In Canada and the United States, genetic counselling graduate programs are 2 years long, which all lead to a Master of Science (MSc/MS) degree in Genetic Counselling and/or Human Genetics.
The American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) grants accreditation to genetic counselling programs that meet or exceed their required criteria. Graduates of these programs are then eligible to take the ABGC board certification examination. As of 2012, are a total of three ABGC-accredited programs in Canada, and thirty-one ABGC-accredited programs in the United States. Additionally, there are some overseas international graduate-level genetic counselling programs available. However, since these programs are not accredited by the ABGC, it may be more difficult if the graduate wishes to return to Canada or the United States to be certified. Click here for more information.
A typical 2-year graduate program in genetic counselling consists of coursework, clinical rotations, laboratory experience, and a research thesis. The emphasis on each of these components varies from program to program. Clinical opportunities also vary between programs dependent upon the medical centers/clinics in the area. Click here for more information.
Generally, all programs require the submission of post-secondary transcripts, GRE scores (American schools), a resume/CV, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation. There are also some experiences that would be advantageous to have that would provide the application with a “competitive edge.” Applications are typically due between December-February, depending on the school. Interviews (for the small group of selected applicants) are typically between February-March, and the current (at the time of this writing) universal notification date of acceptance is at the end of April – beginning of May. Click here for more information.