochemistry* where organic chemistry is a prerequisite for the course *Note: content must include 1) metabolism of glycogen, fatty acids, and amino acids, 2) structure and function of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids
- 1 semester or equivalent of general or upper level psychology
- 1 semester or equivalent of general/introductory or upper level genetics
- 1 semester or equivalent of statistics
- 1 semester or equivalent of molecular or cell biology
Coursework that may strengthen an applicant’s experience includes advanced science lab (biochemistry, molecular, and/or genetics), anatomy and physiology, abnormal psychology, developmental biology, advanced genetics courses. Grades lower than a "C-" will not transfer to UNMC for credit. [Exceptions to this policy due to COVID-19]
GRE - none
As of 2020 (July), UNMC will no longer require or utilize scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for admission to the Genetic Counseling Program.
- Official transcripts from all institutions attended.
- AdMISSION bio: eight questions that help us learn more about you.
- Three professional or educational individuals to serve as a reference via an online evaluation.
- Personal statement – see application for more details
- Targeted Resume
Specific Sections: 1) Counseling/Client Advocacy Experience 2) Lab/Research Experience and 3)
Exposure to the genetic counseling field.
Format: Name and National Match Number in top right hand corner
Times New Roman, 12 pt font, 1" margins, maximum of 2 pages
- Counseling/Client Advocacy Experience: We strongly recommend potential applicants have experience in counseling or client advocacy. This can include working or volunteering with a crisis center, individuals with disabilities, or persons with medical needs.
- Exposure to the field of Genetic Counseling: Applicants should understand the role of a genetic counselor.
- Examples of exposure include watching the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) online Master Genetic Counseling series, interviewing a genetic counselor (in person or by phone), talking with genetic counseling students, attending genetic counseling conferences or webinars, or a formal job shadow experience. Of note, a job shadow is not required for admission.
- Laboratory/research experience
Admission Committee will review the entire application when selecting applicants to interview. These interviews will take place in March (see admissions timetable for specific dates). The interview is the opportunity for us to get to know each other better.
For more information, please check out the Prospective Student Newsletter created by our national society’s Student/New Member Special Interest Group.
National Match Service
All genetic counseling programs are now participating in a National Match Service, an electronic genetic counseling match. Applicants must first register for the Match with NMS before applying to participating programs as the NMS identifier is required for the application. Once admission interviews are complete, both applicants and programs will submit ranked lists of preferred placements prior to the final deadline. A computerized matching algorithm will determine final placements. This Match list will be released both to applicants and programs simultaneously. The results of the Match are binding.
NEW: AGCPD will offer a limited number of waivers for the $100 USD registration fee for the current GC Admissions Match. Prospective students who demonstrate financial need AND have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater can apply for a fee waiver. Prospective students should apply for a fee waiver BEFORE registering for the GC Admissions Match.
Applications for the 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 use the fee waiver when registering for the GC Admissions Match will be provided to those who receive a waiver. Learn more and apply for the waiver.
For more information on this process, please visit the National Match Service page.