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Course Descriptions

The Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program accepts students on a full-time basis only. The first year of the program involves a combination of coursework, professional activities and clinical activities. In addition to rigorous classroom training, students have one dedicated professional observation day per week. This day consists of varied experiences, including, but not limited to, observation in the following areas: cytogenetics lab, inpatient and outpatient medical clinics, surgical/medical procedural clinics, molecular genetics labs, and a newborn screening lab. Additionally, students will interact with genetic counselors practicing in the field. In their first year, students will complete one small project involving creation of patient/community educational materials. Additionally, seminars and journal clubs are offered to complete the educational experience.

The second year of training is largely focused on clinical training, but also involves some coursework. Clinical training begins in the summer after completion of the first academic year and involves rotations in five different clinics. Clinical rotations will occur in prenatal, pediatrics, oncology, neurology and other medical clinics. We strongly encourage students to pursue one clinical rotation at an “away” site, for the sake of exposure to training in a different geographical region.

The purpose of the required research thesis is to expose students to the clinical genetics research process. Students may engage in a variety of research areas, including psychosocial issues, legal/ethical issues, clinical care, or basic science issues. Students will be required to submit their research to the Journal of Genetic Counseling or another medical journal, though acceptance of the article is not a requirement for graduation. In their second to last semester, students will attend the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) National Conference. Registration costs for attending the conference will be covered by the program.

To receive the Master of Science in Genetic Counseling degree, students must complete 60 credits (46 credits of classroom and research courses and 14 credits of clinical rotations). Beginning in Fall 2014, tuition for the 14 credits of clinical rotations in the second year of the program has been waived.

First Year Classes:

Fall
Issues Confronting Genetic Counselors: Principles and Practices (ATCG 600)
Clinical Genetics in Practice I (ATCG 601)
Cytogenetics (ATCG 610)
Molecular Genetics (ATCG 613)
Human Development (ATCG 628)
14 credits total

Spring
Clinical Genetics in Practice II (ATCG 602)
Genetic Counseling Pre-Practicum (ATCG 668)
Design and Analysis in Genetics Research (ATCG 701)
Clinical Genetics (BIO 530)
Pathophysiology (BMS 612)
13 credits total

Additional First Year Activities:

Introductory Rotations
Seminars
Educational project

Summer Between First and Second Years:

Clinical Rotation (ATCG 702)
2 credits total

Second Year Classes:

Fall
Clinical Genetics in Practice III (ATCG 603)
Special Topics in Adult Genetics (ATCG 615)
Genetic Counseling Practicum (ATCG 669)
Design and Analysis in Genetics Research (ATCG 701)
Clinical Rotations (ATCG 702)
Biochemical Genetics (BIO 514)
21 credits total

Spring
Clinical Genetics in Practice IV (ATCG 604)
Clinical Rotations (ATCG 702)
Thesis (ATCG 708)
10 credits total

Additional Second Year Activities:

Seminars
NSGC conference