Admissions Requirements

1) Undergraduate Transcript

Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. The majority of students will enter the program with an undergraduate degree in biology, genetics, psychology, nursing, social work, or public health. However, this program is available to individuals from all majors as long as the following college-level prerequisites have been completed:NSGC 2011

one quarter or semester of genetics
one quarter or semester of psychology
one year of biology
one year of chemistry
one quarter or semester of biochemistry
one quarter or semester of statistics

We will allow one course taken for Advanced Placement credit OR one course taken on-line to count towards the prerequisite requirements.  At the application deadline, you may also have up to two outstanding prerequisites that you plan to complete in the upcoming spring or summer.  However, these exceptions cannot include genetics or psychology.  Please list your plans for any pending prerequisite courses on your application.

Additional coursework in related fields (i.e. human genetics, psychology, public health, anthropology, sociology, neuroscience, maternal and child health, etc.) can further strengthen your application.  If your transcript does not reflect your cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale and your individual grades on an A-F grading scale please provide us with this information or consult a transcript service company.  We do not have a minimum GPA requirement; however, the average GPA for candidates that are selected for interviews is 3.5.

Official transcripts should be sent from every post-secondary institution you have attended for at least one year as a full-time student and from schools that document fulfillment of prerequisite courses.  Transcripts from any other schools are optional.  Should you matriculate at BU, then additional transcripts may be requested at that time.

2) Satisfactory Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The general GRE must be taken no later than December of the application year, and GRE scores cannot be more than five years old.  Subject GRE scores are optional.  Our GRE institution code is 3251.  You do not need to list a separate Department Code. We do not have a minimum GRE requirement; however, the average GRE scores for candidates that are selected for interviews are at the 70th percentile in each category.

Because genetic counseling requires strong written and spoken English skills, we require very high TOEFL or IELTS scores from international applicants.

3) Personal Experiences

Personal experiences relevant to genetic counseling are also required.  These may include:

– shadowing or meeting with a genetic counselor
– volunteer or advocacy experience (support groups, summer camps, fund-raising events, etc.)
– counseling experience (crisis hotlines, Planned Parenthood, etc.)
– laboratory experience (academic or commercial)
– research experience

4) Three Letters of Recommendation

There are no requirements regarding the background of your recommenders, but you are encouraged to choose individuals who can comment on different strengths.  Please submit only three letters of recommendation.

BU grads Kat and Diana, now both lab genetic counselors, dressed as a variant of unknown significance for Halloween!

BU grads Kat and Diana, now both lab genetic counselors, dressed as a variant of unknown significance for Halloween!

5) Personal Statement

Topics to be addressed in your personal statement include the academic, inter-personal, and extra-curricular experiences that led to your interest in the field and the personal characteristics that will contribute to your success as a genetic counselor. The personal statement should be 3-4 pages (double-spaced).

6) Resume / Curriculum Vitae


As part of your online application submission, please attach a resume or CV that includes the following.  Please note, not all of these items are required, but all are considered in the selection of interview candidates. You are welcome to include additional information that you think highlights the strength and diversity of your application.

-Undergraduate institution, degree, major, minor/concentration (if applicable) and cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale).  If you have a graduate degree, please include this information as well.
-Your GRE percentile scores for all three sections
-A list of the course titles, numbers, and grades received for any courses you have taken to fulfill our prerequisite requirements
-A list of any courses that you plan to take this coming winter/spring/summer
-Any genetic counseling observations or internships (including location, supervisor, and length of time)
-Any volunteer or paid experience related to genetics, disabilities, or healthcare (including location and length of time)
-Any peer or crisis counseling experience (including location and length of time)
-Any bench or clinical research experience (including location and length of time)
-Any publications or abstracts on which you are named as an author

Applications are submitted on-line at  Please send supplemental application materials that can not be submitted electronically (i.e. transcripts) to:
Division of Graduate Medical Sciences (Attn: Admissions Office)
Boston University School of Medicine
72 East Concord Street
Boston, MA 02118

The Genetic Counseling Program will use the admissions standards set forth by the Boston University School of Medicine Division of Graduate Medical Sciences. These requirements are defined in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences Catalog.

The on-line application portal for each admissions cycle opens in September, and we will accept applications until January 1st.  We will notify you if any application documents are not received by the deadline and give you ample opportunity to submit additional materials if needed.  Therefore, you DO NOT need to contact us to inquire about the status of your application or the receipt of application materials.

In early February, all applicants will be notified about the status of their application.  Preliminary phone and/or video interviews may also be requested at that time.  Candidates who are selected for an interview will be scheduled to visit our program throughout March and April, at which time they will meet with our students and faculty.  Notices of acceptance will be provided by telephone on the national acceptance date designated by the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (typically in late April or early May).

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