Admissions Essays

Our admissions essays are very important. Take time to draft, revise, and polish. Make sure your essays are the best they can be before you apply.

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GuidaNCE ON Admissions Essays

If you attend the UW GCGP, we want you to succeed, both while you’re training with us and afterwards. We’re looking for applicants who have carefully considered genetic counseling as a career and who have reflected on why they think they would be a successful genetic counselor.

As part of your application, you will submit a personal statement and several short essays so we can get to know you more and understand why you're on this career path.

These essays are very important. Take time to draft your essays, have them reviewed by trusted readers, revise them, and polish them. Make sure they are the best they can be before you apply.

Personal Statement

The personal statement is your opportunity to tell us your story. In reflecting on your journey to genetic counseling, please address all of the following questions: 

1.    Why do you want to pursue a career in genetic counseling?
2.    What steps have you taken to ensure that this profession is a good fit for you?
3.    What strengths do you possess that will help you be a successful genetic counselor?

Word limit: 1000 words


Short Answer ESSAYS

We’ve selected various characteristics that are especially important to the UW GCGP program and created three short-answer questions to give you an opportunity to describe how these apply to you. Here’s some guidance to help you craft your essays.

Question 1

The UW GCGP values building a diverse, anti-racist, and equitable community of students, educators, scientists, and healthcare providers.

Diversity has many dimensions, including but not limited to nationality, immigration and citizenship status, being the first in your family to go to college, military status, socioeconomic status, race, religion, age, ability or disability, culture, ethnicity, language(s) spoken, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Diversity has been shown to improve group innovation and problem-solving, and patient satisfaction increases when care is provided in a culturally sensitive environment with patient-centered communication strategies. 

As you answer this question, consider what diversity, anti-racism, and equity mean to you or how these have influenced you, as well as experiences that have shaped your journeys through school and employment.

Writing prompt:
How will you contribute to or support the diversity of the genetic counseling profession? What unique perspective(s) would you contribute to the genetic counseling profession? How have you shown a commitment to diversity, anti-racism, and equity?

Word limit: 500 words

Question 2

The UW GCGP is a fast-paced 18-month graduate program that takes place on the beautiful University of Washington campus in Seattle, Washington. In order to thrive and succeed, students will need to be adaptable, focused, and self-aware. Because our accelerated program is not the best fit for everyone, this essay is an opportunity for you to explain how it's a good fit for you.

Writing prompt:
In what way(s) is the UW GCGP a good fit for you personally and/or professionally?

Word limit: 250 words

Question 3

Genetic counselors work with people of all ages and backgrounds throughout all stages of life. As such, empathy is essential to genetic counseling. To effectively help others, one must be able to listen without judgment, see the world as the other person sees it, and understand and communicate the other person’s feelings.

In each of the scenarios below, a person is experiencing a different life situation. Choose one of these scenarios.


1.    A university graduate has just been offered a job far from home. They haven’t yet accepted the job or told their parents about the offer. Their parents have always expected them to remain at home and help manage the family business. Their parents are also getting older and rely daily on their child for help and support.

2.    A 62-year-old attorney is retiring at the end of the month. Her first plan is to take an extended trip to visit friends and family she hasn’t seen in years. Last week, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her town has one of the country’s best cancer treatment centers, but her health insurance will change if she retires.

3.    A young man is laid off from his job. A few months later, his live-in partner moves out and ends their relationship. He can’t afford to pay the rent on his own, and he is rapidly running out of savings.

4.    A 58-year-old person has just learned their 25-year-old daughter is pregnant. Their daughter and the baby’s father have been dating for a few months. He lives in a different city and already has two children, one of whom is less than a year old. The person knows their daughter always wanted to have children, and they themselves assumed they’d be a grandparent someday.

Writing prompt:
Indicate which scenario you have chosen, then describe your understanding of what the person might be feeling. If they were talking to you about this, how would you communicate your understanding to them?

Word limit: 250 words


If you have questions about any of these writing prompts, contact us.