The Program in Genetic Counseling is an innovative, 21-month Master of Science program that will prepare graduates to become a Certified Genetic Counselor (CGC®) through the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC).

Program Mission & Objectives

The mission of the Program in Genetic Counseling at Washington University is to educate future generations of genetic counselors to serve the growing need for diverse, culturally competent, innovative genetic counselors serving patients, working in industry, and conducting research.

The objectives of our program are to provide a rigorous curriculum, broad and robust clinical experiences, and expert research guidance to graduate students who are well-prepared to fill the ever-expanding professional roles in which genetic counselors may be employed.

Curriculum Design

The program takes place over 21 months: Fall and Spring semesters in the 1st year, the intervening summer between 1st and 2nd year, and Fall and Spring semesters in the 2nd year.

Our students will take nine didactic courses which have been specifically developed for the program. The course content and pace will be driven specifically to accommodate the learning of this small cohort.

Our students will also enroll in 2 required and one elective course available to students in other WUSM training programs. The two required courses, “Current Topics in Human and Mammalian Genetics” and “Genetics and Genomics of Disease”, are also taken by predoctoral students in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences at WUSM.

Required Coursework
Course TitleInstructor(s)Credit hrs.# weeks
1st Year Fall Semester
Introduction to Genetic Counseling IRachael Bradshaw, MS and Tomi Toler, MS414
Current Topics in Human and Mammalian GeneticsMarwan Shinawi, MD314
Human Embryology (online course)DJ Lowrie Jr, PhD (Univ. of Cincinnati)217 self-paced lectures
Laboratory Genetic CounselingMeagan Corliss, MS314
Genetic Counseling Journal ClubKatherine Abell, MD1~5 meetings
1st Year Spring Semester
Introduction to Genetic Counseling IIRachael Bradshaw, MS and Tomi Toler, MS414
Clinical Genetics SpecialtiesTomi Toler, MS and Marwan Shinawi, MD314
Genetic Counseling Research Design & EthicsErin Linnenbringer, PhD, MS314
Elective CourseVarious (***see list below)2-314 ***
Genetic Counseling Journal ClubKatherine Abell, MD1~5 meetings
1st to 2nd Year Intervening Summer
Research Project IErin Linnenbringer, PhD, MS212
Clinical Fieldwork Rotations ITomi Toler, MS412
2nd Year Fall Semester
Advanced Genetic Counseling IRachael Bradshaw, MS and Tomi Toler, MS414
Genetics and Genomics of DiseaseTimothy Schedl, PhD214
Research Project IIErin Linnenbringer, PhD, MS214
Clinical Fieldwork Rotations IITomi Toler, MS314
Genetic Counseling Journal ClubKatherine Abell, MD1~5 meetings
2nd Year Spring Semester
Advanced Genetic Counseling IIRachael Bradshaw, MS and Tomi Toler, MS414
TeratologyRachael Bradshaw, MS214
Clinical Fieldwork Rotations IIITomi Toler, MS314
Research Project IIIErin Linnenbringer, PhD, MS214
Genetic Counseling Journal ClubKatherine Abell, MD1~5 meetings
Elective Course Listing
Course TitleCredit hrs.Semester
Health Education: Methods, Planning, and Evaluation3Spring
Epidemiology for Clinical Research3Spring
Counseling Skills for Health Care Professionals3Summer
Health Psychology3Summer
Spanish for Health Care Professionals II3Spring
Scientific Writing and Publishing2Spring
Communicating Research Findings to the Media and Lay Audiences1January
Principles of Shared Decision Making and Health Literacy in the Clinical Setting3Spring
Supplemental Activities
Name or Type of ActivityFrequency
Monthly Professional Development Lunch & Learn1 x/ month
Observe GCs in various Genetics Clinics2 x/ month, 1st year Fall semester
Observe in Specialty Clinics (Movement Disorders, Adult Sickle Cell/Hemophilia Clinics, etc)5 total observations, 1st year Spring semester
Genetics in Pop Culture activity1 x/ month
Work with Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education3 x/ semester, 1st year Fall semester
Attend Cordell Institute Programming1-2 x/ year
Genetic Counseling Student Case Conference2 x/ month

Clinical Fieldwork

During the first year, students will observe both in clinics staffed by genetics professionals (genetic counselors, geneticists) and in clinics without genetics professionals.

Students will complete 5 clinical fieldwork rotations during their second year:

  • Summer – 1 clinical fieldwork rotation, 6 weeks full time, 28 days
  • Fall – 2 clinical fieldwork rotations, each 6 weeks part time, minimum 14 days
  • Spring – 2 clinical fieldwork rotations, each 6 weeks part time, minimum 14 days
Clinical Fieldwork Rotation Sites
Clinical Fieldwork Rotation SiteSpecialtyPrimary Contact
WUSM St. Louis Children’s HospitalPediatricsTomi Toler, MS, CGC
WUSM Prenatal GeneticsPrenatalAmie Stanley, MS, CGC
WUSM Pediatric Cancer Predisposition ClinicCancerAndrea Stacy, MS, CGC
WUSM Siteman Cancer CenterCancerSusan Jones, MS, CGC
SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s HospitalPediatricsKatherine Christensen, MS, CGC
SSM Health St. Mary’s HospitalPrenatalAshley McElheny, MS, CGC
Saint Louis Fetal Care Institute at CGCHPrenatalRachael Bradshaw, MS, CGC
SSM Health Hereditary Cancer ServicesCancerLaura Waldman, MS, CGC
Mercy OncologyCancerPorter Pavalko, MS, CGC
Mercy Perinatal and Fetal CarePrenatalPorter Pavalko, MS, CGC
Missouri Baptist Cancer CenterCancerin process
Missouri Health Care Children’s HospitalPediatricsin process
Cape Radiation OncologyCancerin process
Students enrolled at any ACGC accredited genetic counseling program must complete certain requirements to be eligible to sit for the ABGC board certification examination after graduation. This includes a minimum of 50 participatory fieldwork cases with a clinical supervisor that meet the following requirements: 1) Current genetic counselor certification by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC), the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors (CAGC), or American Board of Medical Genetics & Genomics (ABMG[G]); 2) At least one year of experience as a clinical genetic counselor or in relevant fieldwork placement; and 3) Documented preparation in fieldwork supervision.

Supervisors at our Program’s clinical fieldwork rotation sites meet these minimum requirements.

Estimated Tuition and Fees

The University has not yet established tuition rates for the 2022-2023 academic year. As such, the following information reflects our current best estimates. We will update this information as soon as tuition rates and fees are set, which will likely be in early 2022.

$16,980     Tuition per semester

$8,490       Summer tuition (1st year only)

$2,887       Student Health Benefit plan (required)

$45,337     Total estimated first-year tuition and fees

We are pleased to offer our incoming students a tax-free tuition remission of $2,250 for each of the Fall and Spring semesters of enrollment. The total amount of the tuition remission will be $9,000 per student over two academic years. No teaching, research, or other service to the program is required to receive this funding, and no additional application form is necessary.

Accreditation & Licensure

The Washington University School of Medicine’s Master’s Program in Genetic Counseling has been awarded New Program Accreditation Status by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). ACGC is the accreditation board for graduate programs in genetic counseling in the United States and Canada. ACGC advances quality in genetic counseling education by developing and maintaining standards for educational and clinical training of genetic counseling students and implementing a peer-review process to evaluate programs. ACGC is a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA)​​​​. ASPA is dedicated to enhancing quality in higher education through specialized and professional accreditation.

For those states in which genetic counseling licensure is available, the state boards of licensure require that applicants graduate from a U.S. genetic counseling school accredited by ACGC as a condition for licensure. In addition, most state boards of licensure require that U.S. applicants take and pass the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) Certification Examination.  For U.S. genetic counseling program graduates to be eligible to sit for the ABGC Certification Examination, their school must be accredited by ACGC.

The School of Medicine has determined that, as a result of its ACGC accreditation, its Genetic Counseling program curriculum meets the educational requirements to sit for the ABGC Certification Examination and to pursue licensure in all states and territories of the United States and Washington, DC in which licensure is available.


For more details, please review our Program in Genetic Counseling Student Handbook

Want to contact us directly?

Contact our Program Coordinator Elizabeth Yoder by calling us at 314-273-8552 or emailing us at geneticcounseling@wustl.edu.

Visit our Program Facebook Page to stay up-to-date!