General Information

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Genetics (PHD) 
Program Description

Currently students are admitted only to the PhD program. The MS degree in Genetics is granted occasionally under specific circumstances.

The purpose of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Genetics at The University of Arizona is to facilitate training and research in genetics, genomics and systems biology under an approach that encourages the integration of multiple disciplines. The Genetics GIDP contributes to the recruitment and training of next generation researchers. A goal is to integrate computational approaches (Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics and Engineering) and basic life sciences (Biology: Molecular, Cellular, Evolutionary, Genetics, Neuroscience, etc.). In addition to the traditionally trained biology student, the Genetics program seeks to recruit students with undergraduate degrees in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics and Engineering and train them in life sciences. This program transcends the barriers normally set by department affiliations and traditional disciplines.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs -

The Graduate College sponsors several Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs (GIDPs) in addition to the many interdisciplinary possibilities available through regular graduate degree programs. GIDPs transcend departmental boundaries by facilitating cutting edge teaching and research at the nexus of traditional disciplines. The high value placed on interdisciplinary research and education is indicative of The University of Arizona's enthusiasm and commitment to fostering innovation and creativity among its faculty and students.

Graduate College/GIDP  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Angela C Varas
Graduate Program Coordinator
Angela C Varas
Director of Graduate Studies
Melanie Culver
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Christina M Inocencio
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

The Graduate College application now includes a method to upload the required Statement of Purpose, electronic copies of all official transcripts, and 3 letters of recommendation. All required documents *must be* uploaded electronically; no paper copies will be accepted during the application process.

Standardized Tests

The following is a summary of all materials that should be prepared submitted online prior to the application deadline (December 1 for PhD) in order to complete your application:

  • Graduate College Application for Genetics: 
  • Scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Scanned copies of transcripts from each college or university attended
  • A Personal Statement (see below)
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation (follow the instruction on the Graduate College application)
  • International students must submit TOEFL scores 

It is recommended that you keep a hard-copy of all online forms, in case there are technical problems with online transmission.

If you are admitted, you will be required to submit 2 copies of your transcripts to:


Cora Varas-Nelson
Genetics GIDP
1548 E. Drachman St.
Tucson, AZ 85721-047
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 8572-0476

Problems submitting your application should be addressed to Cora Varas-Nelson, Program Coordinator, at (520) 626-1452.

Personal Statement:

Your personal statement should be between 1000-1500 words long, and might include a discussion of your long-range goals; your reasons for pursuing an advanced degree; your interest in our program; information on your prior research experience or teaching (if any); and topics in genetics that are of particular interest to you and that might serve as the focus of your graduate program.

Letters of recommendation

All applicants must submit three letters of recommendation. These letters should be current or former advisors or instructors, and may address your previous research or laboratory experience, your academic qualification, your scientific potential, and your motivation for graduate work.

Required test(s): GRE

Also, for International students:
Minimum TOEFL: 550
Minimum IELTS: 7

Financial Aid

The GIDP receives an allocation of state funds to support students, which is  used to support students during their first year of study, after ABBS rotations.  Additional support could be allocated to students depending of program funding for second, thrid or fourth years. Typically, the dissertation advisor becomes responsible for the financial support of the student after the first year, and the Genetics program supplements support in specific cases.  If students are not being supported by an institutional training grant or individual fellowship, they can also be supported by TA-ships or RA-ships.

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: December 1

International Applicants:

  • Fall: December 1
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 4832
NRC Taxon(a) for this program: Genetics and Genomics

Degree Specifics

Degree Requirements

Minumum credits: 63
Core coursework: Vary according to selected degree-granting program; see links to five participating life science graduate programs at <>;

Major: 36 units of coursework, combining units from the core curriculum and units from the student's specific area of interest (see below: typical curriculum).

Dissertation Units: At least 18 units of dissertation credit are taken after successful completion of the comprehensive examinations. Other units come from independent study and research credit.

Teaching Requirement: Students are required to teach for one semester in a course that complements their interests. Additional opportunities for teaching may also be available.

Seminars: In addition to the weekly GIDP Current Topics Seminar, students are required to attend seminars and journal clubs as determined in consultation with their mentor and mentoring committee.

Minor Requirements

Minor: At least 9 units are required by the minor department. Students may choose to minor in: Biochemistry, Molecular & Cellular Biology, Pharmacology, Psychology, Cell Biology & Anatomy, Genetics, Physiological Sciences, Speech & Hearing Sciences, or another related area.

Student Handbook
The Academic Unit has not provided this information.  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 20%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) 5.5
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 40%
Enrollment Percent Female 60%
Enrollment Percent International 10%
Enrollment Percent URM 10%

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Last revised 27 Oct 2014