Graduate training in genetics emphasizes study and research leading to a Ph.D. degree in genetics. A master's degree in medical genetics with specialized training in genetic counseling are also available. For more information on a master's degree in genetic counseling, see Genetic Counseling.
LABORATORY OF GENETICS
The Laboratory of Genetics is the oldest and one of the finest centers of genetics in the nation. It is highly regarded for its research contributions in the areas of disease genetics, cell biology, neurogenetics, developmental genetics, gene expression, genomics, evolutionary and population genetics, and computational biology. The laboratory 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.
This M.S. is offered for work leading to the Ph.D. Students may not apply directly for the master’s, and should instead see the admissions information for the Ph.D.
A master's degree in medical genetics with specialized training in genetic counseling are also available. For more information on M.S. degrees in genetic counseling, see Genetic Counseling.
Graduate School Resources
Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.
Minimum Graduate School Requirements
Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.
MODE OF INSTRUCTION
|Face to Face||Evening/Weekend||Online||Hybrid||Accelerated|
Mode of Instruction Definitions
Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students are able to complete a program with minimal disruptions to careers and other commitments.
Evening/Weekend: Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules. Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.
Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.
Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats. Contact the program for more specific information.
Online: These programs are offered 100% online. Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.
|Minimum Credit Requirement||32 credits|
|Minimum Residence Credit Requirement||32 credits|
|Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement||Half of degree coursework must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (https://registrar.wisc.edu/course-guide/).|
|Overall Graduate GPA Requirement||3.00 GPA required.|
|Other Grade Requirements||The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.|
|Assessments and Examinations||Contact the program for information on required assessments and examinations.|
|Language Requirements||No language requirement.|
Students may earn an M.S. in Genetics on the way to the Ph.D. in Genetics under certain circumstances. Contact the Genetics graduate coordinator for more information.
|GENETICS 701||Advanced Genetics||3|
|GENETICS 702||Advanced Genetics II||3|
|GENETICS/MD GENET 707||Genetics of Development||3|
|GENETICS/MD GENET 708||Methods and Logic in Genetic Analysis 1||3|
|ONCOLOGY 715||Ethics in Science 2||1|
|Elective: Any graduate level Genetics course (including special topics) 3|
|Specialized elective coursework at the discretion of your thesis committee|
GENETICS/MD GENET 707 Genetics of Development and GENETICS/MD GENET 708 Methods and Logic in Genetic Analysis are taken by the first and second years together; GENETICS/MD GENET 707 is offered one year and GENETICS/MD GENET 708 the next.
Permission must be obtained to register from the cancer biology department.
Students wishing to take a course outside of Genetics course offerings may petition the Graduate Program Committee.
Graduate School Policies
The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.
Graduate Work from Other Institutions
For well-prepared advanced students, the program may accept prior graduate coursework from other institutions toward the minimum graduate degree credit and minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. The minimum graduate residence credit requirement can be satisfied only with courses taken as a graduate student at UW–Madison. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
For well-prepared advanced students, the program may decide to accept up to 7 credits numbered 300 or above completed at UW–Madison toward fulfillment of minimum degree and minor credit requirements. This work would not be allowed to count toward the 50% graduate coursework minimum unless taken at the 700 level or above. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
UW–Madison University Special
The program may decide to accept up to 15 University Special student credits as fulfillment of the minimum graduate residence, graduate degree, or minor credit requirements on occasion as an exception (on a case-by-case basis). UW–Madison coursework taken as a University Special student would not be allowed to count toward the 50% graduate coursework minimum unless taken at the 700 level or above. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.
ADVISOR / COMMITTEE
Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.
An advisor generally serves as the thesis advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies.
A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.
CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED
Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.
grievances and appeals
These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:
- Bias or Hate Reporting
- Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures
- Hostile and Intimidating Behavior Policies and Procedures
- Dean of Students Office (for all students to seek grievance assistance and support)
- Employee Assistance (for personal counseling and workplace consultation around communication and conflict involving graduate assistants and other employees, post-doctoral students, faculty and staff)
- Employee Disability Resource Office (for qualified employees or applicants with disabilities to have equal employment opportunities)
- Graduate School (for informal advice at any level of review and for official appeals of program/departmental or school/college grievance decisions)
- Office of Compliance (for class harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence)
- Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (for conflicts involving students)
- Ombuds Office for Faculty and Staff (for employed graduate students and post-docs, as well as faculty and staff)
- Title IX (for concerns about discrimination)
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences: Grievance Policy
In the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), any student who feels unfairly treated by a member of the CALS faculty or staff has the right to complain about the treatment and to receive a prompt hearing. Some complaints may arise from misunderstandings or communication breakdowns and be easily resolved; others may require formal action. Complaints may concern any matter of perceived unfairness.
To ensure a prompt and fair hearing of any complaint, and to protect the rights of both the person complaining and the person at whom the complaint is directed, the following procedures are used in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Any student, undergraduate or graduate, may use these procedures, except employees whose complaints are covered under other campus policies.
- The student should first talk with the person at whom the complaint is directed. Most issues can be settled at this level. Others may be resolved by established departmental procedures.
- If the student is unsatisfied, and the complaint involves any unit outside CALS, the student should seek the advice of the dean or director of that unit to determine how to proceed.
- If the complaint involves an academic department in CALS the student should proceed in accordance with item 3 below.
- If the grievance involves a unit in CALS that is not an academic department, the student should proceed in accordance with item 4 below.
- The student should contact the department’s grievance advisor within 120 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment. The departmental administrator can provide this person’s name. The grievance advisor will attempt to resolve the problem informally within 10 working days of receiving the complaint, in discussions with the student and the person at whom the complaint is directed.
- If informal mediation fails, the student can submit the grievance in writing to the grievance advisor within 10 working days of the date the student is informed of the failure of the mediation attempt by the grievance advisor. The grievance advisor will provide a copy to the person at whom the grievance is directed.
- The grievance advisor will refer the complaint to a department committee that will obtain a written response from the person at whom the complaint is directed, providing a copy to the student. Either party may request a hearing before the committee. The grievance advisor will provide both parties a written decision within 20 working days from the date of receipt of the written complaint.
- If the grievance involves the department chairperson, the grievance advisor or a member of the grievance committee, these persons may not participate in the review.
- If not satisfied with departmental action, either party has 10 working days from the date of notification of the departmental committee action to file a written appeal to the CALS Equity and Diversity Committee. A subcommittee of this committee will make a preliminary judgement as to whether the case merits further investigation and review. If the subcommittee unanimously determines that the case does not merit further investigation and review, its decision is final. If one or more members of the subcommittee determine that the case does merit further investigation and review, the subcommittee will investigate and seek to resolve the dispute through mediation. If this mediation attempt fails, the subcommittee will bring the case to the full committee. The committee may seek additional information from the parties or hold a hearing. The committee will present a written recommendation to the dean who will provide a final decision within 20 working days of receipt of the committee recommendation.
- If the alleged unfair treatment occurs in a CALS unit that is not an academic department, the student should, within 120 calendar days of the alleged incident, take his/her grievance directly to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. The dean will attempt to resolve the problem informally within 10 working days of receiving the complaint. If this mediation attempt does not succeed the student may file a written complaint with the dean who will refer it to the CALS Equity and Diversity Committee. The committee will seek a written response from the person at whom the complaint is directed, subsequently following other steps delineated in item 3d above.
Graduate School Resources
Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career.
- Demonstrate a broad understanding in the principles of genetics and heredity in all organisms. They will develop particular expertise in at least one of the broad subject areas of the doctoral program.
- Demonstrate a broad understanding of major current and past theories, research findings and methodologies and techniques in genetics, with particular expertise in their area of concentration, both orally and in writing.
- Develop critical thinking skills. They will retrieve and examine scientific literature, evaluate evidence for and again hypotheses, identify knowledge gaps, strengths and weaknesses in existing literature, synthesize knowledge, develop conclusions, and formulate plans for moving the current state of knowledge forward.
- Demonstrate research expertise in genetics by presenting to their supervisory committee a research report based on their own experimental work or based on critical review of original peer-reviewed literature on a topic of current interest in genetics.
- Retrieve and interpret professional peer-reviewed literature and use this information to evaluate theoretical frameworks, testable hypotheses, and predictions.
- Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate research based on design, feasibility, and internal controls, and to explain how such research addresses important unsolved problems in genetic or biomedical research.
- Communicate effectively to diverse audiences in writing, through oral presentations, and during formal and informal discussions.
- Master methods of communicating and interacting effectively with professional colleagues.
- Articulate their research and its significance both formally and informally to diverse audiences.
- Give and receive feedback on communication skills both orally and in writing.
- Be provided with opportunities to engage in public outreach and education.
- Effectively teach the principles of genetics and the methods used in contemporary genetic research.
- Receive in-class educational training by serving as teaching assistants for at least one semester of an undergraduate genetics course.
- Be provided with opportunities to mentor other students (for example, undergraduate students) in a laboratory research setting.
- Opportunities to perform outreach activities in which they educate school-age students or individuals from other fields on the principles of modern genetics.
- Be provided with diverse training that will prepare them for a range of flexible and sustainable careers in, for example, academia, industry, government, science policy, administration, commerce, journalism, law, education and community outreach.
- Develop broadly applicable skills in critical thinking and problem solving.
- Be provided with opportunities for teamwork, written and oral communication skills and collaborations.
- Receive training in professional ethics and the responsible conduct of science.
- Be trained to use scientific rigor when designing experiments, collecting and analyzing data, and interpreting and reporting results.
- Discuss and formulate opinions on the many situations that working scientists encounter involving professional ethics and conflicts of interest.
- Receive training in laws, regulation, permits and licenses, occupational health, safety standards and best practices, will demonstrate understanding of such and adhere to compliance.
Doebley, John (chair); Gasch, Audrey; Ikeda, Aki; Laughon, Al; Masson, Patrick; Payseur, Bret; Pelegri, Francisco; Perna, Nicole; Prolla, Tom; Schwartz, David; Skop, Ahna; Wassarman, David; Yin, Jerry
Chang, Qiang; Hittinger, Chris; Pool, John
Loewe, Laurence; Zhong, Xuehua