How to Apply

Admission Criteria and Application Process

All applicants to our training program must apply through the VCU Office of Admissions by following this link.

To apply for the Dual Degree Program, you will need to create two separate online accounts and then submit two separate, complete applications - one for the MS in Genetic Counseling program and another application for the Ph.D. in Human Genetics.  You will need to use a different email address for each application. If you try to use the same email address for the second application, you will get an error message indicating you are trying to create a duplicate account.  For each application, indicate in the appropriate check box that you are applying for the Dual Degree Program.  You should also note that you are applying to the Dual Degree Program in each of your personal statements.  Though you will submit two applications, you should only be responsible for one application fee.  To do this, you must pay for the first application you submit; then, for the second application, please email to request a waiver code and use that in lieu of payment for the second application fee. Let the graduate school know you are applying for the dual degree program in human genetics and genetic counseling when requesting your waiver for the second application.

After completing the online applications, documents, such as official transcripts that cannot be submitted electronically, should be sent to the following address.

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

All decisions regarding admission to the program are made by a committee of faculty members from the participating training programs in Human and Molecular Genetics.  After you have submitted your application, any questions about its status should be directed to the portal for the PhD application and to Rachel Gannaway for the MS Genetic Counseling application. 

Admission to both the Ph.D. program and the MS Genetic Counseling program within the VCU School of Medicine and our Department is quite competitive, and I strongly recommend that you complete your applications as soon as possible.  In addition to the online application forms noted above, each application requires a personal statement, official transcripts, general GRE scores (VCU code 5570) and three letters of recommendation.  I strongly recommend you tailor your personal statement and your letters of recommendation for each application, highlighting research experience and aptitude for the PhD application, and emphasizing both academic and counseling experience and aptitude for the MS Genetic counseling application. The Dual Degree program is particularly demanding, and you should also highlight any relevant experience working at a high level to accomplish multiple tasks. 

The deadline for submitting your applications is January 15th

Ideally, we look for applicants for the PhD program with undergraduate GPAs of 3.3 or higher and combined quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning GRE scores of 310 or higher. We typically look for applicants for the MS Genetic Counseling program with undergraduate GPAs of 3.3 or higher and combined quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning scores of 300 or higher.

Please feel free to contact Dr. John Quillin, the Director of the Dual Degree Program, with any additional questions about the Dual Degree Program and/or the application process.