Genetics (Ph.D.)

Genetics (Ph.D.)

Genetics graduate students.

Why pursue a Ph.D. in genetics at UNH?

The rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum of our genetics Ph.D. program will prepare you for leadership roles in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, academic and government research laboratories, and academia. You’ll engage in advanced coursework and research led by faculty from multiple departments and our Hubbard Center for Genome Studies. The program integrates disciplines including molecular and cellular biology, environmental and evolutionary genetics, and genomics in microbial, plant and animal systems. You’ll enjoy weekly graduate student seminar presentations, as well as a departmental seminar series of invited speakers. Our program also offers opportunities to gain teaching experience as a graduate teaching assistant.

Program highlights

We emphasize interdisciplinary research training, with opportunities in cutting-edge areas such as molecular and evolutionary genetics, genomics and bioinformatics. You’ll have access to state-of-the-art instrumentation, becoming familiar with our facilities through lab rotations early in the program. Research areas include genomics and bioinformatics, evolutionary genomics, microbial ecology and genomics, plant genomics, signal transduction pathways, biodiversity and molecular ecology, and cancer genetics.

Potential career areas

  • College or university faculty
  • Research director, biotechnology industry
  • Research director, pharmaceutical industry
  • Principle investigator, academia and government agencies

Contact

Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences
Rudman Hall
46 College Road
Durham, NH 03824
603-862-4095
mcbs.dept@unh.edu

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Curriculum & Requirements

The Ph.D. in Genetics is an interdisciplinary program made up of faculty from multiple departments and from the Hubbard Center for Genome Studies. The Genetics doctoral 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 leadership positions in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, academic and government research laboratories, and successful careers in teaching and research at the college and university level.


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 invited speakers
  • Opportunities to gain teaching experience as a Graduate Teaching Assistant

Research Opportunities

  • Genomics and bioinformatics
  • Evolutionary genomics
  • Epigenetics
  • Microbial ecology and genomics
  • Plant genomics
  • Signal transduction pathways
  • Biodiversity and molecular ecology
  • Molecular parasitology
  • Cancer genetics

Financial Support

  • Students admitted to the Ph.D. Program are typically supported by Research Assistantships or Teaching Assistantships
  • Intramural summer and academic year fellowships are available on a competitive basis.

Career Prospects

  • Research Directors in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries
  • Principle investigators in academic research labs and research institutes, or state and federal government agencies
  • Academic preparation for future teaching and research roles in a college or university environment

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
  • International applicants living outside the U.S.A. should first complete a free online application
  • Applicants from non-English speaking countries must provide Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement, including research interests and names of two or three potential Genetics faculty thesis advisors.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

The coordinator of the genetics graduate program, with the concurrence of the student's thesis adviser, nominates the student's guidance and doctoral committees, which administer the qualifying and final examinations, respectively. Doctoral students are expected to have a broad exposure to genetics courses, exceeding that required of master's degree students. Specific course requirements are developed by the student and the guidance committee. Each semester students must attend MCBS 997 Seminar and present one seminar per year. Upon completion of coursework, the student must pass written and oral qualifying examinations conducted by the guidance committee in order to advance to candidacy. Doctoral students must complete a dissertation on original research in genetics, give a public seminar, and orally defend their dissertation before the doctoral committee.

All MCBS graduates will be able to:

  • Critically apply theories, methodologies, and knowledge to address fundamental questions in their primary area of study.
  • Pursue research of significance in the discipline (or an interdisciplinary or creative project). Students plan and conduct this research (or implement their project) under the guidance of an advisor, while developing intellectual independence that typifies true scholarship.
  • Demonstrate skills in oral and written communication sufficient to present and publish work in their field, and to prepare grant proposals.
  • Follow the principles of ethics in their field, and in academia.
  • Demonstrate, through service, the value of their discipline to the academy and community at large.
  • Demonstrate a mastery of skills and knowledge at a level required for college and university undergraduate teaching in their discipline and assessment of student learning.
  • Interact productively with individuals from diverse backgrounds in the roles of team members, leaders and mentors with integrity and professionalism.

Graduates of the Genetics Ph. D program will be able to:

  • Describe general concepts of genetics.
  • Demonstrate the ability to design, execute, and analyze research in their area of specialization within genetics.
  • Critically evaluate and form conclusions based on genetic or genomic data.

Deadlines

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: 1/15 (priority consideration) and 3/1 (final deadline)
  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: ME

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Transcripts

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts are required for any school you earned a degree from, attended for at least one year, or attended for 2 or more semesters. Exceptions to this rule may be approved at the discretion of the program you are applying to and the UNH Graduate School Admission’s office.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement that includes the following: 1) the reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives, 2) your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field, and 3) a review of MCBS graduate program faculty research descriptions and the identification by name of two or three potential mentors for your graduate studies.

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

Additional Department Requirements

Please note the GRE is no longer required.  No GRE score is needed to apply.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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