Program overview

Duration: 2 weeks
Class size: 6 students a year
Location: Rochester, Minnesota

This internship gives students direct exposure to the genetic counseling role in clinical genetic laboratories over the course of two weeks.

To be eligible for the internship, you must be currently enrolled in an accredited two-year master's degree program in genetic counseling.

Candidates are selected based on personal qualities and skills represented in an application essay and the quality of references. The amount of exposure to the role of the laboratory genetic counselor that is alternatively available to the applicant is also taken into account, in standing with our goal of increasing exposure for qualified students who may not have other access. 

After successfully completing this internship, you receive a certificate of completion from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences.

How to apply

For 2019, a two-week summer internship is available June 3-14, 2019.

The application process is available starting Dec. 17, 2018. Applications and all supporting documentation must be received by midnight Jan. 11, 2019.

1. Create an account. Prior to submission of an application, you must create an account. Note the following as you create an account and begin completing an application.

  • On the Create an Account page:
    • For School of Study → School of Health Sciences
    • For Location → Rochester, MN
    • For Area of Interest → Genetic Counseling Laboratory Internship
    • For Start Date → Choose date
    • For Entry Term → Select term available
  • On the My Account page:                                  
    • Scroll down to "Next Steps" → select "Start an Application"
  • On the Online Application page:
    • Verify that the program listed is what you want
    • Click "Continue with Application Selected Above"
  • On the Application Listing page:
    • Select "Start a New Full Application"

2. Complete the online application. The sections below are located in the application. You may complete them in order or click on the section you want on the left.

  • Program of interest
    • Review populated data for accuracy
    • Complete "Reapplying and Education Completed" questions
  • Personal information
    • Review populated data
    • Complete any other fields
    • If you didn't enter an address or phone number before, you will be required to enter it now
  • Demographic data
    • Fill in as necessary
  • Education
    • Add education
  • Employment
    • Add work experience
  • Standardized testing
    • This is not required
  • Professional licensing and registration
    • This is not required
  • Essay
    • Write a one-page personal letter addressing these areas and questions (500 word max):
      • Describe your interest in laboratory genetic counseling.
      • What are your goals for this laboratory internship?
      • How do you plan to use the knowledge and skills gained from this internship?
      • What type of exposure to the role of the laboratory genetic counselor does your current program provide?
      • What type of exposure is available to you outside of your program?
  • Signature and submit
    • Certify and sign your application
    • Submit your application

3. Submit any required recommendations or supplemental items. After submitting the application, select "Click here to upload program-specific supplemental item(s)." If required by the program, upload any supplemental items under the "Supplemental Items" box.

Please email one document addressing the following information to

  • Rank the following focus areas in order of preference (on a scale of 1 to 3, with 1 indicating the area of greatest preference). If you do not wish to be considered for a particular area, include a brief statement of reasoning.
    • Biochemical genetics
    • Diagnostic odyssey (chromosomal microarray and whole exome sequencing)
    • Prenatal genetic testing
  • Include a list of courses, clinical rotations, and laboratory experiences that will be completed by the proposed start date.

Enter email addresses for recommendations under the "Recommendation Requests." Two professional references are required. One of these references should be your program director. Please follow the guidelines in the online application carefully.

**If you do not complete these at the time of submission, please visit your "My Account" page and navigate to your application for a link to complete.


The internship allows graduate students in genetic counseling an opportunity to gain important clinical experience. Students are exposed to a variety of counseling experiences and are able to attend case conferences, journal club, Medical Grand Rounds, and other teaching opportunities available during the rotation. Students also are able to pursue or initiate research interests in genetic counseling. 

During the internship, learning experiences allow the intern to:

  • Experience a variety of genetic counseling sessions with a certified genetic counselor
  • Enhance interests in genetics through the continuation of a student's thesis project
  • Participate in selected genetic counseling cases
  • Assist a genetic counselor with clinic activities

Genetic counseling interns have the opportunity to observe these types of genetic counseling cases:

  • Predictive testing for adult-onset disorders
  • Hereditary cancer syndromes
  • Exposure to rare adult-onset genetic disorders


For the majority of the internship, you are expected to be present Monday through Friday during normal business hours. Hours vary by rotation.

You should expect to spend time during the evenings and weekends working on the many assignments and presentations to be performed as part of the internship. Interested students may contact Elyse Mitchell, LCGC, for sample schedules and expectations.

Tuition and financial aid

There is no tuition for the Genetic Counseling Laboratory Internship.

Housing accommodations are provided to students for the duration of the internship. Transportation to and from Rochester, food, and local transportation are the student's responsibility.

Explore health care careers: Genetic counselor

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