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2017-18 Graduate Catalog 
    Jul 04, 2022  
2017-18 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Genetic Counseling, M.S.G.C.

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  • Kathleen D. Valverde, M.S., C.G.C., Chair, Department of Genetic Counseling and Program Director
  • Ian Krantz, M.D., Medical Director
  • Laura Conway, Ph.D., C.G.C., Associate Director
  • Lisa Kessler, M.S., C.G.C., Clinical Coordinator

Adjunct Faculty

  • Stephanie Byers, M.S., C.G.C., Division of Metabolism, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Andrea Forman, M.S., C.G.C., Family Risk Assessment Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Rosaria Love, Ph.D., Practicing Clinical Psychologist
  • Donna McDonald-McGinn, M.S., C.G.C., Associate Director, Clinical Genetics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Livija Medne, M.S., C.G.C. Department of Neurology, Division of Human Genetics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Sarah Noon, M.S., C.G.C., Department of Clinical Genetics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Rebecca Mueller, M.S., C.G.C., University of Pennsylvania
  • Kim Rainey, M.S., C.G.C., Risk Assessment Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Steven Robbins, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Arcadia University
  • Cynthia Rutherford, M.A., Counselor, Arcadia University Counseling Center
  • Nancy Spinner, Ph.D., Department of Human Genetics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Lewis Waber, M.D., Ph.D., Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwest Medical Center/Children’s Medical Center, retired
  • Susan Walther, M.S., C.G.C., GeneDx
  • Vivian Weinblatt, M.S., C.G.C., Integrated Genetics
  • Alisha Wilkens, M.S., C.G.C., Division of Genomic Diagnostics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

About the Program

The Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program offers a degree in a recognized specialty in medical genetics. The 21-month, full-time graduate program is designed to provide students with the proficiencies and knowledge base required of a successful practitioner. The program includes scientific, medical, psychological and clinical courses combined with practical experience.

Students are taught to understand the complex environment in which the genetic counselor must work and learn to apply knowledge from basic sciences and psychology in order to address the needs of patients, community lay groups, and health and human services professionals. A research project/thesis during the second year is required for graduation.

The program meets the requirements of the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling for curriculum content, clinical experience and overall program design and has been granted full accreditation for the maximum reaccreditation term of eight years.. Therefore, students who graduate from the Arcadia University Genetic Counseling program are qualified to sit for the certification examination offered by the ABGC and to apply for state licensure.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements, the following requirements must be met. The Arcadia University Genetic Counseling Program is participating in the Genetic Counseling Admissions Match through National Matching Services (NMS) beginning with admissions for Fall 2018.  All applicants must first register for the Match with NMS before applying to the program. Please visit the NMS website at for detailed information and to register for the match.

All application materials must be in the Office of Enrollment Management by January 15.

  1. A Genetic Counseling application, including personal statements, to be completed online at
  2. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a recommended GPA of 3.3 or better.
  3. One official transcript from each college, university or professional school attended. Transfer credits included on a transcript must include grades earned; if not, an official transcript from the original school must be submitted. Transcripts must be sent from the issuing school in a sealed envelope and contain the appropriate signatures and seals to be considered official.
  4. The prerequisite courses listed below. All courses used toward the minimum prerequisites must be taken through the appropriate departments, e.g., Biology, Chemistry, and Psychology. All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to the start of the Genetic Counseling program. One-half of the prerequisite courses must have been taken within 10 years prior to application.
    1. Biological Sciences—four courses in Biology, including General Genetics. (Human Genetics should not be substituted for a General Genetics course.)
    2. Chemistry—three courses, to include at least one semester of General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry.
    3. Psychology—two courses.
    4. Statistics—one course, which should include descriptive statistics, differences between two means, correlation and beginning concepts of analysis of variance.
  5. Three letters of recommendation, at least one from a professor and one from a practicing genetic counselor or comparable health professional.
  6. Test scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), taken within the last five years.  GRE scores for the verbal and quantitative section must be above the 50th percentile.  A minimum score of 4 is required for the analytical writing portion of the test.
  7. A personal interview with the genetic counseling faculty.
  8. Knowledge of the profession through work or volunteer experience. A broad overview of the profession is preferable to experience in a limited area.
  9. International applicants should visit for detailed information on admission requirements and application procedures. Official results from the TOEFL or IELTS are required for all students for whom English is a second language or who have not earned degrees or diplomas from post-secondary institutions in English-speaking countries (e.g. the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand). A course-by-course evaluation of all transcripts by an independent evaluation service based in the United States also is required.

All application materials must be sent to the Office of Enrollment Management.

Application Deadline

All application documents, along with a $25 non-refundable application fee, must be submitted to the Office of Enrollment Management by January 15 of the year in which the applicant is seeking admission.

Notification of admission is made to applicants by the National Matching Service on the universal acceptance date in late spring. Arcadia University’s Office of Enrollment Management will send a letter of intent, and candidates are expected to reply by the date indicated in their notification. A $500 deposit must accompany the acceptance reply. This deposit is applied to the first semester tuition, and it is nonrefundable if students fail to enter the program on the date for which they are accepted.


Tuition for 2017-18: $33,250


  • Registration: $50 per semester
  • Technology: $50 per semester
  • Parking: $50 per semester or $90 per year (Fall and Spring) before 4 p.m. No charge after 4 p.m.

Additional Expenses:

  • Books and supplies (estimated): Year one – $500; Year two – $400
  • Room and Board: Off Campus
  • Travel: Varies
  • Clinical Clearances: approximately $180

Upon enrollment into the program, all students must provide proof of medical insurance and information about their health and medical history. If needed, medical insurance can be purchased through the University. Information and applications are available at Student Health Services.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial Aid is available to assist qualified students in covering tuition and related expenses, as well as living costs.  Upon review for admission, students are automatically eligible for partial-tuition scholarships.  Graduate students who have been accepted into a degree program are enrolled for at least 6 credits per semester are eligible to apply for financial aid.  Please visit for information regarding available aid options and visit to complete required forms online.

Graduate Assistantships/Graduate Student Employment

In addition to partial scholarships awarded to all qualified students, graduate assistantships are available. Select students automatically are awarded graduate assistantships upon acceptance, but any full-time graduate student may apply for an assistantship, working a specified number of hours per week for a department. Questions regarding graduate assistantships should be directed to the Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies at 215-572-2925.

Federal Loans

Graduate students are eligible to borrow through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan programs provided they are taking at least 6 credits per semester (in the summer, 6 credits over all summer sessions combined satisfies this requirement). For more information, visit

Outside Scholarships

Additionally, students are encouraged to contact outside organizations to apply for outside scholarships. For more scholarship opportunities, refer to the National Association of Genetic Counselors at

Degree Requirements

  • A minimum of 86 credits including coursework, practica, clinical internships, and thesis.
  • Satisfactory completion of four clinical internships at approved sites with participation in at least 50 supervised cases.
  • A research paper (thesis) satisfactorily completed during the second year.
  • An overall minimum GPA of 3.0 maintained throughout the program.
  • A grade below “C” is not acceptable toward the degree.
  • Continuous enrollment.

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