Allied Health Professions/
Genetic counselors are health professionals with specialized graduate degrees and experience in the areas of medical genetics and counseling. Most enter the field from a variety of disciplines, including biology, genetics, nursing, psychology, public health and social work.
They provide a critical service to individuals and families considering undergoing genetic testing by helping them identify their risks for certain disorders, investigate family health history, interpret information and determine if testing is needed. The genetic counseling process helps people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease.
The genetic counseling profession is rapidly expanding and diversifying. Heightened public awareness coupled with scientific advances in reproductive technologies and knowledge about the genetics of a wide range of adult disorders, have increased the demand for genetic counselors in clinical, teaching, research, administrative, commercial, public health, public policy, private practice and consulting environments. This trend is expected to continue well into the 21st century.
Save money and earn your bachelor's in health sciences or healthcare management more quickly with maximum credit transfer at Excelsior. Our low tuition makes it affordable for you to earn your degree from accredited college while you earn a living. Receive up to 32 credits for your health-related occupational license. Learn more about Excelsior College ...
Part 4: How to Attend College Without Going into Too Much Debt
Part 2: How to Attend College Without Going into Too Much Debt
Federal Versus Private Loans: Do Your Homework!
Do’s and Don’ts When Applying to College (Part II)
Your Credit and Your Health Sciences Career
Part 3: Accreditation Matters
Applying for Financial Aid (Part II)
Why Diversity Matters in the Health Professions
Start preparing for your health career in high school
Healthcare Reform 101
To become a certified genetic counselor, you must obtain a master’s degree in genetic counseling from a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). You can find a program in the United States or Canada on the ACGC website.
Coursework typically includes clinical genetics, population genetics, cytogenetics and molecular genetics coupled with psychosocial theory, ethics and counseling techniques. Clinical placement in medical genetics centers approved by the ACGC is an integral part of the degree requirements.
Search for schools that provide training for this career.
After earning a degree, genetic counselors become certified by sitting for a certification exam administered by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.
Search for funding opportunities related to this career
Search for enrichment programs related to this career
Search for academic degree and certificate programs related to this career
Allied Health Professions
Last updated: January 22, 2015
©2012 American Dental Education Association