Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

Why genetic counseling?

The Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Graduate Program (ASGCGP) is a 21-month, full-time program that supports a groundbreaking and collaborative environment for students to engage in classroom learning and fieldwork rotations. The program currently admits 10 students per year.

  • The ASGCGP is the only program in South Dakota approved by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ASGC). All 10 students enrolled in the program spend their first academic year in the Sioux Falls area. Beginning with our 2023 cohort, students will be located in Sioux Falls, San Diego and Fargo for their second year. Three students will remain in Sioux Falls, five will move to San Diego and two will move to Fargo.
  • Graduates will be eligible to sit for the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) national certification exam and enter the profession as well-prepared genetic counselors.
genetic counseling

Course Descriptions

Tuition & Fees





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Genetic Counseling Colloquium

This 21-month, full-time Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Graduate Program (ASGCGP) consists of coursework and rotations, as well as a graduate research project and presentation.

All students enrolled in the ASGCGP spend their first academic year in Sioux Falls. Starting with the 2024 Cohort, second-year students will separate into the program's three tracks in Sioux Falls, San Diego, California, and Fargo, North Dakota. Students in all locations connect through technology and frequent communication. Although second-year students are in different physical locations, all program students will feel united through discussion-based courses using real-time interactive video.


ASGCGP students complete 15 rotations during the program to fulfill the required 12 practicum credits. The program has relationships with numerous in-person and virtual rotation sites that encompass more than 50 session supervisors.

In the rotation timeline, students spend their first months primarily observing cases and gradually increase their participation in genetic counseling services. With the exception of the first 2nd-year rotation, which takes place in the summer after a student’s first academic year, students will simultaneously complete rotations and coursework.

First-Year Rotations 

ASGCGP 1st-year students are introduced to clinic and lab settings that allow them to develop and practice in a simulated environment.

  • Students complete five short-term, patient-facing rotations and five clinical skills rotations. 
  • Rotation settings include adult, lab, pediatric, prenatal and high-risk breast clinic.
  • Cases may include, but are not limited to: Huntington’s disease, carrier screening, Down syndrome, metabolic disorders and newborn screening.

Second-Year Rotations

ASGCGP 2nd-year students spend more time in rotations and have expanded roles and independence within sessions.

  • Students complete five 8-week rotations.
  • Rotations include adult, cancer, industry, lab, pediatric, preconception, prenatal and teratology settings.


Students are required to complete a research project to graduate from the program. ASGCGP applies a broader approach to our definition of a research project — offering flexibility from the traditional graduate thesis. Some projects are rooted in hypothesis-driven methodology, whereas others may be more focused on product or educational resource development. Students may submit their work for publication, presentation at professional conferences, or develop a project aimed towards resource implementation.


    Genetics Class


      Becca Loman

      Becca Loman, M.S., CGC, is the program director of the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Program (ASGCGP) in Sioux Falls. In addition to her role at Augustana, she also works at Sanford Health. Becca had been with Sanford Health for three years prior to joining Augustana, primarily working in pediatric genetics and pediatric sub-specialty clinics. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Augustana, Master of Science in clinical anatomy from Creighton University, followed by a Master of Science in genetic counseling from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. Her research interests focus on professional development for practicing genetic counselors.

      Taylor Berninger

      Tayler Berninger

      Taylor Berninger, M.S., M.A., M.Ed., CGC, is the associate director of the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Program (ASGCGP) in San Diego. She also works at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) with the T. Denny Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion. She transitioned to her current role with UCSD in 2021 after working in Fetal Care and Genetics since starting with the Augustana program in 2016. She was previously employed at Human Longevity, Inc., and, prior to that, she worked at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD), providing prenatal, cancer, cardiology, neurology, and general adult consultations. Taylor was selected as the recipient of the Command Star Performer Award for July 2014 to recognize service excellence and patient- and family-focused care. Before working at NMCSD, she worked at the Greater Los Angeles VA, providing cancer and adult genetic consultation and participating in health systems research. Taylor received her master’s in Genetic Counseling and master’s in Medical Humanities and Bioethics from Northwestern University in 2011 and 2015, respectively. She also holds a master’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and was a member of the Teach For America St. Louis Corps for two years. She is an active volunteer with the National Society of Genetic Counselors and the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors.

      Dylan Platt


      Dylan Platt, M.S., CGC, is the assistant director of the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Program (ASGCGP) in Sioux Falls. He is a graduate of Augustana University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in biology and mathematics. Dylan joined the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Program where he earned his Master of Science in genetic counseling. Following graduation, he began working as a genetic counselor at Sanford Health in both a clinical and research capacity. During this time, he helped develop new multidisciplinary genetics clinics and further developed his research interests in population and psychiatric genomics, as well as current ethical quandaries in the genetics field. He has always had a special interest in education and believes the most effective mode of learning is through teaching others.

      Dr. Gene Hoyme

      Dr. H. Eugene (Gene) Hoyme is a co-medical director for the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Graduate Program (ASGCGP), representing its Midwestern presence. In addition, Dr. Hoyme serves as an advisor in genetics and genomic medicine at Sanford Health, the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and University of Arizona. He is also the medical director for the Sanford Children’s Genomic Medicine Consortium — a formal collaborative in pediatric precision medicine among seven major children's hospitals in the western United States. Dr. Hoyme has held several leadership positions with Sanford Health and academic appointments and leadership posts at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucille Packard Children's Hospital, Palo Alto and the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington.

      Dr. Hoyme has been a leader in regional and national clinical and research organizations in pediatrics and medical genetics, and he is internationally known for his work with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). He has received various local, regional and national awards in research, teaching and mentorship, some of which include the Western Society of Pediatric Research’s Joseph W. St. Geme Jr. Education Award in recognition of outstanding achievement in pediatric education (2011), the National Organization of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Excellence Award (2012) and American Academy of Pediatrics David W. Smith Education and Mentorship Award (2016). He has authored more than 400 original articles, book chapters, monographs, electronic publications and research abstracts. He is also a co-author of the textbook Signs and Symptoms of Genetic Conditions: A Handbook (Oxford University Press).

      Dr. Hoyme often guest lectures and is a favorite of students. He is a talented and engaging teacher both in the clinic and classroom and has a knack for simplifying complex topics and artfully explaining anything ranging from dysmorphology to genomic medicine. He recently served as the first author of revised NIH expert consensus diagnostic guidelines for FASD, based on his evaluation for potential FASD of more than 10,000 children worldwide over the course of 20+ years.

      A native of Dell Rapids, South Dakota, Dr. Hoyme received his undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry from Augustana before completing medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed his pediatric residency and dysmorphology fellowship at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. He is board-certified in pediatrics, clinical genetics and clinical cytogenetics and is a member of numerous professional organizations.

      Dr. Marilyn Jones


      Dr. Marilyn C. Jones is a co-medical director for the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Graduate Program (ASGCGP), representing its San Diego presence. Dr. Jones also serves as the clinical service chief of the Genetics and Dysmorphology Department at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego — a position she has held since 1979. She holds an appointment as professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California San Diego.

      Dr. Jones has served in multiple leadership roles, including medical director of the Bernardy Center for Medically Fragile Children, director of the UCSD Prenatal Diagnosis Center and president of the Western Society for Pediatric Research, American College of Medical Genetics and American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association. Under her leadership, the American College of Medical Genetics set standards and practice guidelines for clinical genetics in the United States. Dr. Jones is an award-winning expert in the field of craniofacial anomalies and specializes in treating cases of cleft lip and palate. In 2011, she received the Alumae Achievement Award from Wellesley College. She has numerous publications and is a co-author of the textbook Smith’s Recognizable Patterns of Human Malformation.

      Dr. Jones is highly regarded for her work as an excellent clinician, colleague, mentor and teacher. She is also recognized for her work in providing genetic care and training others to provide this care to children in remote and underserved communities internationally.

      Dr. Jones earned an undergraduate degree in Art History from Wellesley College, Massachusetts, in 1970 and M.D. from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She completed her residency and fellowship at the University California San Diego School of Medicine. She is board-certified in pediatrics and clinical genetics.

      Advisory Board

      The ASGCGP Advisory Board is a volunteer board that meets three times annually. It is comprised of individuals from diverse backgrounds who have varying areas of expertise and the ability to offer innovative advice and dynamic perspectives. Advisory board members provide guidance, knowledge, skills, and feedback to Program Leadership. They make recommendations and provide support to help ensure the program is current and relevant to genomics, modern healthcare, industry, and professional practices. Current ASGCGP Advisory Board members include:

      Amy Stenhouse, MS, CGC; Amy Swanson, MS, CGC; Andrea Mierau, PT, DPT; Carrie Olson-Manning, PhD; Heidi Albers, MS, CGC; Jason Flanagan, MS, CGC; Jennifer Leonhard, MS, CGC; Julia Ortega, PA, MHS; Katie Sasager, MS, CGC; Kaylee Dollershell, MS, CGC; Krista Redlinger-Grosse, PhD, LP, ScM, CGC; Lisa Madlensky, PhD, CGC; Miguel Del Campo, MD, PhD.