MS in Genetic Counseling Program

Training Well-Rounded Genetic Counselors and Embracing 21st Century Genetics/Genomics

The mission of the MS in Genetic Counseling Program is to train well-rounded genetic counselors in clinical genomic medicine who are equipped with the critical thinking skills to guide the evolving field of genetic counseling in this new era of precision health.

2023 UCLA GCs and GCAs - Medical school class


Program Launch News

UCLA is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and is located in one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the United States. This means that UCLA faculty, students, and staff are privileged to know and work with people from different backgrounds and these interactions enhance the quality of our students’ experience and education.

The MS in Genetic Counseling Program is located in the well-respected Department of Human Genetics within the David Geffen School of Medicine, a top 20 medical school. In addition to the medical school, UCLA has the Fielding School of Public HealthSchool of LawAnderson School of ManagementSchool of NursingSchool of DentistrySamueli School of EngineeringHerb Alpert School of MusicSchool of Theater, Film, and Television, and a College of Letters and Science all on the same campus. This means that our genetic counseling students are learning in an environment rich with creativity and opportunity.

A close alignment among the UCLA Institute for Precision Health, Department of Human Genetics, and Institute for Society and Genetics, through joint and affiliated faculty, enhance cross-disciplinary training for students in the program. Our masters in genetic counseling faculty consists of genetic counselors, trained at a variety of genetic counseling programs, geneticists, clinicians, and researchers investigating topics from basic science, to society, and provide top quality and well-rounded training to our genetic counseling students. Based in an academic medical center, our genetic counseling students are exposed to team-based medical care and team-based science. Faculty use state-of-the-art genomics resources and multi-disciplinary academic backgrounds to train students to work with patients and clients in a wide range of settings and from multicultural backgrounds.


To train diverse and well-rounded genetic counselors that are equipped with the critical thinking skills to ethically practice and guide the evolving field of genetic counseling in this new era of precision health and genomic medicine.


The objectives of the MS in Genetic Counseling Program are to train diverse cohorts of genetic counseling students to:

  • Engage in an evidence-based practice that incorporates advanced knowledge in genetics, genomics, and psychosocial counseling.
  • Critically think, evaluate, and synthesize research findings to produce and disseminate new scientific research related to the discipline and practice of genetic counseling.
  • Address and appropriately act on ethical, legal, and social issues in the discipline and practice of genetic counseling.

The mission, vision, and objectives are consistent with UCLA's mission and the National Society of Genetic Counselors' (NSGC) Code of Ethics and will be achieved through coursework taught by faculty, including genetic counselors, with broad expertise; a capstone research project conducted at a top-ranked research-intensive university under the direction of UCLA faculty; fieldwork experiences supervised by certified genetic counselors in a broad array of settings with diverse patient populations and healthcare professionals; and interactions with genetic counselor role models as leadership mentors.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Accreditation Information

The MS in Genetic Counseling Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling:

Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling, Inc.
7918 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 300
McLean, VA 22102
(703) 506-7667

UCOP Licensure and Certification Disclosures

Highlights and Awardees


Derek Wong

Derek Wong, MD

Associate Clinical Professor, MS in Genetic Counseling Program Medical Director
Christina Palmer

Our vision is to increase diversity in the genetic counseling profession and engage underrepresented minority communities to address health disparities so that all communities and populations have access to genetic counseling and genomic medicine.

Christina Palmer, MS, PhD, CGC, Program Director, Licensed and Certified Genetic Counselor