Genetics

This program was established in 1952 and is one of the longest-running genetics graduate programs in the United States. The graduate training faculty are a highly interactive group performing research in all aspects of genetics, from molecules to populations. Our research encompasses behavioral genetics; biomedical genetics; computational genetics and bioinformatics; evolutionary, population and quantitative genetics; and molecular, cellular and developmental genetics. Our faculty utilize a wide range of traditional and nontraditional model systems in their research.

We consider graduate students to be professionals in training and provide a well-rounded program of academic, research and professional training. Students have a strong voice in shaping the program. We provide broad and comprehensive graduate training in genetics and also flexible academic programs tailored to meet the background and career goals of the individual student.

Learn more about the program in Genetics.

Degrees

During their first semester, new graduate students participate in at least three laboratory rotations, each rotation being five weeks in duration. These rotations facilitate choosing a major professor and a research focus. Once associated with a particular mentor, an advisory committee of at least three additional professors is assembled. The majority of coursework for the MS is completed within approximately one to two years at the beginning of the program. Following the completion of this coursework, a final written and oral examination is taken. In addition to coursework and research, MS students are required to teach one semester of undergraduate courses.

REQUIRED CORE COURSES

  • GN 701 GN Molecular Genetics 3 Fall
  • GN 702 GN Cellular & Developmental Genetics 3 Spring
  • GN 703 GN Population & Quantitative Genetics 3 Spring
  • GN 810 GN Special Topics in Genetics – Journal Club 1 Fall
  • GN 850 GN Professionalism & Ethics 1 Fall
  • ST 511 ST Experimental Statistics for Biologists 3 Fall/Spring

*An additional 6 hours of elective courses are required, 3 hours must have substantial Genetics content, such as the examples below.

PRIMARY ELECTIVE COURSES

  • GN 713 ANS Quantitative Genetics and Breeding 3 Fall
  • GN 721 ST Genetic Data Analysis 3 Alt. Spring
  • GN 725 FOR Forest Genetics 3 Spring
  • GN 735 GN Functional Genomics 3 Fall
  • GN 750 GN Developmental Genetics 3 Alt. Spring
  • GN 756 GN Computational Molecular Evolution 3 Alt. Fall
  • GN 757 ST Stats for Molecular Quantitative Genetics 3 Alt. Fall
  • GN 758 MB Prokaryotic Molecular Genetics 3 Spring
  • GN 761 BCH Advanced Molecular Biology of the Cell 3 Alt. Spring
  • GN 768 BCH Nucleic Acid: Structure and Function 3 Alt. Spring
  • GN 810X GN Special Topics in Genetics Var Variable
  • ST 590C ST Bioinformatics I 3 Fall
  • ST 590C ST Bioinformatics II 3 Spring
  • PB 780 PB Plant Molecular Biology 3 Fall
  • PB 824N PB Topics in Plant Molecular Genetics 3 Alt. Spring
  • BCH 701 BCH Macromolecular Structure 3 Fall
  • BIT 510 BIT Core Technologies 4 Fall/Spring
  • BIT 815X BIT Advanced Modules (Several) Var Fall/Spring

*Only three hours of these courses may be counted toward the primary elective requirement.

*Other courses that do not appear on this list may be counted if they have substantial Genetics content. Please consult with the Director of Graduate Programs if you would like to count a course as an elective that is not on this list.


The Master of Genetics degree is often pursued by scientists who are interested in earning additional professional credentials. This degree is considered to be a terminal degree and is not intended to prepare graduates who plan to pursue a Ph.D. in the field.

REQUIRED CORE COURSES

  • GN 701 GN Molecular Genetics 3 Fall
  • GN 702 GN Cellular & Developmental Genetics 3 Spring
  • GN 703 GN Population & Quantitative Genetics 3 Spring
  • BCH 451 BCH Principles of Biochemistry 4 Fall/Spring
  • GN 850 GN Professionalism & Ethics 1 Fall
  • ST 511 ST Experimental Statistics for Biologists 3 Fall/Spring

*An additional 14 hours of elective courses are required, 6 hours must have substantial Genetics content, such as the examples below.

PRIMARY ELECTIVE COURSES

  • GN 713 ANS Quantitative Genetics and Breeding 3 Fall
  • GN 721 ST Genetic Data Analysis 3 Alt. Spring
  • GN 725 FOR Forest Genetics 3 Spring
  • GN 735 GN Functional Genomics 3 Fall
  • GN 750 GN Developmental Genetics 3 Alt. Spring
  • GN 756 GN Computational Molecular Evolution 3 Alt. Fall
  • GN 757 ST Stats for Molecular Quantitative Genetics 3 Alt. Fall
  • GN 758 MB Prokaryotic Molecular Genetics 3 Spring
  • GN 761 BCH Advanced Molecular Biology of the Cell 3 Alt. Spring
  • GN 768 BCH Nucleic Acid: Structure and Function 3 Alt. Spring
  • GN 810X GN Special Topics in Genetics Var Variable
  • ST 590C ST Bioinformatics I 3 Fall
  • ST 590C ST Bioinformatics II 3 Spring
  • PB 780 PB Plant Molecular Biology 3 Fall
  • PB 824N PB Topics in Plant Molecular Genetics 3 Alt. Spring
  • BCH 701 BCH Macromolecular Structure 3 Fall
  • BIT 510 BIT Core Technologies 4 Fall/Spring
  • BIT 815X BIT Advanced Modules (Several) Var Fall/Spring

*Only three hours of these courses may be counted toward the primary elective requirement.

*Other courses that do not appear on this list may be counted if they have substantial Genetics content. Please consult with the Director of Graduate Programs if you would like to count a course as an elective that is not on this list.

During their first semester, new graduate students participate in at least three laboratory rotations, each rotation being five weeks in duration. These rotations facilitate choosing a major professor and a research focus. Once associated with a particular mentor, an advisory committee of at least three additional professors is assembled. The majority of coursework for the Ph.D. is completed within approximately two years at the beginning of the program. Following the completion of this coursework, preliminary and oral examinations are taken. In addition to coursework and research, Ph.D. students are required to teach two semesters of undergraduate courses.

REQUIRED CORE COURSES

  • GN 701 GN Molecular Genetics 3 Fall
  • GN 702 GN Cellular & Developmental Genetics 3 Spring
  • GN 703 GN Population & Quantitative Genetics 3 Spring
  • GN 810 (x2)* GN Special Topics in Genetics – Journal Club 1 Fall
  • GN 820 GN Special Problems, Professional Development 3 Alt. Spring
  • GN 850 GN Professionalism & Ethics 1 Fall
  • ST 511 ST Experimental Statistics for Biologists 3 Fall/Spring

*Two semesters of GN810 is required.

*An additional 12 hours of elective courses are required, 9 hours must have substantial Genetics content, such as the examples below.

PRIMARY ELECTIVE COURSES

  • GN 713 ANS Quantitative Genetics and Breeding 3 Fall
  • GN 721 ST Genetic Data Analysis 3 Alt. Spring
  • GN 725 FOR Forest Genetics 3 Spring
  • GN 735 GN Functional Genomics 3 Fall
  • GN 750 GN Developmental Genetics 3 Alt. Spring
  • GN 756 GN Computational Molecular Evolution 3 Alt. Fall
  • GN 757 ST Stats for Molecular Quantitative Genetics 3 Alt. Fall
  • GN 758 MB Prokaryotic Molecular Genetics 3 Spring
  • GN 761 BCH Advanced Molecular Biology of the Cell 3 Alt. Spring
  • GN 768 BCH Nucleic Acid: Structure and Function 3 Alt. Spring
  • GN 810X GN Special Topics in Genetics Var Variable
  • ST 590C ST Bioinformatics I 3 Fall
  • ST 590C ST Bioinformatics II 3 Spring
  • PB 780 PB Plant Molecular Biology 3 Fall
  • PB 824N PB Topics in Plant Molecular Genetics 3 Alt. Spring
  • BCH 701 BCH Macromolecular Structure 3 Fall
  • BIT 510 BIT Core Technologies 4 Fall/Spring
  • BIT 815X BIT Advanced Modules (Several) Var Fall/Spring

*Only three hours of these courses may be counted toward the primary elective requirement.

*Other courses that do not appear on this list may be counted if they have substantial Genetics content. Please consult with the Director of Graduate Programs if you would like to count a course as an elective that is not on this list.

The Graduate Minor in Genetics is available for students completing a Master of Science or a Doctor of Philosophy. To obtain a minor in Genetics, the student must obtain approval from the Genetics Director of Graduate Programs, and make a grade of B- or better in each of the required courses listed below.

REQUIRED COURSES

  • GN 701 GN Molecular Genetics 3 Fall
  • GN 702 GN Cellular & Developmental Genetics 3 Spring
  • GN 703 GN Population & Quantitative Genetics 3 Spring
  • ST 511 ST Experimental Statistics for Biologists 3 Fall/Spring

Admission Requirements

The Graduate Program in Genetics receives applications each year from prospective students across the United States and from many countries throughout the world. The application for admission is exclusively online and is available through the Graduate School website. Candidates for graduate work should have a bachelor’s degree in biological, agricultural, physical or mathematical science and a basic understanding of biological principles and processes.

The graduate program is academically rigorous. Your transcripts will reflect how strong you perform in the biological, physical and mathematical sciences and your overall academic potential. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) reflects skills that are not directly related to any specific field of study. Graduate students are expected to have strong verbal and quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills. Competitive applicants will have strong percentile scores in all categories, and have scored above the 85th percentile in the quantitative portion of the exam.

More information about applying.

Student Financial Support

Through program-, departmental- and faculty-funded research assistantships, and university and other fellowship programs, the Program in Genetics has funding opportunities for qualified applicants to the graduate program. Supplemental funding is also available from the NC State University Graduate School Diversity Programs for individuals from underrepresented groups.

Current graduate student support packages can include a stipend, tuition and health insurance.

Read more about fellowships and assistantships available through the program.

Contact Us

For more information, email Trudy Mackay.

Participating Faculty

Robert Anholt

William Neal Reynolds Professor

919-515-1173

David Aylor

Assistant Professor

919-515-7079

Mary Anna Carbone

Research Assistant Professor

919-515-5789

Gavin Conant

Assoc Professor

573-489-1252

Michael Cowley

Asst Professor

919-513-0818

Patricia Estes

Research Associate Professor

919-513-2718

Betty Gardner

Teaching Associate Professor

919-515-5776

John Godwin

Professor

919-513-2936

Whitney Jones

Teaching Assistant Professor

919-515-0327

Brian Langerhans

Assistant Professor

919-515-3514

Trudy Mackay

William Neal Reynolds and Distinguished University Professor

919-515-5810

Jim Mahaffey

Professor

919-515-5791

LM

Lisa McGraw

Asst Professor

919-513-4326

Dahlia Nielsen

Associate Professor

Antonio Planchart

Assistant Professor

919-513-2530

David Reif

Associate Professor

919-513-3812

Reade Roberts

Asst Professor

Michael Sikes

Associate Professor

919-513-0528

NS

Nadia Singh

Assistant Professor

919-515-1761

Jeffrey Thorne

Professor of Genetics and Statistics

Yihui Zhou

Research Asst Professor