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Get Your Program Accredited

ACGC grants accreditation to any graduate program in genetic counseling that meets or exceeds the Standards of Accreditation. Accreditation is granted for a finite period and must be renewed as specified by ACGC.

about accreditation

Accreditation is a process of external peer review in which a private, non governmental agency or association grants public recognition to an institution or specialized program of study that meets certain established qualifications and educational standards, as determined through initial and subsequent periodic evaluations.

ACGC grants accreditation to any graduate program in genetic counseling that meets or exceeds the Standards of Accreditation adopted January 1, 2013. Accreditation is granted for a finite period and must be renewed as specified by ACGC.

The ACGC Accreditation Manual includes the rules of procedure by which ACGC operates. Policies related to the accreditation process are included in this manual.

GETTING STARTED

STEP ONE: APPLY FOR CANDIDACY

Fee: $2,500 (Non-Refundable)

Prospective programs and institutions must submit an Applicaton for Candidacy.

Upon approval, the proposed program becomes an ACGC Candidate. Achieving Candidate status does not mean
t​hat the proposed program will become accredited, but means it is progressing towards accreditation.

Fee: A $2,500 non-refundable fee must be paid upon submission of the Application for Candidacy.

Submission Deadline: An Application for Candidacy may be submitted at any time.

Materials for Submission: A complete Application for Candidacy.

Review Timeline: ACGC will respond to the Application for Candidacy within 6 weeks from the date of receipt. At this time, the sponsoring institution may receive Candidate status, or a request for additional information may be made before a decision can be rendered.

The time for first response is not equivalent to the
tim​eline for approval.

If the Application for Candidacy is insufficient, the sponsoring institution will be notified of the issues to be addressed. The institution will have 60 days to respond and submit requested materials/information. If the institution does not fully address all issues raised in the initial ACGC review, the Application for Candidacy will be considered abandoned and a new Application for Candidacy must then be submitted to reinitiate Step One of the process of new program accreditation.

The required application materials enable the ACGC to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the developing program’s proposed structure and educational plan to determine if these should enable it to comply with the Standards​. New program accreditation is a two-step application process including the Application for Candidacy followed ​by the New Program Application for Accreditation.

step two: apply for accreditation

Fee: $4,500 (Due On Submission)

Once a proposed program becomes an ACGC Candidate, the proposed program is invited to submit a N​ew Program Application for Accreditation online in the new ACGC Accreditation Management System. New Program Applications will be accepted twice per year (January 15 and May 15) and a maximum of three applications will be reviewed in each cycle.

Programs whose New Program Application review has been scheduled and remaining slots for review of New Program Applications are indicated in the table below. These programs are not yet accredited by ACGC, but have demonstrated sufficient development to be invited to submit a New Program Application by achieving Candidacy status. Once a New Program Application is submitted, the average timeline to an accreditation decision is 8-12 months.

Submission Deadline: At the time a Candidate is invited to submit a New Program Application, they will be notified of the dates for the next three review cycles with an opening. Programs must select one of the three review cycle dates provided. Space in the cycle will not be considered reserved until the $4,500 fee is received by ACGC.

Materials for Submission: A complete New Program Application for Accreditation. Please request the ACGC biosketch templates through Armature in place of a Curriculum Vitae (CV).

Review Timeline: Proposed programs reviewed in the January 15 cycle will receive their first response from ACGC by April 1. Proposed programs reviewed in the May 15 cycle will receive the first response by August 1. First response is not equivalent to approval. The majority of New Program Applications go through more than one round of review prior to receiving a final accreditation decision. The overall review timeline for this step is dependent on the quality of the application, the time taken by proposed programs to respond to requests for additional information, and the number of communications required between the board and the proposed program. The average time for a final accreditation decision on a New Program Application is 8-12 months, however, ACGC does not guarantee an accreditation decision by any specific date. Please Note: Due to COVID-19 and the impact it has on the ACGC volunteers, ACGC cannot guarantee being able to provide the first response by August 1, nor can ACGC guarantee rendering a final accreditation decision on a New Program Application within the 8-12 month time period at this time.

Request for change in review cycle: Once a review cycle date has been selected and reserved, proposed programs may file a written request to change their review cycles. Requests must be accompanied by a fee as outlined below and are subject to availability:

  • Less than three months prior to application deadline: $1,000
  • Three to six months prior to application deadline: $500
  • More than seven months prior to application deadline: $250

Any program that fails to submit a completed New Program Application by its review cycle date, or a written request to change review cycles, will forfeit any and all fees paid and will have its Candidacy status removed. A new Application for Candidacy and fee would then be required if the program wishes to continue working towards accreditation.

A program achieving Accredited New Program accreditation may admit students, who, upon successfully completing their degree, will be deemed to have graduated from an ACGC-accredited program.

A program whose application for Accredited New Program accreditation is subject to a final denial decision may re-apply as a new program no sooner than six months from the original date of reconsideration and/or appeal.

Application for Candidacy

Current Program Fees

2023 Program Fees

Effective January 1, 2023, ACGC will implement updates to the program fee structure.

standards of accreditation

benefits of accreditation

ACGC accreditation benefits genetic counseling programs and advantageously affects the genetic counseling profession as well as the general public by:

  • Promoting and insuring quality and diversity in programs by requiring educational institutions to continuously evaluate and improve their processes and outcomes
  • Supporting institutions and programs in their efforts to meet and exceed standards
  • Identifying programs that meet nationally accepted standards for prospective students
  • Fostering and facilitating higher levels of academic performance, integrity, and quality by both genetic counseling students and professionals
  • Better preparing students for certification exams and the workforce
  • Providing prospective employers
    with highly competent and qualified genetic counseling graduates