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Genetic Counseling

Degree Types: MS

The Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling is a six-quarter (18-month) program leading to a master's in Genetic Counseling and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). The curriculum is designed to emphasize the scientific and medical aspects of the profession, along with the counseling and psychosocial aspects. Students have extensive course work their first year and also begin their clinical rotations during the winter quarter. Early clinical placements allow the students to quickly apply and reinforce the concepts they learn in the classroom. In addition, Northwestern has a strong research component, requiring a written thesis and oral defense.

Graduates are prepared for employment as genetic counselors in multiple settings including:

  • Multidisciplinary medical settings including pediatrics, prenatal, adult, cancer and other subspecialties.
  • Laboratories, government agencies, research, public health and industry.

Students are prepared for the ABGC certification examination through coursework, thesis and clinical experiences supervised by certified genetic counselors and clinical geneticists.

Additional resources:

Program Statistics

Visit Master's Program Statistics for statistics such as program admissions, enrollment, student demographics and more.

Program Contact

Contact Elli Wade
Lead Program Coordinator
312-503-7113

Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.

Master's

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall
GENET_CN 401-0 Introduction to Genetic Counseling
GENET_CN 420-1 Principles of Medical Genetics I
GENET_CN 421-0 Research Methods
GENET_CN 422-0 Genetics Journal Club
Winter
GENET_CN 411-0 Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Counseling I
GENET_CN 420-2 Principles of Medical Genetics II
GENET_CN 425-0 Adult Genetics
GENET_CN 525-0 Clinical Rotations
GENET_CN 422-0 Genetics Journal Club
Spring
GENET_CN 412-0 Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Counseling II
GENET_CN 420-3 Principles of Medical Genetics III
GENET_CN 525-0 Clinical Rotations
GENET_CN 422-0 Genetics Journal Club
Summer
GENET_CN 499-0 Research Project
GENET_CN 530-0 Summer Clinical Rotation
Second Year
Fall
GENET_CN 413-0 Advanced Genetic Counseling
GENET_CN 499-0 Research Project
GENET_CN 525-0 Clinical Rotations
GENET_CN 422-0 Genetics Journal Club
Winter
GENET_CN 403-0 Professional Issues in Genetic Counseling
GENET_CN 499-0 Research Project
GENET_CN 525-0 Clinical Rotations
GENET_CN 422-0 Genetics Journal Club

View all current course requirements by visiting the Genetic Counseling website.

Other MS Degree Requirements

  • Research/Projects: Design and conduct original research project with genetic counseling focus, to be presented at an oral defense and a public colloquium, and submitted to the Program in the form of a publishable manuscript. We encourage all students to submit their abstracts to a professional meeting, and to publish their work in a professional journal.

Last Updated: September 16, 2022