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Genetic Counseling

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The University of South Florida (USF) is proud to offer the first Genetic Counseling Graduate Program in the State of Florida. Our program includes a unique combination of training in medical genetics/genomics, public health, and communication and counseling skills. Students of this program will gain the technical knowledge and clinical experience needed to compete in the rapidly growing field of genetic counseling and the emerging field of precision medicine. 

In October 2016, our program received accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC).  The new Genetic Counseling degree is a comprehensive, 21-month, full-time program that consists of didactic and skill-based course work, multiple clinical rotations and field experiences beginning in the first semester, independent learning opportunities, and a thesis research requirement. Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a Master’s of Science in Public Health with a concentration in Genetic Counseling (MSPH-GC) and will be eligible to sit for the national board certification exam that is administered by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC). 

Multiple Professional Opportunities

Genetic Counseling is a growing profession with a wide array of employment opportunities. Genetic counselors work in a variety of clinical, laboratory, industry, and research settings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of genetic counselors is expected to grow 29%, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. You can learn more about the genetic counseling profession by visiting the website of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC).

Our Mission

The mission of the USF Health Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling is “to train genetic counselors to evaluate, understand, and meet the evolving needs of genomic health care service delivery”. Our goal is to prepare program graduates to provide compassionate clinical care to individuals and families and to engage in educational, research, and policy efforts to ensure that genomic technologies and genetic counseling positively and equitably benefit individuals, families, institutions, communities, and diverse populations. 

Our Team

Leadership from the USF College of Public Health Department of Global Health and the Morsani College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics have teamed up with faculty across the University and beyond to create the Genetic Counseling Program. USF’s Division of Genetics & Metabolism, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Orlando Health and other community partners will provide students with the hands-on counseling experience required for graduation.


Leadership   (Click to expand)

Additional Course Faculty, Clinical Supervisors, and Research Mentors   (Click to expand)

Genetic Counseling Program Advisory Board

The Executive Committee for Precision Medicine (ECPM) Workforce Development was created to oversee the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling and to lead USF Health efforts in precision medicine workforce development and continuing education for healthcare professionals.

  • Chair, Dr. Michael White, Professor and Deputy Director, USF Health & CDDI
  • Dr. Robert Deschenes, Senior Assoc. Dean, MCOM Graduate Affairs and Research
  • Dr. Thomas Unnasch, Chair of Global Health, COPH
  • Dr. Judith Ranells, Chief, Division of Genetics and Metabolism, Department of Pediatrics
  • Dr. Jerome Yankowitz, Chair & Professor, College of Medicine OB/GYN
  • Dr. Stephanie Romero, Assistant Professor, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine (OB/GYN)
  • Dr. Tuya Pal, Moffitt Cancer Genetic Risk Assessment Program
  • Dr. Deborah Cragun, Assistant Professor and USF Genetic Counseling Program Director
  • Dr. Kathleen Pope, Medical Director
  • Dr. Heather Zierhut, University of Minnesota Genetic Counseling Associate Program Director
  • Ms. Darrow Speyer, Certified Genetic Counselor, VP—Florida Association of Genetic Counselors

Degree Requirements and Admissions

The Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling has been accredited by ACGC and is now accepting applications for our first incoming class in Fall 2017. We will be following the same admission timeline as other genetic counseling training programs across North America as determined by the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors, all application materials must be submitted in SOPHAS by January 31st, 2017. During a competitive admissions process, select students will be invited to an in-person interview in February or March.

Please visit: http://www.grad.usf.edu/programs/programinfomation.php?pcode=MSPPHGTCM.S.P.H.#adm for Pre-requisites and other admission information. 

View the course listing here

Program Cost

Please visit http://www.usf.edu/admission/cost-to-attend.aspx to learn more.

How to Apply

Interested individuals who meet the pre-requisites should apply through the SOPHAS system. A detailed account of the application procedures can be found at http://sophas.org/

Contact Us

We will be hosting an open house for anyone who is interested in learning more about the field of genetic counseling and our new program. The open house will be held on November 9th at 6 pm in room 302 of the IDR building on the main USF campus located at 3720 Spectrum Blvd. Please contact Miki Pomeroy for more information and to obtain a parking permit for the event, mpomeroy1@health.usf.edu

To learn more about the graduate program in genetic counseling, please contact an academic advisor at (813) 974-6505 or email at preadmissions@health.usf.edu


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