Top 35 Masters in Genetics

The field of genetics is continuously growing and changing–– by its very nature–– and is a career path that will require life-long learning and a keen mind. If you were fascinated by this field in your undergraduate degree, and you have a strong academic background in biology, organic chemistry, or the behavioral sciences, pursuing a Master's degree will help you hone in on developing your knowledge in a specialty area within the broad field of genetics.

You'll see from our list of 35 Top Masters of Genetics programs that a degree in this field can lead you to work as an animal scientist, horticulturist, microbiologist, or genetic counselor. These are just a few possible vocations– individuals with a Master's degree in the field of genetics can be found in medical and research laboratories and institutes, hospitals, and universities. All are concerned with delving into the big questions regarding the biological and chemical basis and blueprint of all life, as well as finding solutions for genetically-related diseases.

Many of the programs on our Top Masters of Genetics list offer a degree in Genetic Counseling. Genetic counselors work with individuals, families, communities, and other health care professionals to help them understand how genetic makeup influences health. They advise on the impact of family medical history and assess their risk for disease. Genetic counselors also provide psychological and social support for people and families facing the challenges associated with physical and mental health conditions. Genetic counselors may focus specifically on reproductive genetics, newborn screening follow-up, neurogenetics, cardiovascular genetics, and cancer genetics. This is a career that combines the skill set of advanced scientific expertise with excellent interpersonal communication. In May of 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the annual median salary for genetic counselors was $80,860.

Entrance to the programs listed below is competitive. Most of the schools below are looking for candidates who have not just excellent grades in the biological sciences but have a familiarity with genetics, and in the case of genetic counseling programs, experiences working in counseling or mental health facilities and clinics. Most of the programs also utilize the admissions match typical of most medical programs through the National Matching Service. There are many resources for those preparing to select a program that's right for them in genetics, as well as post-academic professional organizations. These include the American Society for Human Genetics, The American Board for Genetic Counseling, and the National Society for Genetic Counselors

Ranking the Top 35 Masters in Genetics

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To be considered for ranking by TMHC, degrees must be accredited by the National Science Foundation and, thus, provide appropriate doctorate certifications within the healthcare field and have institutional affiliations with scholarly peer-reviewed publications. For more information about how TMHC scores individual medical degrees, please visit our About Us page. 

Here are the Top 35 Masters in Genetics for 2020!

#35. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Little Rock, AR

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

Website

The 59 credit Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences prepares students for the American Board of Genetic Counseling certification examination, as well as a career in the field. The program utilizes interactive video programs, live instruction, and some online coursework. The interactive video programs allow students to role-play counseling scenarios with patient actors. In their second year, students will engage in clinical training at a satellite site. There are three separate tracks students may opt to select from. The first takes place solely in Little Rock, with clinical rotations in the summer. The second takes place in Fayetteville with clinical rotations outside of Arkansas. In the third track, students will take classes in Little Rock for the first year and in Louisville, KY. The summer terms also consist of clinical rotations outside of Arkansas in this track. The program is home to the ANGELS program, which is a consultation service for physicians, family practitioners, neonatologists and pediatricians in Arkansas. The MS in Genetic Counseling at UAMS only accepts eight new students per year. Competitive applicants have a strong academic background, demonstrated leadership and interpersonal skills, and excellent oral and written communication skills. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $7,380 / Out-of-State: $15,307

Score: 76.5

#34. University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA

Master of Science in Human Genetics

Website

The Master of Science in Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh prepares its graduates to work as educators and research professionals who treat and diagnose hereditary health conditions. Students in the program may select an academic path that focuses either on genetic data analysis or laboratory genetics. Within the laboratory genetics path, students may further delve into developmental biology, molecular physiology, or immunology. Students pursuing genetic data analysis can opt to study further topics on human genetics, biomedical informatics, or epidemiology. Pitt Public Health is home to several research projects such as the Lymphedema Family Study, the genetic basis of Alzheimer's cases, the genetics of lupus, and genetic defects that resist chemotherapy treatment. 

To gain entrance into the program, qualified applicants should have a Bachelor's degree in biology or the social sciences. GRE scores above the 70 percentile in the verbal and quantitative portion of the test are required. Candidates should also have taken calculus and genetics course in their undergraduate work. Pitt Public Health offers a wide variety of funding resources to graduate students in the form of scholarships, fellowships, and graduate assistantships. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $22,290 / Out-of-State: $36,980

Score: 76.7

#33. Kansas State University 

Manhattan, KS

Master of Science in Genetics

Website

Kansas State University's Master of Science in Genetics combines the expertise of eight other departments and divisions at KSU. These departments and divisions include biology, entomology, agronomy, animal sciences and industry, plant pathology, statistics, biochemistry, and molecular biophysics, horticulture, forestry, and recreational resources. Graduate students in the program select an area of specialty from six tracks: quantitative genetics; arthropod genetics; molecular, cellular and developmental genetics; genetics of plant-microbe interactions; and quantitative genetics. The MS in Genetics program at KSU utilizes state of the art, high tech classrooms and is also home to the Integrated Genomics Facility, the Sequencing and Genotyping Facility, the Plant Biotechnology Center and the Metabolomics Center.

 To apply for admission to the program, a three-page statement that explains the candidate's research experiences and interests, as well as their career objectives, is required. Candidates should also submit a CV, three letters of recommendation, and transcripts from previous institutions. Previous coursework in the biological sciences is highly recommended. Financial support for graduate students in the MS in Genetics program is mostly through a limited number of competitive graduate assistantships

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $9,960 / Out-of-State: $22,483

Score: 77.2

#32. University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

Website

The University of South Carolina's Master of Science in Genetic Counseling is over 30 years old. The degree is a total of 56 hours and combines clinical rotations, classes, and thesis research. In the first year, students will take courses such as Introduction to Genetic Counseling, Medical Genetics, and Contemporary Issues in Genetic Counseling. In their second year, topics students will take Genetic Counseling Methods and focus on their clinical rotation and thesis preparation. Service-learning is also a component of the program. Outreach in the community may offer students hands-on experience in working with families or health professionals on the genetic aspects of topics such as childhood cancer, down syndrome, or congenital heart disease. 

Admission to the program is contingent on the candidate having one year of biology, chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, and statistics in their undergraduate coursework. The application also requires three letters of recommendation, a statement of the candidate's interest in the field, GRE test scores, a CV, and transcripts from all previous institutions. Applications are due December 1 for entrance in the following fall term. The program offers an online genetic counseling course for prospective students who want to find out if the field of genetic counseling is a good fit. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $12,854 / Out-of-State: $27,968

Score: 77.2

#31. Rutgers University 

Piscataway, NJ

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

Website

The Master of Science in Genetic Counseling degree at Rutgers University is a total of 56 credits and is completed within five semesters. Students in the program take classes such as Foundations of Genetic Counseling, Principles and Methods of Epidemiology, and Loss Across the Lifespan. In the student's second year, they will engage in lab and clinical rotations, as well as research for their thesis. Potential sites for clinical rotations include the Rutgers Robert Johnson Pediatrics, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Morristown Medical Center, and St. Joseph's Medical Center, Rotations are typically 10-12 weeks in length where they will shadow and work with genetic counselors in a variety of specialties, including pediatric, cancer and prenatal genetic counseling. 

Admission to the program relies heavily on the applicant's background in counseling, and particularly in job shadowing a genetic counselor. Undergraduate courses in genetics, statistics, and biochemistry are also a key factor. Rutger's offers a variety of assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships to support its graduate students with covering the cost of tuition and providing a living stipend. A video on the GCMP program at Rutgers can be viewed here

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $16,848 / Out-of-State: $28,656

Score: 78.0

#30. University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ

Master of Science in Genetics

Website

The Master of Science in Genetics at the University of Arizona draws from ten different departments within the Colleges of Science, Agriculture, and medicine. Graduate students in the program may draw from the expertise of faculty from a diversity of topics such as biomedical engineering, radiation oncology, and chemistry and biochemistry. The program is 36 credits, or students may opt to pursue a Ph.D. at 63 credits. Initial coursework in the program includes Current Topics in Genetics, Science, Society and Ethics and Scientific Writing Skills and Ethics. Students will also engage in research rotations with a faculty member who best matches the student's research interests. 

To apply, applicants must submit GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, transcripts from all previous institutions, and a personal statement. Applications are due December 1 for enrollment in the following fall term. Critical considerations for admission acceptance include clear long term career goals and well-outlined research interests. A GPA of 3.5 in undergraduate coursework is also required, as is a Bachelor's degree in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, psychology, neuroscience, or neurobiology. The University of Arizona is home to the BIO5 Institute, The Evelyn McKnight Brain Institute, and the STEM Learning Center. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $11,486 / Out-of-State: $22,487

Score: 78.8

#29. Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, VA

Master of Science in Human Genetics

Website

The Master of Science in Human Genetics at the Virginia Commonwealth University is a total of 59 credits. Students will engage in research for the thesis and be given a final oral examination to complete the degree. The program offers areas of study in clinical and molecular cytogenetics, genetic epidemiology, clinical genetics, and population genetics. Coursework in the program will cover topics on Classic Papers in Human Genetics, Current Literature in Human Molecular Genetics, and Scientific Integrity. The degree must be completed in at least six years, with full-time study for at least two years. A dual degree in human genetic counseling is also an option. 

Admission application materials are due on May 1 for the following fall semester. 

Qualified candidates for the program will have a bachelor's degree in biology or chemical sciences, with coursework in organic chemistry, genetics, and calculus. GRE test scores should be in the 45th percentile or higher. Three letters of recommendation and a personal statement are also required. Competitive applicants will have clear research interests and a career plan, familiarity with the faculty's research experience, and any relevant training or experience in the field. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $11,466 / Out-of-State: $23,487

Score: 80.8

#28. University of Colorado – Denver

Denver, CO

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

Website

The University of Colorado-Denver's Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program is a 45 credit degree with a non-thesis option. Students take courses in molecular genetics, cancer genetics, interviewing and counseling theories and techniques and the professional issues related to genetic counseling practice. All students will engage in laboratory experiences in their first year. The curriculum also integrates clinical rotations. The University of Colorado-Denver offers rotations in its Hereditary Cancer Clinic, Pediatric Genetics Clinic, Metabolic Clinic, and various Regional/Telemedicine Outreach Clinics. These opportunities are made possible by UCDenver's affiliation with the Children's Hospital of Colorado, as well as the University of Colorado Hospital. 

Admission to the program requires that students have a full year of general biology, general chemistry, one course in general genetics, and general psychology. Statistics, anatomy and physiology, and molecular or cellular biology are also strongly suggested.
GRE test scores are required, as is a clear understanding of the field of genetic counseling, and experience working in counseling (paid or unpaid). 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $6,174 / Out-of-State: $22,374

Score: 81.1

#27. Iowa State University

Ames, IA

Master of Science in Genetics and Genomics

Website

The Master of Science in Genetics and Genomics at Iowa State University is a 32 credit program where students may select an area of experimental or theoretical genetics. Areas of interest include animal or plant, molecular, bacterial, biochemical, statistical, computational, and virology. The curriculum combines seminars in both student and faculty research, responsible research conduct, conceptual foundations of genetics, and bioethics activities. To fulfill their degree requirements, students will be assigned a committee who will direct the student's additional courses and thesis work. The degree generally takes two and a half years to complete. 

Between 2011 and 2016, 64% of the alumni of the MS in Genetics and Genomics program at ISU were employed within the field, and 18% were continuing their education. Recent graduates of the program are pursuing doctoral work at Duke and John Hopkins University; while others are employed at the US Department of Agriculture, the Iowa Criminalistics Laboratory, and Stine Seed Company. Priority admission is January 1 with a final deadline of February 1 each year. A 3.0 GPA is required, as is a bachelor's degree. The program recommends that students have at least one year of basic biology, math through calculus, physics, one course in transmission and molecular genetics, and a 300 or 400 level biochemistry and statistics classes. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $8,944: / Out-of-State: $22,656

Score: 81.7

#26. University of Oklahoma

Norman, OK

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

Website

The 48 credit Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program at the University of Oklahoma prepares its students for careers in genetic research or client-centered counseling settings. As a full-time enrollment program, students generally complete the degree in just under two years. The curriculum combines practicum, coursework, and a culminating thesis. Coursework includes classes on clinical and molecular genetics, medical genetics, counseling techniques, psychosocial theory, and cytogenetics. Practicum experiences can range from prenatal diagnosis counseling to clinical genetics. 

To gain entrance into the MS in Genetic Counseling program, candidates must possess a bachelor's degree in psychology, biology, or sociology. Prior undergraduate coursework should include one to two years of the following subjects: biology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, abnormal psychology, statistics, and genetics. GRE test scores are required, as is a 500-word statement regarding the candidate's interest in pursuing genetic counseling as a career. A CV or resume and transcripts are also required. The program strongly recommends that candidates have a strong familiarity with the field of genetic counseling that can be reflected by a volunteer or paid work experience with exposure to genetic counseling. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $5,119: / Out-of-State: $19,778

Score: 81.8

#25. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Greensboro, NC

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

Website

The Master of Science in Genetic Counseling at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro prepares its students to work as genetic counselors in prenatal, cancer, and adult health care clinics. The program is a total of 58 credits and includes ten credits of clinical rotations, as well as six credits undertaking a research project. Students will take classes such as Principles of Genetic Counseling, Molecular Diagnostics, and a Psychosocial seminar. Ethics and Genetics, as well as Mental Health Issues for Genetic Counselors, are also integrated into the curriculum. 

Competitive applicants to the program should have some experience within a counseling center or social services agency in a paid position, volunteer, or internship capacity. Particular weight is given to those who have been exposed to the work of genetic counselors. Applicants should possess a bachelor's degree that included upper-division genetics, biochemistry, and statistics courses. GRE test scores in the 50th percentile and no more than five years old also make for a competitive application. Additional materials include three letters of reference, a resume, personal essay, and transcripts from all previous institutions. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $5,219 / Out-of-State: $18,937

Score: 82.0

#24. University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI

Master of Science in Human Genetics

Website

The Master of Science in Human Genetics at the University of Michigan offers a research and coursework track to its graduate students. Within the research track, students are allowed to engage in the laboratory work of the department's faculty and graduate students. The research track culminates in a thesis. The coursework track does not require a thesis and instead allows students to focus on elective courses that apply to their future career paths. Students in both tracks will take classes in Gene Structure and Regulation, Basic Concepts in Population and Statistical Genetics, and the Molecular Basis of Human Genetic Disease. Recent alumni hold positions such as a research assistant in Gene Therapy at Yale University, a Computational Biologist at Tempus Biotechnology in Chicago, and a Ph.D. student in Biosciences at Stanford University.

The program can be completed in one year at full-time enrollment, or two years at part-time enrollment. To apply to the program, applicants should submit three letters of recommendation, transcripts, an academic statement of purpose, and a personal statement. GRE test scores are also a component of the application, as is a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate coursework. No one aspect of the application is given greater emphasis than another. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $22,368 / Out-of-State: $45,156

Score: 82.2

#23. Indiana University 

Indianapolis, IN

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

Website

At Indiana University, the Master of Science in Genetic Counseling combines clinical observations and laboratory work with coursework stemming from the most current research in genetic counseling research. The program is a total of 45 credits, which includes clinical rotations, a research project, and presentation of a seminar to the department, as well as a comprehensive examination. First-year coursework will cover topics such as Basic Human Genetics, Practical Prenatal Genetic Counseling, and Human Cytogenetics. Practicum work in the program will offer students the opportunity to observe patients with a wide variety of genetic conditions. Fieldwork and laboratory experiences are central to the program's curriculum. 

The MS in Genetic Counseling program also offers its students several academically rigorous seminars, conferences, and peer groups in which to glean further education. These include regular departmental seminars that discuss the work of faculty and other graduate students, a monthly journal club, a genetic syndrome of the month lecture, maternal-fetal medicine conference, and the Indiana Network of Genetic Counselors

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $8,448 / Out-of-State: $23,208

Score: 82.6

#22. University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

Website

The University of Cincinnati's Master of Science in Genetic Counseling is a collaborative program with UC and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. With classes at the hospital and the UC medical campus, opportunities abound for students to engage in clinical rotations with genetic specialists. The MS in Genetic Counseling was established in 1982 and is one of the first genetic counseling programs in the country. Students will take courses in the first year, such as Introduction to Cancer Genomics, Introduction to Psychosocial Genetic Counseling, and Clinical Teratology. At full-time enrollment of 15 credits per term, the program is generally completed in two years. Students are encouraged and supported to explore their specific niche within genetic counseling, whether it be working with prenatal patients, children, or adults. 

Admission to the program requires GRE scores, a curriculum vitae, transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. The University of Cincinnati has a wide array of financial aid available to graduate students in the form of scholarships, fellowships, tuition remission, and graduate assistantships. Cincinnati Children's Hospital and the university also have many jobs in relevant fields. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $12,790 / Out-of-State: $24,532

Score: 82.9

#21. Case Western Reserve University 

Cleveland, OH

Masters in Genetic Counseling

Website

The 40 semester hour Masters in Genetic Counseling at Case Western Reserve University combines coursework with clinical and lab rotations. Students in the program will engage in four eight week clinical rotations, with a variety of options of where these rotations take place. Cleveland is home to the Center for Human Genetics at University Hospital's Cleveland Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic, the Genomic Medicine Institute, and MetroHealth Medical Center. Students may focus their clinical work in settings that work with children, adults, prenatal, craniofacial specialties, and cancer specialties. The curriculum covers topics on embryology, molecular genetics, human development, and psychosocial issues. The Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences also offers the option to pursue a dual degree in Genetic Counseling and Bioethics

To apply to Case's Masters in Genetic Counseling program, potential candidates should have a minimum of one year in biology, genetics, and biochemistry in their undergraduate coursework. A minimum of one semester of statistics and psychology are also required. Competitive applicants will also have taken anatomy and physiology. Three letters of recommendation, evidence of experience as an advocate in a counseling-related setting, GRE scores, and a personal interview are also required components of the admissions application. The deadline for the program is December 15 for enrollment in the following fall term. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $43,854 / Out-of-State: $43,854

Score: 83.2

#20. The Ohio State University 

Columbus, OH

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

Website

The Ohio State University's Master of Science in Genetic Counseling prepares its graduate students for careers as ethical, knowledgeable, and research-based practitioners and leaders in the field of genetic counseling. The MS In Genetic Counseling is a 68 semester-hour program of full-time enrolment that spans five semesters. The curriculum begins with courses such as Foundations in Medicine, Foundations in Genetics and Foundations in Genetic Counseling. As students proceed in the program, they will take more advanced classes on counseling for cardiogenetics, pediatrics, reproduction, and cancer. Students will engage in a variety of practicums throughout the program and will begin research for their thesis in the first year of the program. Rotation sites in the program are in a wide variety of clinic settings in Columbus, Dayton, or Akron such as the Nationwide Children's Hospital, the OSU James Cancer Hospital and the OSU Wexner Medical Center Molecular Pathology Laboratory. 

Qualified applicants to the program should have a Bachelor's degree in any biological science, but behavioral science majors may be considered as well. Undergraduate coursework of at least one semester in genetics, psychology, biochemistry, statistics, and genetics are also required. It is highly recommended that candidates have experience working with a genetic counselor and working in a counseling setting. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $11,560 / Out-of-State: $33,032

Score:83.4

#19. Boise State University 

Boise, ID

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

Website

The Master of Science in Genetic Counseling at Boise State University is a 56 credit program that spans five semesters of full-time enrollment. The curriculum combines 41 credits of classes, four scholarly project credits, and 15 fieldwork credits. Students will take courses in public health, bioethics, counseling techniques, and principles of human genetics. The program is in line with the American Board of Genetic Counseling's established competencies. Students will be prepared to sit for the ABGC board certification exam upon graduation. Fieldwork credits encompass clinical rotations that equal 675 hours by the end of the program. 

Applicants to the program may have a Bachelor's degree in any field, although they must have at least one semester of biology, general chemistry, and biochemistry in the undergraduate coursework. One semester of genetics, statistics, and general psychology is also required. Experience working in counseling, advocacy, or crisis hotline setting is key to admission acceptance. Competitive applicants will also have taken classes in molecular biology, anatomy and physiology, cellular biology and medical terminology. GRE test scores are not required. Applications are due January 15 for the following fall term. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $6,471 / Out-of-State: $21,787

Score: 83.6

#18. Indiana State University 

Terre Haute, IN

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

Website

Indiana State University's Master of Science in Genetic Counseling is a 62 credit program that combines coursework in genetics and genomics with clinical rotations. Students will take classes in the Techniques of Counseling, Human Genetics, and Embryology in their first year. In their second year, coursework will focus on subjects such as Bioinformatics, Cytogenetics, and Population Genetics. Initial shadowing in a clinical setting will take place at Indiana State's Genetic Counseling Clinic in Terre Haute. The program's current clinical rotation sites include Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, the Women's Hospital at Deaconness, and Southern Illinois University. 

Admissions applications to the program are due January 1. Qualified applicants will have a Bachelor's degree in biological or behavioral science. Undergraduate coursework should include genetics, psychology, and biochemistry. GRE test scores, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and a resume, as well as exposure and experience in a counseling setting, are required. This is a highly competitive program that admits only eight new students per academic year. Those selected will be asked for an on-campus interview. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $7,272 / Out-of-State: $14,274

Score: 83.7

#17. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

St. Paul, MN

Master of Science in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology, and Genetics with Genetics Counseling

Website

The Master of Science in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics with an emphasis in Genetics Counseling (MCDB&G) at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a two-year program. The program collaborates with the Mayo Clinic, offering students many opportunities for career advancement in the field. Students will begin the program by taking classes such as Medical Genetics and Biochemistry, Introduction to Genetic Counseling and Introduction to Behavioral Genetics. The program is a total of 55 credits, and full-time enrollment is expected. Clinical internships and a research project paper are also components of the curriculum. 

Only ten students are admitted to the program per year. Financial support is provided through a limited number of teaching assistantships, which offer a monthly living stipend as well as partial tuition remission. Admission to the MS program requires that students have a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate studies. The program does consider applications from students who do not have a background in the biological or behavioral sciences. GRE scores above the 70th percentile, as well as experience working in mental health or advocacy setting, is critical for a competitive application. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $16,728/ Out-of-State: $25,884

Score: 84.9

#16. Boston University 

Boston, MA

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

Website

At Boston University, the Master of Science in Genetic Counseling brings together a spectrum of academic and real-world experiences to prepare its students for a career in genetic counseling. Clinical training, coursework, research project preparation, conferences, seminars, and journal clubs are all aspects of a student's learning experience of the BU Genetic Counseling Program. Students will begin the 48 credit program with classes such as Professional Issues in Genetic Counseling; Embryology, Teratology, and Prenatal Genetics; and Cancer Genetic Counseling. Fieldwork will take place at Boston University and the Boston Medical Center. Students may focus their fieldwork on prenatal, neurogenetics, cancer, pediatric, or cardiovascular genetics. All students complete a capstone project. Recent capstone projects have been on topics such as Experiences of Genetic Counselors Practicing in Rural Areas, Genetic Counseling for Lung Cancer, and Genetic Literacy in Sickle Cell Disease. 

The program accepts students with a variety of Bachelor's degrees. Prerequisite coursework is required in genetics, psychology, biology, statistics, and biochemistry. Experience in a counseling setting or other expertise related to genetic counseling is needed, as is a GRE test score, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $50,980/ Out-of-State: $50,980

Score: 84.9

#15. Northwestern University 

Chicago, IL

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

Website

The Master of Science in Genetic Counseling at Northwestern University was founded in 1990. The program's curriculum reflects the evolving state of genetic counseling. Through coursework, clinical rotations, and a research project, students will gain a thorough knowledge of genetic disorders and how to act ethically and with sensitivity as a genetic counselor. Students will take classes in cancer and adult genetics, disability studies, and epidemiology and statistics. Clinical rotations are offered throughout Chicago or other approved locations. Possible sites include ACL Laboratories, Advocate Christ Hospital, Insight Medical Genetics, NorthShore University HealthSystem, and University of Chicago Hospitals. NU is home to several genomic services and facilities, including the NUSeq Core, the NUgene project, and the Transgenic and Targeted Mutagenesis Laboratory. 

The average number of applications received by Northwestern's Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling is 250, and of these applicants, only 20 are accepted each year. Competitive applicants will have a Bachelor's degree within biological or behavioral science. Prerequisite courses should include statistics, molecular biology or cell biology, biochemistry, statistics, human genetics, and organic chemistry. GRE test scores are required, and it is highly recommended that students have some form of counseling experience, whether it be peer counseling, pregnancy counseling, crisis counseling and exposure to individuals struggling with mental or physical chronic illness. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $52,239/ Out-of-State: $52,239

Score: 84.9

#14. Michigan State University 

Chicago, IL

Master of Science in Genetics

Website

The Master of Science in Genetics at Michigan State University is a 30 credit program. The curriculum combines coursework with a thesis or non-thesis option, along with a variety of seminars. The degree is best suited for students wishing to pursue doctoral work in genetics or have the intention of a teaching career in genetics. In their first year, students will take classes in molecular biology, microbial genetics, and the theory and practice of teaching genetics. In later coursework, the curriculum will delve into subjects on genomics data analysis, methods in computational modeling, and theories and practices in bioinformatics. The MS in Genetics at MSU is home to the Genetics Graduate Student Organization.

The program offers stipends for graduate assistantships who engage in research and teaching during their assistantship or fellowship. If a student receives at least $20,000 from an external fellowship, they are eligible for Michigan's in-state tuition rate. Admission applications require GRE test scores, three letters of recommendation, a Bachelor's degree in the biological sciences, and a statement of research intent or career objectives. It may be possible to transfer in credits from other Michigan state schools or credits in genetics if they match MS U's curriculum. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $17,436/ Out-of-State: $34,260

Score: 85.3

#13. Texas A&M University

College Station, TX

Master of Science in Genetics

Website

The Master of Science in Genetics at Texas A&M University is a 32-36 credit program. Students may opt to fulfill the degree on the thesis track at 32 credits, or, the non-thesis track at 36 credits. Students in both tracks must pass a final examination. In the first year of the program, students are engaging in laboratory rotations related to their area of research. In the second year, graduate students will be assisting undergraduate genetics students. The program is intended for students who intend to complete Ph.D. work and have a long-term career goal of teaching in an academic setting. MS in Genetics faculty at Texas A & M bring a wide variety of research interests to their students such as gene editing and genetic engineering, sex chromosome evolution, comparative immunogenetics, and mammalian evolutionary genetics. 

The admissions application for the MS in Genetics at Texas A & M requires transcripts from all previous institutions, a statement of purpose. GRE test scores are not required. Applications are due December 1 for enrollment the following fall term. Approximately 12-15 students are accepted out of 90-125 applications each year. The twin cities of Bryan-College Station offer a low cost of living and many job opportunities for students attending TAMU. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $5,941/ Out-of-State: $16,4461

Score: 86.2

#12. University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham, AL

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

Website

The University of Alabama at Birmingham's Master of Science in Genetic Counseling is a 58 credit program. The program combines clinical training, a research project, and coursework in 21 months. In their first year, students will take an Introduction to Genetic Counseling, Advanced Medical Genetics and Genomics, and Research Design and Statistics. Students will also be introduced to the counseling process via a practicum in their first year. By the second year, clinical rotations and research will be emphasized. Possible sites for MS in Genetic Counseling students to fulfill their clinical rotations extend beyond UAB and to cities such as Jackson, MS, Kansas City, Portland, OR, and many others. 

The number of students admitted to the program varies depending on the number of open clinical rotation positions. Approximately six to ten new students are admitted each year. A background in the biological sciences is not required, but there are coursework prerequisites. Qualified applicants should have several terms of biology, biochemistry, genetics, statistics, and psychology in their undergraduate coursework. Three letters of recommendation, GRE test scores, a resume, a personal statement, and experience working with populations in a counseling or genetic lab setting are also required for consideration to the program. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $7,886/ Out-of-State: $17,910

Score: 86.6

#11. Tufts University 

Medford, MA

Master of Science in Biology with Genetics & Molecular Biology

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At Tufts University, the Master of Science in Biology with a concentration in Genetics and Molecular Biology combines ten graduate-level courses with research and a thesis defense. The program does not emphasize clinical rotations, but instead matches students with laboratory interests in the Biology department at Tufts. There are nine laboratories in the Department of Biology. Each is associated with their leading faculty member and range from research on genome stability, protein chemistry, reparation of DNA breaks, unusual DNA structures, cellular, molecular mechanisms, embryogenesis, biological diversity in nature, microbial communities and parasitic roundworms for the prevention of disease. Students may choose to complete a thesis or may enroll as an "Open Choice" student. Part-time enrollment is allowed. 

Students interested in the program should look into the faculty's research interests and identify their potential research mentor within their application materials. GRE scores, a 3.0 GPA, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement are required to apply. There are multiple possible deadlines, depending on whether the student is an Open Choice applicant or a regular Thesis student. Regular thesis MS students receive a full scholarship, and Open Choice students receive tuition assistance that covers approximately 25% of their tuition. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $49,892/ Out-of-State: $49,892

Score: 86.9

#10. University of South Florida

Tampa, FL

Master of Science in Public Health with Genetic Counseling

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The University of South Florida's Master of Science in Public Health with Genetic Counseling is a 42 credit program. Students who attend USF with full-time enrollment complete their degree requirements within 22 months. The curriculum combines coursework with practicum work and a thesis. Coursework covers topics such as History and Systems of Public Health, Population Assessment, Introduction to Genetic Counseling and Professional Development in Genetic Counseling. Elective courses range on topics from human genomics in medicine and public health to genomics, law, and policy. Clinical rotations take place in USF's Division of Genetics and Metabolism, within the genetic counseling and metabolic genetics clinics. Research projects with the program have included topics on infectious disease, child development, pediatric neuropsychiatry, rare metabolism disorders, and neonatal care. 

Application materials to the program require GRE, MCAT or GMAT test scores, and Official WES Evaluation, two or three letters of recommendation, a resume, a statement of purpose, and transcripts from all previous institutions. A Bachelor's degree in any field is acceptable, but students who have degrees in sociology, psychology, or social work tend to be the best prepared for the program. A background in business is also suited to a curriculum that emphasizes public health and health administration. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $8,350/ Out-of-State: $19,048

Score: 87.0

#9. University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

 

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The University of Utah's Master of Science in Genetic Counseling is a hybrid program with online classes, clinical or laboratory rotations at a variety of locations throughout the country, and thesis research. In their first year, students will take courses on biochemical genetics, perinatal genetics, and clinical embryology. In their second year, classes will delve into the ethical and legal issues of human genetics, and students will take several seminars in genetic counseling. Students are required to engage in clinical rotations on perinatal genetics, cancer genetics, pediatric genetics, and then a specialty area. Sites for rotations have included the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Utah, the Huntsman Cancer Hospital, the Cardiology and Neurology departments of the University of Utah, and Myriad Genetic Laboratories. 

Admission applications are due January 15 for entrance into the following fall term, and it is highly recommended that students submit applications by December 15. A personal statement should address why the student is interested in the field, their understanding of what a genetic counselor does, experience related to the field, and why they believe they're a good fit for the vocation. Three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a strong background in biology, biochemistry, psychology, and statistics are also required. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $6,725/ Out-of-State: $23,740

Score: 87.8

#8. North Carolina State University 

Raleigh, NC

Master of Genetics

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The Master of Genetics at North Carolina State University combines 17 core credits of coursework with 14 hours of elective courses. As part of the core coursework, students in the program will take molecular genetics, population and quantitative genetics, and experimental statistics for biologists. Elective course options include quantitative genetics and breeding, forest genetics, developmental genetics, and computational molecular evolution. NCSU is home to cutting edge laboratories and research facilities. Among these are the Genomic Sciences Laboratory, the Bioinformatics Research Center, and the Cellular and Molecular Imaging Facility. 

Graduate students pursuing the Master of Genetics at NCSU are offered several financial resources during their education. Genetics research assistants and teachings assistants receive a stipend, and may also be eligible for the Graduate Student Support Plan, currently a minimum of $667 a month. Health insurance and fellowships are also forms of support. Admission to the program is competitive. GRE test scores, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation are required. Applications are due by December 31 for those seeking financial assistance. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $8,492/ Out-of-State: $23,967

Score: 89.2

#7. Columbia University 

New York, NY

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

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Columbia University's Master of Science in Genetic Counseling balances the science of genetics with a compassionate perspective on professional genetic counseling. The program's curriculum combines coursework, fieldwork, and research. In their first year, students will take classes on family history and risk assessment, reproductive genetics, and foundations of research. During the second year, students will focus on topics in precision medicine, therapeutic genetic counseling, and professional formation. A variety of fieldwork is available to students, with specific clinical or laboratory work that focuses on cancer genetics, cardiogenetics, translational genomics, and neurogenetics. Community outreach is an essential component of the Genetic Counseling Program at Columbia. They are a lead site for the All of Us project. 

Gaining admission to the program requires that students have a strong background in the biological and behavioral sciences. One year of biology and chemistry is required. Candidates should have at least one semester of biochemistry, genetics (human or molecular), psychology, and a writing class. GRE test scores, volunteer and work experience, a minimum of 40 hours of one-on-one counseling experience, and three letters of recommendation are important components of the application. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $11,502/ Out-of-State: $26,604

Score: 89.3

#6. University of Georgia

Athens, GA

Master of Science in Genetics

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The University of Georgia's Master of Science in Genetics has received a T32 training grant from the National Institute of Health for the last four decades. The faculty at UGA represent a broad spectrum of academic expertise in molecular genetics, genomics, and evolutionary biology. The program's curriculum emphasizes the ethics of responsible research and successfully imparting research findings. Students select classes from topics such as ecological genetics, epigenetic control and genetic instability, and DNA modeling. The department has an active Genetics Graduate Student Association

Competitive candidates to the program will demonstrate their preparedness for graduate study and rigorous research in their personal statement. Letters of reference and undergraduate GPA are also essential for consideration. GRE test scores are not required but may be submitted as supplementary material. Applications are due by December 2, and top applicants will be invited in January or February for an interview. MS in Genetics students at UGA can also apply for the Robin Hightower Genetics Graduate Support Fund, the several internal research awards. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $8,704/ Out-of-State: $24,692

Score: 89.5

#5. Johns Hopkins University 

Baltimore, MD

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

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The Master of Science in Genetic Counseling at Johns Hopkins University combines clinical rotations, coursework, and a thesis. The program is a partnership between Johns Hopkins University's Department of Health, Behavior, and Society with the National Human Genome Research Institute. Graduates of the program are prepared to counsel and advocate for their clients' needs, as well as lead and guide doctors, policymakers and the general population about the role of genetics in social and health issues. Clinical rotations require at least 400 contact hours. Students have access to a wide variety of genetic, clinical training sites throughout the Baltimore-Washington area. The program is two and a half years at full-time enrollment, with some students engaging in a genetics clinic during the summer terms.

Competitive applicants to the Johns Hopkins MS in Genetic Counseling program will have taken at least one course in both biochemistry and genetics. A Bachelor's degree in the sciences is not required, and many applicants have backgrounds in the behavioral sciences or humanities. The admissions committee favors applicants who have clear experience working in a one-on-one counseling setting. GRE test scores are required. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $52,170/ Out-of-State: $52,170

Score: 89.7

#4. University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, WS

Master of Genetic Counselor Studies

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The University of Wisconsin-Madison's Master of Genetic Counselor Studies program balances science and counseling courses to prepare its graduates for careers in genetic counseling. The program is 21 months long, with students engaging in four to seven week-long clinical rotations in their first year, and three ten-week rotations in their second year. Trainees are supervised at sites such as the UW Carbone Cancer Center, the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Hematology Program, and the Comprehensive Program for Bleeding Disorders. Students in the program also complete a publishable research project. Coursework covers topics on Clinical Biochemical Genetics for Genetic Counselors, Cancer Genetics Risk Assessment and Counseling and Clinical Communication Skills for Genetic Counselors. A final comprehensive exam is also required for completion of the degree.

Admission requirements include a BAchelor's degree in any discipline, a GPA of 3.0, coursework in biology, biochemistry, statistics, and advanced genetics. GRE test scores are also required. Knowledge of the field gained from shadowing of a genetic counselor, as well as one-on-one counseling experience, are also important components for a competitive application. Additionally, admissions applications should include transcripts from all previous institutions, as well as three letters of recommendation. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $10,728/ Out-of-State: $24,054

Score: 91.5

#3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

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The Master of Science in Genetic Counseling at the University of Pennsylvania combines coursework, professional development seminars, and clinical internships. Students take 14 credits in core courses and engage in a different internship each term of their first year. In their second year, students take classes on ethical issues in genetic counseling, medical genetics, and work on their thesis. Students engaged in their clinical internships in the second year will see a minimum of 50 cases. Locations for the clinical rotations include the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Applications to the MS in Genetic Counseling program at UPenn require a personal statement, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, an interview, and paid or unpaid work related to genetic counseling. The program admits 16 new students each year and receives 150 applications per year on average. The application is due January 15 for the following fall term. The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania offers many research and fellowship opportunities for graduate students. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $33,604/ Out-of-State: $33,604

Score: 97.2

#2. Stanford University 

Stanford, CA

Master of Science in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling

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The Master of Science in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling at Stanford University is a 21 month, full-time program. The program's curriculum takes place over six quarters. In the first year, students will take a total of 18 credits in classes such as Clinical Embryology, Human Molecular Genetics, and Responsible Conduct of Research. Students will engage in clinical rotations starting in the winter term of their first year. Clinical rotations are ten weeks in length and take place at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Stanford Hospital. After the first year, students will select a specific specialty to pursue a counseling role in the Bay area. The average number of cases students see throughout the program is 125-150. 

The program recommends that competitive applicants job shadow a genetic counselor, attend a genetic counseling seminar, or complete a genetic counseling internship. Additional experience working in a counseling setting or conducting research are also valuable components of a competitive application. The applications also require GRE test scores, prerequisite courses in biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, psychology, and statistics. Three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a supplemental essay are also required. Applications are due in early December. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $48,987/ Out-of-State: $48,987

Score: 99.3

#1. Harvard University 

Cambridge, MA

Master of Science in Computational Biology and Quantitative Genetics

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Harvard University's Master of Science in Computational Biology and Quantitative Genetics is an 80 credit program. The degree is intended to prepare its graduates for careers in analyzing, interpreting, and managing large amounts of biostatistical data. The program is typically two years in length. Students will gain knowledge in five areas: biology, bioinformatics, computational skills, biostatistics, and epidemiology. Examples of classes include Applied Regression Analysis, Molecular Biology for Epidemiologists and Introductory Genomics and Bioinformatics for Health Research. The Computational Biology and Bioinformatics faculty at Harvard engage in a variety of approaches and analyses to investigate the nature of human disease and genetic risk prediction. 

Applicants to the program should have an undergraduate degree in biology, psychology, economics, or mathematics. Calculus, linear algebra, and training in molecular biology and genetics are strongly recommended. Required application materials include a statement of purpose, GRE test scores, three letters of recommendation, A CV or resume, and transcripts from all previous institutions. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health offers financial support to graduate students via scholarships, grants, and fellowships. 

Graduate Tuition: In-State: $44,816/ Out-of-State: $44,816

Score: 100.00

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