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Master of Science Thesis

Genetic Counseling has developed into a professional discipline of its own. As such, the capabilities of genetic counselors should include scientific evaluation of the tenets of genetic counseling and professional reporting of these studies. The student in genetic counseling is required to write a thesis based on original research. Students are encouraged to identify an area of interest during their first year of Thesis Seminar. Guided by a faculty advisor and thesis committee, the student directs the research project. Topics typically pertain to timely genetic counseling issues.
Thesis research has generated many published abstracts, presented papers and publications over the Program's history. The resulting work is often presented by the new graduate at a national genetics society meeting.

Genetic Counseling Program Master of Science Thesis Research

Class of 2016

  • Parental Experience of Divulging a Diagnosis of Fragile X Syndrome to Their Affected Child
  • Parents’ Understanding of Sensory Processing in Their Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • The Undiagnosed Patient and the Diagnostic Odyssey: Current Genetic Counseling Practices and Perspectives
  • The Information and Emotional Support Needs of Grandparents of Children with Pompe Disease
  • Reflections on the Current State of Healthcare Transition for Young Adult Women with Turner Syndrome: Strategies for Facilitating Autonomy and Self-Management
  • Genetic Counseling for Alcohol Use Disorder: Assessment of Need in Affected and At-Risk Populations
  • Re-contacting Cancer Genetic Counseling Patients: Expectations of Patients and Physicians
  • Unaffected Women’s Decisions to Have Prophylactic Risk-Reducing Mastectomies

Class of 2015

  • Communication Patterns of Maternal PKU Syndrome
  • Young Adults with Asperger Syndrome and the Achievement of Their Future Goals
  • Exploring How the Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death is Discussed in Families with a Diagnosis of a SADS Condition
  • Evaluating Changes in Patient Anxiety about Breast Cancer Test Results: Classic Gene Testing vs. Multigene Panel Testing
  • Variant Reclassification in Breast Cancer Genetic Testing: Are Genetic Counselors Prepared?
  • A Review of Current Practices
  • Exploring Birth-parent’s Experiences of Creating an Adoption Plan for Their Children with Down Syndrome
  • An Exploration of the Genetic Counselor and Patient Relationship: The Long-term Prenatal Relationship
  • Evaluating the “Family-Centered” Approach of Pediatric Multidisciplinary Down Syndrome Clinics: Parent Perspectives

Class of 2014

  • Evaluating the Pregnancy Health Literacy and Decision Making of Couples of Advanced Parental Age
  • Parental Satisfaction and Teacher Perspectives on the Mainstreaming of Students with Asperger Syndrome: An Educational Tool
  • Evaluation of Genotype-Phenotype Correlation in Cases Submitted for X-Linked Intellectual Disability (XLID) Gene Panel Testing
  • Personal Dilemmas with Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD): Opinions and Attitudes of Genetic Counselors
  • I Wish I Had Known This!: Impact of Age on Life Choices and Testing Satisfaction for Unaffected BRCA1/2 Mutation Carriers Ages 18 to 24
  • Use of Social Media and the Impact of Support on the Well-being of Adults with Cystic Fibrosis
  • Post-Transition Outcomes in Young Adults with Down Syndrome: Parents’ Perspectives
  • The Impact of Minority Cultural Identity on Genetic Counselors’ Performance and Perspectives

Class of 2013

  • Prenatal testing decision-making process of patients in three cities in South Carolina
  • Exploring the Differences in Rapport Between Male and Female Genetic Counselors and Their Clients
  • A Qualitative Study on How Prenatal Genetic Counselors Prioritize Cultural Issues when Counseling Patient
  • Perceptions of Cancer-Related Stigma and Genetic Knowledge of Latina Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer
  • Use of Social Media as a Support Network in Families with a Child Diagnosed with Trisomy 13,18, or 21
  • Unique Perspectives and Struggles of Parents Rearing Children with Phenylketonuria with Unaffected Siblings
  • Working with Patients at Risk for Hereditary Degenerative Brain Disorders

Class of 2012

  • Variants of Uncertain Clinical Significance in Pediatric Microarray: Parent Perspectives
  • Assessing Genetics Providers’ Perspectives of and Experiences with DTC Genetic Testing: Creation of an Educational Module
  • Risk Perception Among BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutation-Negative Patients
  • Interpreting and Delivering Microarray Results of ‘Variants of Unknown Significance’: Pediatric Genetic Counselors’ Perspectives
  • Assessing Referral Patterns and Utilization of Clinical Genetic Testing For Patients With Inherited Cardiac Disease
  • Anxiety and Life-Stressors Surrounding the Telemedicine Versus Traditional Genetic Counseling Experience