Genetics M.S.

Genetics graduate students.
Genetics M.S.

Program Overview

The M.S. in Genetics is an interdisciplinary program made up of faculty from multiple departments and from the Hubbard Center for Genome Studies. The Genetics Program integrates disciplines ranging from molecular and cellular biology to environmental and evolutionary genetics and genomics in microbial, plant, and animal systems. Graduates of the program are equipped for successful careers in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, academic and government research laboratories, and prepared for doctoral programs, medical school, and health-related professional programs.

Distinctive Features of the Program

  • Outstanding research training in many cutting-edge research areas in molecular and evolutionary genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics
  • Emphasis on interdisciplinary research training
  • Well-equipped research laboratories and core facilities on the UNH campus
  • Laboratory rotations upon entry to the program to become familiar with different research laboratories
  • Weekly graduate student seminar presentations, as well as a departmental seminar series of outside speakers
  • Opportunities to gain teaching experiences as a Graduate Teaching Assistant
  • Accelerated M.S. program available to UNH students enrolled in the B.S. program in Genetics

Research Opportunities

  • Genomics and bioinformatics
  • Evolutionary genomics
  • Microbial ecology
  • Plant genomics
  • Biodiversity and molecular ecology
  • Cancer genetics
  • Transcriptional and translational regulation

Financial Support

  • Students admitted to the M.S. Program are typically supported by Research Assistantships or Teaching Assistantships
  • Internal summer and academic year fellowships are available to students on a competitive basis.
  • Teaching Assistantships are not available for students enrolled in the Accelerated M.S. program

Career Prospects

  • Research scientists in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries
  • Lab managers in academic research labs and research institutes, state and federal government agencies
  • Academic preparation for doctoral programs and professional health programs (e.g., medical school)

Admission Requirements

  • Completion of foundational courses in biology, chemistry (including organic chemistry), physics, and mathematics
    • Otherwise well-qualified applicants can correct academic deficiencies with enrollment in appropriate courses or independent study during the first year of graduate studies
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (taken within the past five years)
  • Applicants from non-English speaking countries must provide Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores
  • International applicants living outside the U.S.A. should first complete a free online application
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement, including research interests and two or three potential Biochemistry faculty thesis advisors.


Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences
Rudman Hall
46 College Road
Durham, NH 03824

Curriculum & Requirements

M.S. Degree Requirements

The coursework for the Master of Science degree is formulated with input from the student's guidance committee. Students admitted to the M.S. program are required to conduct a research project under the guidance of a faculty adviser, write and submit a thesis based on this research, and pass an oral examination covering graduate courses and thesis.

Students must take a minimum of 30 credits, including at least three genetics courses (minimum of 10 credits), preferably covering breadth in genetics, attend MCBS 997 Seminar each semester, present one seminar per year, and write and defend a 6­-10 credit thesis (MCBS 899 Master's Thesis) before their guidance committee.

5 Year Accelerated Master's Degree Requirements

  • Current junior standing in the B.S. in Genetics program at the time of application
  • GPA of 3.2 or greater
  • Thesis advisor identified who supports entry into the program
  • Three letters of recommendation (one of which is from the thesis advisor)
  • Personal statement of research interests and career aspirations
  • GRE is waived

This accelerated five-year program leading to a combined bachelor and master's degree in genetics is designed for highly motivated and qualified students seeking additional training to further their career goals as a researcher in the life sciences.

Admission to the combined degree program is highly competitive. Students wishing to pursue this option must have a grade point average greater than 3.2 at the time of application. A thesis advisor must be identified during the junior year, and the approval of the advisor must be obtained. Prior to the first semester of the senior year, the student must formally apply through the Graduate School and receive early admission to the Genetics Graduate Program. The requirement for the Graduate Record Examination is waived for combined degree applicants.

Thirty credits of graduate level (800-999) course work (including dual credit courses) must be completed.  All requirements for the M.S. degree (including taking three courses with a GEN designation) must be completed. Up to 12 credits taken during the senior year can be applied to both the B.S. and M.S. requirements (dual credit courses);  this designation is obtained at the time of registration.  Honors senior thesis (GEN 799H) or Honors Investigation (GEN 795H) courses cannot be counted towards the M.S. degree, although GEN 795 can be counted if the student is enrolled concurrently in MCBS 895.

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