What will I learn?

The Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program at VCU is a full-time, on-campus program. As a part of their coursework, students begin shadowing within clinics at VCU Medical Center during their first semester in order to gain further knowledge and comfortability interacting with patients. During the spring semester of the first year, students begin clinical rotations that continue until the end of the second year. During the intervening summer between first and second year, students will participate in a 3 week long laboratory rotation within the Cytogenetics and Molecular Diagnostic Genetics departments at VCU Health System. Students are required to register for up to 5 credits during this intervening summer semester.

Requirements of the program include:

  • Students must complete 60 total credit hours, traditionally over a 21-month time frame.

  • students must maintain a 3.0 GPA for all semesters. (Students who fail to maintain a 3.0 GPA are permitted one semester to bring up their GPA average to the required level).

Student learning outcomes

  • Competency in practice: The candidate should demonstrate development of competency in the responsible practice of genetic counseling. This will be assessed in the clinical setting by certified genetic counselors and medical geneticists. The assessment is based upon the core clinical competencies established by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling. These competencies are documented with written and oral evaluations at the completion of each of the clinical rotations by the rotation supervisor.
  • General knowledge of sciences: The candidate should demonstrate a general knowledge of the elements of the sciences as related to genetic molecular/cellular bioscience and a detailed knowledge of his or her area of research, including an appropriate familiarity with the research literature. The student is evaluated by academic performance, face-to-face and written evaluation of clinical performance in multiple rotations by multiple supervisors and annual written and oral exams.
  • Communication skills: The candidate should demonstrate that an appropriate level of oral, written and visual communication skills have been acquired. This is achieved by evaluations of clinical rotations both written and verbal that are based on the competencies established by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling and the scope of practice as set forth by the National Society of Genetic Counselors.

Which department am I in?

School of Medicine

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
US$24,741.00 per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

18 August 2020


School of Medicine

VCU Medical Center,

1201 E Marshall St,



23298, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants for admission to VCU graduate programs must hold the academic equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree from an accredited university.

For international students

Applicants must have successfully completed undergraduate training and hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college.

Prerequisites for admission include six credit hours each of biology, chemistry and behavioral science (psychology, anthropology, sociology, religion or philosophy) and three credit hours each of biochemistry, statistics and genetics. It is recommended that all prerequisite courses have been completed within 10 years of application. A prerequisite may be in process at the time of application. A minimum grade of a B must be obtained prior to admission if the course is in progress at the time of acceptance.

Students accepted to the program are generally drawn from applicants with a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale or equivalent), with an average GPA of 3.3 to 3.5 for matriculating students.

Applicants holding an undergraduate degree from foreign institutions must display an acceptable level of English proficiency by achieving a score of 250 on the computer-based TOEFL examination or 600 on the written version or 80 (Internet-based). The university minimum IELTS score requirement is 6.5. The PTE is also accepted with a minimum score of 65. Deadline: Fall - Applications received prior to Jan 15 given priority consideration.

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About this uni

Virginia Commonwealth University is a top 100 research university and number one public postgraduate arts school in the US.

  • VCU is one of the top 3 research universities in Virginia
  • 21% growth in sponsored awards in a 10-year period
  • 1,600 international students from 108 countries
  • 173-acre campus in downtown Richmond