MS in Genetic Counseling FAQ

Application Information

How do I apply to the Wayne State Genetic Counseling Program?

All prospective students for the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program must apply through the Wayne State University Office of Graduate Admissions. More information is available here. To access the online application system click here. Click here for additional details on our specific program components for a complete application.

What are some important dates in the application process at Wayne State?

The application deadline for fall admission is January 15th of that year.  We send out invitations to interview by email typically by mid-February.  There are normally five interview dates from late February through mid-April.  All genetic counseling programs in the US and Canada agree to a universal acceptance date usually in late April.  The fall semester at Wayne State typically starts the week before Labor Day.

What are the program prerequisites?

We have detailed information regarding all of our program prerequisites here.  We will accept AP credit to meet the general biology, general chemistry and psychology prerequisites. The strongest candidates will have met all of our program prerequisites; however, we recognize there are can be unique circumstances for applicants.  Please feel free to contact us with any specific questions you have regarding any of the program prerequisites.  

Do I need to take all the prerequisite classes at a four year university vs. a community college?

Our prerequisite requirements are intended to ensure our students are well prepared for the rigorous science curriculum of our program.  The best prepared students will have taken the science prerequisites at the highest possible level.  Sciences classes at a four year university that are intended for science majors offer the best opportunity for students to be prepared for graduate level work.  That being said, we will accept community college classes that have fulfilled the prerequisites for upper level science classes at a four year university.  In general, we will not accept the biochemistry and genetics perquisites taken at the community college level and prefer that these classes be taken at the upper undergraduate level. 

Do I have to take the GRE?

At this time, we do not require the GRE for program admissions. If an applicant has taken the GRE, they should not submit a GRE score to us. If a score is submitted, it will not be reviewed by our admissions committee.   

Does an international student that has worked in an English speaking country or done academic work in English still have to take an English proficiency examination such as the TOEFL?

Decisions about English proficiency examination waivers are made by the Wayne State University Graduate School.  Please refer to the Graduate School International Admissions webpage for more information.  You can also feel free to contact them for further details.

How do I fulfill the advocacy requirement?

We believe that it is important for prospective applicants to develop baseline interpersonal communication and psychosocial support skills (e.g., empathy, questioning, problem solving, providing resources) in order to be prepared for graduate level coursework in and clinical application of psychosocial genetic counseling. You can get these experiences through volunteer or paid positions with crisis counseling hotlines (including crisis text hotlines), domestic violence hotlines/shelters, sexual assault hotlines/advocacy, grief and loss support organizations, peer counseling experiences, and resident assistant positions, just to name a few examples. The best advocacy/volunteer experiences provide volunteers with training in interpersonal communication/counseling skills and the opportunity to use these skills with clients. We do not have a minimum time requirement, however, the longer the experience can be, the deeper understanding the applicant typically has of what it is like to provide counseling/assistance to individuals in need. 

How do I gain an understanding of the genetic counseling profession?

There are many ways to learn about the profession. Shadowing and/or talking to genetic counselors can be very effective ways to gain insight. There are also many other ways as well, such as attending genetic counseling program open houses/events, watching podcasts about genetic counseling, watching videos of mock sessions, attending genetic counseling seminars or conferences (many of which may be virtual), and reading about genetic counseling.  Please see our Genetic Counseling Resources page for helpful links to professional organizations, videos, articles, and blogs about genetic counseling.   

What makes a strong candidate?

We have provided extensive information here regarding developing a strong application for a genetic counseling program including information on finding the right program, tips on how to meet the program prerequisites, choosing the right individuals for recommendation letters, suggestions for interviewing and more.    

Financial Information

What is the tuition?

Information about in state and out of state tuition rates at Wayne State is available here.  Graduate students who are residents of the Canadian province of Ontario or residents of Fulton, Lucas, Ottawa, Williams counties in Ohio may qualify for Wayne State’s Good Neighbor Policy and would be eligible for in-state tuition rates. 

Wayne State’s tuition calculator is available here. Input information for tool: Credit Hours: 15 for the first year fall semester, 14 for the first year winter semester, and 16 for the second year (summer, fall, winter semesters combined); Education Level: graduate; School or College: School of Medicine. For the current academic year, the estimated tuition for 45 credits at in state tuition rates is $46,567.41 and at the out of state rate is $84,516.81. These amounts are estimates and are subject to change.

Are there other program expenses?

Aside from tuition, there are a few additional expenses. Students are responsible for covering any costs associated with the health screening, background screening, vaccinations, and specialized training (such as CPR training) required for clinical rotations. The cost of the health screening will vary depending on insurance coverage. The cost of the background screening will also vary depending on where and how many places an individual has lived. The average background check cost is around $50 but can be more. Additionally, students are required to purchase annual disability insurance (current cost $74 per year) which covers the cost of tuition in the event that a student cannot complete the program due to a health related reason.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Information about financial aid is available here.

Do you offer any graduate assistantships?

At this time, we do not offer any graduate assistantships.

Do students typically work during the program?

Many of our students do work part time.  Since most classes and clinical experiences occur during normal business hours, most students have jobs that offer flexible hours including evening and weekend hours. 

Do you have any scholarships available?

Any student applying to the genetic counseling program can apply for the Graduate Professional Scholarship (GPS).  Since the deadline for the GPS is typically prior to the universal acceptance date established by all genetic counseling programs, students will have to apply for the scholarship before any admissions offers are made.  Several of our students have successfully received GPS scholarships with some receiving the scholarship in both years of training.

Program Information

How is the Wayne State Genetic Counseling Program structured?

The Wayne State program consists of 45 credit hours taken over 21 months.  Students start in the fall semester of the first year, attend through the summer semester between the first and second year and typically complete the program at the end of the winter semester of the second year. Click here for our Curriculum Overview.  Like all accredited genetic counseling programs, our program has four main components: Course Work, Clinical Internships, Research Project and Supplemental Activities.

How far do students travel for their clinical internships?

Some of our internship sites are located within walking distance of the Wayne State School of Medicine campus.  Other internships are located in the greater metro Detroit area.  Most of these internship sites are within approximately 30-45 minutes driving distance to the School of Medicine campus in downtown Detroit.  There is very limited public transportation available in the greater metro Detroit area and essentially all students use a car as their main mode of transportation to these sites.

Do you offer any opportunities for internships outside of the metro Detroit area?

Although it is not a program requirement, all students have the option to do an internship in another location during the second half of the summer between the first and second year.  Over the years, our students have been able to take advantage of unique internship opportunities in many locations in the US and Canada.

Information about Detroit

Where is Wayne State University located?

Wayne State University is located in the city of Detroit in a neighborhood called “Midtown”.  In the last few years, Midtown has experienced significant growth in population, new businesses and overall development.  It has become a very desirable place to live for Wayne State students.  Wayne State University is one of the safest college campuses in Michigan in large part due to its strong police force and community policing efforts.  For more information regarding campus safety, click here.   

Where do students typically live?

Our students have lived in a variety of locations in metro Detroit and even Windsor, Canada over the years.  Over the last few years, several students have lived in both Midtown and some of the surrounding neighborhoods in Detroit.  Other students choose to live in other cities in the metro Detroit area and commute to campus.  You can find information on housing here.

What is there to do in Detroit for fun?

LOTS! Detroit has all the big city amenities you would expect and some that you might not.  From world class museums, sports teams, music venues, theater, easy access to the Great Lakes and more, there is something for everyone in metro Detroit.  Check out some of the highlights here.

For additional internet resources on genetic counseling, medical genetics, Wayne State School of Medicine, CMMG and more, click here



Genetic Counseling Graduate Program
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics
Wayne State University School of Medicine
3127 Scott Hall
540 E. Canfield Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201

Administrative Office:
(313) 577-6298
Fax: (313) 577-9137