How to Apply

Admission Criteria

Applicants to the Genetic Counseling program are required to have one year (two semesters) each of biology, chemistry and behavioral science (e.g., psychology, sociology, religion) and one semester each of genetics, biochemistry and statistics. Experiences that focus on interpersonal dynamics are encouraged but not required. The GRE exam is also required for admission. We receive an average of over 150 applications annually . The average GPA for admitted students is 3.3 to 3.5 and the GRE scores of admitted students are usually greater than 150 Quantitative and 156 Verbal.

The master’s degree program in genetic counseling requires four full-time semesters of study and summer clinical work (21 months) for students entering with a B.S. or B.A. degree. Work-study positions may be available to help students finance their education.

Application Process

Applications are accepted for enrollment for the fall semester only. All applicants to our program must apply through the VCU Office of Admissions by following this link.  To apply for the MS in Genetic Counseling training program, in the “Intended Program of Study” screen, select the appropriate term of entry, then “Masters” as your intended level of study and then “Genetic Counseling-MS” as your planned course of study.

Any applicant interested in applying to the VCU M.S. in Genetic Counseling program must register for the National GC Admissions Match.  According to the rules of the GC Admissions Match, the program will only consider applicants who are registered to participate in the GC Admissions Match.


Applicants are now able to register to participate in the 2019 GC Admissions Match. Any applicant interested in obtaining a position in our program should register for the Match. Please note that according to the rules of the GC Admissions Match, we may only consider applications from applicants who are registered to participate in the Match.

Applicants can register for the Match online via the GC Admissions Match web site at The Applicant Registration page on the web site provides access to the online registration system, instructions on how to register, and other important information about the Match.

It is recommended that applicants register for the Match by December 14, 2018. While applicants may register after this date, they should register early enough to ensure there is sufficient time for evaluations, interviews and rankings.

If you have any questions about the Match, please contact NMS.


Items Needed for a Complete Application

The following is a list of items needed for a complete application.  Please also refer to the Application Checklist in the drop down menu to the right.

  • On-line application
  • Personal Statement
  • Curriculum Vitae or resume
  • Official transcripts
  • General GRE scores (VCU Code 5570) and TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students (VCU Code 5570)
  • Three letters of recommendation

*In addition, international applicants must arrange to have their academic credentials evaluated by a service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) and must include the evaluation of their credentials in the application for graduate training. WES, ECE, and AACRAO are some of the acceptable NACES-approved providers.*

Your letters of recommendation should comment on your:

  • Suitability for graduate training
  • Your work ethic and interpersonal communication skills
  • Other relevant experience

Your personal statement should describe in any order:

  • why you are interested in the M.S. in Genetic Counseling program
  • any research interests or experience you have
  • any career plans that you have
  • any other information that will help us evaluate you as a prospective Genetic Counseling trainee

Additionally, if you are supported by a governmental or other scholarship, please provide a copy of the financial guarantee or award letter. 

Applications for M.S. training are evaluated by a committee within the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics. Applicants to the M.S. in Genetic Counseling program are strongly encouraged to complete their applications (i.e. all forms, letters, transcripts, etc. received) by January 15 or earlier if possible. Applications completed after January 15 will typically not be considered.

After completing the online application, documents such as official transcripts or resumes that cannot be submitted electronically should be sent to the following address:

Virginia Commonwealth University
Office of Admissions
Box 843051
Richmond, Virginia 23284-3051