Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Masters Program in Genetic Counseling

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Admissions Overview


Open Houses

We host two Open Houses each year - generally in August and in November - and invite prospective applicants to campus to meet program leaders and current students.  Dates are announced on the website in advance of each session, and those unable to attend in person are provided with a remote connection. 


A video of the slides and audio from our November 2019 Open House is included just below. 


National Matching Services

The University of Pennsylvania's Master’s in Genetic Counseling program participates in the Genetic Counseling Admissions Match through the National Matching Services (NMS). The Admissions Match was adopted by the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors in 2017 as the system to place applicants into positions in masters-level genetic counseling programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling.

Before applying to participating genetic counseling graduate programs, applicants must first register with NMS to receive their unique Code Number for the upcoming Match.  They then share this number with any programs they apply to and use it to submit their own ranked list to NMS in the spring.  Applicants can register as early as September and are strongly encouraged to register no later than early December. NMS charges each applicant a $100 non-refundable registration fee.

At the conclusion of program interviews, applicants and programs submit ranked lists of preferences to NMS, following the schedule posted on the NMS website.

The UPenn program listing appears like this:

UPMGC Posting from NMS

Following the deadline for Rank Order Lists, NMS applies an algorithm that considers both applicants’ and programs’ preferences.  The binding results of the Match are released to applicants and programs by email simultaneously on a set date in late April.

The NMS website provides more detailed information about the matching process, a video demonstration, and a complete schedule of dates and deadlines.


UPMGC Timeline for 2020 Admissions

August 15, 2020 Applications available
January 5, 2021 Application deadline.  All application documents, along with a $75 non-refundable fee, must be submitted via CollegeNet.
February-March Admissions committee reviews applications.  Selected applicants are invited to interview.
March-early April Interviews take place.
Mid- April 2021 National Matching Services Rank Order List due
Late April 2021 Match Day - Match results released to applicants and programs by email
Early May Candidates who match with Penn's program will receive a detailed commitment letter.
Mid-May Candidates return acceptance letter with a $500 deposit.  This deposit is applied to the first-semester tuition, and it is non-refundable if students fail to enter the program on the date for which they are accepted.
Late August Classes begin


Admissions Criteria

Applications to the Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program are evaluated according to the following criteria:
  • Undergraduate academic record at an accredited college or university
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores, if applicable
  • Genetic counseling or other relevant work or shadowing experience
  • Interview
Specific information on each criterion can be found in the Application Explanation.