The Genetic Counseling Program admits 10 to 12 students annually based on academic performance, relevant experience, and an interview.

Genetic Counseling Program Admissions


Application Deadline: December 10, 2021




All applicants to the genetic counseling graduate program must meet the following requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum quality point average (QPA) of 3.0.
  • Completion of an undergraduate course in each of the following: genetics, organic chemistry, general biochemistry, statistics, and a behavioral or social science. An applicant does not necessarily need to complete all prerequisites by the time they submit their application. However, if accepted to the program, a student must complete all prerequisites prior to enrollment with an official transcript sent to the Office of Student Affairs. Applicants may wish to include in their application their plans for completing prerequisite courses. Please see the FAQ section about prerequisites for more information.
  • UPDATE: The Admissions Committee decided to make the General Graduate Record Examination (GRE) optional, as it is not always felt to be the best predictor of success in graduate school. If you feel like it will enhance your application, it is optional to submit. The GRE scores can be supplied with the application for admission (code 2927 with no department code).
  • Applicants should use the personal statement to discuss your interest in becoming a genetic counselor at the University of Pittsburgh Genetic Counseling Program. Drawing upon your lived and professional experiences, please elaborate on how these have shaped your journey to becoming a genetic counselor with an emphasis n how this will inform your practice as a future genetic counselor.
    • Applicants who have experienced a specific hardship (i.e. canceled shadowing, a semester with lower grades) due to COVID-19 or other specified event (ie. illness, family issues, etc.), can include a statement after the personal statement that describes the hardship. This is not required and will not count toward the page number recommendation for the personal statement.
  • Applicants are encouraged to gain exposure to the field of genetic counseling by volunteering at clinical genetic centers, speaking with practicing genetic counselors, and/or pursuing other opportunities to educate themselves about the field prior to admission. Many applicable experiences can shape your understanding of the field of genetic counseling. Such experiences may include podcasts, webinars, interviewing of genetic counselors, shadowing/observational experiences, conferences, selected journals and textbooks, relevant literature, etc. This experience tracking form is required to upload with your application.
  • Admission to the Genetic Counseling Program requires an interview by the faculty and clinical staff.  All interviews will take place virtually.
  • A minimum TOEFL score of 80 on the IBT, a minimum IELTS score of Band 6.5 or a minimum Duolingo English Test score of 105, if applicable. TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo must be taken within two years of application.
  • World Education Services (WES) Credential Evaluation of previous international degree program(s) if applicable. See our Web Site and WES for more information

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the genetic counseling program here.

If you have any additional questions about admissions requirements, contact the Genetic Counseling Program Email.


The Pitt genetic counseling program is participating in the genetic counseling admissions match through National Matching Services (NMS) beginning with admissions for fall 2018. The GC admissions match has been established to enhance the process of placing applicants into positions in masters-level genetic counseling programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). The match uses a process that takes into account both applicants’ and programs’ preferences. All applicants must first register for the match with NMS before applying to participating genetic counseling graduate programs. At the conclusion of all program interviews, both applicants and programs will submit ranked lists of preferred placements to NMS according to deadlines posted on the NMS Web site. The binding results of the match will be released to both applicants and programs simultaneously in late April.

The following are the track codes for the University of Pittsburgh genetic counseling program that applicants should use when ranking programs:

13310 2-Academic Yr - MS program - Scholarship
13311 2-Academic Yr - MS program

Visit the NMS Web site at ( to register for the match, review detailed information about the matching process, and to view a demonstration of how the matching algorithm works.

For additional information, visit the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD) Web site at

Match Fee Waiver Application

The Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD) will offer a limited number of waivers for the $100 USD registration fee for the 2022 GC Admissions Match. Prospective students who demonstrate financial need AND have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater can apply for a match fee waiver. Prospective students should apply for a fee waiver BEFORE registering for the GC Admissions Match.

Applications for the match fee waiver are due by October 6, 2021. Applicants will be notified on October 30, 2021 as to whether they have received a waiver.  For more information and the match fee waiver application please visit the following website:



All new genetic counseling MS and/or dual-degree genetic counseling MS/MPH applicants must apply through SOPHAS Express (not SOPHAS, but SOPHAS Express).

  1. Apply online through SOPHAS Express.
  2. The SOPHAS Express application includes a supplementary question that prompts you to enter your National Matching Services (NMS) number. Applicants are required to register with NMS before they apply to the Pitt program. Once you are registered, you will receive an identification number which you must include as the response to this question.
  3. Pay application fee ($50) directly to SOPHAS Express.
  4. Submit personal statement through SOPHAS Express.
  5. Submit GC experience tracking form through SOPHAS Express.
  6. Submit three letters of recommendation (evaluations) through SOPHAS Express.
  7. Upload unofficial transcripts for all education in the United States and/or Canada directly to SOPHAS Express.
  8. Submit a course-by-course WES evaluation for all education outside of the United States (not including study abroad but including non-English speaking Canadian institutions) directly to the Pitt Public Health student affairs office. See our Web Site and WES for more information.
  9. If including GRE scores in your application, submit official GRE scores to the University of Pittsburgh code 2927, with no department code.
  10. Submit official TOEFL scores (if applicable) to University of Pittsburgh code  2927. IELTS or Duolingo scores may be substituted for the TOEFL. Additional information can be found here.
  11. For further information, see Pitt Public Health’s How to Apply page.

Special note: Pitt Public Health holds its applicants and students to the high ethical standards expected of public health professionals. Any form of misrepresentation or plagiarism discovered in an application will result in immediate rejection of the applicant. The incident also will be reported to SOPHAS Express, the public health shared application service, and the genetic counseling program.

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Noel C. Harrie
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