MS in Genetic Counseling

Overview of MS in Genetic Counseling Track

The curriculum consists of 40 semester hours: 22 semester hours of didactic coursework and 7 semester hours of research. Additionally, there are four 8-week clinical rotations, one 2-week laboratory rotation and one 6-week summer clinical rotation required of all students, which provide an additional 11 credit hours. Courses include material covering basic genetics concepts, embryology, medical genetics, biochemical genetics, molecular genetics, cytogenetics, genomics, cancer genetics, population genetics, genetic counseling principles, human development, psychosocial issues, interviewing techniques, and ethical and professional issues in genetic counseling.

Clinical rotations include one intensive two-week laboratory rotation in the Cleveland Clinic Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Institute. There are four 8-week clinical rotations in the second year, during which students obtain clinical experience in General Genetics (children and adults) Prenatal Genetics, and Cancer Genetics. These rotations take place at The Center for Human Genetics at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, the Center for Genomic Personalized Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic and MetroHealth Medical Center. Students also will have the opportunity to pursue two elective rotations with specialty clinics or intern with genetic counselors working for commercial testing companies. Additionally, there is one off-site rotation, a 6-week clinical rotation which is held at Akron Children's Hospital in Akron, Ohio during the summer. Some students may rotate at MetroHealth in the summer depending on scheduling. Moreover, students rotate through the Cleveland-based institutions for weekly observational experiences starting early in year 1 of the program.

Students are also required to attend and participate in a number of other activities such as weekly Clinical Patient Conferences, Genetics Grand Rounds, Departmental Seminars, Professional Issues Seminar and Journal Club. Finally, all first-year students participate in Collaborative Practice I. This year-long course focuses on students learning how to work in interprofessional teams by completing community-based projects, with didactic coursework and leadership mentoring throughout. Genetic counseling students work with students from dental medicine, nursing, medicine, psychology, physician assistance and social work, among other disciplines.

Students also participate with the doctoral graduate students in the Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences' annual retreat and present their research projects during the department’s Research poster sessions. Students also have an opportunity to give educational talks to local schools, participate in DNA Day at local high schools and other groups when available.