Is this career right for you?

  • Do like to think about how genetics contributes to medical conditions?
  • Do you want to work in a field that helps others understand how to manage a genetic condition?


Genetic counseling combines providing information about genetic conditions with counseling and support, so that individuals can make personal decisions about the management of their health, their children’s health or their pregnancies. These professionals integrate professional practice and human genomics to deliver client-centered genetic counseling services, promote informed health policy, and engage in scholarship, advocacy and leadership activities throughout their careers. Genetic Counselors complete a Master's degree in genetic counseling from an accredited university program. Their educational backgrounds include biology, nursing, social work and psychology. Training consists of coursework in genetics and counselling theory as well as clinical rotations within genetics departments


Some schools may require very different courses for this type of graduate program. The below recommend a general list of courses that you could consider taking, but you should always check with your preferred school of choice for specific requirements.

A general list of courses to consider:

  • General biology (two semesters)
  • Genetics
  • General chemistry (two semesters)
  • Organic Chemistry I
  • Biochemistry
  • Introductory psychology

Additional courses could help you stand out in your application. You can chat with a Pre-Health Advisor to learn more about these types of courses.

Other Desired Traits and Experiences

Getting into graduate school is about desiring to be a better person and better future professional. OPHA's Pre-health Advisors are here to help you find out what experiences are right for you that can help you have a competitive application to your future genetic counseling program, showcasing your unique skills that set you apart.

Updated June 2022