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Most classes, clinics and rounds are held at the UCI Medical Center in Orange or the nearby CHOC Children's Hospital of Orange County and Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach. Some courses and clinics also take place on the main campus in Irvine. Additional opportunities exist at various affiliated clinics and laboratory sites throughout Southern California, including Kaiser Permanente, Quest Diagnostics and others. Summer rotation placements at these and other sites enhance the training experience.


During the six academic quarters of the program, students complete a sequence of core courses covering:

  • Medical genetics (inheritance patterns & cytogenetics)
  • Genetic screening, teratology, & prenatal development
  • Human genetic disorders
  • Counseling (3-quarter series)
  • Hereditary cancers
  • Embryology
  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Molecular genetics
  • Quantitative and population genetics
  • Ethical issues in human genetics,
  • Community resources
  • Research Methodology

Classes are taught by faculty members in the UCI Division of Genetic and Genomic Medicine who also practice as clinical geneticists and genetic counselors. Classes are designed for genetic counseling students and are also attended by medical genetics residents. There are often opportunities to attend workshops with students from other GC programs.


Experiential professional training occurs concurrently with formal coursework and over the summer between years one and two. Clinical settings include a variety of clinics and inpatient services at the medical center and other affiliated sites (including prenatal, pediatric, cancer and adult genetic clinics as well as various specialty clinics), clinical genetics laboratories and community agencies.

Students participate in divisional and departmental professional and educational activities throughout the program, such as:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Journal club
  • Rounds in Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Ethics
  • Tumor boards
  • Various research
  • Research seminars
  • Patient management conferences

Coursework and clinical experiences are designed to develop the practice-based competencies expected by the ABGC.

Degree Requirements

Degree requirements include a minimum of 89 quarter units, completion of a research thesis that should be publishable, and demonstration of appropriate professional skills in genetic counseling. The program director serves as a faculty advisor to students. Teaching and supervision of professional experiential training are shared by all Division faculty and staff, who frequently review student progress. 

In the second year, the development of professional skills may be individualized according to the trainee’s needs and interests. Successful completion of the program (together with an assessment that the student has achieved the practice-based competency of an entry-level genetic counselor) fulfills the curricular and clinical training requirements for eligibility to sit for examination by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.