Choosing the Right Online Genetic Counselor Degree Program

The Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC) is the accreditation board for graduate genetic counseling programs. The council advances the quality of genetic counseling education by "developing standards, and by evaluating and accrediting graduate-level programs."

Students who want a career as a genetic counselor start with a bachelor's degree and continue their education until they have a graduate degree in genetic counseling. It is imperative that students make sure that the college or university that they want to attend is an accredited institution, and that the genetic counseling program is an accredited program. Students who do not verify that a school and genetic counseling program are accredited may not be able to obtain licensure or certifications, and may not be able to work in genetic counseling.

Bachelor’s Degree

Future genetic counselors usually choose a bachelor's degree major such as psychology, biology, another major in the sciences, or a social sciences degree. Courses in communications, counseling, and healthcare are likely to benefit students who want to become genetic counselors.

Master’s Degree

Students who want to enroll in an online master's degree program in genetic counseling are likely to find a variety of program options. The MS in Genetic Counseling online program at Boston University also includes coursework from the "Mental Health Counseling & Behavioral Medicine Program, Graduate Medical Sciences, and the School of Public Health."

Students often complete an internship, research, clinical hours, or other requirements in addition to coursework. Some schools also have students participate in grand rounds. The curriculum focuses on evaluating, diagnosing, monitoring, counseling, and treating patients. The students learn to become motivated, sensitive, and competent genetic counselors.


Earning a doctorate degree in genetic counseling provides students with advanced clinical skills in genetic counseling and the opportunity to perform independent research. Students also take comprehensive exams. One example is the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination that students take after they complete coursework while enrolled in the Ph.D. in Human Genetics, Genetic Counseling program at the University of Pittsburgh. Some students choose programs that offer dual degrees.

What Genetic Counseling Degree is Best for Me?

Bachelor’s DegreeMaster’s DegreeGraduate CertPh.D. or PsyD
I am interested in gaining entry-level experience in genetic counselingx
I want to get started in my genetic counseling career before I pursue more educationx
I want to become a licensed professional counselorx
I want to pursue or switch to a niche counseling specialtyx
I already have a counseling degree and want to gain specialized knowledgex
I want to work in academia, administration, or clinical practicex

Genetic Counseling Degree Program Curriculum

The curriculum for genetic counseling degree programs may vary based on the degree level and the particular college or university. Some topics include medical genetics, reproductive genetics, applications in genetic counseling, and cultural and social issues in genetic counseling.

Bachelor's: Students take courses that include psychology, chemistry, biology, and other courses that prepare students for graduate genetic counseling programs. Bachelor’s degree programs usually require four years of study and the completion of about 120 credit hours of study.

Master's: The number of required credit hours often varies among genetic counseling programs at the master's degree level. The MS in genetic counseling program at Bay Path University requires 59 credit hours of study, while the MS in genetic counseling program at Boston University requires 48 credit hours of study.

Students take courses such as Applied Research Methods in Genetic Counseling and Professional Issues in genetic counseling.

Doctorate: Doctorate degree programs in genetic counseling require students to complete coursework, an internship or other field experience, a dissertation, and clinical hours. Required credit hours may vary by the college or university.

Sample courses include Human Population Genetics and Risk Calculation in Genetics Counseling.

Genetic Counseling Degree Program Clinical Requirements

Students complete an internship or fieldwork hours at every genetic counseling degree level. The number of clinical hours or the length of the internship is likely to vary based on the particular degree. Another reason for the hours varying is the requirements of different colleges and universities. Students can choose to focus their placement on clinical or research settings in an area of interest. For example, the UT Southwestern Genetic Counseling program based in Dallas, Texas, offers a variety of fieldwork placements that allow students to rotate through practice settings to gain practical experience. Fieldwork sites include pediatric, cancer, prenatal, and industry settings, amongst others.

List of Genetic Counseling Degree Programs

Looking for an online or campus-based genetic counseling degree program near you? Browse our state-by-state school listings below.

Jump to Your State Listings


Master's Programs
405 Hilgard Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405
(310) 825-4321


352 Mansfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269
(860) 486-2000


Master's Programs
201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
(404) 727-6123


210 N 7th St
Terre Haute, IN 47809
(812) 237-6311


Master's Programs
588 Longmeadow Street
Longmeadow, MA 01106
(413) 565-1000

New Jersey

Master's Programs
1000 Morris Avenue
Union, NJ 07083
(908) 737-5326

New York

2900 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11210
(718) 951-5000

North Carolina

1400 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
(336) 334-5000


10900 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 368-2000

Master's Programs
190 N. Oval Mall
Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-6446


34th & Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6303
(215) 898-5000

South Carolina

Certificate Programs
320 Stanley Avenue
Greenwood, SC 29649-2099
(864) 388-8000

Master's Programs
Columbia, SC 29208
(803) 777-7000

South Dakota

Master's Programs
2001 S Summit Ave
Sioux Falls, SD 57197-0001
(605) 274-5516


Master's Programs
2101 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37240
(615) 322-7311

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

Other Counseling Degree Program Profiles

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