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Health, Behavior & Society

Master of Science (ScM) in Genetic Counseling

The ScM in Genetic Counseling is designed to prepare graduates to provide genetic counseling with an emphasis on clients’ psychological and educational needs.

A joint effort of the Department and the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the program provides a solid foundation in conducting social and behavioral research related to genetic counseling, and teaches the skills necessary for graduates to educate health care providers, policymakers and the public about genetics and related health and social issues.

The two-and-a-half-year, full-time program consists of coursework taken at the East Baltimore campus of the Bloomberg School and at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland.

The curriculum consists of didactic coursework in the areas of human genetics, genetic counseling, health education, communication, ethics, public policy and research methodology. Please view the curriculum and program competencies.

The program also requires a minimum of 400 contact hours of supervised clinical rotations. Students in the program have access to more than twenty-five adult, pediatric, prenatal and specialty genetic clinical training sites in the Baltimore-Washington area in a variety of settings in the Baltimore-Washington area. Students may elect to complete their summer rotations in the Baltimore-Washington area or elsewhere. Many students choose to do a summer rotation outside of the United States. An international summer rotation is an opportunity to see how genetics is practiced in another country and expand the profile of genetic counseling. For some, the summer is an opportunity to rotate at a genetics clinic near their home.

Clinical rotations begin in the second term of the program and are required throughout. These rotations provide a critical opportunity for students to learn directly about genetic conditions and their impact on individuals and families and to receive an introduction to the breadth of services and variety of counselor responsibilities. Students are required to pass a written departmental comprehensive exam and complete a thesis project.

Here is more information about the JHU/NHGRI Genetic Counseling Training Program.