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Picture of program leadership
Lisa Kessler, Kathy Valverde, Laura Conway & Jo MacKenzie at the program's 20th anniversary in 2016.

Between the four of us, we have more than 60 years of experience in genetic counseling graduate education and program management.  We are passionate about our work and committed to bringing together  outstanding faculty members, clinical care providers and researchers in genetics and genetic counseling to provide the best possible educational experience for future genetic counselors.

We are fortunate to be part of a program located at the first medical school in the country, rated in the top five for the last twenty years, and at a University and in a city where medical and education breakthroughs and innovations have been a way of life for 300 years.

The combination of experience, tremendous resources, and a dedication to excellence makes the University of Pennsylvania's Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program a top choice for graduate education.

DNA Sculpture from Cold Springs Harbor
Field of Genes," a photograph of the sculpture Spirals Time - Time Spirals at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, by Donald L. Siegel, Ph.D., MD, Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. 
Image used with the permission of Dr. Siegel and CSHL.


Mission Statement

The mission of the Perelman School of Medicine’s Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program is to maximize the resources and clinical expertise of a renowned academic, research-oriented medical school to prepare the next generation of genetic counseling clinical scholars in order to shape the future of genetic counseling and genomic medicine.





The program received full re-accreditation in 2016 for the maximum of eight years, through 2024.  The program meets the requirements of the ACGC for curriculum content, clinical experience, and overall program design. Graduates of the program are qualified to sit for the certification examination offered by the ABGC and to apply for state licensure.

ACGC Contact information


Announcing three full-time paid summer internships in Genetic Counseling

Announcing three summer internships in genetic counselingThis summer we will be offering three full-time, paid (40 hours/week @ $15/hour = $3,600) summer internships for undergraduate students from populations/groups that are under-represented in genetic counseling.  The internships will be six-weeks long (from Monday, June 14 – Friday, July 19, 2021), and virtual this year.  They will provide students interested in a career in genetic counseling with exposure to a broad range of clinical genetics specialties, research and laboratory work, shadowing in multiple clinical settings, and opportunities for one-on-one interviews with genetic counselors.


Click here for more information on qualifications and applying for an internship. 

The deadline to apply is March 8th.

These internships were made possible through the support of the Department of Genetics and the Master of Science in Genetic Counseling Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and the Roberts Individualized Medical Genetics Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.


UPenn MSGC Program - Upcoming Events

  • Prospective Students Night Wednesday, June 16, 2021 Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:00 PM Eastern

    Optimize your application to the genetic counseling program.  If you are wondering  •Who reviews applications?    What are we looking for?   What are you missing?   How can you fill in the gaps?   Click here to register

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