Genetic Counselling

Program Overview

The Master of Science program in Genetic Counselling is a full-time degree program that prepares students with the academic and clinical skills to provide genetic counselling. Graduates may work as part of a health-care team to gather relevant medical and family histories, to guide further investigations, and to communicate probable or established diagnoses, mode of inheritance, natural history, risk of recurrence, and associated options. This program has been accredited by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.

This program is offered by the Department of Molecular Genetics located in the Medical Sciences Building. The department has nearly 100 faculty members whose labs are located within the Medical Science Building, the Best Institute, the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, the FitzGerald Building, the Hospital for Sick Children, Mount Sinai Hospital, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and Princess Margaret Hospital.

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Quick Facts

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Application deadline MSc:

Fall 2024 entry




Fall 2024 entry



Minimum admission average MSc:




Are any standardized tests required/recommended? MSc:




Master of Science

Program Description

The MSc program is a full-time degree program (non-thesis) that prepares students with relevant academic knowledge and clinical skills so that upon graduating, they may work as highly competent genetic counsellors in a variety of practice settings. Genetic counsellors are employed in many areas of healthcare, providing genetic assessment and counselling to individuals and families with, or at risk for, a genetic disorder. There is also an increasing demand for genetic counsellors to join genetic/genomic testing laboratories, industry, public health settings, etc. Genetic counsellors are often involved in academic activities including teaching and research, administrative leadership roles, advisory roles for government and/or support organizations, and other precision medicine leadership capacities. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Molecular Genetics' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • A four-year undergraduate degree from a recognized university with a minimum B+ average, both cumulatively and in the upper years.

  • Successful completion or proof of current enrolment of undergraduate courses at a recognized university in biology, molecular biology/genetics, biochemistry, embryology/animal developmental biology, statistics, and psychology.

  • The development of strong interpersonal and communication skills, as evidenced by experience in a counselling setting (volunteer or paid).

  • All applicants must register with the National Matching System (NMS); instructions are provided in the department's application procedures.

Program Requirements

  • Students must complete 13.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • 10.0 FCEs in coursework with a minimum B– standing. Lectures, meetings, and rounds must be attended at a minimum of 90% of scheduled occurrences.

    • 1.0 FCE independent research project. Students are expected to develop and implement a research study designed and carried out by them under the supervision of a faculty member. The independent research project must be relevant to the field of genetic counselling and/or clinical genetics. Students must present the independent research project both orally and in a written format suitable for publication.

    • 2.0 FCEs in clinical practicums.

  • Students spend a minimum of 21 months over a two-year period in full-time attendance.

  • Students are required to complete an intervening summer rotation (six weeks duration).

Program Length

6 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S/F/W/S)

Time Limit

3 years full-time

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