Prerequisite Courses

The information below applies to the Fall 2024 admission cycle.

Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university or equivalent. Preferred degrees are in biology, genetics, chemistry, psychology, nursing, or related fields. The program has no required – or preferred – undergraduate major. UAMS recognizes that the study and practice of genetic counseling is enriched by the presence of students from a variety of academic backgrounds. However, a demonstrated amount of academic rigor is required to ensure that applicants can succeed with the scholastic demands of the genetic counseling curriculum. All listed courses must have been completed at a regionally accredited post-secondary academic institution or be recognized on the granting University official transcript. Courses must also fulfill all college requirements regarding acceptance of transfer credit. Applicant must earn a grade of “C” or better in all required prerequisite coursework. Admission to the program for applicants who have not completed all prerequisite courses will be conditional pending the completion of all prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or better before matriculation.

  • No more than 2 required prerequisite courses can be from CLEP, AP, or IB credit and must be recognized on the granting University official transcript.
    • Although accepted, CLEP, AP and IB credits will not be considered in GPA calculations.
Required Course Work
A minimum of two quarters or one semester (or equivalent) in each of the following:
- Biology
- Chemistry
- Psychology
- Genetics (should include coverage of Mendelian and molecular genetics)
- Cell or Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry
- Statistics
- Laboratory Course (Biology, Genetics, Chemistry, or Biochemistry)
Recommended Course Work
- Abnormal Psychology
- Research Methods
- Human Anatomy
- Human or Vertebrate Physiology
- Human Genetics
- Child Development
- Medical Terminology; Greek and Latin usage in English Language
- Technical Writing

A competitive applicant will possess:

  1. An understanding of the profession obtained through, but not limited to: internship, job shadowing, reading, and interviewing genetics counselors.
  2. Training and experience (paid or volunteer) in direct client counseling. If you have questions about a setting, population, or your role, contact the program. These are a few examples:
    • Crisis Counseling: crisis/suicide hotline, domestic violence center, advocate for victims of sexual violence, crisis pregnancy center, resource and referral service;
    • Peer counseling: resident assistant, camp counselor, etc…;
  3. Training and experience (paid or volunteer) in one of more of the following three areas. Contact the program if you have questions. These are a few examples:
    • Direct client/patient care: center or program for people with genetic disorders, disabilities, mental illness or behavioral problems and medically fragile in outreach, community, treatment, rehabilitation, or chronic care facilities;
    • Educating: children to adult students, special needs populations, community groups; and
    • Advocating: patient advocate in a hospital or community program, non-profit agencies or state programs serving individuals and/or families with genetic disorders, disabilities, or chronic medical conditions.

Special considerations: Qualified applicants who are also Arkansas residents will be given priority.