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Graduate Studies in Genetic Counseling

Providing students with the academic expertise and clinical skills essential for success in the genetic counseling profession.

"Employment of genetic counselors is projected to grow 41 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Genetic counselors should have better than average job prospects overall." - Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15

"Genetic counseling: A growing area of opportunity" - a recent article from Science Magazine (June 13, 2016)

Genetic Counseling

Program quick facts
  • Established in 1989
  • Accredited by the Accreditation Council of Genetic Counseling, awarded re-accreditation in 2014
  • One of 35 graduate programs in North America
  • Accepts 10 new students each year
  • Over 175 students have been admitted since inception of program
  • Offers teaching assistantships to first-year students (includes partial tuition remission and stipend)
Our graduates
  • Pass the board exam (95.7% pass rate)
  • Remain in the field (84% of grads work in the field in some capacity)
  • Attain leadership roles within the profession (NSGC presidents, ABGC board of directors, program directors)
  • Publish abstracts through NSGC or ASHG (48 students in the last 8 years)
  • Publish their master’s degree work in a peer-reviewed journal (21 students in the last 8 years)

Genetic Counseling Program Information Sheet

We are very excited to announce the Richard King Genetic Counseling Fund, which will help genetic counseling students with their research and other scholarly activities.

You can give online using this link:

Mary Ahrens, Richard King, and Bonnie LeRoy at the program graduation brunch in May 2015

Alumni News

September 2016 - At this year's NSGC conference, 5 of our recent grads (David Seiffert, Kara Schoeffel, Amber Gemmell, Hillary Handler and Alyssa Kne) presented their research in poster presentations and 2 recent grads (Alex Cummings and Katie Agre) were accepted for platform presentations.

October 2015 - Colleen Wherley (2014) and Lynn Schema (2012) had their articles published in the October 2015 issue of The Journal of Genetic Counseling. Colleen's article is entitled "Form Follows Function: A Model for Clinical Supervision of Genetic Counseling Students." Lynn's article is entitled "Clearing the Air: A Qualitative Investigation of Genetic Counselors' Experiences of Counselor-Focused Patient Anger."

August 2015 - Daniel Groepper (2013) and Rachel Riesgraf (2011) have had their articles published in the August 2015 issue of The Journal of Genetic Counseling. Dan's article is entitled "Ethical and Professional Challenges Encountered by Laboratory Genetic Counselors" and Rachel's article is entitled "Perceptions and Attitudes About Genetic Counseling Among Residents of a Midwestern Rural Area."

April 2015 - Whiwon Lee (2013) and Julianne Hartmann (2009) had their articles published in the April 2015 issue of The Journal of Genetic Counseling. Whiwon's article is entitled "Who is at Risk for Compassion Fatigue? An Investigation of Genetic Counselor Demographics, Anxiety, Compassion Satisfaction, and Burnout." Julianne's article is entitled "Genetic Counselor Perceptions of Genetic Counseling Session Goals: A Validation Study of the Reciprocal-Engagement Model."

March 2015 - Stephanie Goettl (2013) was featured on Phoenix local news discussing breast and ovarian cancer screening.

December 2014 - Matt Bower (2001) and Joline Dalton (2000) have both written chapters in a recent book called Genetic Counseling for Adult Neurogenic Disease: A Casebook for Clinicians. Matt and Joline are also clinical supervisors for our program.

Congratulations to NSGC Award Winners!
  • 2016 Cultural Competency Student Scholarship Award: Mike Suguitan
  • 2014 Outstanding Volunteer Award: Heather Zierhut (U of MN, 2006)
  • New Leader: Sara Pirzadeh (U of MN, 2005)
  • New Leader: Heather Zierhut (U of MN, 2006)
  • 2003-2007 ABGC Board of Directors: Troy Becker (U of MN, 1992)
  • 2008 NSGC President: Angela Trepanier (U of MN, 1994)
  • 2013 NSGC President: Rebecca Nagy (U of MN, 1996)
  • 2013 ABGC Board of Directors: Karen Powell (U of MN, 1994)