Guidance on Prerequisites
In your application, you'll select courses from your previous academic work that demonstrate your fulfillment of each of our required prerequisite courses. The table below contains guidance about our expectations for the content of each prerequisite.
Please reflect on how thoroughly your previous coursework has covered these topics. Some courses may seem suitable but, in fact, don't cover the core concept areas in sufficient depth.
NOTE: You may have completed higher-level courses above the listed prerequisites (e.g., an upper-level psychology course after completing an introductory-level psychology course). DO NOT list higher-level courses as satisfying the prerequisite. Instead, list the course that most closely matches the prerequisite description.
|Prerequisite||Required topic areas||Other course requirements|
|Genetics: One semester/quarter of upper-level genetics||• Mendelian inheritance
• Gene expression, transcription and translation
• Population genetics
• Genetic variation
|Your genetics course should be rigorous and should have required prerequisites, including general biology (at a minimum). Genetics for non-majors is not adequate preparation for our program.|
|Biochemistry: One semester/quarter of upper-level biochemistry||• Membranes and signal transduction
• Amino acids and protein synthesis
• Carbohydrates and lipids
• Nucleic acids, DNA and RNA
|Your biochemistry course should be rigorous and should have required prerequisites, including general biology and chemistry (at a minimum). A strong biochemistry course will also require organic chemistry as a prerequisite.|
|Psychology: One semester/quarter of introductory-level psychology||• Biological psychology
• Consciousness and memory
• Human development across the lifespan
• Learning and memory
• Motivation and emotion
• Social psychology
• Self and personality
|Abnormal psychology does NOT satisfy this prerequisite requirement.|
|Statistics: One semester/quarter of introductory-level statistics||• Principles of probability and sampling
• Descriptive statistics (e.g., correlation and regression)
• Knowledge of binomial and normal distributions
• Applications of hypothesis testing, estimation, confidence intervals and statistical tests (e.g., t-tests and chi-square tests)
• Interpretation of statistical data to answer research questions
|Other math classes (e.g., calculus) do NOT satisfy this prerequisite requirement.|
|Laboratory coursework: Two semesters/quarters of laboratory coursework in any scientific discipline (e.g., biology, chemistry, etc.)||• Experience applying the scientific method
• Experience with analytical methods
• Principles of experimental design
• Experience writing lab reports
|Virtual labs are acceptable as long as they meet the listed requirements and learning objectives.|
Meeting the Prerequisite Requirements
All courses must be completed at a regionally accredited institution of higher education or its foreign equivalent. Online courses are acceptable.
Please reflect on your knowledge and preparation, and determine whether it’s complete and up to date. For example, if the last upper-division genetics course you took was 5-10 years ago, you should carefully consider how prepared you are to enter a master’s degree program in genetic counseling. How have you kept up with advances in the field?
In general, we don’t teach the concepts covered in these prerequisites. We expect you to begin your training already understanding these concepts so that you can apply that knowledge to the practice of genetic counseling.
If you feel that your current knowledge may not be at the level necessary for a fast-paced, science-intensive curriculum, consider filling those knowledge gaps by repeating the relevant course.
Advanced Placement Exams
Under specific circumstances, the UW GCGP will accept scores from Advanced Placement (AP) exams in fulfillment of the psychology and/or statistics prerequisites. For your AP exam score to satisfy our prerequisite course requirement, it must meet the following criteria:
- You must have been awarded credit (because of your AP exam score) for either an undergraduate-level statistics or psychology course from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or foreign equivalent.
- Credit for that course must appear on your college or university transcript.
If you have questions about prerequisites or course equivalency, please email the course syllabus to email@example.com for review.