The application for Fall 2021 admission will open September 1, 2020. The application deadline is December 15, 2020.
- Prior to beginning your application, please carefully review the instructions and requirements below.
- When you are ready to apply go to the GMS Admissions page, review the instructions, and click “Apply Now”. Fee waivers are available based on financial need.
- Please complete the required registration for National Matching Services, Inc. at the following site: https://natmatch.com/gcadmissions/
- Invitations for admission interviews will be extended by February 1st. Virtual interviews will be held late February, throughout March and early April for all applicants.
- Match day rankings due to National Matching Services, Inc. prior to April 14, 2021.
- All interviewed candidates will be notified of their status on the BU genetic counseling program through National Matching Services on April 23, 2021.
- Eleven students will be accepted for the incoming Class of 2023.
COVID 19 Updates: We understand the tremendous disruption the COVID pandemic has created for society at large, and remain committed to ensure every completed application receives an individualized, holistic review. In response to this unprecedented time, our program has made the following adjustments for the upcoming admissions cycle:
- Pass/fail grades will be accepted for pre-requisite coursework due to COVID.
- GREs are waived. We appreciate the time spent for those applicants who have already taken this exam. However, to ensure equity for all we respectfully request you do not not submit your score reports or include information about GREs on your application as this information will not be taken into account for your application review.
- If the experiences you hoped to gain have since been canceled due to COVID, please know there are many ways to still stay connected to the genetic counseling profession through virtual events, podcasts, review of the Journal of Genetic Counseling, materials available on the National Society of Genetic Counseling website, and a number of books, blogs, film and more where you can learn about the field and the lived of experiences of individuals and families. We will be posting additional information on our Student Webinar page for virtual events taking place across the country.
A candidate must submit the following to satisfy the application requirements for admission into the BU MS in Genetic Counseling program:
- A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with fulfilled prerequisites
- Transcripts from every post-secondary institution attended
- Three letters of recommendation
- Personal Statement
- Personal experiences relevant to genetic counseling
The application for the Boston University Genetic Counseling Program is completed online through the standard system used by Graduate Medical Sciences following the links above. You will have opportunity to add documents (such as your unofficial transcripts, personal statements and resume/CV), and electronically notify those you request a letter of recommendation from. As a reminder, please do not add any GRE scores to your application as the portal will ask if you plan to add any, or not. Many demographic questions in part one of the application are asked due to reporting requirements for grants for Graduate Medical Sciences as a whole. Unfortunately, our program is not able to adjust the wording or adjust response choices as grant reporting requirements on a national level are beyond our control. If you have any questions or concerns as you work through the application portal, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
BA degree, Transcripts and Prerequisites:
Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. The majority of students enter the program with an undergraduate degree in biology, genetics, psychology, nursing, social work, or public health. However, this program is available to all individuals if following college-level prerequisites have been completed:
- one quarter or semester of genetics
- one quarter or semester of psychology (any course in psychology is accepted)
- one year of biology (lab sections are not required)
- one year of chemistry (lab sections are not required)
- one quarter or semester of biochemistry (lab section not required)
- one quarter or semester of statistics
Additional considerations regarding prerequisites:
- At the application deadline, you may have up to two outstanding prerequisites that you plan to complete in the upcoming spring or summer. Please list your plans for any pending prerequisite courses on your application.
- If you are enrolled in Fall courses for which you will not receive a grade prior to the admissions deadline, they are not considered outstanding if you send an updated unofficial transcript to email@example.com as soon as your grades are available. We ask that you contact us if for any reason your grades will not be available prior to early January.
Additional coursework in related fields (e.g. human genetics, psychology, anatomy, human development, public health, epidemiology, anthropology, sociology, neuroscience, maternal and child health, bioinformatics, computer science, scientific writing, etc.) can further strengthen your application.
We do not have a minimum GPA requirement.
- Transcripts should be provided 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.
- 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.
- Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the application process. If you are offered admission at BU, official transcripts will be required at that time and additional transcripts may be requested.
- If you are currently completing your undergraduate degree, you should upload an unofficial transcript with your application and do not need to request an official transcript. If you are offered admission, official transcripts will be required at that time.
- If you are enrolled in courses that will be completed in December or January, please email an unofficial copy of those course grades or transcripts to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as they become available.
Official Transcripts may be sent to:
Graduate Medical Sciences: Admissions
Boston University School of Medicine
72 East Concord St., L-317
Boston, MA 02118
Letters of Recommendation:
Three letters of recommendation are required for your application to be considered complete. There are no requirements regarding the background of your recommenders, but you are encouraged to choose individuals who can comment on different strengths and someone who can speak to your academic ability. Please ensure these letters are submitted by the December 15th deadline via the application portal.
We truly enjoy reading personal statements from all applicants. In addition to the following topics to be addressed in your personal statement below, please also make sure to tell us about who you are.
Your essay should describe your reasons for pursuing a degree in genetic counseling at Boston University using examples of experiences that have motivated you personally. Please describe for us what these experiences meant to you. Keep in mind we will have a summary of your experiences on the additional document you prepared in the form of a CV/resume. Use this statement to share more with us about you and how these experiences have shaped your desire to become a genetic counselor. Please also address why, specifically, you wish to earn your degree at BU in your statement.
We look forward to reading your essay! The personal statement should be no more than 3-4 pages in length (double-spaced). (Please disregard the instructions specific to page number on the admissions portal we recognize there is a typo and the portal cannot be changed.)
As part of your online application submission, attach a resume or CV that includes the following items:
- Academic information: Undergraduate institution, degree, major, minor or concentration (if applicable) and cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale). If you have a graduate degree, please include this information as well
- 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, phone interviews or internships (including location, supervisor, and length of time). You may also include webinars you’ve attended, open house information, etc.
- 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 (Please DO NOT send copies of any publications or papers you’ve written)
- Any other work or volunteer experiences related to the field of genetic counseling or which support your candidacy for this program
- Any leadership experiences, awards, honors, language skills, team participation, etc.
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. There is no restriction on page length. Many college/university based career services programs will advise you to keep this to one page. However, we encourage multiple pages of experiences as outlined above. If you are not sure what to include, think about what experiences provide you with skills transferrable to the genetic counseling profession.
Personal experiences relevant to genetic counseling are also required. These experiences may include:
- Shadowing or meeting with a genetic counselor for an informal interview by phone or in person (there are many ways to engage with genetic counseling professionals through opportunities offered via the National Society of Genetic Counselors and other organizations).
- Volunteer or advocacy experience (support groups, summer camps, fund-raising events, etc.)
- Counseling experience (crisis hotlines, hospice work, etc.)
- Laboratory experience (academic or commercial)
- Research experience
- Related industry experience
TOEFL or IELTS Scores
Because genetic counseling requires strong written and spoken English skills, we require very high TOEFL or IELTS scores from international applicants. If you are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or have received a degree from an English-speaking institution than a TOEFL score is not required by Boston University Graduate School of Medical Sciences.