No. At this point in time, our program requires
you to be on campus minimally for the entire first year. Distance training is
feasible for part or all of the second year. Please contact our office in
advance of your application to discuss.
Students who are eligible to receive Perkins Loans are able to have up to $12,000 (the maximum available for 2 years) waived after licensure or certification if they work full time for a period of 5 years. We are also aware of additional national programs that allow remaining loans to be waived after making 10 years of minimum payments.
Financial aid packages vary yearly, and in some years we will have departmental money available to help support the costs of tuition. Specifics will be discussed at the interviews each year.
The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program awards up to 100 high-achieving students every year with full funding to pursue a graduate education at Stanford, including the Master's in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling.To be considered, you must apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars by 1:00pm (pacific) on October 10, 2019, and separately to the MS genetic counseling program by December 3, 2019.
For the past few years, we have received approximately 110-140 applications, interviewed 30-40 applicants, and accepted up to 11 students each year. Bios of our accepted students are available on the website. We estimate that >90% of those candidates who were interviewed by our program received at least one offer from a genetic counseling program, and we encourage all applicants to apply to at least 4-6 programs to maximize their chances of receiving an offer from a program they would be interested in attending.
No, we do not currently have any additional brochure materials - we post all our program information on the website, both to ensure it’s up-to-date, and also to be more “green” and limit our paper consumption.
We do not offer information sessions, nor do we have the facilities to offer all interested applicants a personal visit. Our program co-directors will host webinars for prospective applicants in late summer-fall to provide an overview of the training program and admissions process followed by a Q&A session. We will post a recording of one of these sessions on our website for applicants who are unable to attend.
If you have specific questions about your background and potential application, please use our webform to contact us. In some situations, we will be able to answer your questions by email, and in other situations, we may need to set up a brief phone call to discuss your application questions. If you want to explore the Stanford campus, you may do so on your own, or take one of the guided tours, although they are generally focused on “main campus” and undergraduate studies.
We would strongly recommend you review the website for the National Society of Genetic Counselors (nsgc.org) and several GC program websites to gain information about the profession and application process. If you still have questions after that, we encourage you to contact practicing genetic counselors in your area. While it is becoming more challenging to shadow in clinic, many genetic counselors will meet with you or talk by phone to discuss the profession and their “typical day” and some can arrange for short internships. The NSGC website also has videos of ‘master counselor’ genetic counseling sessions so you can learn more about the profession.
Competitive applicants will also have a strong sense of what the profession of genetic counseling is all about, and ideally will havejob shadowedor completed a genetic counseling internship before applying. In recognition of the difficulty arranging such experiences, we minimally suggest that applicants who are unable to job shadow or complete genetic counseling internships view the Master Genetic Counselor Series, meet or speak with local genetic counselors, and/or attend online or in-person genetic counseling seminars, courses, summer camps, or workshops. Other application strengths include having worked in a counseling setting where one receives training and supervision in providing counseling to peers or other individuals; example settings include a peer counseling setting, a crisis or suicide hotline, a domestic violence shelter or hotline, or a pregnancy counseling center such as Planned Parenthood. Experience teaching, conducting research, and/or working with individuals with disabilities are also helpful to applicants.
Please see FAQ 29 for information about competitive GPA and GRE scores.
As you will see from our admissions page, you are required to attach a word document of a CV or resume, supplemental essay, and a personal statement that detail your specific experiences of interest – these should be attached as part of the online application, and should NOT be sent in hard copy. Beyond this, we prefer that you do not attach any further supplementary material unless it is of core importance, such as explaining an issue that will be important for us to know in evaluating your application (e.g. a personal issue that interrupted schooling, etc). Please do NOT attach full copies of papers or of your work in courses. Please do NOT attach additional personal statements beyond the one required in the online application.
You may have up to 4 references, but 3 references are required. We suggest you have at least one academic reference, and that your references are persons able to speak about the different aspects of academic background, interpersonal relationships and genetic counseling experience that are represented in your application.
We do not do a “rolling admissions” process, but rather we review all applications in January, conduct phone interviews in February and invite candidates to interviews in March and April. Please review our Admissions Timeline for additional information.
We encourage you to check your online application status around early to mid-February for notifications, and please keep your email address up to date, as most correspondence will be sent out by email.
All course prerequisites need to be completed
before you start classes within the program. However, depending on the missing
prerequisites it can be hard, if not impossible, to provide a fair evaluation
of your application. You are strongly encouraged to have, at a minimum, the
genetics prerequisite completed before submitting your application. Please indicate
on your application your plans to complete any remaining courses between the
application time and estimated time of matriculation.
We strongly encourage applicants to submit grades of B or greater in all prerequisite courses, even if that requires retaking courses after graduation. Applications with lower pre-requisite grades will still be reviewed, but are typically less competitive.
We evaluate everyone’s
application a little differently. If you are trying to demonstrate that you can
bring your grades up, we strongly recommend taking graduate level classes at a
4-year university. However, if you are simply trying to fulfill a prerequisite,
an online or community college course is often fine. Please email us if you
have questions about whether a specific course will satisfy our prerequisite requirements
- it's most useful if you can attach a syllabus or course description.
While GPA and GRE are an important measure of academic abilities, we acknowledge that many applicants have additional strengths that influence how we review your application. With that in mind, many applicants still want to have a general sense of how they compare to our applicant pool.
The mean GPA for successful applicants is ~3.5, but varies significantly, and we will consider all applicants with an undergraduate GPA above a 3.0. If your undergraduate GPA is below 3.0, we strongly recommend that you complete an additional graduate degree with >3.5 GPA prior to applying (to demonstrate your ability to handle high level science coursework) in order for your application to be competitive.
Our mean GRE scores are around the 70-80%iles, but there is also significant variation here. GRE scores above the 60%ile are generally competitive if other aspects of the application are strong. If you score lower than the 50%ile in two of the GRE categories, we strongly recommend retaking the exam.
Our application deadline is in early December, and we need scores to be received no later than January 1st
in order for us to do a complete evaluation of your application. You
should visit the GRE exam website to determine how long it takes to have
your scores sent to our institution and plan your exam date to occur no
later than at that time (most likely no later than December 1st).
You are welcome to write in your scores from the verbal and
quantitative exam sections on the application when you submit it, but
the scores do need to be officially received by Stanford in order for
your application to be considered complete.
TOEFL scores are required of all applicants whose first language is not English.
Exemptions are granted to applicants who have earned a U.S. bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association in the United States, or the international equivalent degree from a university of recognized standing in a country in which all instruction is provided in English. Therefore, applicants with degrees from the U.S., Australia, Canada (except Quebec), New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales) are exempt from taking the TOEFL and do not need to submit the TOEFL exemption request form.
If English is not your first language and your degree is/will be from an institution in a country other than one of those listed above and in which English was the only language of instruction, then you must either submit the TOEFL waiver request form or submit TOEFL scores. Exemption to the TOEFL requirement does not apply if the courses were completed in a country where English is spoken but not all courses were provided in English. You must submit a Stanford applicationbeforesubmitting a TOEFL exemption request form.
Being a U.S. citizen does not automatically exempt an applicant from taking the TOEFL; if the applicant’s first language is not English, the applicant must meet the exemption rules above or submit TOEFL scores.
It can take the university admissions system ~2 weeks to register your GRE/TOEFL scores after you submit your application online. If you haven’t yet submitted your online application, your scores may be in the university system but not yet paired with your application, and we will be unable to tell until that time. Once you submit your application, you will be able to track the status of your materials by logging into your application account. Please make sure you submit the scores to 4704.
You will submit an entirely new online application, including letters of reference, transcripts, CV and personal statement. You will also be required to pay the application fee (unless you are eligible for a fee waiver).
As long as your GRE and TOEFL scores remain valid for the admissions cycle in which you wish to reapply, you do not need to have them re-sent by ETS. Please do self-report these scores in your online application. If your scores are no longer valid, you need to retake the exams.
We are happy to provide feedback or answer specific questions on strengthening your application, but respectfully request that all inquiries are sent through our webformafter June 15th.
Generally, we recommend that you include information on growth or changes that occurred since your initial application that have further informed your perspective and/or preparedness. Determine if different recommenders can provide more insightful and thorough perspective.
The feasibility of an external rotation during the academic year will depend on whether your city/cities of interest are home to another genetic counseling training program and/or how many ABGC board-certified genetic counselors are available and interested in supervising a student during that time. Some students may also be interested in completing a rotation abroad, which is philosophically and institutionally feasible, but can be logistically more challenging. As with all other rotations, we will also consider your academic and clinical needs and progress when determining whether an external rotation would be possible. We are happy to answer more specific questions during interviews and upon admission.
In recent years, all of the program graduates have obtained positions by the time they graduate, across the US and in Europe. Many new graduates take jobs in a clinical role (or in a combined clinical/clinical research role). However, there are many expanding opportunities to work in industry, research, lab, education, advocacy, public health, and public policy. The outlook for jobs has been excellent. You can learn about the varied roles of genetic counselors HERE.
As of August 2017, 89% of Stanford GC graduates have passed the exam on their first sitting and 98% of graduates who have taken the exam are currently certified (the remaining person holds certification internationally).