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KT123

Genetic Counseling Fall 2017 Applicants

1,699 posts in this topic

11 hours ago, slaybackc said:

I am not sure anyone else is applying to UC Denver's program, but I was wondering if you were having issues with their website? 

I haven't had trouble with UC Denver's website - this is actually the application that I'm currently working on. I'm using chrome - maybe try a different browser?

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3 hours ago, Ultrapeaches said:

I haven't had trouble with UC Denver's website - this is actually the application that I'm currently working on. I'm using chrome - maybe try a different browser?

I am using Chrome as well and I tried in IE and the same thing happened. The only time it happens is when I click Admit Requirements, the rest of the links work perfectly. 

The Program Administrator did email me back and answered my personal statement questions. So, he knows about the website issue, so hopefully it will get fixed soon. I'm not sure why it's happening. 

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10 hours ago, slaybackc said:

I am using Chrome as well and I tried in IE and the same thing happened. The only time it happens is when I click Admit Requirements, the rest of the links work perfectly. 

The Program Administrator did email me back and answered my personal statement questions. So, he knows about the website issue, so hopefully it will get fixed soon. I'm not sure why it's happening. 

Oh, yeah, my bad. That totally doesn't work. I was only thinking of the actual application website which works perfectly has a vague description of the essays that they're looking for. Did the program administrator give you any guidance in regards to length? At this point it feels bizarre to be writing essays with no limit on words/pages.

Edited by Ultrapeaches
missing word

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16 hours ago, Ultrapeaches said:

Oh, yeah, my bad. That totally doesn't work. I was only thinking of the actual application website which works perfectly has a vague description of the essays that they're looking for. Did the program administrator give you any guidance in regards to length? At this point it feels bizarre to be writing essays with no limit on words/pages.

He just directed me to the actual application for the essay questions. So I am going off the vague " Describe your motivation and plans for graduate study and a professional career, and discuss how this program will contribute to them" found on the application and "describe your past achievements, experience relevant to your proposed study in the field of genetic counseling, and future plans for graduate study and a professional career in genetic counseling" found on the brochure for my statement. 

And no, he didn't mention anything about length, but I also didn't ask. I am trying to keep it around 2 pages double spaced.

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GRE/GPA question. I just took the GRE and received unofficial scores of 163V and 157Q. The essays felt good too, but I'll find out more in a week or two. My sGPA with degrees in Molecular Biology and Neuroscience is a 3.747 and my cGPA is basically the same. My extracurriculars are good and similar to most of the applicants out there. With just the GPA and GRE in mind, how do I stack up with those who have gotten into Stanford/Johns Hopkins? Thanks for the feedback yall! 

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On 10/22/2016 at 7:00 PM, GCHopeful said:

GRE/GPA question. I just took the GRE and received unofficial scores of 163V and 157Q. The essays felt good too, but I'll find out more in a week or two. My sGPA with degrees in Molecular Biology and Neuroscience is a 3.747 and my cGPA is basically the same. My extracurriculars are good and similar to most of the applicants out there. With just the GPA and GRE in mind, how do I stack up with those who have gotten into Stanford/Johns Hopkins? Thanks for the feedback yall! 

I would look on both of their websites sites, most tell you what GPAs/GRE scores a strong/successful applicant had for admission. I know for example UTHealth states a strong applicant has a 3.5 cGPA and around the 75%ile for GRE scores, even though they have a minimum 3.0 GPA and no minimum GRE score. Also reading through the student profiles on their websites might be beneficial. The process itself is very holistic, so your grades, GRE score, and experience alone can get you an interview, but doesn't necessarily mean you'll be accepted based on a number of other reasons, such as how you may have done in the interview, if you'll connect/fit with your cohort and so many other things that we can't foresee.  

I am also in the same boat of applying for Fall 2017 admission, so comparing your stats to mine, I'd say you have a much better chance, but again it's more than just your numbers. 

-----
I finally asked another teacher for the fourth recommendation I need for UCDenver and I told her I'd have my application in within 2 weeks (a week ago) since Denver doesn't send out the link for the LORs until after the entire application is submitted. So I'm stressing on that and I still need to perfect my SOP for them and I have like a week to do it before I have to start making excuses (which I am not going to let myself do). 

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Good evening!

I'm applying for the Fall 2017 admissions cycle (as we all are) and I'm feeling lost, depressed... I have no idea what I'm doing and I KNOW that I don't have enough time, really. I never got a jump on it because I was having a really rough time my senior year. I nearly left school due to health complications. When I returned home for the summer, I worked six or seven days a week. Then, last year I took some more courses (chemistry, biochemistry, and psychology) to supplement my transcript and meet prerequisites. I continued to work and this summer, again, worked six or seven days a week. I know that I should have been working on my applications all along, but here I am now feeling completely screwed. Here's what I have to work with:

My GPA from Smith College (2015 grad) was 3.73

GRE Scores: 163V 155Q 4.5AW (I know, the quantitative is not that great... even though I'm actually really good at math)

Advocacy: trained and worked as the 'Diversity Representative' for my house on campus. This required peer counseling training, conflict-resolution training, and so on. 

Research: worked in a molecular bio lab for one year in undergrad. I also lived abroad in Italy for a year and over the summer had an internship with World Wildlife Foundation. I worked with them studying biodiversity in the area, focusing on sea turtles and dolphins in the Mediterranean. Additionally, I worked in their animal rehabilitation center; there, I worked closely with the on-site veterinarian assisting in minor surgeries, treatment plans, and generally taking care of the resident animals. 

I have so many questions, though. For one, I'm not exactly sure what I need to include in my personal statement.

-Do I need to talk about specific professors/research that they have done?

-How personal can I get? For example, I have tons of experience with counseling/psychiatry because of my health history. I've thought about including that perspective, but I'm wondering if it's too personal/too much of a sob-story. 

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15 hours ago, ChloeB323 said:

I have so many questions, though. For one, I'm not exactly sure what I need to include in my personal statement.

-Do I need to talk about specific professors/research that they have done?

-How personal can I get? For example, I have tons of experience with counseling/psychiatry because of my health history. I've thought about including that perspective, but I'm wondering if it's too personal/too much of a sob-story. 

The advice to talk about specific professors and their research is usually given to PhD candidates because they have to eventually join a specific professor's lab and spend a lot of time working with one individual. This is not really the case for GC master's students, so don't worry about that. Just let the prompts guide you - they are usually aimed at your personality, background and interests. Don't worry, they aren't going to expect you to have included something that they aren't asking for in the prompt.

Not sure if I have very good advice for your second question. Perhaps a safe route would be to mention that you have had exposure to counseling and then focus on what that taught you about the role of a counselor and the impact a counselor can have on someone going through a difficult experience, rather than making the reasons you needed counseling the star. I think there's a way to talk about it without getting too personal, certainly.

Best of luck!

Edited by UTGC
.

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On 11/22/2016 at 11:47 AM, Ultrapeaches said:

Hey team, 

Any of you guys going to Cincinnati's open house this evening? 

I'm not in the area. 

Did you go? How was it? 

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22 hours ago, slaybackc said:

I'm not in the area. 

Did you go? How was it? 

It was good! I hadn't really met any current GC students yet; I really liked everyone I talked to in Cincinnati. I got a feel for what it would be like to drive back and forth to Louisville two or three times a week, which was the main reason I drove an hour and 45 minutes for a two hour open house.

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21 hours ago, Ultrapeaches said:

It was good! I hadn't really met any current GC students yet; I really liked everyone I talked to in Cincinnati. I got a feel for what it would be like to drive back and forth to Louisville two or three times a week, which was the main reason I drove an hour and 45 minutes for a two hour open house.

I'm glad you liked it! My father lives in Cincinnati, so I toyed with the idea of applying there, but I just couldn't see myself living there for 2 years. 

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Hi, I have a question about my GRE scores. I'm am applying for Fall of 2017 and have already submitted one of my applications but still have 4 remaining. I got a 154 for verbal (65ish%), 152 for quant (47%), and a 5 for AW (93%). I'm not sure if I should take it again. I know alot of the program websites say to take it again if you get under 50%, which i did on one section, but I am satisfied with my verbal score and AW score. Not sure if just the quant score is bad enough to do a retake. The other factor is that at this point, if I do a retake by the time I get the scores it will be cutting it close to alot of my other application deadlines. Any suggestions?? 

 

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Hi all. Freaking out. Wanted to do this since I was about 17 and got away from it due to a bad chem prof freshman year. Six years later...

Undergrad: Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology, 3.81/4.0. Taking prereqs at local university while working and it's dropped my GPA to a 3.72. Thought about getting a second bachelor's so took quite a few science courses, including genetics, genetics lab + immunobiology.

GRE: 161 / 161 / 5. (79% quant, 88% verbal, 93% analytical)

Extracurriculars: Genetic counselors don't allow shadowing in my city but I did meet with two. I did 200 hours of community service in college and have volunteered since April 2015 as a clinic escort. No research - by far this is the weakest part of my app.

Applying to Ohio State, Oklahoma, Indiana and UT-Houston. Good luck all! 

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On 7/19/2016 at 0:45 PM, weilongli1 said:

Hey! I applied last cycle and will be attending Northwestern this September. I know last year I was freaking out about the process, and it was great to have people to talk to about this process with, so if anybody has any questions about applying/interviews/match day/whatever's on your mind, I'd be glad to help out, if you guys want it! :)

 

 
1

Do you mind sharing your stats? Also, I thought about Northwestern but it's just not accessible financially for me right now. I love Chicago though, hope it's a blast! 

Edited by adragonisnoslave
clarification

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14 hours ago, adragonisnoslave said:

Hi all. Freaking out. Wanted to do this since I was about 17 and got away from it due to a bad chem prof freshman year. Six years later...

Undergrad: Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology, 3.81/4.0. Taking prereqs at local university while working and it's dropped my GPA to a 3.72. Thought about getting a second bachelor's so took quite a few science courses, including genetics, genetics lab + immunobiology.

GRE: 161 / 161 / 5. (79% quant, 88% verbal, 93% analytical)

Extracurriculars: Genetic counselors don't allow shadowing in my city but I did meet with two. I did 200 hours of community service in college and have volunteered since April 2015 as a clinic escort. No research - by far this is the weakest part of my app.

Applying to Ohio State, Oklahoma, Indiana and UT-Houston. Good luck all! 

Hope to see you at UT Interviews! :)

Some words of encouragement: Your GPA is still very good and your GRE scores are on point, don't stress about that. And it sounds like you've definitely got all of your ducks in a row with regard to prereqs. Volunteering as a clinic escort is also super awesome and definitely relevant. With research, I'd say it's not too terribly important (compared to volunteering and academic performance). I had some pretty mild research experience - just assisting in a lab for ~7 months, not taking on any projects or anything. Things still worked out. Perhaps do some thinking about what sorts of areas of research in the genetic counseling field would interest you (you can get ideas from reading what's been published in the Journal of Genetic Counseling for a sense of scope/scale) so that you can at least talk about the subject of research in an interview, if it comes up.

Advice for having a weak spot with shadowing: be aware that interviewers will expect you to have a pretty solid understanding of what the field is, especially when it comes to ethical issues and general job responsibilities. Consider doing some reading to shore up that weakness. I recommend Ethical Dilemmas in Genetics and Genetic Counseling by Berliner and Facilitating the Genetic Counseling Process by McCarthy Veach. They're not too long and contain more detail than you'll be expected to know, but they can help you feel more confident when talking about the genetic counseling field and give you information that other interviewees will have picked up through observation. Another option is to read the Journal of Genetic Counseling but focus on ethical/psychosocial papers. You can expect to get questions like "how would you handle X ethical dilemma" and "tell me about a time when you observed Y in an appointment". Reading those books will allow you to pivot by saying you haven't experienced it firsthand but you can still offer some good insight into the issue and say how you think it would best be handled.

 

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2 hours ago, UTGC said:

 I recommend Ethical Dilemmas in Genetics and Genetic Counseling by Berliner and Facilitating the Genetic Counseling Process by McCarthy Veach. 

 

 

Hey, thanks for this! Really appreciate it. I've been doing research on the field since high school and watched all the mock sessions, read up on processes, and I met with each of the counselors for about an hour asking the ins and outs. I feel pretty comfortable with the ethics portion as well - my practicum in undergrad was clinical and my sister is a counseling PhD student. But I still feel like I need more, so I will definitely check out the resources you recommended!! I really love reading more about the field any chance I get. I mentioned in my personal statement my particular interest in psychiatric genetic counseling so hoping that helps out. If I get interview requests (pls jesussss) I will definitely be doing research before I head out for those. I came across the 22 guidelines for GCs or whatever it's called and looked over that. 

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Hi! I'm applying for the Fall 2017 cycle and was wondering if anyone had any tips on whether or not I should explain the few poor grades that I have on my transcript in my personal statement? Not sure if explaining the grades will just highlight my poor performance negatively or will help in terms of how those poor grades made me work harder and get my grades up?

Any advice would be so helpful, thanks!

Edited by TK1616

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On 12/14/2016 at 1:30 PM, TK1616 said:

Hi! I'm applying for the Fall 2017 cycle and was wondering if anyone had any tips on whether or not I should explain the few poor grades that I have on my transcript in my personal statement? Not sure if explaining the grades will just highlight my poor performance negatively or will help in terms of how those poor grades made me work harder and get my grades up?

Any advice would be so helpful, thanks!

I don't really have an answer for you, but from what I remember, some of the prompts were pretty specific about what they wanted you to include while some were more loose (just: "here's some ideas but write whatever"). I'd say in general, you should probably stick to what they're asking for if it's the more specific type of prompt. Many of those essays had super short page limits, I don't know if you could really do the topic of grades justice without hurting your ability to talk about the things they want you to include. It's a zero sum game for the 1 or 2 page essays. However, if you can mention it in a way that addresses the prompt, consider it. Honestly, some of the prompts I've seen are such that you probably could reference it easily. If you choose to do this, I wouldn't worry about if you're highlighting poor performance - they've seen your transcript, they know. But if you can't fit it in smoothly, I'd personally be inclined to not break the flow of your personal statement or cut out other important info by forcing it in.

Some exceptions: if it was caused by anything unusual, like the death of someone close to you or serious mental health problems that weren't addressed at the time or any other kind of one-time freak accident or difficulty, I'd recommend finding some way to bring that to their attention. Or if you got a D or an F in a relevant class, you don't really have anything to lose by trying to explain that as I imagine it's a serious concern for them. If it was something more typical, like difficulties adjusting to college, making more commitments than you could handle, or a professor that didn't teach to your learning style, I don't think there's much to be accomplished by talking about it before the interview stage. They already know the most common reasons why people do poorly in a class or two, those sorts of things are probably their baseline assumption until told otherwise.

If your GPA is still pretty good, you don't need to be worried too terribly much unless they were prerequisite classes for the program (and even then, hardly a death blow). Things happen. I know people with a C or 2 that still got in somewhere. They understand that you're human and that you probably learned from your mistakes and care about doing well in the future.

That's just my gut instinct but I'd encourage you to also seek advice from anyone that you know in the world of academia who may have more experience with how admissions work.

Edited by UTGC

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With the semester finally over I can spend time finishing up my last few applications. 
 

I have one question @UTGC might be the best one to answer. UTHealth doesn't have much information in regards to the personal statement besides including relevant advocacy and volunteer experience in it/one page. Do you think it's okay for me to submit a single-spaced statement? All my other statements have been double spaced, but I had more pages to work with. UTHealth is currently my top choice so I want to have as much space as possible to dazzle. 

 

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Hey guys,

I feel like I'm probably a weaker candidate with a GPA that just barely hits a 3.0. However my GRE scores were great with atleast 70th percentile scores in each category. I have a lot (6years+)  of advocacy experience working in a local clinic to provide afford healthcare to those who don't have access to insurance. I work as a receptionist at the clinic so I have a lot of one on one interactions with patients. I'm also an on call translator for patients who only speak Arabic. My undergraduate degree was a B.S. In genetics.

I have arranged to shadow a local GC in January. So far I've applied to: UNCG, UAMS and SLC. I'm also hoping to get 3-4 more applications in. I am targeting programs that state that they are interested in promoting diversity in the profession, as an Arab American I feel like I fit that category. UNCG is my top pick since it is local and I wouldn't have to move. 

I've called UAMS and they seem really friendly, the receptionist let me know that they offer interviews to ANYONE who submits a complete application. So if you're nervous like I am about not hearing back for interviews I would suggest applying to The program atleast to help gain experience with the interviewing. The early application deadline has passed but you can still apply.

I heard back from UNCG and they asked me to take embryology since it was a prerequisite class I was missing. The program head sent me information about taking it online so hopefully that means they're interested in at least an interview. 

I'm kind of nervous about the waiting game at this point. 

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On 12/18/2016 at 11:43 AM, slaybackc said:

With the semester finally over I can spend time finishing up my last few applications. 
 

I have one question @UTGC might be the best one to answer. UTHealth doesn't have much information in regards to the personal statement besides including relevant advocacy and volunteer experience in it/one page. Do you think it's okay for me to submit a single-spaced statement? All my other statements have been double spaced, but I had more pages to work with. UTHealth is currently my top choice so I want to have as much space as possible to dazzle. 

 

 I did a single-spaced statement for UT too. The more space the better! Double-spaced would be a real challenge for that one.

Also, things may have changed in the past year, but I think the prompt I wrote about for UT was a bit more detailed than what you mention. They have a simple one on the website somewhere and a more detailed one after you make an application account (though it also doesn't explain the spacing). There's also a short essay to write about research experience and an optional one (I think it was about personal hardship or something like that). You may just be condensing it in your post but thought I'd check in case you started writing based on the website before starting the official app :)

 

Edited by UTGC

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On 12/19/2016 at 10:12 PM, UTGC said:

 I did a single-spaced statement for UT too. The more space the better! Double-spaced would be a real challenge for that one.

Also, things may have changed in the past year, but I think the prompt I wrote about for UT was a bit more detailed than what you mention. They have a simple one on the website somewhere and a more detailed one after you make an application account (though it also doesn't explain the spacing). There's also a short essay to write about research experience and an optional one (I think it was about personal hardship or something like that). You may just be condensing it in your post but thought I'd check in case you started writing based on the website before starting the official app :)

 

Awesome! That helps me out a lot.
And yes, the application states " Please provide a one page personal statement which explains your motivation for seeking a graduate degree in the Biomedical Sciences. This statement should discuss your professional career goals, your interest in science and why you are interested in obtaining your graduate degree at The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston." So, I did include what was asked from that prompt as well. My first post was more in reference to what was listed on the GC website, but thanks for making sure!
I appreciate all the information you've been able to provide :)
 

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