Frequently Asked Questions about the ART-GC Certificate Program

Is the program part time?  How long is the program?

The ART-GC program is a part-time, one-year program.  Participating genetic counselors will continue to work part-time in their current positions.

The University of Pennsylvania operates on an academic semester system. The certificate program has two courses in the fall semester and two courses in the spring semester.  Research work begins in the fall and continues through the summer.  The second cohort of the ART-GC program will begin classes in fall 2024 and complete the certificate in July 2025.

What about my job? Will I lose my benefits?

The certificate program works like a research sabbatical. Participants will devote 50% of their work time to the program while continuing to work half time in their current positions. Grant funding covers the cost of tuition, and in addition, provides 50% salary support for one year to the participants' departments. This means that each trainee will remain a full-time employee of their institution with full time benefits, and that their institution has the resources to hire a part-time employee to cover their responsibilities while they are in the program.

How much does it cost?

There is currently no cost to participate. The Warren Alpert Foundation provided a $9.7 million grant (the Career Ladder Education Program for Genetic Counseling (CLEP-GC)) to the University of Pennsylvania's Master of Science in Genetic Counseling Program in the Perelman School of Medicine in 2022 to develop innovative career ladder opportunities for genetic counselors. This grant fully funds all aspects of the ART-GC certificate program. (See more below.)

Who can apply?

Certified genetic counselors affiliated with the five consortium programs are encouraged to apply. Two genetic counselors from each site will be enrolled each year, a cohort of ten trainees yearly (a total of 40 trainees over four years). It is expected that applicants would have several years of experience in genetic counseling, including some research, and an interest in pursuing additional research at a higher level.

What is the curriculum?

There are four required courses, including one elective. Courses are primarily asynchronous and are taken one at a time, in sequential seven-week blocks, two in the fall semester and two in the spring semester.

How will I benefit from earning the ART-GC certificate?

The ART-GC will provide advanced training on the topics listed above and fill gaps in previous training, with in-depth focus on research design, grant writing and manuscript preparation. Research and career mentors will be matched with each certificate student. In addition, students from the five participating institutions will interact with each other leading to networking and collaborative possibilities. A yearly seminar will be convened to allow trainees to share their research projects within the cohort and with the faculty leadership. After completing the program, each trainee will receive an official master’s certificate from the University of Pennsylvania.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

Lisa Weitzman, Program Coordinator of the ART-GC Certificate Program at

Tiff Hartman PhD, LCGC, Associate Director of the ART-GC Certificate Program at

Kathleen Valverde, PhD, LCGC, co-PI for the Career Ladder Education for Genetic Counselors grant at