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Frequently Asked Questions


Which courses count towards the pre-requisites?

Choose the biology, chemistry, genetics, etc. courses that are required for biology or pre-med majors. Biochemistry should be an upper division course and separate from any other course. Most psychology courses and introductory statistics or biostatistics course are acceptable.

Are online courses acceptable?

Yes as long as the courses are offered at an accredited university or college.

Do all pre-requisites need to be completed before submitting an application?

All prerequisites must be completed by the application deadline.  This is especially important for prerequisites like Genetics and Biochemistry which require a grade of B- or better. The Admission Committee will need to see those grades.

Any courses which were taking during the semester in which an applicant was apply to the program must be in compliance with the Admissions In-Progress Course Policy.

When can I apply?

Applications will open September 1st.

Are there opportunities for remote clinical rotations?

Remote clinical rotations are occasionally available, but do not take place on a regular basis. All students will get exposure to telehealth and remote delivery of genetic counseling through their in-person clinical rotations. Applicants should plan to travel for all three clinical rotations in our program.

Do I have to be vaccinated for Covid-19?

Students at Boise State are not required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enroll and attend classes. However, most of our partner hospitals and clinic sites where required fieldwork is completed, are requiring students to be fully vaccinated in order to participate in fieldwork (clinical rotations). Some sites are accepting medical/religious exemptions for students; others require students to be fully vaccinated and will not accept exemptions. This is a decision made by the hospitals/clinics and Boise State has no control over this, especially when the sites are operating under state vaccine mandates.
We will try to accommodate students with exemptions by matching them with clinical rotations at sites that do not require students to be fully immunized against COVID-19. We cannot guarantee this will be possible. Please be aware that many hospitals are currently changing their requirements (for example, some that have previously allowed exemptions are now requiring full immunization) and there can be no guarantee that there will be sufficient availability of clinical sites that allow exemptions by the time students begin their fieldwork component. This could result in delays in being able to complete program requirements and graduating.

Can international students apply?

Due to U.S. Homeland Security regulations and our online program structure, we are regretfully unable to provide F-1 student visa paperwork to international students for this degree program. International students who are currently residing in the US on a visa other than an F-1 visa should check to see if their current visa allows for participation in our program. Please note that international students cannot participate in our program on a tourist visa.

Please contact International Admissions before submitting your application if you are unsure about your eligibility to study in this program. International Student and Scholar Services.

Eligible international applicants must complete the application requirements as outlined by the Graduate College, International Admissions office, and MSGC program. For more information on these requirements, please visit the following pages:

*Prospective applicants who are U.S. citizens, but are working outside the U.S. must apply as a domestic student.

Can students from any state apply?

Yes. We will accept applications from all 50 states in the US.

Will transfer courses be accepted?

Not at this time.

How many students will be invited for an interview?


How many students are accepted?


Do I need to reapply every year?


Does the program allow for part-time status?

Not at this time.

Does the program offer any scholarships, graduate assistantships, or work study?

The MSGC Program offers the Saint Alphonsus Health System/Trinity Health Genetic Counseling Award. This need based scholarship is for all students with a 3.0 GPA or higher, an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $15,000.00 or less, and enrollment in the MSGC Program. The disbursement amount per year varies based on the number of students who qualify (max of $2000). Students can apply for the scholarship in the second year.  Additionally, students are eligible for financial aid. For more information on Financial Aid, please contact Boise State’s Financial Aid Office or the Federal Student Aid website.

We also offer a program Program Fee Waiver to applicants who are eligible.

Will I be able to work during the program?

This program is full time enrollment with an estimated required time commitment of at least 30 hours per week. The curriculum is delivered primarily in an asynchronous format which means you have flexibility to access the content and complete assignments at your discretion but within the due dates. Group work and partner work is common so you will need to be able to coordinate your schedule accordingly.

Can I transfer to a local program for the second year to do fieldwork?


Video Transcript

[Music and Title card] MS in Genetic Counseling at Boise State University

[Susie]: Hi everyone, I’m Susie, the Administrative Assistant for Boise State’s Genetic Counseling program. Thanks for checking out this video!

I just thought it might be helpful If I created a short video to share the topics I’m asked most about when prospective applicants contact me. So let’s get started.

To start, and most of you will already know this because you are already watching this video, but there’s a great deal of information on our website, which can be found at So make sure you have a look around. Most of the stuff I’m going to cover today can also be found on the website.

Today I’m going to start with fieldwork, which is also known as clinical rotations. This can be found on our Fieldwork page. Fieldwork takes place in the second year during the semesters of Summer, Fall and Spring. The rotations last 7 to 14 weeks, and there is a minimum of 210 hours each semester.

Clinical rotations take place at clinics and hospitals affiliated with Boise State University in the following states: Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Texas and Montana. Occasionally there are opportunities for rotations in other places, but the majority of rotations will occur in these states.

Participation in our program will require travel (temporary relocation). It is our hope that our students will work in a different clinic each semester in order to see different patient demographics and to get experience with the three main placements of prenatal, pediatrics and cancer genetics.

While travel is required to complete clinical rotations, keep in mind there is no requirement to come to Boise at any point in the program – unless your clinical rotation is here of course – or for interviews. Interviews for our program are done virtually, so there’s a lot of freedom in that.

Moving on to prerequisites. I get asked about prerequisites a lot. Prerequisites can be found on our Admissions page, so let’s go over them quickly.

Prerequisites include a general Biology course, a general Chemistry course, which must include a lab. There is a Biochemistry prerequisite that has an additional requirement of a grade of B- or better. This is a hard requirement. If you apply with a C+ or less in Biochemistry, your application will be considered ineligible and will not be forwarded to the Admission Committee for review.

Prerequisites also include a Genetics course. This course needs to have been taken within the last five years. It also has the hard requirement of a grade of B- or better. Embryology is also prerequisite, which we have added recently.

Finally, there is a General Psychology prerequisite and a Statistics prerequisite. While we will not accept AP courses to fill a prerequisite, advanced university-level courses in the same subject are acceptable.

Prerequisites can be taken at any accredited university, including online courses. All prerequisites must be completed by the application deadline. If you are taking a course in the semester in which you are applying to the program, please see the MSGC Admissions in-Progress Policy, to ensure you’re following all the requirements. Updated transcripts must be submitted by December 30th in this case.

If you’re worried about whether or not a course you are considering taking will meet the prerequisite, please reach out. I can help determine that for you. Please be sure to read the Admissions page carefully, as there are additional requirements and preferred qualifications. If you decide to apply to the program, please make sure to follow the Application Guidebook carefully.

Thank you, I hope I answered some questions for you today. Please feel free to reach out if I can help you in any other way. The best way to reach me is by email at I am the only one who monitors this email, so we can communicate back and forth as needed until all your questions are answered.

Thank you – and good luck!