MS in Genetic Counseling

The Genetic Counseling MS accepts 10-12 students annually based on academic performance, relevant experience and an interview. The application deadline is December 1, 2023.

Admission Requirements

All applicants to the genetic counseling graduate program must meet the following requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum quality point average (QPA) of 3.0.
  • Completion of an undergraduate course in each of the following: genetics, organic chemistry, general biochemistry, statistics, and a behavioral or social science. An applicant does not necessarily need to complete all prerequisites by the time they submit their application. However, if accepted to the program, a student must complete all prerequisites prior to enrollment with an official transcript sent to the Office of Student Affairs. Applicants may wish to include in their application their plans for completing prerequisite courses. Please see the FAQ section about prerequisites for more information.
  • Applicants should use the personal statement to discuss your interest in becoming a genetic counselor at the University of Pittsburgh Genetic Counseling Program. Drawing upon your lived and professional experiences, please elaborate on how these have shaped your journey to becoming a genetic counselor with an emphasis n how this will inform your practice as a future genetic counselor.
    • Applicants who have experienced a specific hardship (i.e. canceled shadowing, a semester with lower grades) due to COVID-19 or other specified event (ie. illness, family issues, etc.), can include a statement after the personal statement that describes the hardship. This is not required and will not count toward the page number recommendation for the personal statement.
  • Applicants are encouraged to gain exposure to the field of genetic counseling by volunteering at clinical genetic centers, speaking with practicing genetic counselors, and/or pursuing other opportunities to educate themselves about the field prior to admission. Many applicable experiences can shape your understanding of the field of genetic counseling. Such experiences may include podcasts, webinars, interviewing of genetic counselors, shadowing/observational experiences, conferences, selected journals and textbooks, relevant literature, etc. This experience tracking form is required to upload with your application.
  • Admission to the Genetic Counseling Program requires an interview by the faculty and clinical staff.  All interviews will take place virtually.
  • Additional requirements for International Applicants must be met. 

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the genetic counseling program here.

If you have any additional questions about admissions requirements, contact the Genetic Counseling Program Email.

Genetic Counseling Admissions Match

The Pitt genetic counseling program is participating in the genetic counseling admissions match through National Matching Services (NMS) beginning with admissions for fall 2018. The GC admissions match has been established to enhance the process of placing applicants into positions in masters-level genetic counseling programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). The match uses a process that takes into account both applicants’ and programs’ preferences. All applicants must first register for the match with NMS before applying to participating genetic counseling graduate programs. At the conclusion of all program interviews, both applicants and programs will submit ranked lists of preferred placements to NMS according to deadlines posted on the NMS Web site. The binding results of the match will be released to both applicants and programs simultaneously in late April.

The following are the track codes for the University of Pittsburgh genetic counseling program that applicants should use when ranking programs:

13310 2-Academic Yr - MS program - Scholarship
13311 2-Academic Yr - MS program

Visit the NMS Web site at ( to register for the match, review detailed information about the matching process, and to view a demonstration of how the matching algorithm works.

For additional information, visit the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD) Web site at

Match Fee Waiver Application

The Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors will offer a limited number of waivers for the $100 fee associated with the NMS match. Prospective students who demonstrate financial need AND have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater can apply for a match fee waiver. Prospective students should apply for a fee waiver BEFORE registering for an NMS number.

Applications for the match fee waiver are due by October 5, 2022. Applicants will be notified on October 26, 2022 as to whether they have received a waiver.  For more information and the match fee waiver application please visit the following website:

Application Fee Waiver 

Application fee waivers are available on a limited, first-come, first serve basis. Applicants that have applied and received an NMS Match Fee Waiver from AGCPD are eligible to apply for a waiver for the University of Pittsburgh’s application fee. If you are interested in applying for an application fee waiver, please submit proof of NMS Match Fee Waiver award (email or letter correspondence is sufficient) to by 11/11/22. Applicants will be notified by 11/22/22 as to whether they have received a waiver. Waivers are non-transferable to future application cycles and cannot be transferred by the recipient to another prospective student. Prospective students who are granted application fee waivers in November must complete their application by the stated due date of 12/10/22. Please direct any questions about the application fee waiver process or requirements to

Application Process

All new genetic counseling MS and/or dual-degree genetic counseling MS/MPH applicants must apply through SOPHAS Express (not SOPHAS, but SOPHAS Express).

  1. Apply online through SOPHAS Express.
  2. The SOPHAS Express application includes a supplementary question that prompts you to enter your National Matching Services (NMS) number. Applicants are required to register with NMS before they apply to the Pitt program. Once you are registered, you will receive an identification number which you must include as the response to this question.
  3. Pay application fee ($50) directly to SOPHAS Express.
  4. Submit personal statement through SOPHAS Express.
  5. Submit GC experience tracking form through SOPHAS Express.
  6. Submit three letters of recommendation (evaluations) through SOPHAS Express.
  7. Upload unofficial transcripts for all education in the United States and/or Canada directly to SOPHAS Express.
  8. Submit a course-by-course WES evaluation for all education outside of the United States (not including study abroad but including non-English speaking Canadian institutions) directly to the Pitt Public Health student affairs office. See our Web Site and WES for more information.
  9. Submit official TOEFL scores (if applicable) to University of Pittsburgh code  2927. IELTS or Duolingo scores may be substituted for the TOEFL. Additional information can be found here.
  10. For further information, see Pitt Public Health’s How to Apply page.

Special note: Pitt Public Health holds its applicants and students to the high ethical standards expected of public health professionals. Any form of misrepresentation or plagiarism discovered in an application will result in immediate rejection of the applicant. The incident also will be reported to SOPHAS Express, the public health shared application service, and the genetic counseling program.