Course Work

Classroom picture

Educational training in the Michigan program prepares students to face the current and future demands of the rapidly evolving fields of genetic counseling, human genetics and genomics.

Coursework provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the medical, scientific, counseling and ethical aspects of human genetics and supports the development of critical thinkers with integrated analytical and clinical skills. Our core curriculum takes full advantage of our affiliation with a basic science department and provides students with extensive training in molecular and applied medical genetics.  Genetic counseling students receive the same training in the foundations of human genetics and the development of new genetic and genomic technologies as PhD students, and the medical genetic class is a required course for our physicians training in the Medical Genetics Fellowship Program. 

Genetic counseling classroom training covers both applied and theoretical aspects of genetic counseling practice and is taught by experienced clinicians. Classroom teaching is highly interactive and utilizes multimedia approaches that include role plays with peers, faculty, professional actors, and supervision groups that are led by both peers and senior genetic counselors. Our small class sizes allow individual attention to each student’s needs and supports a nurturing academic environment.

In every semester, students also have the opportunity to consider ethical dimensions of clinical practice and the intersections between the clinical and public faces of genetic counseling and genetics, including the translation of research into health care services, policy initiatives and public health genetics.

Lastly, electives provide students with the opportunity to train in a wide variety of complementary disciplines (public health, psychology, social work, and nursing).

Required Courses by Semester

Semester I (fall)

  • Molecular Genetics, Cellular, and Organismal Genetics - HG545 (3 credits)
  • Anatomy and Embryology for Genetic Counselors - HG647 (3 credits)
  • Genetic Counseling I: Clinical Skills/Peer Supervision Group - HG640 (3 credits)
  • Reproductive Genetics - HG641 (2 credits)
  • Research Skills - HG642(1 credit)
  • Student Seminar - HG821 (1 credit)
  • Clinical Internship - HG659(1 credit)

Semester II (winter)

  • Genetic in Human Biology and Disease HG546 (4 credits)
  • Genetic Counseling II: Placing the Client Front and Center/Peer Supervision Group - HG648 (3 credits)
  • Pediatric Genetics & Interdisciplinary Care - HG644 (1 credit)
  • Cancer Genetics - HG645 (2 credits)
  • Applied Clinical Genetics - HG646 (1 credit)
  • Clinical Internship - HG659 (2 credits)
  • Research Skills - HG643 (1 credit)
  • Student Seminar - HG822 (1 credit)
  • Elective

Semester III (summer)

* No course work and no tuition. Students complete two seven-week full time rotations and also work on their research thesis.

Semester IV (fall)

  • Medical Genetics - HG650 (1 credit)
  • Basic Concepts in Population and Statistical Genetics - HG544 (2 credits) course only available through Fall 2023 term.
  • Genetic Counseling III: Advanced Counseling Skills/Peer Supervision Group - HG649 (3 credits)
  • Death, Loss & Grief - SW617 (3 credits)
  • Clinical Internship - HG659 (2 or 3 credits)
  • Research - HG800 (3 credits)
  • Elective

Semester V (winter)

  • Medical Genetics - HG651 (1 credit)
  • Genetic Counseling IV: Professional Development/Peer Supervision Group - HG652 (3 credits)
  • Clinical Internship - HG659 (2 or 3 credits)
  • Research - HG800 (3 credits)
  • Electives