About the Program
The Genetic Counseling program offers a Master of Science degree in Genetic Counseling. The curriculum integrates the science of genetics and genomics with the knowledge, counseling, research and communication skills needed to ethically and effectively deliver genetic counseling services in diverse clinical settings. The program is a full-time, day program with one cohort of 7 students beginning each fall semester. It consists of four, fall/spring semesters with one intervening summer semester session. The program curriculum consists of 60 semester credits. Students who successfully complete the program will be eligible for the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) certification examination. Graduates are responsible for preparing for the examination, as completion of the program alone does not ensure certification. Graduates are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the applicable certification and licensing requirements for the state in which they wish to work.
The genetic counseling program at UAMS stands apart from other genetic counseling programs in a few important ways. First, students learn how to provide genetic counseling over interactive video (telemedicine) through the internationally renowned ANGELS program (http://angels.uams.edu/). Second, the majority of our courses are blended in that they provide live instruction along with complementary online components. None of our courses are provided solely online. Third, some students spend their second year of graduate school at one of our satellite sites. Students at a satellite site join their classes via interactive video but complete their clinical training at the satellite site. Other features of the program include:
- Clinical Skills Center that uses standardized patients (patient actors) for video-taped role plays;
- Interprofessional education;
- Faculty and guest lecturers from across the United States;
- Diverse research opportunities; and
- Clinical training that is based on a developmental progression, (novice, intermediate, and advanced skills).
Graduates of the UAMS program are competitive in the marketplace. Our first attempt pass rate for the national board examination (2012 – present) is 92%. Alumni are working in diverse settings and 100% of employers surveyed state that they would hire another UAMS graduate, (Employer Survey, 2015).
Admission to the program is competitive and based on the following criteria:
- Academic achievement
- Academic aptitude
- Leadership and professionalism
- Written and oral communication
- Knowledge of the profession
- Interpersonal skills