Below are some frequently asked questions related to admissions in the genetic counseling program. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of my recommendation letter writers doesn’t want to submit their letter through the application system. Can they email or mail their letter?
Please contact us at GCGrad@umn.edu to discuss this issue.
I am not a biology major. Can I still apply to the program?
Yes, absolutely! We have had students with all different kinds of majors, including journalism, public health, psychology, and music. The most important thing is that the prerequisites have been completed.
I will not have completed all my prerequisites before the application deadline. Should I still apply?
Classes may currently be in progress - for grades received in December after the application deadline, forward a copy of your transcript on to email@example.com as soon as grades are available. One remaining prerequisite may be completed in the spring semester if needed (the same year you intend to begin school in the fall). If your prerequisites are in progress, indicate “IP fall” or “IP spring” next to the class in the Genetic Counseling section of the application.
Do you accept AP credit for the prerequisites?
Yes, we accept AP credit for Psychology and/or Statistics.
It is difficult to find shadowing opportunities in the area I live. Will my application still be competitive?
Yes, we recognize it can be difficult to find shadowing opportunities depending on your location. If you aren’t able to shadow, try speaking to a genetic counselor over the phone for an informational interview. Many genetic counselors are open to student contact – you can go to the NSGC website to find genetic counselors’ contact information. The NSGC website also has a link to the Master Genetic Counselor series, where you can watch a few simulated genetic counseling sessions. Another idea would be to visit friends or relatives who live in an area where there are more genetic counselors and see if you can shadow a GC while you’re visiting!
Who should I get recommendation letters from?
It is always a good idea to get a letter from one or two professors who can attest to your academic ability. It can also be extremely helpful to get a letter from a work supervisor or the supervisor for your advocacy experience. Through the aggregation of all your recommendation letters, we are hoping to get a view of your academic abilities, ability to work in a helping setting, and other skills gained through work experience.
For the prerequisites, how long does the class need to be? For example, do I need to a take a year of biochemistry? Where can the prerequisites be taken at?
We just require one semester for each prerequisite. The biochemistry course should be a dedicated course, not a survey or part of a molecular genetics class. A lab is not required. The psychology and stats classes can be intro classes, and all of the prerequisites can be taken at any accredited institution (community college and online classes are acceptable). If you can get a transcript listing the class and the grade, we will accept it.
How much advocacy experience do you require?
We do not have a requirement for the length of time you spend on your advocacy experience, but several months is very helpful – you want to have enough experience to relate it back to genetic counseling and the skills you need as a genetic counselor. Another reason having several months’ experience can be helpful is that your supervisor would know you well enough at that point to write you a letter of recommendation.
I see the GRE is no longer a requirement. I have taken the GRE, so should I send my scores anyway?
No. We will not include GREs in any way when making admissions decisions. If you submit GRE scores, we will remove them from the application before our admissions committee sees them. There is absolutely NO advantage to be gained by sharing your GRE scores with us, as no one reviewing applications will see them.
Is your program STEM OPT extension eligible?
Yes, our students qualify for the STEM OPT Extension and we have supported alumni through this process.
How much shadowing should I get?
Depending on where you live, it may not be possible to shadow more than once. If it's possible, a half or full day of shadowing is helpful. Given COVID, we understand that many applicants will not be able to obtain shadowing experience. If that is the case, we suggest looking into the following resources online: the Master Genetic Counselor Series and the Global Genetics and Genomics Community case studies.
Where can I learn more about Graduate School Funding at the University of Minnesota?
How else can I learn about the program?
We offer monthly information meetings via Zoom leading up to the December 1 application deadline. These meetings are led by a member of our senior leadership team and provide an opportunity to learn about our program, the admissions process, and the genetic counseling field. They typically take the form of a presentation followed by time for questions. We often have a current student join us to answer questions from their perspective and have space for individual consultations with a faculty member. Below are the links to register for upcoming info sessions. All sessions are listed in Central time.
UMN Genetic Counseling Program FAQ for students without documents
Do you accept undocumented students (no DACA status, no social security number, no Form I-766/EAD) into your program/academic institution?
Yes, the University of MN accepts students with no documentation of citizenship (no DACA status, no social security number, no Form I-766/EAD). See here for more information about Admissions Policies and Guidelines.
If the undocumented student resides in your program’s state, would the individual have to pay in-state tuition fees or international student tuition fees?
Please consult the Residency and Reciprocity brochure for more information about residency requirements and how undocumented students might be eligible for MN Residency. If you have questions about individual cases, we would recommend that you refer these to the Residency Officer, through firstname.lastname@example.org. For specific questions about benefits available for undocumented students, we recommend that you contact the Immigration Response Team at email@example.com.
Do you accept DACAmented students (has social security number, has Form I-766/EAD) into your program/academic institution?
If the DACAmented student resides in your program’s state, would these DACAmented students have to pay in-state tuition fees or international student tuition fees?
Please consult the Residency and Reciprocity brochure for more information about residency requirements and how DACA students might be eligible for MN Residency. If you have questions about individual cases, we would recommend that you refer these to the Residency Officer, through firstname.lastname@example.org. For specific questions about benefits available for undocumented students, we recommend that you contact the Immigration Response Team at email@example.com.
How do your application fees differ for US citizens and permanent residents vs. undocumented, DACAmented, or international applicants?
Application fees to the University of Minnesota Graduate School are $95 for international applicants and $75 for U.S. citizens/permanent residents.This is determined by the way that applicants answer question prompts when filling out the application. If a person indicates that they are not a US citizen, and that their visa status is "Other/Unknown" they would be charged the $95 fee.
What are some limitations to financial aid from your institution for undocumented/DACAmented students?
Is your institution federally funded?
Yes, the University of Minnesota receives Federal Funds.
If yes, will undocumented/DACAmented students be accepted as international students?
The University of Minnesota Graduate School only has two designations for students; Resident or Non-Resident. Please consult the Residency and Reciprocity brochure for more information about residency requirements and how DACA students might be eligible for MN Residency. If you have questions about individual cases, we would recommend that you refer these to the Residency Officer, through firstname.lastname@example.org. For specific questions about benefits available for undocumented students, we recommend that you contact the Immigration Response Team at email@example.com.