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Genetic Counseling Fall 2019 Applicants

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On 10/12/2018 at 10:47 PM, jebbahay7 said:

Rutgers is hosting an open house on November 3rd from 10:30-1:00 to learn about their program!  Lunch is provided!  I am going and just wanted to share the information along!  You can find more information and how to sign up on their website!

I'll be there! 

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13 hours ago, ParanoiacIntervals said:

Hello! I just want to thank you all for all the information and tips you share! I have only heard about genetic counseling a few weeks ago and I am 100% sure that it is the path I want to take. Unfortunately I am a senior graduating with a BA in Psychology with no research experience, volunteer work, or shadowing experience. I've done absolutely nothing to fluff up my resume. Luckily this semester I am interning at a DV Service center, so if I like it I will continue with it after I graduate. There are no GC near me so I am not so sure how I will be shadowing one. I might have to travel to do so. Because I saw that people were commenting on crisis text counseling, I applied and I'm in! I can't wait to get started. I am taking a gap year or 2 to really gain the experience grad schools want. I'm kind of bummed I have to wait that long, but if anyone has any other extra tips I'd greatly appreciate it!!

 

Since there's no practicing GCs near you, I would recommend reaching out to some for possible informational interviews via phone/email! You can search them up using this link: https://www.nsgc.org/findageneticcounselor

Good luck with everything :)

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Hi!

I'm a Canadian applicant likely applying for 2020 cycle. I was just wondering if anyone had advice on "Canadian friendly" schools within the US? i.e. schools that typically accept a larger number of Canadians or international students, or that have a bigger class size leaving a better chance for acceptance. The only one I have heard so far is Sarah Lawrence due to their large intake. Any other advice? 

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Hi, 

I'm graduating this coming May and want to work as a GCA for a year before I apply to programs. Any advice on how to find these jobs? I know there are plenty of genetic counselors in my area but very few genetic counseling assistant job opportunities show up when I search online. 

 

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On 10/31/2018 at 2:20 PM, ckw253 said:

Hi!

I'm a Canadian applicant likely applying for 2020 cycle. I was just wondering if anyone had advice on "Canadian friendly" schools within the US? i.e. schools that typically accept a larger number of Canadians or international students, or that have a bigger class size leaving a better chance for acceptance. The only one I have heard so far is Sarah Lawrence due to their large intake. Any other advice? 

Sarah Lawrence is definitely one. I'm in their class of 2020 and we have 5 Canadians out of the 30 of us, and students from other countries. Another one is the University of Pittsburgh since it's fairly close to the border. I met a few Canadian students during interviews. 

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Is anyone going to apply to Vanderbilt's genetic counseling program?  I know they are not accredited yet so there is some risk with them not getting it in time but I am still intrigued by their program and their location.  What are your thoughts?

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On 10/31/2018 at 1:20 PM, ckw253 said:

Hi!

I'm a Canadian applicant likely applying for 2020 cycle. I was just wondering if anyone had advice on "Canadian friendly" schools within the US? i.e. schools that typically accept a larger number of Canadians or international students, or that have a bigger class size leaving a better chance for acceptance. The only one I have heard so far is Sarah Lawrence due to their large intake. Any other advice? 

Lots of the border states accept a good amount of Canadian students. But also, go through current students or past classes on program pages. Most students will have where they're from. My school has accepted Canadian students in the past, though no current students are Canadian. 

48 minutes ago, jebbahay7 said:

Is anyone going to apply to Vanderbilt's genetic counseling program?  I know they are not accredited yet so there is some risk with them not getting it in time but I am still intrigued by their program and their location.  What are your thoughts?

I would apply if you like the program. New unaccredited school typically get fewer applicants because of this fear, but I still think it's worth the "risk" if you could see yourself being happy there. 

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Hi, everyone! I'm super interested in pursuing a career in genetic counseling, but I do not have an undergrad degree in biological sciences or genetics. Since this field is so competitive, I was wondering if schools prefer that students from non-traditional backgrounds go back and get a second degree in bio or something similar. I'm going to take the prerequisite courses no matter what, but I was wondering if my efforts would be wasted if I don't officially get that second degree. Any help would be appreciated

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On 11/7/2018 at 4:22 PM, anna-mi said:

Hi, everyone! I'm super interested in pursuing a career in genetic counseling, but I do not have an undergrad degree in biological sciences or genetics. Since this field is so competitive, I was wondering if schools prefer that students from non-traditional backgrounds go back and get a second degree in bio or something similar. I'm going to take the prerequisite courses no matter what, but I was wondering if my efforts would be wasted if I don't officially get that second degree. Any help would be appreciated

As long as you have the required prerequisite courses and relevant advocacy experience I would think programs are generally open to any undergraduate primary major. I think a lot of people major in the biological science stuff because those majors encompass a lot of those prerequisite courses and allow individuals to expand on them as well. 

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On 11/1/2018 at 2:30 PM, amill250 said:

Hi, 

I'm graduating this coming May and want to work as a GCA for a year before I apply to programs. Any advice on how to find these jobs? I know there are plenty of genetic counselors in my area but very few genetic counseling assistant job opportunities show up when I search online. 

 
  •  

I graduated last May and didn't get my GCA job until late July. I started job searching in March, but the ones I heard back from early never really panned out since I was still in school when they wanted someone to start. I noticed that a lot more GCA job postings pop up in May through August since that's when places know if their current GCAs got into programs and are leaving. You also have to be very open to moving, there weren't any opportunities in MN (where I'm from), so I applied to basically all the GCA jobs I found. The interviewing process can also take time, my current job took a little over a month from submitting my application to getting an offer. I'd recommend having an alert on indeed.com or other job posting sites for "genetic counselor assistant" so you can find the new postings. I'd also start looking in April, but keep in mind you might not find a job before you graduate.

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Hi everyone! I wanted to know if anyone has experience with a volunteer crisis hotline/textline not being able to provide personal reference letters. My textline can simply provide me with a letter of verification stating how many hours I've volunteered and the conversations I've had. I know a letter from someone who can attest to your counseling abilities is quite key for several schools. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I'm thinking of asking a psychologist who knows me well to review the extensive good feedback I've received from the textline and can attest to my capabilities. Hope everyone else isn't running into too many issues with the application process. My stress level is just a little high right now haha

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On 9/8/2018 at 12:56 PM, gene13 said:

I hope everyone's Fall is getting off to a nice start! As people plan their apps, I just wanted to include this link:

Accredited Programs:  http://gceducation.org/Pages/Accredited-Programs.aspx

Where are people planning to apply

University of Wisconsin, Indiana University,  Northwestern, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Ohio state University, Maybe UT Houston or Case Western 

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Hi everyone I am new to this site but I am currently an undergrad hoping to apply to genetic counseling programs soon. I have done a little shadowing but wanted to get more experience. Does anyone know of any genetic counselor shadowing/internships available in the Philadelphia area? I’m really looking to be involved in the field in any way possible. Thanks! 

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On 9/22/2018 at 5:54 AM, AZgchopeful said:

I am applying to Stanford, BU, Maryland, Johns Hopkins, UCI, Brandeis, Mount Sinai, and Utah. I’m feeling very nervous!

i see a couple of my choices there. that makes you my competition. i hope you get into stanford! excellent school

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On 4/16/2018 at 11:09 AM, jbv510 said:

I feel like we’re kindred spirits! I’ll be 32 when I apply the first time, with an equally abysmal undergrad GPA. Since it’ll be almost 11 years old at that point and because I got a masters degree with a 4.0, I’m hoping it won’t be too detrimental. Good luck with the GREs again!

exactly same position, down to the age, give or take a year. ? 

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Decided to not apply this round but I wish everyone good luck. Please come back and tell us about your choices and thoughts!!

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Hi Everyone.

First time posting here but I have a situation and I don't really know how to go about it. 

This is my second time applying (applied last year -- only got one interview) and for some schools I will be considered a re applicant. But for the other schools I will technically be considered a first time applicant. i'm wondering how I should go about this in my personal statement. 

Should I report to all schools that I'm a second time applicant for the genetic counseling application process in general? Or should I just report this information to the schools that I'm applying to again?

Anybody have any opinions or experience in this if you once were a second time applicant... 

Hope this makes sense. It's 2am.. 

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23 minutes ago, catherineu09 said:

Hi Everyone.

First time posting here but I have a situation and I don't really know how to go about it. 

This is my second time applying (applied last year -- only got one interview) and for some schools I will be considered a re applicant. But for the other schools I will technically be considered a first time applicant. i'm wondering how I should go about this in my personal statement. 

Should I report to all schools that I'm a second time applicant for the genetic counseling application process in general? Or should I just report this information to the schools that I'm applying to again?

Anybody have any opinions or experience in this if you once were a second time applicant... 

Hope this makes sense. It's 2am.. 

I think you should address it in your personal statement for all schools or you could include it as an extra document for the schools you're reapplying to.  You could angle it to show your dedication to becoming a genetic counselor or detail it as a learning experience. Make sure you talk about what has changed since you applied the first time did you get more experience? improve your scores? 

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15 hours ago, catherineu09 said:

Hi Everyone.

First time posting here but I have a situation and I don't really know how to go about it. 

This is my second time applying (applied last year -- only got one interview) and for some schools I will be considered a re applicant. But for the other schools I will technically be considered a first time applicant. i'm wondering how I should go about this in my personal statement. 

Should I report to all schools that I'm a second time applicant for the genetic counseling application process in general? Or should I just report this information to the schools that I'm applying to again?

Anybody have any opinions or experience in this if you once were a second time applicant... 

Hope this makes sense. It's 2am.. 

I was in the same situation last cycle, I included it in my personal statement for every school. I tied it in to a prompt for most schools so it felt natural. 

7 hours ago, gene13 said:

Asking for a classmate:

Any idea how the schools look at applicants with C/D/F grades in prerequisite courses?

It's obviously not favorable. With how competitive applications are getting, schools have the chance to be picky. Yes, they will look holistically and may look past some lower grades if the rest of the application is great. However, I highly doubt programs would count D/Fs as acceptable/passing credit for prereqs.  D/Fs in foundational courses will be huge red flags that will make the program wonder if they can handle the graduate course work
Personal storytime: 
I had two to three C's in prereqs depending on the school when I applied (and a D in ochem 2 which wasn't a prereq at any school I applied). I ended up retaking one of the courses I had a C in and received an A. Of the four schools I interviewed at, only one brought up grades and they brought up the D, which as I said wasn't a prereq for them. So, a majority of the programs were happy and not concerned with my coursework (one even said "if that were a concern, you wouldn't be sitting here right now"), but some were still concerned, even at interviews, when it wasn't a required course for them. After retaking that course, I only had one C in a prereq at the school I matched with. So it is possible to match with not all A/Bs in prereqs. 

If a majority of the prereqs are C's, it'd be best to retake them (or some of them) and I highly suggest retaking any prereqs with D/F grades. Schools seem to look favorable on retaken courses, it shows dedication and that you can actually learn/handle the material. If there's extenuating circumstances that resulted in the lower grades, that should be mentioned somewhere in their app as well. 

 

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23 hours ago, gene13 said:

Asking for a classmate:

Any idea how the schools look at applicants with C/D/F grades in prerequisite courses?

Adding to this, just curious what percentage US schools consider A/B/C/D/F. 

Canadian schools use percentages and 4.0 scale GPAs and each school differ as to what they define an A (A at my school is 80+). Unsure if there is a universial grading system throughout all universities in the United States? 

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Hi everyone! I'm just wondering if anyone knows about how much GC programs take into account the rigor of the undergrad institution when looking at GPA? For example, is a 3.2 at an elite school viewed the same as a 3.2 at a non-elite university? I know many medical schools have a formula for adjusting GPA based on institutional rigor, but didn't know if GC programs also consider this. Thanks!

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9 hours ago, ck719 said:

Adding to this, just curious what percentage US schools consider A/B/C/D/F. 

Canadian schools use percentages and 4.0 scale GPAs and each school differ as to what they define an A (A at my school is 80+). Unsure if there is a universial grading system throughout all universities in the United States? 

It varies, but generally A= 90+, B=80+, C=70+, D=60+, lower is F.

You may need to ask the school if they want you to convert your GPA. Some US professors curve grades to the letter - in that case the letter grades might be a good metric.

8 hours ago, nek23 said:

Hi everyone! I'm just wondering if anyone knows about how much GC programs take into account the rigor of the undergrad institution when looking at GPA? For example, is a 3.2 at an elite school viewed the same as a 3.2 at a non-elite university? I know many medical schools have a formula for adjusting GPA based on institutional rigor, but didn't know if GC programs also consider this. Thanks!

No formalized conversion that I know of. My guess is that it's not a significant factor when selecting people to interview. But maybe if they were ranking two otherwise identical candidates. 

Edited by sunT

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On 12/3/2018 at 7:25 PM, sunT said:

It varies, but generally A= 90+, B=80+, C=70+, D=60+, lower is F.

You may need to ask the school if they want you to convert your GPA. Some US professors curve grades to the letter - in that case the letter grades might be a good metric.

No formalized conversion that I know of. My guess is that it's not a significant factor when selecting people to interview. But maybe if they were ranking two otherwise identical candidates. 

An elite university does not = harder classes. Many professors at elite universities can teach at other colleges too. But everyone has weak and strong points in their application. Highlight your strengths.

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Happy (almost) new year!

Just curious, how do people respond when they ask about your future plans and you say you want to be a genetic counselor?

I've had mostly people who don't know what that is, one person who told me that's a perfect job, and one person who told me I was crazy for not doing medical social work.

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