University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences


  • At the University of Minnesota, we have one of 35 graduate programs accredited by the American Board of Genetic Counseling to educate genetic counseling practitioners in North America. The program at the University of Minnesota was established in 1989 and has admitted over 150 students since its inception. The program was awarded full re-accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling in 2014.
  • The program currently accepts 8 new students each year. Most of our students secure teaching assistantships in their first year that helps to fund a portion of their studies with partial tuition remission and a stipend.
  • We have over 80 genetic counselors practicing in a wide variety of settings in Minnesota and most participate in the clinical preparation of our students. Students in our program typically graduate having had experience with more than 150 clinical cases in a broad range of traditional and nontraditional settings.


  • In the past 8 years, 39 of our graduates have had an abstract accepted from their research work by the National Society of Genetic Counselors or the American Society of Human Genetics for either a platform or poster presentation at the annual education meeting. In addition, 14 of our students over the last 8 years have gone on to work with program faculty to publish their master’s degree work in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Our graduates perform well on the national certification board exams - 95.7% of graduates who were eligible and elected to sit the boards are certified.
  • Our graduates remain in the profession - 84% of graduates are working in the field in some capacity.
  • Currently there appears to be a good job market for genetic counselors and many of our students secure a position prior to graduation. Our graduates are employed in a wide variety of positions in clinical settings, research, public health and industry both nationally and internationally.
  • Many of our graduates have attained leadership roles in this rapidly expanding profession.



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Alumni News:

December 2014 - Matt Bower (2001) and Joline Dalton (2000) have both written chapters in a recent book called Genetic Counseling for Adult Neurogenic Disease: A Casebook for Clinicians. Matt and Joline are also clinical supervisors for our program.

December 2014 - Heather Zierhut (2006) and Rebecca Tryon (2013) recently had their review paper on Fanconi anemia published in the December 2014 issue of the Journal of Genetic Counseling. Heather is the associate program director and Rebecca is a clinical supervisor for our program.

Congratulations to NSGC Award Winners!

  • 2014 Outstanding Volunteer Award: Heather Zierhut (U of MN, 2006)
  • New Leader: Sara Pirzadeh (U of MN, 2005)
  • New Leader: Heather Zierhut (U of MN, 2006)
  • 2003-2007 ABGC Board of Directors: Troy Becker (U of MN, 1992)
  • 2008 NSGC President: Angela Trepanier (U of MN, 1994)
  • 2013 NSGC President: Rebecca Nagy (U of MN, 1996)
  • 2013 ABGC Board of Directors: Karen Powell (U of MN, 1994)