Prerequistes and Courses Taken to complete M.S. and Ph.D. degrees



Undergraduate course preparation should include the following: one year of college-level physics, mathematics at least through calculus, at least one thorough course in basic transmission and molecular genetics, basic biology, chemistry through organic, an upper level biochemistry course, and an upper level statistics course.

Prerequisites that can be taken during the first year and a half of graduate training

All genetics and genomics graduate students are required to meet upper level undergraduate biochemistry and statistics course requirements during their first year and a half if they have not previously done so. Newly arriving students who believe they have met these requirements should obtain a course syllabus from their previous institution and email this to Carla ( before arrival at Iowa State.

Another option for meeting the biochemistry requirement is to try and test out of BBMB 404 the Thursday prior to classes starting in the fall. There is no cost for this option: see biochemistry syllabus and text book.

Students who have not met the requirements for upper level biochemistry and upper level statistic courses will take BBMB 404 and STAT 401 (Take Biological Sections, usually Section A or E if taken in-class) during the first year and a half of training.

  • BBMB 404: A general overview for graduate and advanced undergraduate students in agricultural, biological, chemical and nutritional sciences. Chemistry of amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids, vitamins; protein structure; enzymology; carbohydrate metabolism.
  • STAT 587 (formerly numbered 401): Methods of analyzing and interpreting experimental and survey data. Statistical concepts and models; estimation; hypothesis tests with continuous and discrete data; simple and multiple linear regression and correlation; introduction to analysis of variance and blocking. Section A and Section E are appropriate for GENET majors.

BBMB 404 is offered in-class during the fall semester and offered on-line every semester (extra charge for on-line classes).

STAT 587 (formerly numbered 401) is offered every semester both in-class and on-line (extra charge for on-line courses). The appropriate in-class section to take are sections appropriate for the Biological Sciences. Usually this is Section A or Section E for fall, Section A for Spring, Section B for Summer. If you take the course on-line, check to see if there is a section appropriate for the biological sciences, otherwise you may take whatever is offered on-line to meet this requirement.

Genetics and Genomics Curriculum Effective for Students admitted Summer 2014 or later

Doctor of Philosophy

All Ph.D. candidates take a core curriculum comprising one course each from the following four categories and attend seminars, workshops, and approved activites as described. The program requires grades for core courses be "B" or better. If the grade is less than a "B", the course must be re-taken.

  • I. Transmission Genetics (GDCB 510)
  • II. Molecular Genetics (GDCB 511)
  • III. Genomics, Bioinformatics and Statistical Genetics
    • AnSci 556, BCB 544, Stat 416 (to be renumbered 581), Stat 516, BCB 567, BCB 568, BCB 569, BCB 570, EEOB 561, COM S 549, COM S 550, COM S 551, GDCB 576X, and EEOB/BCB 546X
  • IV. Evolution, Population and Quantitative Genetics
    • EEOB 540X, AnSci/Agron 561, EEOB 562, EEOB 563, EEOB 566, EEOB 567, GDCB 536

Required Support Courses. STAT 587 (formerly numbered 401), BBMB 404. (see above in "Prerequisites that can be taken during....). Grades for these courses can be as low as "C". Graduate students are required to maintain an overall 3.0 ("B") GPA. Your overall GPA must be 3.0 or better to receive your tuition scholarship.

Students will also take the following seminars:

  • Student Research Seminar (GENET 690), taken three times, offered fall and spring
  • Faculty Research Seminar (GENET 691), taken two times, offered fall
  • Workshop in Genetics (GENET 591), taken two times, offered fall
  • Conceptual Foundations of Genetics (GENET 692), taken one time, offered fall
  • Responsible Research Conduct (GRST 565), must have a B or better in this course, offered fall and spring, take the first year in the program
  • GENET 539 Issues in Bioethics, offered each spring.

A total of 72 credits is required for a Ph.D. Students will take additional courses of interest, research credits (GENET 699) and courses as directed by their committee members. Research rotation credits (GENET 697) may also be used towards this total.

Master of Science

M.S. students take the above core courses, seminars, workshops, and activities, but are required to participate in only one Workshops in Genetics (GENET 591) and in only one student research seminar (GENET 690). 32 credits are required for an M.S. degree in Genetics and Genomics. Students will take additional courses of interest, research credits (GENET 699) and courses as directed by their committee members.

Minor in Genetics and Genomics

Students minoring in genetics and genomics at the Ph.D. level must meet the following requirements: completion of three of the four categories of required core lecture courses listed above with a grade of "B" or better. One semester of seminar in genetics (GENET 690 or 691 or 692) is recommended. One member of the student's Program of Study committee must be an Interdepartmental Genetics and Genomics faculty member.

Catalog Course Descriptions

A typical First Year of Coursework may look like the following:


  • GDCB 510 (3 credits)
  • BBMB 404 (in class or on-line), or STAT 587(formerly 401) (Section A or E in class or if offered on-line), or a course from Core Groups III and IV
  • GENET 692 (1 credit)
  • GENET 691 (1 credit)
  • Research, GENET 699 or GENET 697 (register for enough to bring your total coursework to 12 credits)


  • GDCB 511 (3 credits)
  • BBMB 404 (on-line), STAT 587 (formerly 401) (Section A in class or on-line), or a course from Core Groups III and IV
  • GRST 565 (1 credit)
  • GENET 539 (2 credits)
  • Research, GENET 699 or GENET 697 (register for enough to bring your total coursework to 12 credits)


  • BBMB 404 (on-line), or STAT 587 (formerly numbered 401) (Section for Biological and Physical Sciences both for in class or on-line), or 1 credit of research GENET 699 with your major professor or 1 credit of research rotations GENET 697 if you are participating in rotations during the summer session.
  • If you register for more than 1 credits during the summer, you must clear this with your major professor
  • Summer tuition charges are charged per credit hour between 1 and 5 credits so the fewer the number of credits you take the less in tuition charges. Five or more credits are the same charge.