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Program Information

When are the deadlines? For guaranteed consideration, please submit your application by January 1st. We will continue looking through applications received until February 1 if there are openings available.

How many will you recruit? We will recruit 10 to 15 new students each fall, depending upon funding resources.

How do I decide on if you have faculty that would be best for me?  To decide if our lab-based graduate training program is the best for you, take a look at our faculty directory

What courses do I need to complete to graduate?   take a look at the graduate coursework required to complete your degree.

How long does it take to finish a degree? On average it takes 5.5 years to complete a Ph.D. and 2.5 years to complete an M.S. in our program.

If I email you my transcript and/or resume can you tell me if I will be admitted?  Unfortunately no, there are so many variables that the admission committees take into account that the only way to get an accurate answer is to send in your full application for review.  

What can I do with this degree? Here is a listing of where our alumni are employed

Stipend and Tuition

How much would I get paid? Assistantships begin at $9,450 per semester. Rotation Stipends are $9,450 per semester for about 9 months.

Do you cover tuition?  Students on assistantships receive a TUITION SCHOLARSHIP: 100% for Ph.D. and 50% for M.S. (assessed at in-state rates). Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA during graduate training to receive the tuition scholarship.

Do you cover textbooks and fee?  All Students are responsible for fees and text books.

Will I receive health insurance? Students on assistantships receive paid single health insurance

Do you recruit international students?  Yes

Do you have fellowships available?  Multiple year Fellowships available but competitively awarded-both domestic and international students eligible.


What is the required GRE?  We do not have minimum GRE scores. We appreciate scores around Verbal 155; quant 160; Analytical 4.0, but we do not restrict admission to these specific scores.

What about TOEFL's? We look for TOEFL scores around 600/250/100.

What about GPA's?  We appreciate GPAs around or better than 3.4. Students who apply and are admitted into the program whose undergraduate GPA is less than 3.0 will be admitted as restricted. This means that you would receive a stipend and health insurance, but NOT a tuition scholarship UNTIL you have completed 9 credits of graded graduate classroom coursework. An overall GPA of 3.0 is required during graduate training.

What is the University code for GRE/TOEFL? Iowa State University is 6306.

What does it mean to be a rotation student? 

Rotation students work in three different laboratories during the fall and spring semesters prior to deciding on a major professor and research project. The program will provide your assistantship, tuition, and health insurance during this period of time.   After a laboratory is selected, the faculty member will be responsible for your financial support.

Do you have a student visit weekend? 

2021 Open House was held virtually due to COVID - Yes - the 2020 Visit weekend will be determined during the late Fall semester but the 2019 Visit Weekend was February 14-16. Students arrived on Thursday, February 14, interview with faculty on Friday, February 15, and returned home on Saturday, February 16. On Friday, prospective students will meet one-on-one with a select group of faculty and join genetics and genomics graduate students for lunch. Prospective students will participate in group activities with other life science students being recruited that will include a panel, supper, social, and housing information for Ames. On Saturday morning, a tour of Ames and campus is possible, if your travel schedule allows.  The Spring 2020 schedule will be similar to the Spring 2019 student visit.  

Is the Genetics and Genomics program diverse? 

Yes, the Genetics Graduate Program is committed to recruiting a diverse student body that enriches the educational experience of our students and their ability to work within the larger scientific community, including students from different racial, ethnic, socio-economic and nationality backgrounds, gender and, sexual orientation.

Iowa State University is a diverse community of people of all genders, ages, cultures, races, religions, sexual orientations, socio-economic backgrounds and abilities. Iowa State celebrates and advances diversity by creating a safe place in which people can express themselves freely and share their unique talents. Diversity encompasses acceptance and respect by fostering an environment of inclusion that moves beyond simple tolerance to recognizing the richness in individual identities of people.