How to Apply

The information below applies to the Fall 2022 admission cycle.

Applications must be submitted online by December 15, 2021 at 4:30pm central time.  Applicants should submit supporting documents, with the exception of official transcripts, to the “Upload Documents” section of the online application.  Any application documents not uploaded by December 15th deadline must be emailed to GCTrainingProgram@uams.edu by December 31, 2021 to be considered for admission.  Applicants must provide:

  1. UAMS Online Admissions Application: An online application to the college is required and is available on the website.  A non-refundable application fee of $40.00 is required and must accompany the OAA application.  On the first page of the application, be sure to make the following selections to choose this program:
    -Academic Career: Graduate
    -Campus: Main UAMS Campus
    -Term: Fall
    -Academic Program: College of Health Prof GRAD
    -Admit Type: Applicant
    -Academic Plan: Genetic Counseling MS
    -Academic Sub-Plan: N/A
  2. National Matching Services: The University of Arkansas for Medical Science (UAMS) Genetic Counseling Graduate Program is participating in the Genetic Counseling Admissions Match through National Matching Services (NMS) for the fall 2022 admissions cycle.  The GC Admissions Match has been established to enhance the process of placing applicants into positions in masters-level genetic counseling programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). The Match uses a process that takes into account both applicants’ and programs’ preferences.  All applicants must first register for the Match with NMS before applying to participating genetic counseling graduate programs.  Scholarships to cover the cost of the match registration are available through the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD).  For information on how to apply, please see this document.  At the conclusion of all program interviews, both applicants and programs will submit ranked lists of preferred placements to NMS according to deadlines posted on the NMS website.  The binding results of the Match will be released to both applicants and programs simultaneously in late April.  Please visit the NMS website (https://natmatch.com/gcadmissions) to register for the match, review detailed information about the matching process, and to view a demonstration of how the matching algorithm works.

    The Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors has established a waiver for the $100 fee associated with the NMS Match. Prospective students who demonstrate financial need AND have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater can apply for a match fee waiver. Prospective students should apply for a fee waiver BEFORE registering for an NMS number.

    Applications for the match fee waiver are due by October 6, 2021. Applicants will be notified on November 1, 2021 as to whether they have received a waiver. There are a limited number of waivers, so not all applicants will receive a waiver. Instructions for how to register for the NMS match will be provided to those who receive a waiver.

    Waivers are non-transferable to future match cycles or other prospective students. Prospective students who are applying for a match fee waiver will be required to write a short essay and to upload at least one of the following documents demonstrating financial need:

    1. A copy of a letter verifying unemployment benefits received within the past two years.
    2. A copy of a letter on official letterhead from a government agency verifying that you or your family have qualified for public assistance based on low income criteria anytime within the past 5 years
    3. A copy of your financial aid award letter from another / previous institution dated within 5 the past years
    4. A copy of your approved GRE fee waiver (for tests taken within 5 years of the application deadline)
    5. A copy of your federal Student Aid Report (SAR) that verifies you qualified for financial aid within the past 5 years based on a family contribution of:
      • Not more than $1,500 if the student is a dependent student
      • Not more than $1,900 if the student is an independent student
  3. Official Transcripts: Arrange for each college or university you have attended to forward an official transcript of your course work. Must have a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 2.85 on a 4.0 scale.  In special circumstances, the GPA in the major for the last two years, or the GPA for a graduate degree (in a related field) may be considered in lieu of the cumulative undergraduate GPA.  However, each required prerequisite course (see Prerequisites) must be completed with letter grade of “C” or above.  Official transcripts should be sent to the CHP Office of Admissions.
    NOTE:  Admissions is aware that due to COVID-19 and the impact on colleges and universities, some students are being issued pass/fail, credit/no credit prerequisite grades. We are acceptable of that grading system during the semesters/quarters impacted by COVID-19 as long as the college or university documents “pass/P or credit/CR” and the credit hours on the transcript.  Students who believe they would have earned an A or B in a required prerequisite, particularly Genetics and/or Molecular Biology, are encouraged to request a brief letter from the professor who taught the course attesting to the student’s high performance in the course.  These letters can be submitted with the student’s application and do not replace the three letters of recommendation. 
  4. GRE Scores: Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are waiving the GRE requirement for this admission cycle.
  5. Evidence of an Understanding of the Genetic Counseling Profession: Applicants are encouraged to job shadow with a genetic counselor on at least one occasion before applying.*  Applicants may provide evidence of this shadowing experience by submitting one or more of the following:
    1. the Genetic Counseling Observation Form (available on the program website); or
    2. a letter or email from the genetic counselor to the UAMS genetic counseling program that includes the following information: clinic name, date observed, hours observed, and comments on the applicant’s professionalism, communication skills, and interpersonal skills; or
    3. a letter of recommendation from a genetic counselor (often only possible for applicants who have spent a significant amount of time with a genetic counselor).

*Applicants who were unable to shadow a genetic counselor prior to submitting an application must submit a written explanation as to why this was not possible and steps taken by the applicant to learn about the genetic counseling profession.

  1. Essay: An 800-word statement that addresses your preparedness for graduate school, why you are suited to career in genetic counseling, and your professional career vision. Upload your essay to the “Upload Documents” section of the online application
  2. Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required.  Applicants will be required to enter the reference name and email address on the online application.  After submission of the online application, the system will automatically generate an email to the reference with instructions for completing and submitting the letter by the December 31 deadline.
  3. Resume: A current curriculum vitae or resume.
  4. Summary Form: Applicants must complete this form through REDCap. NOTE: The Admissions Office makes final determination on prerequisites met. 
    Steps:

    1. Click on this link to open and complete the form https://redcap.link/uamsgcaplicantsummaryform (the form can be saved to complete at a later time if needed);
    2. Open the email confirmation that the form is complete – it will contain a pdf of your completed form; and
    3. Upload the pdf of your completed form to the “Upload Documents” section by December 15, 2021. This item will then be marked as complete.
  5. TOEFL Scores, as applicable.  See International Applicants in the Admissions/Academic Information section of the catalog.

Interview

After the December 31 deadline to receive all supporting documents, the admissions committee will review all applications. The most qualified applicants will be invited to interview.  Interviews will be conducted February – April 2021 via live interactive video using Zoom due to COVID-19. Interviewees must have a webcam so they can be seen during the interviews at all times. Only applicants who complete the full interview process will be considered for admission.

State Authorization of Distance Education and Clinical Placement Policy

*Admission Requirements for Foreign, Non-permanent Resident Alien, and Non-native English Speakers:  All applicants who are not United States citizens or permanent resident aliens or for whom English is not their native language must meet additional admission requirements.  Please consult the Admission/Academic Information section of the CHP Catalog.

All accepted applicants must consent to a criminal background check and drug screen prior to matriculation. Background checks and drug screens are required by most clinical sites during the didactic and clinical phase of the program. Matriculation into the program is contingent upon acceptable background check and drug screen results. Adverse results of a background check will be considered on an individual basis and may result in an inability to matriculate into the program. Enrolled students may be randomly drug tested throughout the curriculum and clinical sites may require updated background checks. More information about the requirement will be provided to accepted applicants.