Genetic counselors work with individuals to assess their risk of a genetic disorder and couples trying to conceive a child who has concerns about passing along a known genetic disorder. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in 2021 that 2,900 people held a position as genetic counselors that year.

The BLS also indicated that the demand for people with experience and training as genetic counselors should grow at a rate of 18 percent per year until 2031. Due to the small number of people employed as genetic counselors, the 18 percent annual growth rate equates to 500 new positions opening every year.

People with a highly scientific mind who want to embark on a rewarding and well-paying career could find what they are looking for in genetic counseling. The median salary is over $80,000 per year. Those interested in pursuing this career must search for online genetic counseling master's degree programs and earn their degree before employers consider hiring them.

What Will I Learn in an Online Genetic Counseling Master's Degree Program?

Master’s degree programs in genetic counseling consist of a comprehensive framework of core courses and some electives. In addition to what students learn in class lectures and any internships they complete, they should have or develop critical thinking skills and organizational skills. Compassion for clients in difficult situations regarding their health or ability to conceive children is also crucial for success in this role. Completing an online master's degree in genetic counseling can take up to two years, depending on how many credits students can transfer from previous college coursework.

Examples of courses students can expect to learn include:

  • Biology
  • Counseling and Communication Skills
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Human Genetics
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Research Methods
  • Statistics

What To Look For in an Online Genetic Counseling Master’s Program?

Students entering this competitive field should ensure that the school they choose has received recognition from the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling. They should also be aware that most employers require new genetic counselors to have obtained a certificate from the American Board of Genetic Counseling. The curriculum should be comprehensive, covering a broad range of topics in genetics, counseling theories and techniques, medical genetics, and ethical considerations. Evaluate the qualifications and expertise of the faculty members, ensuring they have strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in genetic counseling.

Access to resources such as online databases, genetic literature, and genetic counseling tools is essential for staying current in the field. Interactive online platforms that facilitate engagement and collaboration among students can enhance the learning experience. Consider programs that offer practical training experiences, such as supervised clinical rotations or internships, to gain hands-on skills in genetic counseling practice. Additionally, explore the availability of support services such as academic advising, career counseling, and networking opportunities within the genetic counseling community. By considering these factors, individuals can make informed decisions when selecting an online master’s program in genetic counseling.

Admission Requirements for a Master's in Genetic Counseling

The Indiana University School of Medicine online is another institution of higher learning that offers the best master's degrees in genetic counseling. Below are some of that school's admissions requirements, which are on par with what most other schools expect.

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00. The degree should be in the fields of biology, life sciences, biochemistry, or psychology; however, this school and most others consider other types of degrees during the application evaluation process.
  • Completion of at least one course in biology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, psychology, or genetics. Although most schools do not require advanced courses like molecular genetics, molecular biology, or human anatomy and physiology, admissions counselors may give preference to students who have completed one or more of these courses with satisfactory grades.
  • One to three letters of recommendation from a person familiar with the applicant's counseling activities or academic achievements.
  • A statement of purpose that outlines the applicant's interest in genetic counseling.
  • A resume that demonstrates relevant experiences in a laboratory, research, education, or employment setting. The applicant's experience can include previous internships or volunteer work.

Courses included in a master's degree program for genetic counseling tend to take place in person rather than 100 percent online. However, most schools offer a hybrid of the two learning options.

List of Genetic Counseling Master’s Degree Programs

Find an online or campus-based master’s program in genetic counseling today – our state-by-state listings make it easy to find a great program near you.

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

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

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.

Tara Moretti, LMHC
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