The nonthesis Genetic Counseling track in the Biomedical Sciences MS program requires a minimum of 33 credit hours of courses that includes a capstone experience. The program addresses the need of applicants who want to further their knowledge in the areas of medical genetics and genomics, and who wish to become board certified through the American Board of Genetic Counseling and enter the clinical workforce as a genetic counselor. For more information on the American Board of Genetic Counseling, click here. For additional resources and information, visit The National Society of Genetic Counselors here.
Students in the Genetic Counseling track take a series of required core courses, with the remaining courses and clinical rotations relevant to Genetic Counseling. All students complete a required capstone project related to clinic Genetic Counseling.
Nonthesis students are not considered for departmental graduate assistantships or tuition assistance.
Total Credit Hours Required: 33 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree
Required Core Courses: 19 Credit Hours
Genetic Counseling Courses: 11 Credit Hours
Capstone: 3 Credit Hours
An in-depth current literature research report in the area of Infectious Disease will be required for each student. The student will select a faculty adviser to chair a faculty committee of three members for evaluation of the report.
The Capstone Process
Students are encouraged to contact faculty as early as possible in order to identify a faculty whose research focus complements the student’s interest. The student and the mentor should select two additional faculty members to serve on the capstone evaluation committee.
Students must submit a signed Capstone Committee form to the Program Coordinator for approval as soon as the registration for the course is complete. The form must be submitted to the Program Office.
When you are ready to defend your Capstone project, you must register for the capstone course (MCB 6026 ) for three credit hours. It is important that the student register for the capstone course with the intention of completing the project at the end of the semester.
The Capstone Report
Evaluation of the capstone project requires a written report (in the format of a mini-review manuscript) and a presentation (project defense) in front of the capstone committee. No visitors are allowed during the capstone defense. Students may ask for advice and guidance from the project mentor/chair. The average capstone report ranges from 10 to 15 single-space pages in a manuscript format with proper citations. The student’s Committee Chair will be responsible for checking the report for plagiarism using either Turnitin or iThenticate before the report is shared with the committee. The committee must receive the report at least one week before the time of presentation.
Note: The defense (presentation) must be held no later than one week before final exam week.
The Capstone Defense/Comprehensive Exam
The capstone defense and comprehensive exam evaluation is designed to assess the student’s knowledge and understanding of the project and other relevant subjects in the field. Questions asked by the capstone committee to evaluate the student as competent in the field will satisfy the requirement of the comprehensive exam. The oral presentation will take place in the form of a 30-40 minute seminar and will be followed by questions and discussion.
The student will be evaluated on performance in all three sections (written report, oral presentation and ability to answer questions).
Should the student fail, a second opportunity will be provided within two weeks of the first attempt. A second failure will result in an Unsatisfactory (U) grade in the course and dismissal from the program.
Students must pass an oral comprehensive exam to qualify for the Master of Science. The oral comprehensive exam tests the student’s understanding of the basic concepts in the field and relevant applications. The comprehensive exam will be conducted during the capstone defense and will be administered by the capstone committee. Should the student fail this exam, a second opportunity will be provided within two weeks of the first attempt. A second failure will result in dismissal from the program.
Students without significant prior teaching experience, such as, but not limited to, a minimum of a year in secondary schools or colleges, are required to serve as Classroom Laboratory Assistants (CLA) for a minimum of one semester (one semester in at least one lab section).
Fall Semester: 10 Credit Hours
Spring Semester: 9 Credit Hours
Summer Semester: 4 Credit Hours
Fall Semester: 6 Credit Hours
Spring Semester: 4 Credit Hours
In the final semester of study students will complete a capstone course that requires an in-depth current literature research report on a relevant subject, which will serve as the independent learning experience. The student will select a faculty adviser to chair a faculty committee of three members for evaluation of the report.
For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.
In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:
- One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
- Official, competitive GRE score (taken within the last five years) or MCAT score (taken within the last three years). The 2017 data for students accepted into genetic counseling training programs shows an average GPA of 3.55 and GRE scores of 75% Verbal, 65 percent Non-Verbal, and 71% Analytical. The general Graduate School GPA/GRE/TOEFL requirements can be found here sciences.ucf.edu/statistics/graduate/admissions/.
- Three letters of recommendation.
- A written statement of research experience, area of interest, and immediate and long-range goals.
- An interview for admission into the program is required, please contact the program director for details.
- Background Check*
- Drug Screen*
- Immunizations up to date*
- CPR certification
Applicants who do not have a competitive GPA or GRE/MCAT may occasionally be accepted if there is other convincing evidence of potential for high achievement and success.
Applicants who hold a BS degree in unrelated fields are expected to have the equivalent of 16 semester hours of credit in the biological sciences including a course in general microbiology, biochemistry or molecular biology or cell biology, plus one year of organic chemistry, one year of physics, basic university mathematics and statistics, and laboratory skills equivalent to the minimum required of our own undergraduates. Minor deficiencies may be remedied after acceptance by enrollment at the first opportunity in an appropriate course.
*UCF will facilitate the completion of these requirements. Please contact the College of Graduate Studies at 407-823-2766 for further information.
Suggested, but not required:
Counseling Experience: Applicants are encouraged to have some counseling experience which may be obtained in a number of ways, including, but not limited to crisis counseling, peer counseling, domestic abuse, or planned parenthood Genetic Counseling Exposure: Shadowing a genetic counselor or having a genetic counseling internship are both valuable experiences, however, we understand these any be difficult to arrange. Speaking with a genetic counselor about the field is also a valuable experience. Exposure to people with a chronic illness or a disability through volunteer work with Special Olympics or camps specific for children with disabilities. Laboratory experience Research experience Varied volunteer and work experiences
|**This Program is under development. Due to recent changes by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling, we do not anticipate our Inaugural Class before August 2019. This website will be updated as new information becomes available. Cathleen.McCann@ucf.edu, Program Director
|*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.
Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.
Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.