The Fall 2024 application is now available (Opened: September 1, 2023).
Begin the online application. The application deadline is December 15, 2023.
- Prior to beginning your application, please carefully review the instructions and requirements below.
- An application fee waiver for Boston University is available based on financial need through GMS (application HERE). International applicants do not qualify for a fee waiver as per university guidelines.
- Please complete the required registration for National Matching Services, Inc. at the following site: https://natmatch.com/gcadmissions/. Match fee waivers are available through the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (application HERE)
- Invitations for admission interviews will be extended no later than February 1st. Virtual interviews will be held throughout March (select Mondays/Fridays) for all applicants.
- Match day rankings due to National Matching Services, Inc. prior to April 9, 2024.
- All interviewed candidates will be notified of their status on the BU Genetic Counseling Program admission through National Matching Services on the genetic counseling match day April 17, 2024.
- We anticipate to offer admission to 14 students for the incoming Class of 2026.
Warren Alpert Foundation AID-GC Scholarship Application
Through a generous grant from the Warren Alpert Foundation, Boston University Genetic Counseling Program is honored to be a member of the AID-GC consortium
The Boston University Genetic Counseling Program admissions committee welcomes your application for this award of full tuition and a stipend for living expenses for the 21-month MS program in Genetic Counseling.
A total of two awards are available for the upcoming academic year to support students from underrepresented backgrounds based on NIH guidelines: https://diversity.nih.gov/about-us/population-underrepresented
If you are eligible and wish to apply, please complete the following steps:
1) Register for the NMS Match by December 15th
2) Complete the online application for the BUGCP by December 15th.
3) Complete the online application and essay requirement for the scholarship by December 15th. Application form available HERE.
Please email email@example.com with any questions. Thank you for your interest.
Instructions and Requirements
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 and short answer responses
- Resume/CV to provide a summary of your experiences
- 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 the 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. Due to recent changes with regards to admissions policy, the BUGCP admissions team will no longer have access to demographic information you may enter. 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 the 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
The purpose of these prerequisites is to ensure students who matriculate have appropriate background across science disciplines, psychology and statistics and why these are required. Additional considerations regarding prerequisites include the following:
- One AP course will be accepted towards fulfillment of the outlined pre-requisites.
- 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.
- Pass/fail grades will be accepted for prerequisite coursework due to COVID-19 disruptions
- Online and MOOC classes where a certificate is granted will be accepted for pre-requisite courses accordingly.
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.
GREs are not required. 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 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.
- 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.
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. Please check the application portal often for the status of your letter requests and follow up with recommenders who have not responded accordingly. Applications missing letters of recommendations will not be reviewed.
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. Please refer to the essay prompt embedded in the application portal. We look forward to reading your essay!
As part of your online application submission, attach a resume or CV that includes the following items, as well as anything else you would like to share that has transferrable skills to support your enrollment in a future graduate program.
- 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 pre-requisite courses you plan to take this coming winter/spring/summer
- Any genetic counseling observations, phone interviews or internships (including location and length of time). You may also include webinars you’ve attended, open house information, etc. if you would like.
- 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 submit 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
- We welcome applications from prospective international students and review them in parallel with domestic applications. On average, about 10% of our applicant pool is from international applicants.
- 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 Graduate Medical Sciences.
- We accept transcripts submitted in any language. 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. WES Translation reports are accepted.
- At present, Boston University does not have a STEM-OPT extension for graduates of the genetic counseling program. Ongoing efforts are taking place to allow for this in the future.
- Total tuition costs for international students are the same as domestic students. Please refer to Tuition and Financial Aid for additional information.
- Clinical training opportunities for international students will take place at Boston Medical Center and as our clinical affiliation agreements allow across our network of training sites.
For additional information regarding joining the BU Community as an international student, please explore the International Students & Scholars Office.