Human Genetics & Genetic Counseling


  • Center City Campus
  • College of Life Sciences

Degree Earned

  • Master of Science

Program Length

21 months

Program Type

  • On Campus


Welcome to the Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling Program within the Jefferson College of Life Sciences at Thomas Jefferson University! The program is a 21-month Master’s level experience grounded in basic science and diversified through psychosocial education and varied clinical and research opportunities. Our mission is to provide an integrated approach in the education and training of genetic counselors, where we learn, practice and apply knowledge focused on human genetics, counseling and inherently related ethical, psychosocial, and legal issues – from the classroom to the clinic and beyond. Our program’s primary objective is to graduate students who have obtained skills consistent with our profession’s practice based competencies and can capably serve communities with quality, compassionate care and cultural humility, abiding by the NSGC Code of Ethics. The Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling and enrolls 8 students per year.

We encourage you to peruse our website and to review our Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling Handbook to learn more about our program, degree requirements, and the rewarding profession of genetic counseling. To learn more about the Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling Program, please email us at or


Rachael Brandt, PhD, MS, LCGC - Program Co-Director
Zohra Ali-Khan Catts, MS, LCGC - Program Co-Director

What is Genetic Counseling?

The National Society of Genetic Counselors (2005) defines genetic counseling as the process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease.  This process integrates:

  • Interpretation of family and medical histories to assess the chance of disease occurrence or recurrence.
  • Education about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources and research.
  • Counseling to promote informed choices and adaptation to the risk or condition.

Genetic counseling is a rapidly expanding and diversifying profession that offers opportunities for practice in a wide variety of settings, such as hospitals/clinics, academia, laboratories, government agencies, public health, consulting and advocacy.  Clinical practice areas encompass many specialties including prenatal, pediatrics, cardiology, neurology, metabolic disorders, infertility, cancer, etc.  As a profession that blends scientific information with clinical, ethical, psychological and legal implications, genetic counselors have a uniquely satisfying and rewarding career that is in high demand.  

To learn more about this exciting profession, visit: