Faculty: Professors Culbertson (chair), Anderson, Baum, Blattner, Carroll, Colley, Doebley, Dove, Engels, Ganetzky, Hoffmann, Jahn, Kimble, Kung, Laughon, Masson, Prolla, Schwartz, Sondel, Vierstra, Yin, Yu; Associate Professors Gasch, Ikeda, Payseur, Pelegri, Perna, Sun; Assistant Professors Chang, Hittinger, Kennedy, Loewe, O'Connor-Giles, Pool, Skop
A graduate training program is available for study and research leading to the Ph.D. in genetics. Students who intend to terminate at the master's level are not admitted to this program. An additional program admits four or five students each year for specific training in genetic counseling that leads to an M.S. degree in medical genetics. For more information see Genetic Counseling.
The goal of the predoctoral training program in genetics is to select promising university graduates and train them to do biological research using genetics. The aim of the program is to ensure professional competence in genetics—the analysis of the structure and evolution of the genome of an organism, and the experimental manipulation of that genome to uncover the logic and mechanics of a biological process.
The Laboratory of Genetics consists of two departments: Genetics, in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; and Medical Genetics, in the School of Medicine and Public Health. Although administratively distinct, these two departments function as one at both the faculty and student levels. The Laboratory of Genetics is highly regarded for its contributions to research in the areas of plant genetics, population genetics, developmental genetics, molecular genetics, immunogenetics, neurogenetics, cytogenetics, viral genetics, bacterial genetics, mammalian genetics, behavioral genetics, and medical genetics.
The Genetics Predoctoral Training Program, an interdepartmental program administered by the Laboratory of Genetics, is the largest NIH-supported training program in the discipline in the country. Research in genetics is also being pursued on campus in agronomy, anatomy, bacteriology, biochemistry, biomolecular chemistry, botany, cell and regenerative biology, horticulture, medical microbiology and immunology, molecular niology, neuroscience, nutritional sciences, oncology, ophthalmology and visual sciences, pathology and laboratory medicine, pediatrics, pharmacy, plant pathology, psychiatry, and zoology. The Ph.D. program in genetics includes 75 genetics trainers from many of these departments, providing graduate students with the greatest possible diversity and opportunities in modern genetics research.
In general, a new graduate student of the Ph.D. program in genetics spends time the first semester in the laboratories of several professors. At the end of the orientation period, the major professor is chosen by mutual consent of student, professor, and a steering committee. The Ph.D. program in genetics places strong emphasis on individual study and research. The student is expected to acquire a solid knowledge of general genetics after which courses are selected for their pertinence to the interests of the individual student. To preserve maximum flexibility, specific Ph.D. degree requirements are minimal and the graduate program is designed in consultation with a certifying committee chosen with the approval of the major professor.
Students who enter graduate study in genetics should have a strong background in biology, organic chemistry, and biochemistry; a year of college physics; mathematics through calculus; and an undergraduate statistics course. These requirements should be completed before beginning graduate study. Otherwise, the deficiencies should be remedied as soon as possible. For students with previous study in genetics, the certifying committee will decide whether previous training is equivalent to required Genetics 466 or whether the student must take the course.
Admission to the Ph.D. program in genetics is highly competitive; approximately 15 percent of applicants are accepted. Acceptance to the program requires approval by the Department of Genetics and the Graduate School. Applications for admission are evaluated on the basis of previous academic record, Graduate Record Exam (required general GRE and recommended subject test GRE scores), TOEFL or IELTS scores (if necessary), letters of recommendation, resume, and a personal statement.
Applicants submit an application online to the Graduate School, a statement (preferably online) that indicates the reasons for graduate study in genetics, a resume (preferably online), three letters (preferably online) from recommenders, and have ETS send official GRE scores on the required general test and on the recommended subject test in biology or biochemistry (if taken), and official TOEFL or IELTS scores (if necessary) to Institution Code 1846. Applicants must have schools send official transcripts directly to the department. From a link on the genetics website, applicants must complete an online categorized list of math and science courses taken with the GPA calculated on those courses. Any other information or documentation that would help the department evaluate the applicant's potential for success in graduate study in genetics should also be sent to the department.
For more information: Graduate Admissions, Genetics and Medical Genetics, 1432 Genetics/Biotechnology Building, 425G Henry Mall, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-7729; email@example.com; www.genetics.wisc.edu.
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