The mission of the LIU Post Genetic Counseling Graduate Program (GCGP) is to develop genetic counselors that have the knowledge, skill and experience to succeed in all areas of the field by providing comprehensive training emphasizing the scientific, clinical and psychosocial aspects of genetic counseling. As genetic testing becomes more available, patients are gaining unprecedented access to information about the likelihood of diseases and medical conditions. There is increased demand for professionals who can accurately interpret genetic test results and inform individuals to take a proactive approach to their health.
The LIU Post GCGP is committed to developing a new generation of genetic counselors with training and education that promotes the provision of effective genetics services cross-culturally and expands research concerning ethnocultural beliefs and practices and means for improving services. LIU’s two-year M.S. Genetic Counseling program is geared toward students who desire a rigorous and comprehensive training in the field of clinical genetics. Diverse, interdisciplinary academic and clinical faculty is committed to training a diverse group of students to become leaders in the field of genetics.
We believe in embracing a supportive and collaborative atmosphere between our students and faculty. Course instructors apply various pedagogical approaches to didactic training so that students are well prepared for clinic-based fieldwork experiences. Various supplemental activities are incorporated throughout the training program to ensure that students are exposed to expanded roles in genetic counseling. We encourage you to learn more about our program. The program holds Full Accreditationthrough the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling(ACGC).
HOW DO I APPLY TO THE GENETIC COUNSELING MASTER’S PROGRAM?
The Long Island University Post Genetic Counseling Graduate Program participates in the Genetic Counseling Admissions Match through National Matching Services (NMS) so you will need to follow this two-step process to apply to our program.
Step One. REGISTER FOR THE NATIONAL MATCHING SERVICE
All applicants must first register for the Match with NMS before applying to participating genetic counseling graduate programs. At the end of all program interviews, applicants and programs will submit ranked lists of preferred placements to NMS according to the deadlines posted on the NMS website. The Match's binding results will be released to applicants and programs simultaneously in late April. Please visit the NMS website https://natmatch.com/gcadmissions to register for the Match, review detailed information about the matching process, and to view a demonstration of how the matching algorithm works.
NMS Match Application Fee: A nonrefundable fee of $100 is required upon application submission. A fee waiver is available for qualifying applicants, see the NMS website for details.
Step Two: APPLY TO LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY
Long Island University accepts applications through the Long Island University application for our graduate programs. You will be asked to submit the following materials no later than January 15th:
Master of Science in Genetic Counseling Supplemental Application (including a Personal Statement of 800-1000 words, describing your reasons, as well as your preparation for pursuing a career in genetic counseling)
Letters of recommendation from three relevant professors, research advisors, and/or work supervisors should be emailed to email@example.com and copied to GCGP@liu.edu
Undergraduate Transcript (unofficial accepted) *
Recommended but not required: Competitive scores on the general Graduate Record Examination (Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical Writing).
Students for whom English is a second language must submit official score results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The required minimum acceptable TOEFL score is: 79 Internet-based (213 computer-based or 550 paper-based), or minimum IELTS score is: 6.5.
LIU Application Fee: A nonrefundable fee of $50 is required upon application submission. A fee waiver is available for qualifying applicants, see the LIU website for details.
* Upon admittance: To be considered official, final transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to Long Island University. Official transcripts can be emailed through the school’s secure electronic service to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Graduate Admissions 720 Northern Blvd Brookville, NY 11548
What prerequisites does the program require?
Successful completion of the following course work is required:
Biology, two semesters including laboratory sections.
Chemistry, two semesters including laboratory sections.
Organic Chemistry, two semesters OR Organic Chemistry, one semester and Biochemistry, one semester, laboratory sections optional but recommended.
Genetics, one semester
Statistics, one semester
Psychology, one semester
Successful completion of the following course work issuggested:
What criteria does the admissions committee consider?
We welcome applicants from diverse academic backgrounds with relevant interests and experiences. Our admission committee takes a comprehensive approach, reviewing your application with these elements in mind:
Bachelor's degree with an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. Higher GPAs are preferred.
An understanding of the genetic counseling profession. Many successful applicants have accomplished this by shadowing or meeting with a genetic counselor.
Advocacy and/or health care experience in a volunteer or paid position. This allows applicants to gain personal and professional insight into professions whose goals are to help people.
Recommended but not required: Competitive scores on the general Graduate Record Examination (Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical Writing).
The Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program accepts students on a full-time basis only. The first year of the program involves a combination of coursework, professional activities and clinical activities. In addition to rigorous classroom training, students participate in observational rotations. Observations consists of varied experiences, including but not limited to observations in a cytogenetics lab, medical specialty clinics, and non-profit advocacy groups. Additionally, students will interact with genetic counselors practicing in the field and will participate in seminars and journal clubs to complete the educational experience.
The second year of training is largely focused on clinical training, but also involves some didactic coursework. Clinical training begins in the summer after completion of the first academic year and involves rotations in a number of different clinics. Clinical rotations will occur in prenatal, pediatrics, oncology, neurology and other medical clinics. Students have the option of pursuing one clinical rotation at an “away” site if they desire (generally in the summer before the second year), for the sake of exposure to training in a different geographical region.
The purpose of the required thesis project is to expose students to the clinical genetics research process. Students may engage in a variety of research areas, including psychosocial, legal/ethical, clinical care, or basic science. Students will submit a final manuscript and formally present their thesis to faculty and peers. Students will be encouraged to submit their research to a national conference and/or a peer-reviewed journal, though acceptance of the article is not a requirement for graduation. In the fall of their second year, students will attend the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Conference. Registration costs for attending the conference will be covered by the program.
To receive the Master of Science in Genetic Counseling degree, students must satisfactorily complete 46 credits of classroom and research courses, and four clinical rotations. The program includes 46 credits of classroom and research courses, and 14 credits of clinical rotations, equaling 60 total credits. Students pay only for the 46 credits stemming from the didactic courses.
The cumulative ABGC board examination pass rate for first-time test-takers for the graduating class of 2020, 2021, 2022 is 71%, however, the first-time pass rate for the class of 2022 is 83%. Eleven out of twelve students in the class of 2021 graduated from the program. One student graduated with a different degree.
The LIU GCGP has a one hundred percent graduation rate for Program alumni in the class of 2022 and 2023. All our graduates are working in the field or the industry in various roles related to genetic counseling as of the class of 2022.
Students can access the LIU GCGP Handbook in Typhon upon matriculation.
First Year Classes:
Issues Confronting Genetic Counselors: Principles and Practices
Clinical Genetics in Practice I
14 credits total
Clinical Genetics in Practice II
Cancer Genetics and Genetic Counseling
Genetic Counseling Pre-Practicum
Design and Analysis in Genetics Research
14 credits total
Additional First Year Activities
Summer Between First and Second Years:
2 credits total
Second Year Classes:
Clinical Genetics in Practice III
Genetic Counseling Practicum
Clinical Applications of Genomic Medicine
Design and Analysis in Genetics Research
16 credits total
Clinical Genetics in Practice IV
14 credits total
Additional Second Year Activities:
Lab and observational rotations
NYSTF quarterly meetings
Graduate tuition (per credit): $1352* x 46 credits**
University fee (per semester): $1017 (full-time x 3) + $509 (part-time x 1)
Students are required to have active health insurance coverage for the duration of program enrollment. If not covered under a family or spousal plan, students can opt for health insurance through the University (2023-2024) cost per year = $3,764.
Students are responsible for additional costs related to travel and housing (if applicable) associated with their fieldwork training.
*These rates are based on 2023-24 tuition costs and are subject to change.
**The program includes 46 credits of classroom and research courses, and 14 credits of clinical rotations, equaling 60 total credits. Students pay only for the 46 credits stemming from didactic courses.
ATCG 600 Issues Confronting Genetic Counselors: Principles and Practice
This course is designed to expose students to issues confronting genetic counselors from a counseling perspective. It explores diverse counseling theories as well as assessing the need for psychosocial support, with a focus on diversity, equity and multicultural genetic counseling. Fall (1st Year), 3 credits
ATCG 601 Clinical Genetics in Practice I
This course is designed to be a foundation course for genetic counseling with a focus on developing clinical knowledge and skills. Topics include genetics history, core ideas of the profession, understanding of the genetics team, referral patterns, basic counseling and interviewing skills, consult outlines and preparation, medical terminology and pedigree construction, with an emphasis on prenatal genetic counseling. Fall (1st Year), 3 credits
ATCG 602 Clinical Genetics in Practice II
This course is designed to explore the specific aspects of health care practice that genetic counselors confront in their careers with a focus on clinical knowledge and skill development. Topics include adult and pediatric genetics, hematology genetics, genetic testing based on ethnicity, newborn screening, neurological genetics, cardiology genetics, and Bayesian risk calculations. Spring (1st Year), 3 credits
ATCG 603 Clinical Genetics in Practice III
This course focuses on the legal and ethical issues in the practice of genetic counseling and clinical genetics. Genetic counselors and other health care professionals often work with physicians and the medical team in making crucial medical decisions based on genetic test results. Often, these decisions are controversial, and are surrounded by legal and ethical issues. This course will address some of the most common legal and ethical challenges faced in genetic counseling. Fall (2nd Year), 2 credits
ATCG 604 Clinical Genetics in Practice IV
This course discusses the current state of the genetic counseling profession with a focus on professional issues. Topics will also directly apply to students’ career development by guiding students in writing a resume, interviewing, negotiating and establishing a professional development plan, including issues related to state licensure and billing and reimbursement. It will also offer a review of ABGC board exam topics and strategies for taking the exam. Spring (2nd Year), 3 credits
ATCG 610 Cytogenetics
The course will introduce topics of chromosomal structure and function, chromosome abnormalities and their clinical presentations, the chromosomal basis of cancer, and cytogenetic laboratory techniques. Fall (1st Year), 2 credits
ATCG 613 Molecular Genetics
This course will emphasize understanding of the applications of the emerging techniques in molecular biology as they apply to genetics. Special emphasis will be on topics important to biomedical applications and to those presenting ethical considerations. Fall (1st Year), 3 credits
ATCG 615 Cancer Genetics and Genetic Counseling
This course will provide in-depth discussion of cancer genetics with a focus on clinical knowledge and skill development of the genetic counselor working in this specialty. Spring (1st Year), 1 credit
ATCG 625 Clinical Applications of Genomic Medicine
This course will provide in-depth discussion of molecular genetics and genomics with a focus on clinical knowledge and skill development of the genetic counselor. It will focus on preparing genetic counselors to be able to feel comfortable working in multiple medical specialties where genetic/genomic tests are being used to impact clinical management and/or treatment. Fall (2nd Year), 2 credits
ATCG 668 Genetic Counseling Pre-Practicum
The client-centered counseling approach stresses the critical importance of three basic conditions: accurate empathy, unconditional positive regard, and genuineness. This is an entry level counseling laboratory course designed to provide basic fundamental communication skills training to prospective counselors in the genetic counseling program. Spring (1st Year), 3 credits
ATCG 669 Genetic Counseling Practicum
This is an in-depth counseling practicum designed to provide supervised genetic counseling experience from a developmental, multicultural perspective. The main emphasis and focus of the course is on practice. Students will participate in role-plays and will participate in peer critique in a supervised and positive learning environment. Fall (2nd Year), 3 credits
ATCG 701 Design and Analysis in Genetics Research
This course focuses on research in genetic counseling and clinical genetics. The course will examine designing a research study, quantitative and qualitative research processes, and publication. This course will also address some of the most common ethical challenges faced in genetic counseling research. Spring (1st Year) 1 credit, and Fall (2nd Year) 2 credits
ATCG 702 Clinical Internship
Students work under the supervision of certified genetic counselors in a variety of genetics settings. Students will complete 4 total rotations beginning with the summer semester – one rotation in the summer semester (7 weeks, full time) and three rotations (10 weeks each, part time) during the second academic year in the program. Summer (1st Year), 2 credits
Fall (2nd Year), 4 credits
Fall/Spring (2nd Year), 4 credits
Spring (2nd Year), 4 credits
ATCG 708 Capstone Project/Thesis
In this course, the student executes personal research under the supervision of the Program Director and their mentor. A written thesis manuscript and its oral presentation are required. Spring (2nd Year), 3 credits
BIO 514 Biochemical Genetics
This course will focus on the biochemistry of genetic disorders resulting in metabolic problems with the processing and storage of amino acids, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids. Fall (2nd Year), 3 credits
BIO 528 Human Development
In this course we will cover human development. Special attention will be given to teratogens, diseases, and genetic conditions that cause particular developmental abnormalities during critical embryological periods. Fall (1st Year), 3 credits
BIO 530 Clinical Genetics
This course will focus on genetics and genomics in human medicine. Students will learn about individual genetic disorders as well as screening techniques and fundamental concepts of inheritance. Ethical issues in medical genetics will also be covered. Spring (1st Year), 3 credits
BMS 612 Pathophysiology II
This course introduces students to the basic morphologic and functional changes of major disease processes in the cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, endocrine, digestive and neurologic systems. Spring (1st Year), 3 credits
For LIU Post Genetic Counseling Graduate Program clinical internships, students complete one seven-week full time rotation during the summer between years one and two, and four seven-week rotations (2–3 days per week) during the second academic year. This provides students approximately 1,000 hours of supervised clinical training.
The clinical sites include a wide variety of genetics clinics on Long Island, and all boroughs of New York City. For the summer rotation, students may pursue a rotation at an “away” site if they desire, for the sake of exposure to training in a different geographical region.
The rotations are placed within hospitals, academic centers and private practices as well as laboratories and non-for-profit support organizations, and the students rotate through each type of setting. Students acquire logbook cases that meet defined ACGC Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling criteria during the clinical internships.
Our clinical rotation sites are one of the greatest assets of our program and our students benefit from the expertise of the genetic counselors that serve as their clinical supervisors during the course of the program.
Some of our clinical rotation sites include:
Zuckerberg Cancer Center@Northwell Health
Good Samaritan Hospital, Catholic Health Services
NYU Langone Hospital – Long Island
Stony Brook University Medical Center
Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health, Weill Cornell University Medical Center
Brain and Mind Institute, Weill Cornell University Medical Center
South Nassau Community Hospital
NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital
SUNY Downstate Medical Center
CytoGenX Medical Genetic Laboratories
Monika Zak Goelz, MS, MS, CGC
Monika Zak Goelz, MS, MS, CGC is the Director of the LIU Post Genetic Counseling Graduate Program. Ms. Zak Goelz is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling, with over 20 years of clinical experience in prenatal, pediatric, adult and laboratory genetics. She received her Master’s degree in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. She also holds a Master’s in Biology and Education from the University of Pedagogy in Cracow, Poland. Ms. Zak Goelz served for 12 years as the Manager of Clinical Genetic Services at NYU Winthrop Hospital. She also held the role of laboratory genomic consultant for GeneDx, collaborating with and educating medical professionals all over the U.S. Ms. Zak Goelz has dedicated her career to the genetic education of healthcare professionals and patients and, most recently, to the genetic counseling students as an Adjunct Professor and Program Director at LIU Post.
David Tegay, DO, FACMG, FACOI
David Tegay, DO, FACMG, FACOI, serves as the Medical Director for the LIU Post Genetic Counseling Graduate Program. Dr. Tegay is dual-boarded in Clinical Genetics and Internal Medicine and is currently in practice as Chief of the Division of Medical Genetics and Human Genomics for the Northwell Health medical system. Dr. Tegay completed his Medical Genetics fellowship through Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and has served previously in genetic leadership roles at Stony Brook University Medical Center, Nassau University Medical Center, and the New York Institute of Technology. Dr. Tegay is active in research, having completed a clinical research training program in collaboration with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and is dedicated to genetic education, as a long-standing adjunct faculty member at LIU Post.
Sharona Cohen MS, CGC
Assistant Program Director
Sharona Cohen, MS, CGC is the Assistant Program Director and an Adjunct Professor at the LIU-Post Genetic Counseling Graduate Program. Ms. Cohen received her master’s degree in Human Genetics at Sarah Lawrence College and has been a practicing genetic counselor, specializing in cancer genetics, for about 20 years. Ms. Cohen is board certified through the American Board of Genetic Counseling and is an active member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. She served as the Senior Director of the Cancer Genetics Program at Northwell Health from 2018 to 2022 and as an Adjunct Professor at LIU-Post Genetic Counseling Graduate Program from 2014-2018. She is a member of the New York Genetics Task Force where she served as the Membership’s Committee Director-at-Large from 2018-2020. She has given many talks on Cancer Genetics awareness, providing education and expertise to patients, families, and to the medical community. Her career focuses include hereditary breast and colorectal cancer syndromes and other cancer predisposition syndromes. She is the founder and leader of an organization for genetic professionals called ‘Cancer Genetics Discussion Forum’ which meets to discuss challenging cases and review advances in the field of cancer genetics. Ms. Cohen is dedicated to educating and developing the next generation of genetic counselors
Michelle Primiano, MSc, CGC
Director of Fieldwork Training
Michelle Primiano M.Sc., C.G.C, is the Assistant Program Director of the LIU Post Genetic Counseling Graduate Program and an adjunct faculty member at LIU Post. Ms. Primiano is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling and holds an advanced certification in Pharmacogenetics from the University of Manchester. She received her B.S. in Bioscience from SUNY Farmingdale and her M.S. in genetic counseling from Long Island University Post. Ms. Primiano served as a clinical genetic counselor in pediatric genetics and coordinator for several genodermatoses clinics at Columbia University Medical Center. She has held roles with several private telemedicine companies, and most recently transitioned to the clinical cancer genetics program at Weill Cornell Medicine. Ms. Primiano is dedicated to the education and professional development of the Program’s graduate students; the future generation of genetic counselors.