You are here

Program Information

Video about Mayo internship

Program Description:

This is a full-time, two-year Master of Science program, fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). Our objective is to provide students with the academic expertise and clinical skills necessary to enter the profession of Genetic Counseling. We integrate selected course work with first-hand diagnostic medical genetics laboratory and clinical genetics experiences. Graduates will hold a Master of Science degree through the graduate program of Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics in the department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development, with an emphasis of study in Genetic Counseling. Upon graduation, all graduates will be eligible to apply to the ABGC for active candidate status.

Program Vision and Mission Statements

Program Quick Facts

Information about Campus/Student Testimonials

Program Videos - Learn more about the actual experience at the University of Minnesota Genetic Counseling Program by viewing a series of videos:
Introduction to the University of Minnesota Genetic Counseling Program
Clinic, Teaching, and Research Experiences at the University of Minnesota
Real Life as a Genetic Counseling Student at the University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota Genetic Counseling Program adheres to the Essential Capacities for Matriculation, Promotion, and Graduation of the Medical School.
In addition, the Genetic Counseling Program requires that by graduation, students have the capacity to demonstrate the skills described in the Practice-Based Competencies of the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling.
The Program also adheres to the University policy regarding Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence.

Student Conduct Code

The MCDB&G program is committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities for students and scholars with various economic disadvantages, disabilities, special talents, leadership qualities and for those who come from various ethnic and racial backgrounds. A diverse student body enriches graduate education by providing a multiplicity of views and perspectives that enhance research, teaching and the development of new knowledge. We recognize the mission, policies, and practices exhibited by the University of Minnesota Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action and the Office of the Vice President and Vice Provost for Equity and Diversity.



Year One Required Courses:

Fall Semester
GCD 6110Medical Genetics/Biochem6 credits
GCD 8911Introduction to Genetic Counseling Skills and Practice
(A-F grade base only)
3 credits
Psy 5137Intro to Behavioral Genetics3 credits
GCD 8993Directed Study - Section 1 Molecular Lab Rotation
(A-F grade base only)


2 credits
Spring Semester
GCD 8073Genetics & Genomics in Human Health3 credits
GCD 8912Genetic Counseling in Practice4 credits
PubH 6040 or BTHX5000

Dying & Death in Contemporary Society or Genetics & Assisted Reproduction: Law and Ethics

(or other relevant elective)

2 credits
GCD 8993Directed Study - Section 2 Cytogenetics Lab Rotation
(A-F grade base only)
2 credits
GCD 8994Genetic Counseling Research Seminar (S/N)2 credits

Year Two Required Courses:

Summer Semester
GCD 8001Clinical Internship 1 (A-F grade base only)

3 credits

Phar 5201Health Sciences Applied Terminology (elective)2 credits
Fall Semester
GCD 8994Research Project Paper (S/N)2 credits
GCD 8913Psychosocial Issues in Genetic Counseling I4 credits
GCD 8002Clinical Internship 2
(A-F grade base only)
5 credits
Spring Semester

GCD 8914

GCD 8915

Ethical & Legal Issues in Genetic Counseling

Psychosocial Issues in Genetic Counseling II

3 credits

3 credits

GCD 8003Clinical Internship 3
(A-F grade base only)
5 credits
GCD 8994Research Project Paper (S/N)2 credits

Class Descriptions

Policy on Credit Requirements for Master's Degrees (see Plan B)


Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development
Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics
Center for Bioethics
Pediatric Grand Rounds
CBS Seminar Series


Most of our students receive support through Teaching Assistantships for at least two of their four semesters. These assistantships offer partial tuition remission and pay a monthly stipend. In addition, any out-of-state student working as a Teaching Assistant is eligible for in-state tuition for one semester after working for at least one semester.

Students also apply for loans to help support their studies. The University of Minnesota has an office of financial aid available to answer any questions about loans for graduate study at

For the most up-to-date information about costs for attending graduate school at the University of Minnesota, please check the tuition and fees website at

Current tuition for 2019-20

All students are covered by malpractice insurance and have health care insurance as graduate students enrolled in the program.

Affiliated Program Faculty:

Susan Berry, MD, Dept. of Pediatrics, Genetic Counseling Program Medical Director
Betsy Hirsch, PhD, Director, Medical Cytogenetics Laboratory
Deb DeBruin, PhD, Center for Bioethics
Michelle Dolan, MD, Cytogenetics & Molecular Diagnostics
Amy Gaviglio, MS, Minnesota Department of Health, Newborn Screening Program
Sue Petzel, PhD, Dept. of OB/GYN, Clinical Psychology
Mary Ella Pierpont, MD, PhD, Clinical Genetics, UMP
Brian Van Ness, PhD, Genetics, Cell Biology and Development
Chet Whitley, MD, PhD, Dept. of Pediatrics
Bharat Thyagarajan, MD, PhD, Director of Molecular Diagnostics
Matt McGue, PhD, Dept. of Psychology


The University of Minnesota Master’s in Genetic Counseling program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling, Inc., located at 7918 Jones Branch Drive, Ste 300, McLean, VA 22102.  ACGC can be reached by phone at 703.506.7667.