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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 program interviews*, 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.

*Vanderbilt University Master of Genetic Counseling degree program will have remote interviews for the Spring 2022. We will be sending updates about interviews to all who have started or submitted an application for Fall 2022.

2. Apply by January 1st 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:

  • Your personal statement explaining why you want to become a genetic counselor
  • 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.  More information on submitting final transcripts is available at

    An official transcript, documenting degree(s) and completed course work, is required before February 28th. Please see for details on external degree verifications.

    Information about verification of academic work at institutions outside of the U.S. may be found here. students with questions about the prior degree verification process may contact the External Education team at

    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 or mailed to Vanderbilt Center for Data Management at:

Center for Data Management
Vanderbilt University
PMB 407833
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240-7833

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

What criteria does the MGC admissions committee consider?

We welcome applicants from diverse academic backgrounds 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