1. What program options are offered in the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences (DGS) Program?

The Diagnostic Genetic Sciences has two concentrations: Cytogenetics and Molecular Diagnostics. Students must indicate their preference at time of application to the program. Cytogenetic technologists study chromosomes to detect alterations that are responsible for human disease, malformation, reproductive problems, and cancer. Molecular Diagnostic technologists match donors and recipients for tissue and organ transplantation, diagnose human diseases and inherited disorders, detect and quantitate infectious agents, identify missing or displaced persons, identify war and disaster victims, determine parentage, and assist in identification of crime suspects. Placement in the concentrations is on a space available basis.


  1. Can a student switch concentrations after admission to the DGS Program?

It is possible to switch concentrations once enrolled in the DGS Program on a space available basis, but cannot be guaranteed.


  1. Is the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences Program an undergraduate or graduate program?

Students accepted into the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences program will, upon graduation, receive a Bachelor of Science degree.


  1. Are graduates required to take a certification examination at the end of the DGS Program?

Graduates of the cytogenetics concentration are eligible to sit for the certification examination in Cytogenetics (CG), and students in the molecular concentration are eligible to sit for the certification examination in Molecular Biology (MB), both offered by the Board of Certification of the American Society of Clinical Pathology (BOC/ASCP), but they are not required to as part of the program. Passage of a certification examination may be a requirement for licensure in some states, and individual laboratories may have certification as requirements of employment.


  1. Can a student complete both concentrations?

Yes, on a space available basis students may complete the other concentration by fulfilling the internship requirement of that concentration. Most individuals doing this graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in DGS after completion of the first internship, and then enroll as a certificate student to complete the second internship. Individuals completing the requirements of both concentrations are then eligible to sit for both national certification examinations.


  1. Are these nationally accredited laboratory programs?

Yes. Both the cytogenetics and molecular diagnostics concentrations are accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 66018-5119, www.naacls.org


  1. Do you accept Freshmen directly into the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences program?

No. The program in Diagnostic Genetic Sciences is a Junior/Senior program. Students entering as freshmen are admitted to this program as Juniors following at least 2 years of full-time prerequisite course work at the University of Connecticut.


  1. Is there a Guaranteed Admission Program?

Yes. II order to qualify for guaranteed admission into this program, a student must: be admitted to the University of Connecticut as a freshman; complete 3 successive semesters of full-time study of required course work at the University of Connecticut; submit a Department of Allied Health Sciences application during the fourth full-time semester; earn an Overall Grade Point Average of a 3.2 or better; meet all other admission requirements. If a student meets all of these criteria, they will be guaranteed admission. Please note that while we have a guarantee admit policy for the DGS major, due to clinical availability we cannot guarantee admission to a specific concentration (Cytogenetics or Molecular Diagnostics concentrations). University of Connecticut students who do not meet these criteria will be reviewed for admission in a competitive process.


  1. Since students aren’t admitted directly to the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences program, as a high school senior applying to UConn for the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences program, how do I initially apply to the University?


Freshman application should be made to the University of Connecticut for the Department of Allied Health Sciences as an Allied Health Sciences major. Once admitted to the University, the student will be assigned to an Allied Health advisor for professional tracking students who is knowledgeable about the prerequisite requirements for the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences program as well as the University requirements for graduation.


  1. Do you accept transfer students into the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences program?

Yes. Transfer applicants will be reviewed on a space available basis once matriculated University of   Connecticut students have been reviewed and offers of admission have been confirmed. Transfer students must also submit a University of Connecticut application. Transfer students must first be admissible to the University before they can be offered admission in the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences program.


  1. Do you accept second degree students who already hold a Bachelor or higher degree?

Yes, provided they have completed the appropriate prerequisite course work.


  1. Are there any post-baccalaureate certificate programs available in Diagnostic Genetic Sciences?

Yes. The Diagnostic Genetic Sciences Program offers a post-baccalaureate certificate program with concentrations in cytogenetics and molecular diagnostics. These are open to individuals who possess a bachelor’s degree and who have met the prerequisites of admission. The 3-semester program includes a clinical/practicum internship component of 6 months, and upon completion, students receive a certificate from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Connecticut. Acceptance to the certificate programs is on a space available basis.


  1. How many students do you accept to programs in Diagnostic Genetic Sciences?

Typically 12-14 students are accepted to the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences Program each year. 


  1. How often during the year do you admit students to Diagnostic Genetic Sciences?

Admission to both the undergraduate and certificate programs occurs once per year. Late applicants to the DGS Program for fall admission are accepted on a space available basis.  


  1. Is it possible to be advised prior to admission into the DGS Program?

While you will not be assigned a DGS advisor prior to admission into the DGS Program, advising is offered throughout the year for those interested in Diagnostic Genetic Sciences careers.


  1. How many credits do I need to be eligible for admission as a Junior?

Although there is no absolute number of credits required for admission to the Junior year, students MUST have completed specific prerequisite courses and have earned approximately 60 credits.


  1. When must I have my prerequisite coursework completed to be eligible for admission?

Students must have completed the prerequisite requirements prior to the beginning of the Fall semester for which they are applying.


  1. Is there any requirement for volunteer experience prior to application?

No. However, it is suggested that students acquaint themselves with the field of Diagnostic Genetic Sciences by visiting, volunteering, or working in a laboratory, if possible.