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Curriculum Requirements

Genetics GIDP Curriculum Requirements


Required for Major (PhD in Genetics)


GENE 670 (Recent Advances in Genetics): This the genetics graduate seminar. Eight semesters (i.e., 16 credit units) of this 2-unit course, offered in the Fall and Spring semesters, is required of all students.  This course consists of work-in-progress, research presentations, presentations of journal club articles from the current literature, and research seminars in genetics.  it is a letter-graded course.

CMM 518 (Fundamental Genetic Mechanisms): This is a 3-unit course, offered in the Fall semerster, required of all students. This course is an introductory graduate-level course in advanced concepts in genetics. The course covers a wide array of genetic concepts, including gene interaction, genetic analysis, chromosome structure and mechanics, meiotic mechanisms, gene regulation, dosage compensation, sex determination, and somatic mutation. 

GENE 795A (Laboratory Research Rotations):  For first-year students who have not chosen a major advisor at the beginning of their graduate career, the Program requires they take three rotations from the beginning of the first semester, usually Fall, to the midpoint of the second semester, usually Spring.  These three nine-week lab rotations are 3 units each (9 credit units total). Students are asked to present a summary of their rotation project in the graduate seminar. The supervising faculty assign a letter grade for the rotations.

MCB 695E  Ethics (1 unit),  PHCL 595B Scientific Writing Strategies, Skills and Ethics (2 units), or SP H 649 Survival Skills and Ethics  (3 units)

GENE 920 (Dissertation):  18 units, as required by UA Graduate College

Students are required to complete two courses, one from each of two of the three columns in the table below, as a distribution requirement. 



Genomics and Bioinformatics

CMM 695D

Human Genetic Disease

BIOC 568 Nucleic Acids, Metabolism and Signaling

ABE 587 Metagenomics: From Genes to Ecosystems

GENE 530

Conservation Genetics

BIOC 565

Proteins and Enzymes

MCB 553 Functional and Evolutionary Genomics

MCB 572A

Cell Systems

BIOC 555  Methods of Physical Biochemistry

GENE 677 Principles of Genetic Association Studies

PLP 528R

Microbial Genetics

BIOC 573 Recombinant DNA Methods and Applications

MCB 546 Genetic and Molecular Networks



Bioanalytical Chemistry

Gene 526 Population Genetics


All students are required to submit a Doctoral Plan of Study (PoS) as they progress to their Comprehensive Examination. The PoS should be developed in consultation with his or her mentor in consultation the students advisory committee. The PoS should (1) list specific courses that satisfy the unit requirements of the graduate school and the program, and (2) provide a specific timeline for the completion of coursework that has to be completed. Because it will be impossible to predict the background education of each incoming student and their specific Ph.D. research project, this format allows for maximum flexibility in constructing the specific curricula that will add to each students’ knowledge while also complementing their proposed area of research. The PoS progress will be evaluated a minimum of once per year by the student’s dissertation committee and changes to the PoS shall be approved by the student's advisory committee.


Required for Doctoral Minor in Genetics


GENE 670 (Recent Advances in Genetics):  2 semesters = 4 credit units.

Remaining 5 units:  Graded courses as approved on student’s PoS by the two Dissertation Committee members who are faculty members of the Genetics GIDP (see <> for official listing).  There must also be two Comprehensive Examination Committee members who are faculty members of the Genetics GIDP. The Comprehensive Examination is written and oral questions must include material from the student’s genetics coursework.

Required for MS Degree in Genetics

The University of Arizona requires a minimum of 30 units of graduate credit, of which at least 24 credits must be in non-thesis credits.  A thesis, substantial research project, final creative project, or additional coursework in lieu of a thesis is required. The Genetics GIDP offers the choice of doing a thesis/substantial research project with 30 units of graduate credit courses, or a non-thesis option with 36 units of graduate credit required. 

Except for a limited number of units that can be transferred from other approved institutions, the remaining unit requirements must be met by the University of Arizona courses. At least one-half of the required units (for both thesis and non-thesis/coursework only options) must receive a grade of A, B or C. (i.e. no more than half the units can be graded S or P.) In cases in which a thesis is part of the degree program, the student must enroll for at least three (3) thesis (910) units, but not more than six (6) credits may count toward the degree.

All students will be required to submit a Masters's Plan of Study (PoS) by the end of their first semester. The PoS will be developed by the student and his/her mentor in consultation with committee members.

Required Courses:

GENE 670 (Recent Advances in Genetics):  4 semesters = 8 credit units; requirement may be reduced or waived with the approval of the program chair

MCB 695E Ethics (1 unit),  PHCL 595B Scientific Writing Strategies, Skills and Ethics (2 units), or SP H 649 Survival Skills and Ethics  (3 units).  The requirement may be waived with the approval of the program chair.

Last updated 13 Jul 2020