College of Health Sciences

Genetic Counseling

College of Health Sciences

Colleges / Schools

Genetic Counseling

Departments

Master's

Program Types

About the Program

The Master of Science in Genetic Counseling is a five-semester, 21-month, full-time graduate program designed to provide students with the knowledge base and skills required of a successful practitioner.  

The program meets the requirements of the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC) for curriculum content, clinical experience and overall program design and received full accreditation for eight years from the ACGC in 2016. Graduates of the program are qualified to sit for the certification examination offered by the ABGC and to apply for state licensure. The overall pass rate on the ABGC certification exam is 93% for students in our last five graduating classes.  

National Recognition, Local Support

Arcadia's Genetic Counseling program is one of 41 accredited programs in North America. Established in 1995, the program has graduated over 240 students and is one of the largest programs in the country. Accepting 14-16 diverse and highly-qualified students annually, Arcadia provides personal attention and access to clinical opportunities at some of the nation's premier healthcare facilities.

Arcadia's program has the full support of the genetics community in the greater Philadelphia area. Clinical training is one of the program's greatest strengths, with individualized clinical opportunities at clinical genetics sites throughout the Delaware Valley. Access to so many clinical training centers allows students to broaden their educational experience beyond traditional clinics to explore medical subspecialties, health care management, and non-traditional genetic counseling roles. 

Arcadia alumni are working across the country in diverse genetic counseling roles. Employers have been extremely impressed with the Arcadia graduates' work ethic and performance. In fact, several institutions employ multiple Arcadia graduates.

A Growing Profession

Genetic Counseling is a growing profession that combines expertise in scientific knowledge and finely developed counseling abilities. Although the majority of graduates work in major medical centers, the range of positions open to genetic counselors continues to expand and now includes general genetics services (pediatric and adult), clinical services devoted to one diagnosis (a specialty clinic), community support organizations, public health departments and services, administration, research, commercial laboratories, and private practice. The continuing growth in understanding inherited conditions predicts expansion for the profession.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth rate of 29% for genetic counseling positions over the years 2014-2024. This far exceeds the average growth rate of 7% for all occupations. Recent data suggest that there are many positions available for new graduates in the field. The mean starting salary for a genetic counselor with a master’s degree is approximately, $70,000, based on the 2016 Professional Status Survey (PSS) of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC). Nine of ten genetic counselors (90%) report they are satisfied with their job as also stated in the PSS. NSGC is a strong professional organization which provides ongoing education and communication for genetic counselors through annual conferences, webinars, a newsletter and the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Potential applicants are urged to contact the NSGC for information about careers in genetics at www.nsgc.org.