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Important program announcement for 2020 applicants: Based on careful examination of recent preliminary evidence regarding the predictive validity of the GRE for performance on the ABGC Certification Exam using both national and our own program data, we will not collect GRE scores for 2020 applicants. Any GRE information submitted by students will be removed from applications prior to review by our admissions committee, so please do not include this information via sending official scores or including scores in your application materials. We will continue to evaluate the role of the GRE in our admissions moving forward as more data become available, but want to get this out to as you prepare to apply.

In light of the uncertainty surrounding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel early next year, the University of Minnesota's Genetic Counseling Training Program has decided to conduct all interviews for the 2020 admissions cycle remotely. This decision was made in order to protect the safety of all involved and prevent applicants from feeling pressured to travel if in-person interviews were optional. Making this decision now allows us to plan for a robust interviewing experience for our applicants. We are committed to providing our applicants the same opportunity to get a feel for our program's space and community. Interviewees will have the opportunity to participate in live interactions with program faculty, staff, and students, as well as view virtual tours of our recently renovated office space and the opportunity to sit in on a class just like in years past.

Depending on public health recommendations, we MAY hold a campus visit day for applicants before rankings are due. Decisions on whether or not this will happen will not be made until early 2021. IF a campus visit day is able to be held, the program will submit its final rankings prior to the visit day so that attendance or lack thereof will have no effect on ranking decisions on our end. For those interested in visiting prior to that time, we encourage you to explore the University and Twin Cities area independently - we cannot accommodate office visits or other campus tours during the admissions process.

University of Minnesota Admissions Process

At the University of Minnesota, we receive more than 150 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. 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.

Fieldwork Tracks

Students have the opportunity to spend their second year at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN instead of the Twin Cities for all of their fieldwork rotations; there is a question in the application where applicants can express their interest in this option. More information can be found on our Fieldwork Training page.

Match Process

The University of Minnesota Genetic Counseling Program is participating in the Genetic Counseling Admissions Match through National Matching Services (NMS). The GC Admissions Match has been established to enhance the process of placing applicants into positions in masters-level genetic counseling programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). The Match uses a process that takes into account both applicants’ and programs’ preferences. All applicants must first register for the Match with NMS before applying to participating genetic counseling graduate programs. At the conclusion of all program interviews, both applicants and programs will submit ranked lists of preferred placements to NMS according to deadlines posted on the NMS website. The binding results of the Match will be released to both applicants and programs simultaneously in late April.

Please visit the NMS website at ( to register for the Match, review detailed information about the matching process, and to view a demonstration of how the matching algorithm works.


Due to the unprecedented effects of COVID-19 during spring/summer 2020, our graduate program will accept S/N grades for prerequisites during that timeframe. However, we advise students to take the prerequisite courses as A-F whenever possible. You will have an opportunity to briefly outline your situation in the application if your university automatically converted classes to satisfactory/unsatisfactory or if you experienced extenuating circumstances.

Strong applicants have

  • Strong academics with a GPA above a 3.0 - average GPA of 3.5
  • Required coursework in biochemistry, general genetics, intro statistics and probability, and intro psychology. Classes may currently be in progress - for grades received in December after the application deadline, forward a copy of your transcript on to 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).
  • Some type of client advocacy experience such as volunteer work with troubled teens, working in a domestic violence shelter or a suicide prevention hotline, etc.

Additional areas of strength in an application include

  • Work experience of any kind
  • Research experience in any area
  • 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 )

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 e-mail with any questions:

Admissions Requirements

  • A four-year Bachelor's degree with a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Completion of prerequisite courses: biochemistry, general genetics, intro statistics and probability, and intro psychology.

Application Deadline

  • December 1 is the application deadline, and we admit for fall semester only.

Application Process - How to Apply

  • Submit all application materials electronically through the online application system. See the chart below for specific instructions.
    Required Materials:How to Submit:
    ApplicationMajor: Select "Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology and Genetics-Genetic Counseling-MS." Applicants who are applying to the combined PhD/MS program will need to fill out the MS application as well as the "Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology and Genetics-PhD" application. The application content should be the same (recommendation letters will need to be uploaded twice by letter writers - once for each application). PhD/MS applicants will also need to fill in "9999" for the Match ID found in the Genetic Counseling section of the MS application, since the PhD track does not participate in the Match.
    Proposed Term of Entry: Select Fall of the next year.

    Required sections : Biographical Information, Personal Background, Genetic Counseling, Academic History, Test Scores, Employment, Materials (Personal Statement and Resume/CV only), and Recommendations.

    Optional sections : All other sections of Materials are optional, but will be taken into consideration if submitted.

    Access the online application.
    Application FeeClick here for more information about fees.
    TranscriptsUnofficial 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 RecommendationAcceptable 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. The online application the preferred method for recommendations, but letters can also be emailed to Three letters are required - if you are reapplying, only two are necessary. Recommendations do not need to be received by the December 1st deadline, but they should be received by December 15th.
    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 or IELTS scores.
    Resume or CVPlease attach your resume to the "Resume/CV" area of the Materials section.
    Personal statement

    Attach this statement to Personal Statement under Materials. The other Statements/Other Materials sections can be left blank (except for Resume). Please limit your statement to no more than 4 double-spaced pages. Please use the following questions to guide your statement:

    • How did you become interested in pursuing a career in genetic counseling?
    • Tell us something unique about yourself that helps us better understand why genetic counseling is a good fit for you.
    • Describe what you are looking for in a career.
    • Describe what you are looking for in a graduate program.

Mailing address

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