How to Apply
Direct Application Process
To apply to the Genetic Counseling program, prospective students must directly apply through the online portal.
The application must include:
- CWRU online application form completed by the student.
- Unofficial transcripts sent directly from all previous institutions attended (includes both degree and non-degree programs, regardless of the number of courses taken).
- Three letters of recommendation, including at least one academic reference.
- Personal Statement.
- Current CV/Resume.
- A $50.00 application fee.
Application Deadline: December 15th each year.
Genetic Counseling Admissions Match
The Genetic Counseling Training Program at Case Western Reserve University is participating in the Genetic Counseling Admissions Match through National Matching Services (NMS). 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 participate in 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 website. The binding results of the Match will be released to both applicants and programs simultaneously in late April.
Please visit the NMS website to register for the match, review detailed information about the matching process, and to view a demonstration of how the matching algorithm works.
Please note: after you have registered with NMS, you will need to put your NMS ID number at the top of your CV/Resume and/or at the top of your personal statement, which will be included in the application for admission to CWRU.
The genetic counseling program at CWRU has ONE track in the NMS match. This is the same whether an applicant is considering the MS in genetic counseling program, or our dual degree program. Admissions decisions regarding the dual degree program in bioethics do not take place until the spring of the first year of the genetic counseling program, and are made by the student, the bioethics department, and the genetic counseling program faculty.
At CWRU, we value well-rounded students and strive to create a diverse learning community by performing a holistic review of all applications. The admissions committee, comprised of program leadership and clinical faculty, considers both academic and non-academic experiences when reviewing applications. Enrollment in the program is limited and competitive.
Admission requirements are as follows:
Degree and GPA
Fulfillment of the requirements for admission to the School of Graduate Studies at Case Western Reserve University must be met as well as those required by the Genetic Counseling Training Program. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree at the time of admission with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from a fully accredited university or college.
All of the pre-requisite courses do not have to be completed prior to the application deadline. Applicants may apply with NO MORE than two pre-requisite courses in progress. In addition, one semester of genetics must be completed by the application deadline.
- Biology: minimum of one year
- Genetics: minimum of one semester
- Biochemistry: minimum of one semester
- Statistics: minimum of one semester
- Psychology: minimum of one semester
- Anatomy and/or Physiology are highly recommended
- TOEFL scores for international students
A specific type or duration of experiences is NOT required for admission to our program. Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate a good beginning knowledge of the genetic counseling profession and will be able to articulate how the career aligns with their personal values and professional goals. This exposure to the field of genetic counseling is often obtained from direct experiences with the genetic counseling profession, experiences that build skills used by genetic counselors in practice, and research about the field. Examples of experiences include, but are not limited to the following:
- Counseling or advocacy experiences that are relevant to genetics, medical genetics and genetic counseling are highly recommended, as these experiences provide opportunities to build communication skills, empathy, and interpersonal skills. Examples may include counseling with a crisis hotline, working with a Planned Parenthood program, working at a peer/community counseling centers (paid or volunteer), working with individuals with disabilities, or working with hospice.
- Direct contact with genetic counselors by shadowing working genetic counselors is recommended. However, we recognize that direct patient observation may be limited by HIPAA regulations and/or the pandemic. Experience can also be obtained by interviewing practicing genetic counselors, participating in genetic counseling-related activities (case conferences, webinars), and/or viewing the NSGC master genetic counselor series.
- Employment, internship, or volunteer work in a genetic counseling or genetics setting, such as a clinic, laboratory, public health organization, or advocacy group. Teaching assistant positions in biology or genetics courses are also appropriate.
One of the most important pieces of the application process is your personal statement. While your transcripts and resume tell us part of your story, the personal statement is the place for you to stand out from other applicants. This should not just be a recap of your courses and volunteer experiences, but should help our admissions team really understand you as a person and why you are interested in our program. The personal statement may also be a place for you to address any gaps or weaknesses in your application. Please use the personal statement to tell us how you became interested in genetic counseling, what experiences in your life have influenced your decision to pursue genetic counseling, what about our program interests you, and what are your unique attributes or experiences that will help you excel as a genetic counselor. The personal statement should be no longer than 3 pages, double-spaced.
A resume or curriculum vitae (CV) is an excellent way to feature all of your accomplishments and activities that may not be captured on your academic transcript, letters of recommendation, or personal statement. Please target your resume to highlight your exposure or interaction with the genetic counseling profession. This would include work or volunteer experiences, academic awards or achievements, publications, and/or unique experiences that make you a well-rounded applicant. Please note that we anticipate that applicants will not have all types of experiences listed.
Letters of Recommendation
The program requires three (3) letters of recommendation from all applicants. You are encouraged to select individuals from different aspects of your life that can comment on different strengths that will make you a successful graduate student and genetic counselor. We recommend that at least one of your letters of recommendation be academic in nature. Relatives or family friends should not provide letters of recommendation. Letters can be directly submitted into the application portal.
A personal interview is required, and typically takes place in February or March. All interviews are by invitation only and are conducted to assess maturity, written and oral communication skills, and awareness of the professional role of the genetic counselor and the genetic counseling profession.
GRE scores are not required and will not be reviewed.