This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program accreditation
Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling

Program goals

  1. Competency in genetic counseling
  2. Eligibility for certification by the American Board of Genetic Counseling
  3. Preparation for careers in genetic counseling and human genetics and genomics

Successful candidates will demonstrate competency in all seven genetic counseling domains: genetics and genomics expertise, risk assessment, counseling, communication, research, health care systems, and professional identity.

Program objectives

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of human, medical and public health genetics and genomics and their related sciences
  2. Apply knowledge of genetic principles and understand how they contribute to etiology, pathophysiology, clinical features, disease expression, natural history recurrence risk, clinical management and disease prevention
  3. Apply knowledge of genetic principles to understanding of differential diagnosis, genetic testing, genetic test report interpretation and population screening

Student learning outcomes

  1. Competency in practice: The candidate should demonstrate development of competency in the responsible practice of genetic counseling. This will be assessed in the clinical setting by certified genetic counselors and medical geneticists. The assessment is based upon the core clinical competencies established by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling. These competencies are documented with written and oral evaluations at the completion of each of the clinical rotations by the rotation supervisor. 
  2. General knowledge of sciences: The candidate should demonstrate a general knowledge of the elements of the sciences as related to genetic molecular/cellular bioscience and a detailed knowledge of his or her area of research, including an appropriate familiarity with the research literature. The student is evaluated by academic performance, face-to-face and written evaluation of clinical performance in multiple rotations by multiple supervisors and annual written and oral exams.
  3. Communication skills: The candidate should demonstrate that an appropriate level of oral, written and visual communication skills have been acquired. This is achieved by evaluations of clinical rotations both written and verbal that are based on the competencies established by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling and the scope of practice as set forth by the National Society of Genetic Counselors.
  4. Education skills: Effectively educate clients, orally and in writing, about a wide range of genetics and genomics information based on their needs, their characteristics and the circumstances of the encounter.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

School of Medicine graduate program policies

The School of Medicine provides policies applicable to all programs administratively housed in the school. Information on master’s programs is available elsewhere in this chapter of the Graduate Bulletin.