The Graduate School does not set course requirements; these are set by the Field of GGD and your Special Committee.  You should talk to the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) and/or your Special Committee about the courses that you should take.  Dates for course enrollment are set by the University Registrar.  Make sure that you register in accordance with the published dates.  NOTE:  The Graduate School will only consider Course Enrollment Petitions in extremely extenuating circumstances.

Federal regulations require that all students enroll in at least 12 credit hours/semester.  First-year GGD students are required to enroll in 12 credits of graded courses, but beyond the first year, you should not feel obligated to enroll in 12 credit hours of actual coursework unless your DGS/Special Committee consider(s) it necessary.  Enroll only in the courses that you need/want to take.  In the fall and spring semesters, the Graduate School will enroll students in their Graduate Dissertation Research course in order to ensure that your record reflects 12 credit hours.

Summer Enrollment:  All graduate students are required to enroll in the Graduate Dissertation Research (via Student Center) for the summer; the deadline for this is the end of May.  This is necessary if you are receiving a stipend or plan to use university facilities such as libraries, computer centers, and the Gannett Health Center.  (Please note:  If you register after May 31, FICA taxes will be withdrawn from your paycheck.)

Time Away From the University:  The graduate student schedule/calendar does NOT follow the undergraduate schedule.  Graduate students are paid on a 12-month stipend and are expected to be present and actively working on their academics and research project unless the university itself is officially closed.  If you plan on being gone for a significant period of time, you must have the approval of your advisor and notify the Graduate Field Assistant of your intentions.

The Field of Genetics, Genomics and Development has a core curriculum comprised of a small set of courses designed to foster critical thinking skills and to provide foundational knowledge in Genetics, Genomics and Development.  A general description of curriculum areas is provided below.   For specific course requirements related to your particular class year, refer to the Benchmarks document available in the Benchmarks and Requirements folder in the MBG Graduate Community Intranet (NetID log in required).

Please note that GGD graduate students are expected to take a minimum of 12 credits of GRADED courses during their first year in our program. Students are strongly encouraged to complete their breadth and minor requirements by the end of their first year.

  • Foundational Skills: BIOMG 8369 (2 credits, graded), Foundational Skills for Graduate School and Beyond All entering students take this course in the Fall semester of their first year. The course focuses on helping students successfully navigate the graduate experience, covering diverse topics relevant to the broader experience and realities of graduate school.
  • Critical Thinking: BIOMG 7810: Critical Thinking in Genetics and Development
    All entering students take this course in the Spring semester of their first year. This course combines didactic lectures with student-led presentations and critical analysis of key literature on topical issues in genetics, genomics, and development.
  • Statistics: BTRY 6010: Statistical Methods I is the course most students take to fulfill the Statistics requirement.  This course develops and uses statistical methods to analyze data arising from a wide variety of applications. (It is possible to substitute another course, i.e. BIOCB 6381: Biomedical Data Mining and Modeling; BTRY 6830: Quantitative Genomics & Genetics; or BIOCB 6840: Computational Genetics and Genomics. Other substitutions are possible but require the permission of the DGS.
  • Grant Writing & Presentation Skills: BIOMG 7800: Current Topics in Genetics and Development. Grant proposal writing course required for all GGD students.
  • Breadth Requirement: A minimum of three courses from each category below with at least one course taken from each of three separate categories. The Field recommends that a student with limited background in a particular category take a course in that group that stresses fundamental concepts. Note that classes a student takes in the breadth requirement can count towards the minor requirement. Refer to the Benchmarks document for for specifics of this requirement.
    • Biochemistry, Molecular, and Cellular Biology
    • Development
    • Genetics
    • Genomics
    • Population Genetics and Evolution
  • Ethics in Science: A course on ethical issues in science (e.g., BIOMG 7510 Ethical Issues and Professional Responsibilities)– All students are required to take this or a comparable course in scientific ethics.  The opportunity to discuss these issues openly will be an important and valuable part of your graduate training.
  • Communication Skills: All GGD students also are required to attend and participate in the Wednesday Field Seminars (BIOMG 7860) and in the Friday Molecular Biology & Genetics Seminars (3:30 pm; BIOMG 7870). (See individual seminar course tabs) this provides students the opportunity to not only present to peers but also to give feedback on other students’ seminars.
  • Course requirements for minor subjects: Additional course requirements, including the graduate minor, are set by the members of the student’s Special Committee.

Grade Expectations: For courses with a letter grade, students are expected to receive a B (3.0) or better in order to remain in good standing in the program. Grades below B- in a student’s major area do not constitute satisfactory performance, and the course(s) must be retaken if it is a required course. If a student receives a grade below B- in two or more classes, he/she is at risk of being asked to leave the program.