Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Interdepartmental Degree Programs

Graduate Study
Genetics - Doctor of Philosophy

The interdepartmental Doctor of Philosophy degree program with a major in genetics is administered by the College of Natural Science. The objectives of the program are (1) to prepare the student for independent research and teaching, (2) to help the student to understand the nature and significance of genetics as a whole and to gain strength in related sciences, such as molecular biology and biochemistry, and (3) to enable the student to keep in the forefront of this continuously changing field.

Students may specialize in one area of genetics, but are required to familiarize themselves with all major areas of the discipline. Students may elect to complete the requirements for a second major, such as biochemistry, in addition to the requirements for the doctoral degree in genetics.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Natural Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.


For regular admission a student must have a bachelor's degree with a grade–point average of 3.30, appropriate background in the biological and physical sciences, and approval of the Genetics Program Admissions Committee. In special cases an applicant who fails to meet the grade–point average requirement, or who has deficiencies in background courses, i.e., organic chemistry, physics, calculus, or biology, may be admitted on a provisional basis. Applicants admitted on a provisional basis must remove these deficiencies within one year of admission to the genetics program.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Genetics

The program of study is planned by the student in consultation with the major professor and a guidance committee. Specific courses in genetics, as well as courses in other areas considered relevant to the student's interests and chosen research area, are included in the program. Students in the program will write and defend a research dissertation which shows original treatment of an important research problem. A detailed description of the genetics program and of the research interests of the genetics faculty may be obtained by writing the Director of the Genetics Program, Michigan State University, Plant Biology Laboratories, 612 Wilson Road, Room S–352, East Lansing, MI 48824.