UA Genetic Counseling Graduate Program Gains Accreditation

Release Date: 
Apr 30, 2019

The University of Arizona Genetic Counseling Graduate Program has been accredited with “new-program status” by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling.

The new UA graduate program is the only genetic counseling graduate program in Arizona and fills a significant gap in genetic counselor training in the Southwestern United States. The program is offered through the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and the UA Health Sciences Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine.

With the emergence of “precision medicine,” technological advances are enabling physicians to see patient-to-patient differences based on objective biochemical measures, not only through symptoms and other subjective information. Genetic counselors play a key role in this new era of medicine, helping patients interpret, understand and make decisions about their genetic health.

Genetic counseling is one of the fastest-growing careers in the United States. These counselors are trained to expertly communicate complicated genetic health information and to serve as key liaisons to make genetic and genomic medicine more accessible to patients.

“This is a significant achievement for the UA’s new master’s degree program in genetic counseling,” said Michael D. Dake, MD, senior vice president, UA Health Sciences. “The UA Health Sciences’ rich biomedical research and clinical training programs at our medical schools in Phoenix and Tucson give our students extraordinary opportunities in genetics and genomics training that is changing the future of medicine.” 

Graduates of the two-year program will graduate from the UA with a Master of Science in genetic counseling, preparing them for careers in this rapidly growing field. The program combines classroom-based coursework with real-world experience, working with practicing genetic counselors and physicians in the clinic.

The new program is led by a UA team of genetic counselors, geneticists, clinicians and researchers, including:

  • Program director: Dee Quinn, MS, CGC
  • Associate program director: Valerie Schaibley, PhD
  • Medical director: Gene Hoyme, MD
  • Research director: Linda Restifo, MD, PhD
  • Clinical practicum coordinator: Christine Stallman, MS, CGC

The first UAGCGP class will consist of five students who will begin in fall semester 2019. To learn more about the program, please visit:

About the UA College of Medicine – Tucson

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is shaping the future of medicine through state-of-the-art medical education programs, groundbreaking research and advancements in patient care in Arizona and beyond. Founded in 1967, the college boasts more than 50 years of innovation, ranking among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care. Through the university's partnership with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health-care systems in the country, the college is leading the way in academic medicine. For more information, please visit

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