MS in Genetic Counseling

Inspiring Future Leaders, Transforming Genetic Health Care

The Genetic Counseling Program

The MS in Genetic Counseling (MSGC) 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 at the University of Pittsburgh is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling, Inc., 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.

Explore to learn more about what sets our program and our graduates apart! We hope you will consider joining our challenging and exciting program.


People in graduation regaliaVision

Our graduates will be leaders at the center of health care in a future where every health decision will be influenced by genomic information.

Mission Statement

We deliver boundary-spanning education for future genetic counseling professionals in genomics, public health, business and policy and through immersion in diverse health care and research settings.

Person smilingCore 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.

Program Quick Facts

  • Established in 1971, as the 2nd oldest genetic counseling program, with 50 years of experience in training successful genetic counseling professionals
  • Accredited by the Accreditation Council of Genetic Counseling, with most recent reaccreditation received in 2019
  • Accepts 12 students each year
  • Opportunity to customize your education (e.g., a dual degree with both an MS in Genetic Counseling and an MPH in public health genetics)
  • Students have observational experiences in their first year and are immersed in clinical rotations during the second year, seeing approximately 150-200 cases in a variety of clinical settings.
  • The program is designed to support students through peer-to-peer, and peer-to-faculty mentorship
  • Strong board certification pass rate*:
    • 3-year average first time pass rate of 87% (2020-2022)
    • 3-year overall pass rate of 90% (2020-2022)
  • Student retention rate of 100% in the past 3 years (2020-2022)
  • Job placement rate of 100% in recent graduates (2020-2022)

*please note that ABGC requirements for timing of taking the board certification examination have changed and thus some graduates have not yet sat for the examination. 

Visit Why Choose Pitt GC for more information

International Focus 

Genetic risks and conditions are not confined to the U.S. and Canada, and clearly every population has need of genetic services. Being in a School of Public Health is an advantage, as the global needs of populations are frequent topics for discussion, and our school and department faculty have well established collaborations throughout the world.

The GC program is active in working with local and international partners to provide students with opportunities for international work in genetic counseling and public health. Students in the program have multiple opportunities to gain international experience.

Programs of Study

Two people looking at a bookStudents entering the graduate program are able to choose one of multiple degree options based on their career interests and goals:

The two-year masters in genetic counseling program provides students with the knowledge and skills to successfully practice as genetic counselors in diverse settings and prepares them to be leaders within the profession.

two people in graduation regaliaStudents passionate about public health have the opportunity to obtain a dual degree, earning both an MS in Genetic Counseling and an MPH in public health genetics.

Roc panther statue and the Catherdral of learningPhD in human genetics with a focus on genetic counseling is available for genetic counselors who wish to obtain an advanced degree and target their careers on pursuits that will be enhanced by a PhD degree.

People walking in a buildingGenetic counseling students can further customize their educational experience through one of multiple public health certificate programs available to master’s students through the Graduate School of Public Health.