The Program is designed to provide mentorships between faculty, clinicians, researchers, alumni and current students. The Brandeis faculty maintains close relationships with alumni, which allows for expansive networking opportunities throughout the United States and Canada.
Emphasis on Disability
Our Program prides itself on its incorporation of disability awareness as part of the curriculum. Students work with families and individuals in home, educational and clinical settings to enhance their understanding of how disability affects both individuals and families increase their sensitivity to issues regarding disability as these can present themselves in a genetic counseling setting.
As professional opportunities have greatly expanded for genetic counselors in both the public and private sectors, providing our students with the competencies and skills to succeed in clinical, research and laboratory settings is a priority and is reflected in our regularly updated curriculum. We also continue to increase students’ exposure to genetic counselors who work in new and exciting areas to allow them to gain an appreciation of the many ways in which genetic counselors can be a part of the medical community.
Fieldwork and Internship Placements
Our students benefit from being strategically located near a city with world-renowned research institutions, exceptional clinical care, an ever-expanding list of diagnostic laboratories and excellent services for individuals with disabilities. In addition, we also utilize outstanding clinical sites in a number of Boston suburbs, Worcester, Providence, Rhode Island and southern New Hampshire.
A list of community fieldwork and internship sites can be found in the Internship and Disability tabs under the “Program of Study” section of the website.
Our Program has a dedicated Research Advisor to oversee all aspects of the students’ thesis projects. Students are paired with a thesis advisor, who is typically on the Program’s faculty, and committee members within the genetic counseling community whose expertise coincides with the student’s research topic. They also work closely with the Data Analysis Specialist on staff at Brandeis. Students receive financial support from the Program as well as the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for their thesis work.
The Program provides students with memberships to the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) in year one, as well as registration for the annual New England Regional Genetics Group (NERGG) meeting and various day-long conferences within the greater Boston area. Second year students also attend the NSGC Annual Education Conference with a stipend of support from the Program.
Brandeis faculty regularly attend meetings and conferences to keep up to date on information that affects the field of genetic counseling: NSGC Annual Education Conference; NERGG; the American College of Medical Genetics Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting; and the International Conference on Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy.
Members of our Program’s Leadership team are actively involved in the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors, the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Genetic Counseling, the Massachusetts chapter of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) and provide clinical care at the MGH Cancer Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Brandeis University is a vibrant, active and diverse community of undergraduate and graduate students as well as dedicated faculty and staff. Being located on a non-medical campus allows us to tailor our curriculum to meet the specific needs of our students without having to utilize courses from other existing training programs on campus. At the same time, our Waltham location allows students to complete fieldwork and internships in Boston and the surrounding communities.