The Joan H. Marks Graduate Program in Human Genetics

About Genetic Counseling

Home of the nation’s first—and still largest—graduate program in genetic counseling, Sarah Lawrence has trained more than half of the country’s genetic counselors. Characterized by innovation at the nexus of health, science, and society, this world-renowned program prepares students for the multiple career opportunities that currently exist for genetic counselors.

The mission of the Joan H. Marks Graduate Program in Human Genetics is to improve healthcare for all people by educating genetic counselors that are prepared to meet current and future needs of their clients, their communities, their profession and society at large.

The Joan H. Marks Graduate Program in Human Genetics was named to honor its long-time director, Joan H. Marks, in 2006. Over the course of nearly three decades as director, Marks developed the program into a national model for the education and training of genetic counseling professionals.

Genetic counselors work as part of a health care team, providing information and support to families whose members have birth defects or genetic disorders, or who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions. They identify families at risk; interpret information about the disorder; analyze inheritance patterns and risks of recurrence; discuss the risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing; review available options with families; and provide supportive counseling. They serve as patient advocates, educators, administrators and researchers. Genetic counselors also function as a resource for health care professionals, diagnostic laboratories and biotechnology companies, insurers, lobbyists, public health agencies and the general public.

The Joan H. Marks Graduate Program in Human Genetics is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling.

The application deadline for the Human Genetics program is January 1.