Admissions

Genetic Counseling Program Admissions


 

Application Deadline: December 15, 2020

 


 

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

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.
  • The General Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for the verbal, quantitative and analytical writing tests must be supplied with the application for admission (code 2927 with no department code).
  • Submission of a personal statement as part of the application. Applicants should use the personal statement to discuss their interest in becoming a genetic counselor.  The personal statement should highlight an applicant's strengths, previous experiences related to genetic counseling, and understanding of the field.
    • 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.
  • Admission to the Genetic Counseling Program requires an interview by the faculty and clinical staff.
  • A minimum TOEFL score of 80 on the IBT or a minimum IELTS score of Band 6.5, if applicable.  TOEFL or IELTS 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.

GENETIC COUNSELING ADMISSIONS MATCH

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 (https://natmatch.com/gcadmissions) 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 https://agcpd.org/.

Match Fee Waiver Application

The Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD) has established a waiver for the $100 fee associated with the NMS 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 an NMS number.  Click here to be linked to the Match Fee Waiver Application.  

Applications for the match fee waiver are due by October 1, 2020. Applicants will be notified on October 30, 2020 as to whether they have received a waiver. There are a limited number of waivers, so not all applicants will receive a waiver.  Instructions for how to register for the NMS match will be provided to those who receive a waiver.

Waivers are non-transferable to future match cycles or other prospective students. Prospective students who are applying for a match fee waiver will be required to write a short essay and to upload at least one of the following documents demonstrating financial need:

  1. A copy of a letter on official letterhead from a government agency verifying that you or your family have qualified for public assistance based on low income criteria anytime within the past 5 years
  2. A copy of your financial aid award letter from another / previous institution dated within 5 the past years
  3. A copy of your approved GRE fee waiver (for tests taken within 5 years of the application deadline)
  4. A copy of your federal Student Aid Report (SAR) that verifies you qualified for financial aid within the past 5 years based on a family contribution* of:
    1. Not more than $1,500 if the student is a dependent student
    2. Not more than $1,900 if the student is an independent student

APPLICATION PROCESS

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 three letters of recommendation (evaluations) through SOPHAS Express.
  6. Upload unofficial transcripts for all education in the United States and/or Canada directly to SOPHAS Express.  
  7. 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.
  8. Submit official GRE scores to the University of Pittsburgh code 2927, with no department code.
  9. Submit official TOEFL/IELTS scores (if applicable) to University of Pittsburgh code 2927.
  10. 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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