MS in Genetic Counseling FAQ
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 using the online application tool. Click here for additional details on components of 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 and general chemistry prerequisites. We will not accept AP credit for the psychology prerequisite unless there are other undergraduate psychology classes taken. 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.
If I already have a graduate degree, do I still have to take the GRE?
For the Fall 2022 Admissions Cycle, we will be waiving the GRE requirement for all applicants. In the past, we have waived the GRE requirement when an applicant has completed a prior graduate degree.
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?
There are many ways to fulfill the advocacy requirement. 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. For possible volunteer opportunities in your area check out: www.serve.gov.
How do I gain an understanding of the genetic counseling profession?
The most qualified applicants have experience shadowing a genetic counselor and observing genetic counseling sessions. The National Society of Genetic Counselors website (www.nsgc.org) has a “Find a Counselor” tool where you can find local genetic counselors that are willing to accept contact from a student. For a variety of reasons, sometimes it can be difficult to locate a genetic counselor job shadowing opportunity. If you cannot organize a job shadowing opportunity, we encourage you to at least speak with a genetic counselor about the profession. Additionally, the NSGC has a variety of recorded genetic counseling sessions available through their “Master Genetic Counselor” Series.
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. Additionally, the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors has published a brochure with information about the characteristics of successful applicants.
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 designated areas in Ohio and Ontario may be eligible for Wayne State’s Good Neighbor Policy. Wayne State’s tuition calculator is available here.
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. 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.
How is the Wayne State Genetic Counseling Program structured?
The Wayne State program consists of 47 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 minutes driving distance to the School of Medicine campus. 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