Strategy for Programs

The 2024 Genetic Counseling Admissions Match

Strategy for Programs

The 2024 Genetic Counseling Admissions Match

Key Takeaways

  1. Rank all applicants that would be acceptable. You may rank as many applicants as you wish. Submitting a longer list of applicants may reduce your chances of being left with unfilled positions.
  2. Rank applicants in order of your true preference, with the most preferred applicant as rank #1, the second most preferred as rank #2, and so on.
  3. Do not consider where an applicant might rank you when constructing your preferences.
  4. Do not rank any applicant that is unacceptable for the track, even if the track might have unfilled positions after the Match.


You must enter and certify a separate Rank Order List in the NMS Match System for each track offered in the Match.

After you have evaluated all the applicants to your track(s), you must determine for each track the order of preference for applicants on your Rank Order List. For each track, rank your most preferred applicant first, your next most preferred applicant second, and so on.

For each track, your Rank Order List should reflect the true desirability of each applicant to that track, regardless of how you think an applicant will rank the track.

Your best strategy is to rank applicants in order of your true preferences, without consideration for how you think the track will be ranked by any applicant.

If your track has more than one position, the specific rank numbers you assign to your most preferred applicants, up to the number of positions to be filled from that list, are not significant, as a position is available for each of those applicants if they want it. For example, if 5 positions are to be filled from a Rank Order List, the specific rank numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) assigned to the five most preferred applicants are not significant, as positions are available for all of these applicants. However, for less preferred applicants (ranks 6 and onward) the specific rank numbers are very significant as they indicate your preference for each of these applicants if the track cannot match with the 5 most preferred applicants.

You should rank all applicants who are acceptable for each track. For example, if there are 10 applicants for 5 positions in a track and you determine from your evaluations that 9 of the 10 applicants would be acceptable, you should rank all 9 applicants on your Rank Order List in order of your preference. Applicants generally apply to and rank several programs and tracks, and therefore Program Directors who do not list all acceptable applicants for each track may not fill all their positions. By submitting a longer list of applicants, you may reduce the likelihood of being left with unfilled positions.

Each track will be matched with the most preferred applicant(s) on its list who have ranked that track and who are not matched to a track they prefer.

For programs offering multiple tracks in the Match, it is permissible to rank the same applicant on more than one track's Rank Order List, and to assign a different ranking to the applicant on each track's list, if desired. For example, consider a program offering both a scholarship track and a non-scholarship track, and an applicant who is ranked for the scholarship track but not guaranteed a position in that track (e.g., track has 3 positions but the applicant is ranked 4th). The program may want to add that applicant onto the Rank Order List for the non-scholarship track. That way, if the scholarship track fills its positions with more preferred applicants, the less preferred applicant may match to the non-scholarship track, provided the applicant ranks the non-scholarship track and does not match to a more preferred track.

Tracks that rank fewer applicants than the number of positions available (e.g., 2 applicants ranked for 3 available positions) will, by definition, have one or more unfilled positions in the Match. Similarly, tracks that rank the same number of applicants as positions available (e.g., 3 applicants ranked for 3 positions) run a very high risk of having one or more unfilled positions in the Match.

Do not rank any applicant who is not acceptable for a track, even if the track will have unfilled positions after the Match. You are reminded that according to the Program Agreement, the Match results are binding; you must accept the applicant(s) matched to your program. It is the responsibility of the program to ensure that each applicant ranked by the program meets the eligibility requirements of your institution and program.

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