The average GPA for matriculating students at CWRU is 3.5. However, we take a holistic view of an applicant's complete file in determining admission, which means we look at everything the applicant has submitted. A high GPA will not automatically lead to admission, and neither will a low GPA automatically lead to a denial. We ask that if you have an undergrad GPA under 3.0 (on a 4.0-point scale), you address the GPA and you highlight what you have done since your undergrad experiences that you believe will make you a successful graduate student.
The Personal Statement is extremely important, and applicants should pay specific attention to how they present themselves in it.
Consider whether your personal statement is grammatically sound, and whether it provides a clear picture as to who you are. Applicants should emphasize those experiences which have directly caused them to become aware of and knowledgeable about the genetic counseling profession. Genetic counselors are highly motivated and hardworking individuals, so the Admissions Committee looks for applicants who demonstrate initiative, self-direction, excellent communication skills and who can demonstrate their passion for becoming a genetic counselor.
Please note: If COVID-19 has interfered with your ability to shadow or participate in advocacy experiences, please note these in your personal statement and how you have reworked your efforts to learn about genetic counseling.
Letters of recommendation should be written by individuals who can provide an accurate picture of your academic capabilities, your communication skills (both written and spoken) and your potential to successfully engage in graduate education.
We recommend that one recommendation should be faculty from your past academic institutions. Other excellent sources for letters of recommendation include genetic counselors you have shadowed and supervisors of internships or advocacy experiences which you have had. Recommendation letters from friends or family members are discouraged and are not appropriate.
Please note: while CWRU provides an online recommendation form for referees to complete, your referee should also provide a personal letter to accompany the form.
While the number of applications received by the program varies from year to year, in general we receive over 120 applications each year, and we invite 40-60 applicants for an interview. At this time, the program is able to accept 9 students per year. The program ranks the vast majority of applicants invited to interview.
December 15th of each year is the application deadline. It is important that all required materials such unofficial transcripts from all institutions in which you have completed coursework and letters of reference be submitted by the application deadline if you wish to have your application reviewed by the Admissions Committee.
If you will be taking a prerequisite course or courses in the upcoming semester that will not be reflected on your current transcripts, please let us know in your personal statement (or resume) which course or courses are currently in progress to meet the prerequisites.
Yes! The program has two tracks for admission in the program – a 21-month track and a 33- month track. Both matriculate in the fall semester. The 33-month track is designed for students to devote 2 to 2.5 days per week to the genetic counseling program. The 21-month program is designed as a full-time program, and students are expected to devote 5 days per week to the genetic counseling program. The 33-month track is specifically designed to accommodate a part-time training environment for students who may need to work more hours per week outside of school, may have family or childcare obligations, or may have a disability that would make attending class or participating in clinical rotations 5 days per week challenging.
No. The genetic counseling program at CWRU requires students to be in Cleveland, on campus for the program. All clinical rotations are in Northeast Ohio.
PPossibly. While every student at CWRU has a guaranteed summer placement at one of our fieldwork training sites, some students prefer to complete their summer rotation at a different location – close to family, friends, or in a city where they anticipate employment in the future. We do not guarantee summer placements in other locations, but our clinical rotation coordinator will work with you to secure these placements, if interested.
The National Society of Genetic Counselors website is an excellent resource and contains videos of master genetic counseling sessions to learn more about the profession. There are also other webinars hosted by NSGC periodically throughout the year that are free to register for. You may also wish to contact practicing genetic counselors in your area to learn more about the profession and inquire about opportunities they may offer prospective students. One source for finding practicing genetic counselors in your area is through the "Find a Genetic Counselor" page on the NSGC website.
Yes. We do not have rules or regulations on working while enrolled in our program. Every student is different, but most students in the 21-month track typically find that working 10-15 hours a week during the first year of the program is reasonable. Some students continue to work during the second year; however, commitments to clinical rotation placements often require students to reduce their outside employment workload. The program may discuss limiting working hours with students who are unable to complete coursework or other assignments or activities. We would anticipate that students in the 33-month track may be able to work more than 10-15 hours a week.
Yes. We take a holistic approach to application review and all applications will be considered. The GPA requirement is in place to ensure that admitted students have the capacity to handle the rigor of our graduate-level curriculum. Applicants with an undergraduate cumulative GPA under 3.0 may demonstrate their ability to achieve academic success in the program in other ways. Taking graduate level courses in 1-2 of the prerequisite courses is one example. Graduate degrees will supersede an undergraduate GPA.
First, every applicant invited to interview is qualified to be part of our program, and we would be thrilled to have you as one of our students. Our interview process takes place via Zoom and is intended to be conversational. It is a chance for us to get to know you as a person, while also allowing you to get to know us. Please relax, enjoy the experience, and come prepared to tell us all about your experiences that have led you to genetic counseling. It is also an opportunity for applicants to decide if they see themselves thriving at CWRU. There is an informal information session about the program and Cleveland, one-on-one interviews with our admissions team, and opportunities for interactions with our current students. We typically have optional opportunities to observe our student-led journal club, if possible. Finally, optional student-led tours are usually available in early April, once our interviews are complete and our rank list has been submitted.
No. Safe and affordable housing located close to campus is available, either within walking distance or via free campus shuttles. In addition, clinical placements at University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic are either within walking distance or can be reached by a free-shuttle ride. MetroHealth can be reached by public transportation. For the summer rotation in Akron, students often carpool. Students without a car will be paired with students who have a car in Cleveland.
Our program has been specifically designed to be completed during working hours, 9 am - 5 pm, Monday through Friday. We encourage our students to explore Cleveland on nights and weekends, once work related to the program has been completed. Work during evening hours or during the weekend would be expected, however, if a student chooses to work part-time during the week. First-year students are also paired with a second-year mentor to aid in the transition to graduate school. There are also genetic counseling mentors throughout the program who welcome contact from students who need someone to talk to. Finally, the program leadership are always available for students to contact, for any reason.
CWRU also has counseling services available 24/7, free of charge for all students. Counseling Services offers help to students who experience a variety of difficult personal and interpersonal challenges. Graduate school can be very demanding and adjusting to these challenges is not always easy. The UCS office is staffed with psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, and doctoral-level counseling trainees. We recommend that students feel free to utilize these services at any time. UCS also has walk-in hours and emergency assistance. Please refer to the Counseling Services website for additional information: https://students.case.edu/departments/wellness/
The CWRU campus has a number of resources available to graduate students. Information about resources can be found at the Case website: http://www.cwru.edu. In particular, graduate students have access to:
STUDENT HEALTH INSURANCE
Information about the CWRU student health insurance plans can be found at the website below. All students must have health insurance unless they have health insurance through their family, in which case, they may request a waiver of health care.
University Health and Counseling Services, is a division of Student Affairs. Health Services is staffed by several professionals including physicians, nurse practitioners, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and registered nurses. A number of the physicians are affiliated with University Hospitals of Cleveland and with the CWRU School of Medicine. Call (216) 368-2450 for an appointment.
CWRU also has counseling services available 24/7, free of charge for all students. Counseling Services offers help to students who experience a variety of difficult personal and interpersonal challenges. Graduate school can be very demanding and adjusting to these challenges is not always easy. The UCS office is staffed with psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, and doctoral-level counseling trainees. We recommend that students feel free to utilize these services at any time. UCS also has walk-in hours and emergency assistance. Please refer to the Counseling Services website for additional information https://students.case.edu/departments/wellness/
Most graduate students live off campus in one of the pleasant residential neighborhoods within walking or biking distance of the University. There is a variety of very reasonably priced housing available in these areas. Information about off-campus housing can be obtained from: Off Campus Housing at (216) 368-3780 or the CWRU housing website http://housing.cwru.edu.
CWRU currently has 848 groups on campus for students, both graduate and undergraduate. A list of groups, with website and contact information can be found here:
Yes. However, priority and consideration for the 33-month track will be given for candidates who would benefit from a part-time track. If you match to the 33-month track, you will not be able to switch to a 21-month track upon matriculation.
Yes. International students are welcome to apply for the 21-month track at CWRU. Visa requirements for full-time student status does not allow us to accept international students for the 33-month track at this time.