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How do I apply to Vanderbilt MGC?

Vanderbilt MGC participates in the nationwide genetic counseling match, so you’ll need to complete these two steps in order to apply to our program:

1. Register in September with the Genetic Counseling Admissions Match through the National Matching Services (NMS). You must first register for the Match with NMS before applying to participating genetic counseling graduate programs. After remote interviews in the spring, both applicants and programs will submit ranked lists of preferred placements to NMS according to deadlines posted on the NMS website. The Match results, which are binding, are released to both applicants and programs simultaneously in late April. Visit the NMS website to register for the match, see up-to-date deadlines, and learn how the matching algorithm works.


AGCPD/GCEA has established a waiver for the $100 fee associated with the Genetic Counseling Admissions Match. Prospective students who demonstrate financial need AND have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater can apply for a Match fee waiver. Prospective students should apply for a fee waiver BEFORE registering for a Match Code Number.

Applications for the Match fee waiver are due by October 4, 2023. Applicants will be notified by October 30, 2023 as to whether they have received a waiver. There are a limited number of waivers, so not all applicants will receive a waiver. Instructions for how to register for the GC Admissions Match will be provided to those who receive a waiver.

Waivers are non-transferable to future Match cycles and cannot be transferred by the recipient to another prospective student. Prospective students who are granted fee waivers must register for the Match by January 1, 2024. Any waiver not used by January 1, 2024 will be rescinded and may be granted by AGCPD to a different prospective student.

Prospective students who are applying for a match fee waiver will be required to write a short essay and to upload at least one of the following documents demonstrating financial need:

  • A copy of a letter verifying unemployment benefits received within the past two years.
  • A copy of a letter on official letterhead from a government agency verifying that you or your family have qualified for public assistance based on low income criteria anytime within the past 5 years
  • A copy of your financial aid award letter from another / previous institution dated within 5 the past years
  • A copy of your approved GRE fee waiver (for tests taken within 5 years of the application deadline)
  • A copy of your federal Student Aid Report (SAR) that verifies you qualified for financial aid within the past 5 years based on a family contribution of:
    • Not more than $1,500 if the student is a dependent student
    • Not more than $1,900 if the student is an independent student

To apply, click here:

Please direct any questions about the Match Fee Waiver process or requirements to


2. Apply by December 15, 2023 through the online Vanderbilt University application, which opens in mid-August each year. Detailed application instructions are available for your convenience. You’ll be asked to submit the following materials:

  • Three essays (See application for prompts)
  • Your resume or CV, including your prerequisite courses and a listings of genetic counseling related experiences
  • Letters of recommendation from three to five relevant professors, research advisors, and/or work supervisors
  • Proof of successful completion of a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Applicants must provide transcripts for prior undergraduate and graduate work as part of their online application for admission. Students enrolled in a course of study at the time of application are required to provide an unofficial transcript as part of the online application, and then provide the final, official transcript as soon as it is available. Find more information on submitting final transcripts. An official transcript, documenting degree(s) and completed course work, is required by Feb. 28. Visit the registrar website for details on external degree verifications. Information about verification of academic work at institutions outside of the U.S. may also be found through the registrar website. International students with questions about the prior degree verification process may contact the External Education team at be considered official, a transcript must be sent directly from the institution to Vanderbilt University. Official transcripts can be emailed through the school’s secure electronic service to or mailed to Vanderbilt Center for Data Management at:

Mailing Address: CDM PMB 407833 2301 Vanderbilt Place Nashville, TN 37240-7833 United States of America

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are no longer part of the VUSM MGC application.

What criteria does the MGC admissions committee consider?

We welcome and select students of all social, educational, economic, racial, ethnic, religious, gender, and cultural backgrounds and abilities with relevant interests and experiences. Our admission committee takes a holistic approach, reviewing your application with these elements in mind:

  • Academically rigorous undergraduate coursework
  • Experiences that demonstrate familiarity with the genetic counseling field. These may include volunteer work, employment, and clinical observation— just to name a few.
  • Unique leadership skills, research experiences, and cultural understanding
  • Ability to communicate clearly and compassionately with others If English is not your native language, please provide scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable score on the paper-based TOEFL is 570, and for the Internet-based test, 88. The Vanderbilt Institution Code for the TOEFL is 1871. Note: Our program is unable to accept international students at this time. Permanent residents (Green Card holders) are still eligible to apply.

What prerequisites does the program require?

Before matriculating into Vanderbilt MGC, you should have completed coursework in the following general areas:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • General or human genetics
  • Statistics
  • Psychology

If you haven’t yet met these prerequisites, please provide an explanation on your application or describe your plan to fulfill them. These courses must come from an accredited U.S. institution, except in the following cases:

  • International Institution Transcripts: If you’ve received an academic degree from an international college or university (including Caribbean and French-Canadian institutions), please use the World Education Services (WES) to submit your transcript information to the MGC Program. If you received an academic degree from an English-speaking institution in Canada, you are not required to seek WES credential evaluation.
  • Study Abroad: U.S. applicants who have studied abroad as part of their U.S. degree are not required to use WES for a credential evaluation as long as their international coursework is included on their U.S. institution transcript.
  • High school Advanced Placement (AP): AP coursework may be used as evidence of competency in the areas of study listed above, but college coursework is preferred.


Tuition and fees for the MGC Program are approved by the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust in April of each year. Policies related to tuition and fees are located in the VUSM Catalog. These policies include: payment of tuition and fees, refund of tuition, late payment of fees, financial clearance, activities and student services fees, professional liability insurance, disability insurance, student health insurance, student health service fees, verification fees, transcript fees, and financial assistance. View the MGC cost of attendance Questions about the application process? Contact us at