After the release of the complete version of the human genome in 2003, the field of medical genetics experienced a revolution in the speed of discoveries which positively affected human health.
Top in Saudi Arabia Masters 2017. Master's in Genetic Counselling (MGC)
After the release of the complete version of the human genome in 2003, the field of medical genetics experienced a revolution in the speed of discoveries which positively affected human health. The clinical and genomic breakthrough of the medical genetics field has aided the translation and integration of genomics into health care and the introduction of personalized medicine improving level of service offered to patients.
The high incidence of various genetic disorders in KSA and in the Arab world, the implementation of national programs of new born and premarital screening have significantly increased the demand for properly trained Genetic Counselors to work with patients and their families. Genetic counseling training programs have been around in North America since the late sixties. These training programs have proven to be highly successful in graduating well trained genetic counselors, where currently there are thousands of them practicing worldwide.
The Department of Medical Genetics at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in affiliation with Alfaisal University in Riyadh have recognized the importance of such an essential specialty and are committed to establish the first Master's training program in genetic counseling located at Alfaisal University. The goal of this program is to meet the current and future demand of healthcare system for highly qualified, competent and culturally sensitive genetic counselors in Saudi Arabia and in the region.
Students graduating from the program will be recognized by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCHS) as Specialist in Genetic Counseling then after 2 years of clinical service in genetic counseling under a consultant medical geneticist, according to the SCHS regulations, will be granted the title of Senior Specialist in Genetic Counseling, or as stated by the SCHS registration or classification at the time of graduation.
What is Genetic Counseling?
According to the National Society of Genetic Counseling (NSGC) in USA genetic counseling is defined as "the process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. This integrates interpretation of family and medical histories to assess disease occurrence and recurrence, education about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources and research. It also integrates counseling to promote informed choices and adaptation to the risk or condition".
Where do Genetic Counselors work?
Genetic counselors work in almost all fields of healthcare. Below are some of the areas where genetic counselors work:
Assisted Reproductive Technologies/Infertility
Familial Cancer Risk Counseling
Fetal Intervention & Therapy
Newborn and premarital screening
Prenatal Counseling/Ultrasound Anomalies
Educational and medical websites
Program schedule & content
It is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in medical & scientific knowledge on the one hand and with counseling skills on the other hand. The program will provide in-depth theoretical courses in scientific and psychosocial aspects of genetic diseases. The theory will be supported by practical and clinical rotations in various genetics and relevant clinics and genetic laboratories at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and selected neighboring hospitals.
The theoretical course work will include areas of Human & Medical Genetics, Anatomy & Physiology, Research Methodology, Topics in Genetic Counseling, Cancer Genetics, Islam & Genetic Counseling, and Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Counseling. The practical part will include clinical rotations in Medical Genetics, Prenatal Clinic, OB/GYN and ultrasound clinic, and other specialty clinics. Lab practicum rotations will include Cytogenetics laboratory, Molecular Laboratory, Biochemistry & Newborn Laboratory.
Students: Male and Female, Saudi and non-Saudi
Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology
Genetic Counseling & Islam
Introduction to Medical & Population Genetics
Topics in Genetic Counseling I
Topics in Genetic Counseling II
Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Counseling
The Genetic Basis of Inherited Disease
Cancer Genetic Counseling
Practicums & clinical rotation
Biochemical & Newborn Screening Laboratory Practicum
Cytogenetics Laboratory Practicum
Molecular Genetics Practicum
Observational Clinic Rotation
Medical Genetics Clinic Practicum
Prenatal Clinic Practicum
Ultrasound Clinic Practicum
Advanced Medical Genetics Clinic Practicum
Duration: Two years (47 credits)
Subject courses 21 cr
Practicums & clinical rotation 20 cr
Project 6 cr
Clinical internship 0 cr
1. A bachelor's degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution accepted by MOE in biomedical sciences, nursing, health education, biochemistry, microbiology or related fields.
2. A satisfactory scholastic average; usually for a masters a minimum grade average of «very good» in the Bachelor degree.
3. The graduate study application must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee payable to Alfaisal University.
4. Official transcripts of all college-level work must be submitted as issued by the school.
5. If applicant is non-Saudi, then they should have an official residency (Iqama).
6.Applicant should be of good behavior, fair reputation and medically fit.
7. Applicant should submit two letters of recommendations from professors who taught him/her.
8. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 500 on the paper-and-pencil test or an IELTS Band score of at least 5.5 - 6.5.
9. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or an equivalent exam held by Qias center with above average score.
10. Provide a statement of purpose describing your academic interests and reasons for applying.
11. Successfully completion of an in-person interview with the director of the program.
12. No Student shall be allowed enrolment in two graduate programs at the same time.
Application Fee S.R 500
Annual Tuition (due at the beginning of each academic year) S.R 100,000
Estimated books and materials for each year SR 6,000