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The Fall 2021 application cycle is now closed. 

Important Update re: GRE Test Scores for 2021 Application Cycle

To support prospective students and their families during the ongoing global pandemic, Vanderbilt University MGC Program will not require scores from the GRE exams for students applying to enter the Program in the Fall of 2021.

When applying to Vanderbilt, students will indicate on the application whether they wish to be considered with or without GRE test scores. The applicant’s choice regarding test score submission will not advantage or disadvantage the application review. The MGC Admissions Committee will consider an applicant’s academic record, including rigor of coursework; GRE scores (if submitted); essays; letters of recommendation; the breadth and depth of extracurricular engagement; and other items submitted on a student’s behalf.

Applicants may self-report GRE exam scores which then will be considered for admission evaluation purposes. For those that submit self-reported scores, official score reports will be required before ranking.


Eligible candidates for the Vanderbilt MGC Program are required to meet the following criteria:

  • Successful completion of a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. Course work in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, general or human genetics, statistics, and psychology is highly recommended.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the last five years. For information about registering for the GRE go to: Official test scores should be sent to Vanderbilt University (1871).While the MGC does not have a minimum for GPA or GRE scores, please note that the Association for Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD) report the following characteristics of successful candidates:
    • “The average (mean) GPA of admitted students is approximately 3.5 with GRE scores in the 65-75% range (based on most recent data). As these are averages, some successful applicants have higher and lower GPAs and GRE scores than these.” Applicants are encouraged to consult the advice of the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors about admissions to genetic counseling training program.

In addition, candidates are highly encouraged to have had experiences that demonstrate an interest in and familiarity with the field of genetic counseling, as well as an ability to communicate clearly and compassionately with others. This experience could be obtained through volunteer work, employment, or observation in a clinical setting with a board-certified genetic counselor and/or medical geneticist.

Candidates are also expected to possess an ability to communicate clearly and compassionately with others. Individuals for whom English is not their native language are required to provide scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), which is administered by the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey. Information about this exam is available at 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: The Vanderbilt Master of Genetic Counseling is unable to accept International students at this time. Students who are permanent residents (Green Card holders) are eligible to apply for the Vanderbilt MGC.

Application Process

To apply for the Vanderbilt MGC Program, students will complete two separate steps:

1. Apply through the online Vanderbilt University application. Application instructions are also available here: Application Instructions.

2. Register with the Genetic Counseling (GC) Admissions Match through National Matching Services (NMS) at Additional information about the NMS Match:

The GC Admissions Match has been established to enhance the process of placing applicants into positions in masters-level genetic counseling programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). The Match uses a process that takes into account both applicants’ and programs’ preferences. All applicants must first register for the Match with NMS before applying to participating genetic counseling graduate programs. At the conclusion of all program interviews, both applicants and programs will submit ranked lists of preferred placements to NMS according to deadlines posted on the NMS website. The binding results of the Match will be released to both applicants and programs simultaneously in late April.

Please visit the NMS website at ( to register for the match, review detailed information about the matching process, and to view a demonstration of how the matching algorithm works.

Admission Selection Criteria

The MCG Admission Committee values diverse academic backgrounds in its applicants. Applicants should have an academically rigorous undergraduate experience, to ensure they will be well prepared for graduate work.

The MCG program does not have a minimum GPA  requirement. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are NOT required for 2021 admission cycle. The MGC Admission Committee takes a holistic approach (including grades and test scores, in addition to other factors) to ensure each applicant’s potential to  be academically equipped to succeed in the MGC Program.

In addition to evidence of academic rigor, the MCG Admission Committee considers the following experiences and applicant characteristics when reviewing applications:

  • Understanding of the field of Genetic Counseling
  • Unique interests
  • Leadership skills
  • Life experiences
  • Communications skills
  • Community involvement
  • Exposure to research process
  • Clinical exposure
  • Work experience
  • Cultural understanding

Completion of Prerequisites

As part of the application students are required to upload an unofficial copy of their transcript. Transcripts will be used to verify completion of prerequisites.  If students have not met the prerequisites then they should indicate on the application their plan to meet them or provide an explanation. The MGC Program Director with input from the MGC Admission Committee must approve any exemptions from the prerequisites.

  • International Institution Transcripts – Students who have received academic degrees from international colleges and universities (including Caribbean and French Canadian) must use World Education Services (WES) to submit their transcript information to the MGC Program. Applicants whose degree is in process at the time the WES evaluation is completed will be required to submit a final WES evaluation documenting the receipt of the degree.  Applicants who attended English-speaking post-secondary institutions in Canada are not required to seek WES credential evaluation.
  • Study Abroad – U.S. applicants who have studied abroad as part of their U.S. program/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) coursework, may be used as evidence of competency in the areas of study listed above, but college coursework is preferred.   More recent coursework in these areas is preferred over coursework taken further in the past.

Providing Transcripts

Applicants must upload an unofficial copy of transcripts from prior undergraduate and graduate work as part of their online application for admission. This will be used to pre-screen for completion of prerequisites.

An official transcript of completed courses is required before February 15th, documenting completion of their prerequisites and degrees.

To 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 the email: or mailed to Vanderbilt Center for Data Management. All other transcripts are considered unofficial.

Mail: Center for Data Management, Vanderbilt University (PMB 407833; 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37240-7833)

If a student graduates subsequent to the submission of the official transcript as part of the application process, a final official transcript verifying degree completion is required prior to matriculation into the MGC degree program.


Vanderbilt University Master of Genetic Counseling Program has been granted accreditation as a New Program by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC) effective January 31, 2019.