Baylor College of Medicine’s Genetic Counseling Program has received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling and is now reviewing applications from prospective students seeking enrollment in the inaugural class.
“We’re ecstatic about the news that we have received accreditation for our program and look forward to enrolling our first class this fall,” said Daniel Riconda, program director and associate professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine.
The 21-month program prepares graduates to engage individuals and families who are at risk for, or affected by, conditions that may have a genetic cause. The program will award a Master of Science degree through Baylor’s School of Allied Health Sciences. The inaugural cohort will consist of eight students and will begin classes in July 2018.
Genetic counselors have advanced training in medical genetics and counseling. They provide information on how inherited conditions may impact individuals or families, identify resources, provide support and explain genetic testing options for individuals in whom a genetic condition may be present. Genetic counselors educate families about the pros and cons of genetic testing and the possible outcomes, and if testing is desired, they arrange testing and help interpret results.
The Master’s degree program is well positioned to leverage Baylor’s extraordinary strengths in genetics to train students in a dynamic clinical and research intensive environment. Baylor College of Medicine’s Department of Molecular and Human Genetics is ranked the No. 1 genetics department in the country for National Institutes of Health funding.
The program will include four semesters of foundational didactic courses as well as a series of clinical rotations throughout the Texas Medical Center and beyond. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the American Board of Genetic Counseling Certification Exam.