Genetic Counseling Minor

Genetic Counseling Minor


This minor is designed to expose students to the area of genetic counseling and provide some of the coursework required for admission to a genetic counseling graduate program. Genetic counselors have historically occupied a niche working with families of children with serious genetic diseases.  However, we are entering an age of “personalized medicine,” in which genetic information is used to determine an individualized treatment plan (for example, how well a patient will respond to a certain type of drug).  It is currently possible to sequence all of a person’s genes for a few hundred dollars, and for individuals to obtain information about many of their genes from companies such as 23&Me.  There has been much controversy about direct-to-consumer testing services providing information about health risks without providing any medical or counseling services.  Moving forward, it is likely that DNA sequencing will become a part of standard medical care, and there should be an increased demand for genetic counselors, who know how to analyze and interpret sequencing results for patients or consumers.

Students that are likely to take this minor include:

Students who want to become genetic counselors. This minor will make them more competitive for genetic counseling graduate programs by demonstrating their interest in and commitment to genetic counseling and by fulfilling many of the prerequisite requirements for those programs.

Students who are in a related field, such as biology, health sciences or psychology, who want to learn more about the subject. These students will broaden their understanding of genetic counseling by taking courses outside of their own fields of study.

Any student in any major who finds the subject interesting. Any students can take advantage of the liberal arts model of education and take this minor, since the requirements can be met by taking courses with no prerequisites other than Tier I Mathematics or Natural Science.  For example, students that have taken a biology or psychology LAC course that they found interesting might choose to complete this minor.  They will be exposed to the concept of genetic disease and psychological implications of health issues and development.


Students must take:

PHI 220 Ethics

BIO 304 Genetics and Society and and BIO 314 Genetics and Society Lab or BIO 230 Genetics with Lab

PSY 204 Psychology of the Infant and Toddler, PSY 207 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, PSY 325 Health Psychology or PSY 430 Human Neuropsychology

MAT 216 Statistical Data Analysis, MAT 315 Applied Probability and Statistics, CSC 314 Bioinformatics, BIO 378 Biological Research and Data Analysis, or PSY 227 Behavioral Science Statistics

Students must take ONE additional requirement from the following list, which has not already been taken for the minor, or a substitute course approved by the program director:

BIO 202 Human Biology

CHE 200 Introductory Chemistry with Lab

CHE 205 Chemistry of Life with Lab

CHE 210 and 212 General Chemistry and General Chemistry Lab

CHE 316 Biochemistry I

PSY 204 Psychology of the Infant and Toddler

PSY 207 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

PSY 325 Health Psychology

PSY 430 Human Neuropsychology

PSY 450 Counseling and Clinical Psychology