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At the University of Minnesota, we receive more than 100 applications each year and from that group we select about 40 applicants for an interview. Applicants come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Most have a Biology major but this is not necessary. We have accepted students with other majors such as chemistry, music, public health, etc.

Successful applicants have
  • Strong academics with a GPA above a 3.0 - average GPA of 3.4
  • Strong GRE scores - usually above 70 percentile
  • Required coursework in organic chemistry, biochemistry, general genetics, statistics and probability, and psychology or sociology.
  • Some type of client advocacy experience such as volunteer work with troubled teens, working in a shelter for battered women or a suicide prevention hotline, etc.
Additional areas of strength in an application include
  • Work experience of any kind
  • Research experience in any area
  • Applicant has a good understanding of genetic counseling through a shadowing experience in the clinic or by interviewing a practicing genetic counselor or has done research about the profession that is adequate to afford the applicant a real-life understanding of the profession. (link to shadowing application if you're in Minnesota)
The Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD) Admissions Guidelines

Applying to the University of Minnesota Genetic Counseling Program

Below are important instructions to follow for applying to the genetic counseling program. These ensure that your application is directed to us in the program in time to be considered for admission.  Please call or e-mail with any questions at (612) 626-3267 or Please follow these steps carefully!

Admissions Requirements
  • A four-year Bachelor's degree with a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required for admission.
  • Completion of prerequisite courses: organic chemistry, biochemistry, general genetics, statistics and probability, and psychology or sociology.
Application Deadline
  • December 15 is the application deadline, and we admit for fall semester only.
Application Process - How to Apply
  • Submit all application materials electronically through the ApplyYourself admissions system. See the chart below for specific instructions.

Required Materials:

How to Submit:


Major: Select "Molecular-Cellular-Dev Biol and Genetics MS."

Required fields: Personal Information, Application Information, Educational Background, Test Information Self-Reported, Languages, Awards & Activities, Employment/Residence Information, Financial Support, Applicant Statement #1, Program Supplementary Information (Resume or CV), MCDBG Program Form (to fill in prerequisites), and Recommendations.

Optional fields: All other fields or application materials are optional, but will be taken into consideration if submitted.

Access the online application.

Application Fee

Click here for more information about fees.


Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the online application. International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English. Please do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts, there is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review.

If you are admitted, the University will then request official copies of this material.

Click here for important information about uploading your transcripts and credentials.

Letters of Recommendation

Acceptable recommendations will come from current or former professors who can assess your potential for graduate work. Other recommenders, such as employers, are also acceptable and encouraged. ApplyYourself is the preferred method for recommendations, but letters can also be emailed to Three letters are required - if you are reapplying, only two are necessary.

GRE Scores

Scores should be sent to the University of Minnesota. Institutional code: 6874, departmental code: 0210. It takes about two weeks for scores to interface with Apply Yourself.

English Language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)

Click here for more information about English language test scores.

International students from countries where English is not the first language must include TOEFL scores.

Resume or CV

Please attach your resume to the "Resume or CV" section of the Program Supplementary Information.

Personal statement 

Attach this statement to Applicant Statement #1. The other applicant statement sections can be left blank. Please limit your statement to no more than 6 double-spaced pages. Please use the following questions to guide your statement:

• How did you become interested in pursuing a career in genetic counseling?

• What personal experience have you had which led you to know you would enjoy a career in genetic counseling?

• Describe what you are looking for in a career.

• What aspects of genetic counseling can you foresee that might present difficulties for you and how would you deal with those difficulties?

• What do you think are your greatest personal strengths that would help you become successful in a genetic counseling career?

• Describe what you are looking for in a graduate program.

Mailing address:
Bonnie S. LeRoy, MS, CGC
Graduate Program of Study in Genetic Counseling
Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development
University of Minnesota
321 Church Street
6-160 Jackson Hall
Minneapolis, MN 55455

We embrace the University of Minnesota's position that promoting and supporting diversity among the student body is central to the academic mission of the University.