Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid


Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (CU). A CU is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer), and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. In the MSGC program, one CU represents a semester-long, three-four hour per week course.  Tuition is billed by CU, as are the University's mandatory general, clinical and technology fees.

Required CUs for the MSGC Degree:
  Fall Semester Spring Semester
First Year 4 CUs 4 CUs
Second Year 3 CUs 3 CUs

The MSGC program has fourteen required CUs, eight in the first year of the program and six in the second year.  In the first year of the program, students are billed for four CUs plus fees in the fall, and again in the spring.  In the second year, students are billed for three CUs plus fees in the fall, and again in the spring. 


The 2023–2024 tuition rate for the MSGC program as well as the amount charged for the general, clinical and technology fees can be found under Genetic Counseling on the Student Registration and Services website.  Tuition for the 2024-2025 academic year has not been approved by the UPenn Board of Trustees, but we are anticipating a 4% increase.

Living Expenses

In addition to tuition and fees, students also have living expenses while attending the program.  These can vary greatly depending on a student's circumstances, of course, but the University has calculated estimated living expenses beyond tuition, such as housing, transportation, and food, for graduate students, as an aid in budget planning.  These figures are also important if a student needs to borrow money for living expenses.  See the estimated living expenses for 2022-2023.

Students attending the University are required to have and show proof of adequate health insurance.  Students with private insurance must provide policy information and request a waiver through Penn student health services before the end of the first month of classes each semester.  Students who need insurance can purchase the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP) for $4,210 per year (2023-24 rate). Any full-time student who does not complete the Penn Insurance Waiver will be charged for the PSIP plan.

Program Specific Costs

♦ Books and supplies:  year one ≈ $300; year two ≈ $200    

Many books are available electronically through the Penn library, and others are available on reserve.  Some students choose to purchase books for their convenience or for future study.

♦ Travel to clinic: varies depending on home address and mode of transportation.

Background checks and clinical clearances: approximately $200

Billing Procedures

Bursar bills are mailed by the Office of Student Financial Services usually within 4-6 weeks after the registration has been processed. Bills are delivered electronically on a monthly basis. For both incoming AND continuing students, notification emails are sent each month informing them that a new monthly billing statement is available via the online bill system, Penn.Pay, accessible through the Penn Portal. Students can check Penn.Pay at any time to see if new items have been posted since the last billing statement.

There are a variety of payment methods available, including in-person, by mail, through wire transfer, or online through Penn.Pay.

Billing questions should be addressed to Student Financial Services, 215-898-1988.

Financial Aid

It’s never too early to make a plan for financing your education. It is recommended that you start researching your eligibility and loan options as soon as possible. Visit the following resources on Penn websites and federal websites to guide you through the process.

Student Financial Services

Penn’s Student Financial Services office is available to prospective and current students for financial aid inquiries. For more information on financing your graduate studies, visit these pages on the Penn Student Financial Services website:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Anyone interested in receiving federal education loans should complete the FAFSA form after applying to the program.  You can find the FAFSA form on the Department of Education’s website.  To find out if you are eligible to apply for federal loans, visit the Federal Student Aid site or contact Penn Student Financial Services.  Currently, eligible students attending graduate school or professional school full time can borrow up to $20,500 per year in Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Work Study Positions

A wide variety of part-time positions are available at the University for students who qualify for the federal Work Study program.  In addition, an active community job board is open to all students. 

Graduate Student Assistantships

While not guaranteed, some GA and TA positions are available through the department and the University.