Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

End of Year Gathering Spring 2017

Following are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). If your question is not answered on this page or throughout our other webpages, please contact us at



When can I enter the program?

Students enter as part of a cohort, with each cohort beginning in the fall of each year (e.g. Fall 2018, Fall 2019). Students are selected for each cohort in the spring prior to the start of the next academic year (e.g selected Spring 2019 for Fall 2019 start date) and proceed through courses together.

How many students are selected each year?

The ASGCGP admits ten (10) students per cohort (i.e. per academic year).

Can I attend part-time?

No, the ASGCGP does not offer the option to study part-time.

Is the ASGCGP offered online?

No. Students must be physically present for classes, rotations, and other program activities.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The program is considered a two-year academic program, but, technically, it takes 21 months to complete. The first academic year consists of fall, winter, and spring sessions. The second academic years consists of summer, fall, winter, and spring sessions.

What is the job outlook for genetic counselors?

Employment of genetic counselors is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. The most up-to-date job outlook for genetic counselors can be found in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Do I have to reapply to the program every year?

Yes. Your application will be considered among all applications submitted during the same admission cycle.

Do I have to pay to reapply every year?

Yes. Both the Match and ASGCGP application fees must be paid each year and are non-refundable. Please see our Admission Criteria & Application Process webpage for more information.

Do I have to resubmit application materials if I applied to the program in a previous year?

You do not need to resubmit official transcripts, your WES Evaluation (international applicants only), GRE scores, or TOEFL/IELTS scores (international applicants only) unless they have changed since you last submitted them and/or if they have become outdated. Please note GRE scores are only valid for five (5) years after the test date. All other application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be resubmitted annually.

Does the program accept international applications?

Yes. The program will review and seriously consider all international applications it receives. A select number of overseas applicants will be given the option to interview by video conferencing (e.g. Skype, zoom).

Does the program offer any assistantships, fellowships, or scholarships?

The ASGCGP does not offer any assistantships, fellowships, or scholarships. However, you may be able to receive outside financial support from other organizations, such as hospitals or health systems. This type of financial support is handled directly and exclusively by the organizations which offer it. For more information about financing your education, please see our Tuition and Fees webpage.

Is financial aid available for the program?

Yes, federal financial aid is available to those who qualify. File the FAFSA at and enter Augustana's school code: 003458. Graduate students, who are eligible, have the option to borrow a Federal Unsubsidized loan and/or a Federal Graduate PLUS loan. See for more information on the federal programs available to graduate students. Financial Aid is not available during the summer term. You will want to plan accordingly.

Can I work while I am a student?

It depends on your ability to balance school and work. Classes are generally held during the day Tuesdays and Thursdays and on Wednesday afternoons. Rotations, meetings, and events occur during the day Monday and Friday and on Wednesday mornings. Thus, any job you hold will need to be a night or weekend job. You will be notified in advance of any activities that will occur outside of the normal Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM time frame.

Will I be busy with rotations all summer?

No. You will have a small break (~two weeks) during the summer. You will work out your summer schedule with one of our Assistant Program Directors and the supervisor for your rotation. 

Does the program offer housing?

Housing is the responsibility of the student, regardless of where the student is assigned to rotations. There is limited housing on the Augustana University campus, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Genetic Counseling Department is happy to provide information to help you with your housing search.

Will I need a car?

Probably. Students are responsible for their own transportation to classes, rotation sites, and other program events.

The Augustana University and Sanford Health campuses are centrally located in Sioux Falls and within walking or biking distance of grocery stores, restaurants, banks, and other common destinations. The Sioux Area Metro (SAM) transit system has a bus stop located on campus. More information on the SAM transit system, including routes and fares, can be found on the SAM website. While having a car in Sioux Falls will be helpful for getting around, especially on cold days, it may not be necessary depending upon your beginning and ending locations and your resourcefulness.

For students completing their second year in San Diego, a car is strongly recommended, as rotation sites are located across the city and the public transportation system does not provide efficient access to all sites. However, depending on where you live in San Diego, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) may be helpful for getting to some rotation sites or to other destinations around the city. MTS includes a network of buses and a light rail system known as “The Trolley.” More information on MTS, including routes and fares can be found on the MTS website. Additionally, there are commuter trains that provide access to coastal areas in North San Diego County. Please vist the North Country Transit District (NCTD) website for more information.

Do I need a “special" car to get around in Sioux Falls during the winter?

Not really. It’s difficult to drive a rear-wheel drive vehicle in the snow, but any other type of vehicle will work. Additionally, the city streets are plowed after most snowfalls and are rarely impassable. You may also benefit from having all-season tires on your vehicle.

Will I need my own computer?

Probably. While computer lab access is available for all Augustana University students, you will have the most optimal experience by having your own computer. At Augustana University, you will have access to its shared computer labs. Students who spend their second year in San Diego will also be provided a computer login to access to local resources.

Find out more information about Graduate Education at Augustana University.