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University of Pittsburgh    
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
    
 
  Sep 27, 2021
 
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Genetic Counseling, MS


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The Genetic Counseling Graduate Program at the University of Pittsburgh is committed to providing cutting-edge training in the complex science of genetics while fostering a strong foundation in counseling. This unique program is constantly evolving to ensure the continued success of graduates entering a dynamic workforce.  Each year between 10 and 12 students are welcomed into the incoming class to be trained by world-renowned faculty.  The Genetic Counseling Program is grounded in three important elements: scientific training in human genetics and genomics, comprehensive clinical experience, and understanding the psychological and social aspects of counseling, with an added focus on integrating up to the minute discoveries in genetics and genomics as well as valuable concepts from other academic disciplines.

The Genetic Counseling Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling, Inc. (ACGC), 7918 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 300 McLean, VA  22102; Phone: 703-506-7667.  Our comprehensive program helps students to achieve and often surpass the practice based competencies outlined by the ACGC.

More information regarding the program can be found on the Pitt Public Health website, Department of Human Genetics, under the Master of Science (MS) in Genetic Counseling program designation. Please explore our website to learn more about what sets our program and our graduates apart! We hope you will consider joining our challenging and exciting program.

Clinical Rotations


Genetic counseling students have the opportunity to participate in patient care at world-renowned medical facilities. They typically see 150-200 cases or more and are exposed to a variety of genetic referral types as well as diverse medical systems.

Rotation schedules are divided into 13 blocks, with each block lasting three weeks. All students will spend three blocks in Cancer genetics, three blocks in Prenatal genetics, three blocks in Pediatric genetics as well as one block in Adult/Specialty genetics, Primary Care, and a thesis focused block with clinic days in the Center for Advanced Fetal Diagnostics (CAFD). In addition, students spend three weeks (one block) at an optional rotation site. This allows students the opportunity to select specific training experiences to develop a higher level of expertise based on their interests.

Thesis Project


Designing, conducting, and interpreting research studies are important skills for success as a genetic counselor. The completion of a thesis project is an integral component of a student’s education in the Pitt Genetic Counseling Program. The thesis project allows students to understand the research process, develop their research skills, and collaborate with faculty across diverse disciplines.

Students are encouraged to develop a project according to their interests and research goals. Many previous students have published their thesis projects in peer-reviewed journals and have presented their research at conferences both nationally and internationally.

Core Values


The University of Pittsburgh Genetic Counseling Program’s core values are:

  • Speak with Integrity and Compassion - We are committed to honesty, transparency and respect in every interaction.
  • Commit Everyday - We take personal responsibility to achieve excellence in everything we do.
  • Reach Out - We embrace collaboration and partnership to enhance professional possibilities
  • Embrace the Unknown - We believe that curiosity leads to lifelong learning.
  • Be Bold - We are inspired by innovation and change.

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