The Department of Genetics provides a supportive and unique environment for students to understand the full spectrum of genetics. Our major prepares students for a variety of careers, particularly in industrial and academic research. And, our students are highly competitive for admission to the top medical schools and graduate programs in the country.
After taking our introductory courses in evolutionary biology (GENE 3000) and genetics (GENE 3200), majors take an advanced course in genetics (GENE 4200) or evolutionary biology (GENE 4000) and 2 lab courses, which focus on molecular genetics, bioinformatics, evolutionary genetics, or genomics. Depending on the interests and career goals of a particular student, majors can satisfy requirements for 3 major electives by taking upper level Genetics courses or a selection of upper level genetics courses in other departments. We strongly encourage undergraduates to pursue independent research with one of our faculty. In addition to the high value placed on research by medical and graduate school admissions committees, undergraduate research consolidates your training into a single keystone experience. In the final year, all majors take 2 of our capstone seminar courses.
Why has our program been so successful?
The answer is relatively simple. Along with classroom instruction in a wide ranging series of topics, a special feature of the major is the requirement for two semesters of laboratory research. Frequently, this research is done on cutting-edge projects in a faculty member's lab. As such, many of our undergraduate students have the opportunity to co-author research papers published in the primary scientific literature.
The true quality of our program can be directly measured based on the success of our recent graduates. In the past 5 years, our students seeking Ph.D.'s have gone to the top graduate schools, including Harvard, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Duke, University of California, Berkeley, UNC, Yale, and Michigan. The rigor of our program gives students applying to medical schools a decided edge: recent graduates now attend the University of Chicago, Columbia, Duke, Emory, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Vanderbilt, the University of Virginia and Washington University.
Taken together our program offers the advantages of both a large, active Department that one would expect in a major research university, coupled with the personal attention one would obtain at a smaller college. This approach provides a special environment for achieving a high-quality education.
How Do I Navigate the Genetics Major?
Every undergraduate student at the University of Georgia is assigned an academic adviser. The adviser for Genetics is Mr. Michael Hill. But an important and unique feature of the Genetics major is that every undergraduate is also assigned a faculty mentor who meets with the student individually every semester to discuss course selection and career goals. If you are just starting the major, or are interested in transferring into the major, here is a suggested a sample program of study to help you with course selections and the timing of courses.
For more information contact:
Dr. Rodney Mauricio, Undergraduate Coordinator
Brian Norman, Administrative Specialist
Michael Hill, Academic Adviser, Office of Student Academic Services