Curriculum

The curriculum includes 56 credit hours. Of these, 42 hours are devoted to classroom study, the majority of which are designed specifically for the Genetic Counseling Program. Clinical rotations in regional genetic centers provide eight credit hours while six hours of credit are awarded for Master of Science thesis research.

First Semester

HGEN 701: Introduction to Genetic Counseling
(3 credit hours). An overview of the history and development of genetic counseling. Introduction to the fundamental components of and skills utilized in prenatal, pediatric, and adult genetic counseling.

HGEN 720: Medical Genetics
(4 credit hours). A study of the clinical aspects of human genetics with focus on single gene, chromosomal, and multifactorial genetic disease, underlying molecular and biochemical principles, and determination of genetic risk.

HGEN 725: Human Developmental Biology I
(4 credit hours). The process of normal human development and description of the variety and range of deviation that can occur from fertilization through early childhood.

HGEN 704: The Genetic Counseling Process
(3 credit hours). (Co-requirement: HGEN 701) Introduction to counseling skills utilized in genetic counseling via reading, discussion, clinical observation and role play.

HGEN 715: Contemporary Issues in Genetic Counseling
(1 credit hour) Discussion forum targeted at critical evaluation of medical genetics literature and examination of current issues affecting the genetic counseling profession. (Pass-Fail grading).

Second Semester

HGEN 702: Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Counseling
(3 credit hours). Exploration of the impact of genetic conditions on the individual and family. Psychosocial skills will be strengthened through reading, role play, discussion and interactions with affected individuals and families.

BIOL 667: Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Disease  Pathogenesis
(3 credit hours).An advanced examination of the molecular mechanisms underlying gene action in humans. Current literature illustrating the genotype-phenotype relationship in human disease pathogenesis will be discussed.

HGEN 735: Cancer Genetics and Genetic Counseling
(3 credit hours). Overview of medical oncology with an emphasis on familial and hereditary cancer. Includes didactic lectures, oral and written assignments.

HGEN 726: Human Developmental Biology II
(4 credit hours).Systems covered include cardiac, vascular and urogenital. Additional topics include clinical correlates, ultrasound, labor and delivery, infancy, childhood, and adolescence.

HGEN 799: Thesis Preparation
(1 credit hour).

HGEN 715: Contemporary Issues in Genetic Counseling
(1 credit hour) Discussion forum targeted at critical evaluation of medical genetics literature and examination of current issues affecting the genetic counseling profession. (Pass-Fail grading).

May Session

HGEN 705: Clinical Skills Seminar
(1 credit hour). Intensive skill development focused on practical aspects of patient care for clinical rotation preparation.

HGEN 799: Thesis Preparation
(1 credit hour).

Summer

HGEN 750: Summer Clinical Rotation
(2 credit hours). Clinical placement at a regional genetic center under direct supervision of geneticist/genetic counselor. Allows opportunity for development of genetic counseling skills as students transition from theory to practice.

Third Semester

HGEN 710: Genetic Counseling Methods
(3 credit hours). An integration of the student's theoretical background and clinical experiences with focus on the development of clinical skills. Format includes case presentation and discussion.

HGEN 730: Advanced Medical Genetics I
(3 credit hours). A comprehensive survey of medical genetics including mendelian genetics, cytogenetics, metabolic disorders, syndromes, congenital malformations, multifactorial disorders, and mental retardation.

HGEN 760: Clinical Rotation I
(3 credit hours). Two days per week of clinical placement under direct supervision of geneticist/genetic counselor for experience in prenatal, pediatric, and disease-specific clinics.

HGEN 799: Thesis Preparation
(2 credit hours).

HGEN 715: Contemporary Issues in Genetic Counseling
(1 credit hour) Discussion forum targeted at critical evaluation of medical genetics literature and examination of current issues affecting the genetic counseling profession. (Pass-Fail grading).

Fourth Semester

HGEN 731: Advanced Medical Genetics II
(3 credit hours). Continuation of HGEN 730. Topics include psychiatric disorders, skeletal, renal, neuromuscular and neurocutaneous disorders, genetic autopsy, molecular diagnostics, and immunogenetics.

HGEN 703: Ethical Challenges in Genetic Counseling
(1 credit hour). Seminar in bioethical principles and their application to case management and genetic counseling. Includes lecture, case presentation and discussion.

HGEN 740: Transforming Healthcare for the Future
(1 credit hour).

HGEN 761: Clinical Rotation II
(3 credit hours). Continuation of HGEN 760. Two days per week of clinical placement under direct supervision of geneticist/genetic counselor for experience in prenatal, pediatric, and disease- specific clinics.

HGEN 799: Thesis Preparation
(2 credit hours).

HGEN 715: Contemporary Issues in Genetic Counseling
(1 credit hour) Discussion forum targeted at critical evaluation of medical genetics literature and examination of current issues affecting the genetic counseling profession. (Pass-Fail grading).

Service Learning

Students outreach to the community in several service learning activities designed to offer real life exposure to individuals and families touched by genetics. Students provide respite care for families raising a child with disability,  visit an early intervention program and make visits to several community support groups. Students build family connections through home visits and attend a statewide family conference, focused on support for individuals with disability. Education outreach activities include lectures to high school, college and other lay audiences on genetics. These activities and more complement the didactic learning, and help students appreciate the people that we serve.