Requirements for All Applicants
Register with the Genetic Counseling Admissions Match (Required)
- The Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Graduate Program (ASGCGP) participates in the Genetic Counseling Admissions Match (the Match) through National Matching Services Inc. (NMS). The Match was established to enhance the process of placing applicants into positions in master's-level genetic counseling programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). The Match uses a process that takes into account both applicants’ and programs’ preferences. All applicants must register for the Match with NMS before applying to participating genetic counseling graduate programs. At the conclusion of all program interviews, both applicants and programs will submit ranked lists of preferred placements to NMS according to deadlines posted on the NMS website. The binding results of the Match will be released to both applicants and programs simultaneously in late April. Please visit the NMS website to register for the Match, review detailed information about the matching process, and view a demonstration of how the matching algorithm works.
- Registering with the Match costs $100.
Slate Account (Required)
- You must register through Slate to submit supporting materials to Augustana's Office of Graduate Education, according to the deadlines specified. Your application is not complete until your application has been submitted and paid for via Slate, and all supporting materials--including official documents--have been received. Late applications will not be reviewed.
- Current Augustana students and Augustana alumni are not required to pay the $25 USD Slate application fee.
BA/BS Degree (Required)
- A bachelor's degree (or international equivalent) is required to enter the program. You may apply prior to completing your undergraduate degree.
- he program does not require a specific undergraduate major. It recommends undergraduate coursework that provides a foundation for graduate study in genetic counseling. The only required course is genetics. However, the strongest applicants will have taken most, if not all, of the following courses prior to entering the program: biology, chemistry, biochemistry, genetics (required), psychology, and statistics.
Official Transcripts (Required)
- You are required to enter your academic history in Slate. For each institution added you must submit an official transcript to Augustana's Office of Graduate Education. Official transcripts must be mailed or emailed directly from the institution addressed to: Office of Graduate Education, Augustana University, 2001 S Summit Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you attended another post-secondary institution and your current/final official transcripts show your courses and grades from that post-secondary institution, you do not need to add it in Slate nor submit transcripts from it.
- If you attended another post-secondary institution and your current/final official transcripts do not show your courses and grades from that post-secondary institution, you must add it in Slate and submit official transcripts from it.
- You do not need to add or submit transcripts for dual-credit courses if they are included on your official transcript.
- You do not need to add or submit transcripts for study abroad courses if they are included on your official transcript.
- For each institution added in Slate, you will be asked to report your GPA. Slate reads, "Do not recalculate GPA, and do not report if not printed on transcript." Please follow these instructions within the Academic History section of the Slate application.
- Official transcripts must be current at the time of your application. Grades for courses in process are not required, but if you are admitted into the program, you will be required to submit your final official transcripts prior to matriculation.
Proof of Academic Success (See below for more information.)
The ASGCGP is academically rigorous and it's important that applicants are able to demonstrate their potential for academic success at the graduate level.
- In the Program Questions section of the Slate application, you will be asked to enter your undergraduate cumulative GPA. For this question, you may recalculate your undergraduate cumulative GPA. Please see more details below. Instructions for calculating GPAs can be found here.
- If you want to replace a past grade with a new grade for a course, you will need to recalculate your undergraduate GPA. If you elect to replace a past grade with a new grade for a course, you must add the institution from which you earned the grade in Slate and submit transcripts as detailed in the Official Transcripts section.
- If you want to include a grade for a course you took as a non-degree seeking student (e.g. if you took Genetics after graduating to meet application requirements), you will need to recalculate your undergraduate GPA. If you elect to include a grade for a course you took as a non-degree seeking student, you must add the institution from which you earned the grade in Slate and submit transcripts as detailed in the Official Transcripts section.
- In the Program Questions section of the Slate application, you will be asked to enter your undergraduate Natural Science GPA. Common Natural Science courses include, but are not limited to: biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics. Instructions for calculating GPAs can be found here.
- While the program does not specify a minimum GPA, the large majority of competitive applicants have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Those with a GPA lower than 3.0 may want to consider demonstrating potential for academic success through a GRE exam or additional coursework.
- If you pursued graduate study, please add the institution where you studied in Slate and submit official transcripts as detailed in the Official Transcripts section. The program will consider this when reviewing your application.
GREs (See below for more information.)
The GRE is not required to apply to nor gain acceptance into the program.
For most applicants, the program has found they are able to demonstrate their potential for academic success through GPAs alone. However, it recognizes that for some applicants, for a multitude of reasons, their GPAs may not be entirely reflective of their academic ability. If you believe your GPAs are not entirely reflective of your academic ability, the GRE may be helpful in demonstrating your academic potential to reviewers. The program welcomes the supplemental submission of GRE General Test scores if you think your scores may help highlight your academic potential.
If you elect to submit GRE General Test scores, you must indicate this within the Program Questions section of the Slate application. You must also submit official scores for the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing sections. The institution code for Augustana University is 6015; the department/major field code for genetics is 0210. Please note, GRE scores are valid for five (5) years. Please see the GRE website for more information.
- Submit your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) by uploading it within the Program Questions section of the Slate application.
- Your resume/CV should provide a concise but thorough summary of your qualifications. You should include the knowledge, skills, and experiences that have prepared you to study genetic counseling and ultimately become a genetic counselor. Highlight your interpersonal and communication skills, advocacy experiences, and exposure to the genetic counseling field, as well as other experiences highlighting well-roundedness.
- The program knows that not all applicants have the same access to opportunities and encourages applicants to seek and obtain exposure to the field in a variety of ways (e.g. shadowing, interviewing, reviewing online content, informational programs).
- The program does not require crisis counseling experience; however, crisis counseling is one good way to gain advocacy experience. The program encourages diversity of experiences, but more importantly a commitment to and passion for the things you choose to do.
- Include anything you think makes you unique (e.g. fluency in another language).
Personal Statement (Required)
- Submit your personal statement by uploading it within the Program Questions section of the Slate application.
- Your personal statement should be no more than 1000 words. It provides an opportunity for you to tell us your story and should reflect your personality. You should share with us what drew you to the field, how your exposure to the field has shaped your understanding of it, and how your experiences have affirmed that genetic counseling is the right career for you. Your personal statement should not narrate your resume/CV but rather balance it and expand upon experiences that cannot be adequately captured in abbreviated form.
- You may also choose to address important life experiences, what specifically makes you interested in our program, and/or what unique perspectives make you a good candidate for the program.
Letters of Recommendation (Required)
- Submit three (3), and only three (3), reference names and email addresses in the Slate application. This information will automatically generate emails to the persons providing a reference, with instructions for completing and submitting the reference form. Applicants are responsible for checking their Slate applications for reference completion. If a reference is unable to or does not complete their part, you may request to provide an additional reference name and email address. Please email email@example.com with this request.
- Your references should be professional acquaintances who can attest to your accomplishments and ability to succeed in the program and as a genetic counselor.
- If possible, select references that will provide different perspectives (e.g. professor, work supervisor, volunteer supervisor, coach) versus three academic references.
- Upload a head-and-shoulders photograph within the Program Questions section of the Slate application.
- The program reviews every application holistically and in detail. Given the large number of applications it receives, photographs help reviewers to better remember you when they discuss your application. In addition, photographs are useful during interviews, helping us to provide a more personal experience, something the program strives to do. Your photograph does not need to be fancy, but it will be shared with others throughout the application process and to introduce you to other students if admitted into the program.
Additional Requirements for International Applicants
WES Evaluation (See below for more information.)
- If you received your undergraduate degree from a country other than the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, in addition to the materials noted above, your application requires a World Education Services (WES) Course-by-Course Evaluation Report (Basic or ICAP). You are responsible for paying for the report and having it delivered to Augustana's Office of Graduate Education. Please see the WES website for more information.
- WES will authenticate and evaluate your academic credentials, including degrees and diplomas earned abroad, and determine their U.S. equivalencies. Once WES has confirmed receipt of all required applications, documents, and fees, a report will be completed in seven (7) business days. Please see the WES website for more information about fees and to apply.
TOEFL or IELTS Scores (See below for more information.)
- If you received your undergraduate degree from a country other than the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, in addition to the materials noted above, your application requires official TOEFL or IELTS scores to prove English-language proficiency. You are responsible for paying for the test and having your results delivered to Augustana's Office of Graduate Education. The program requires a minimum TOEFL score of 87 or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5. The TOEFL institution code for Augustana University is 6015, and the department code for genetics is 06. Please see the TOEFL website or IELTS website for more information.
- If you believe you can prove English-language proficiency via another means, please email the program at firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for an exception. The program will notify you by email whether or not an exception has been granted.