GAP Policies and Procedures

  • Student Policies
  • Genetics Bylaws

Student Policies

Laboratory rotations for first-year students

First-year students entering the Genetics Program and supported on transportable funds (teaching assistantships, Genetics or Life Sciences Program Fellowships, etc.) are required to complete three eight-week rotations. Students beginning Aug. 15 end their rotations on approximately Oct. 15, Dec. 1 and Feb. 15. These students should choose an adviser by Feb. 15.

Students may petition the director of graduate studies (in writing) to waive one rotation. Students supported by a specific adviser's research grant funds are exempt from rotation requirements.

Timelines for progress

Students will choose an adviser and establish their doctoral committee within seven months of enrolling in the PhD program. Students are expected to complete the qualifying process and submit a program of study by the end of the first year and take the comprehensive examination by the end of the second year.

Genetics students are expected to complete the doctoral degree within five years of enrollment in the MU PhD program. Students with four or more years of predoctoral studies in another area may not transfer into the program.

Time limits may be extended up to one year when a leave of absence has been approved by the director of graduate studies. Dual degree programs have different timelines.

Teaching Requirement

As part of the qualifying process, the student's committee, in collaboration with the appropriate department official, will designate a specific plan to satisfy the one-semester teaching requirement. Usually this will involve serving as a Teaching Assistant (in laboratory or recitation sections) in the home department of the research adviser. Preferably, the course should be in genetics or a genetics-related area, but any course relevant to the career development of the student is acceptable.

Seminar Presentations

Three presentations (which do not include research dissertation or oral defense presentations) are required prior to graduation. One presentation must be a full-length (50 minute) Genetics Seminar. The other two must be 15 minutes or greater, and at least one of these must be in a public, advertised forum (e.g., annual MU Research and Creative Activities Forum, departmental seminar, etc.). The second 15-minute oral presentation may be at a departmental/program research retreat, if it is included in an advance written announcement of the program. Alternatively, presentation of a poster (in person) at a national or international meeting can substitute for one of the last two oral presentations. The presentations you choose to meet this requirement must be approved by your Advisory Committee.

Annual reports to document progress

Annual reports are due June 15 from all graduate students using the online Graduate Student Progress System (GSPS) ( Advisers add comments to the students' forms using the GSPS. In July, students meet with the Graduate Admissions Committee to discuss their progress, and a committee response is entered into their files.

For more detailed information regarding student policies, please check with the Program Office or call 573-882-2816.

Bylaws of the Genetics Area Program

(as revised April, 1998)

The Genetics Area Program is designed to provide broad, individualized graduate training to prepare doctoral students for teaching and research careers in genetics. It is administered by an organization composed of geneticists active in teaching and research in various departments and divisions of the University of Missouri. The organization sets requirements for admissions and establishes standards for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Genetics. Members of the Area Program are expected to give full support to graduate student recruitment and advising, genetics seminars, the Stadler Genetics Symposium, and the selection and sponsoring of guest speakers.


  • A. Executive Committee
    • 1. The Executive Committee shall be composed of three members, to be elected annually by the membership in the sequence (1) Chair, (2) Secretary, (3) Chair of the Graduate Admissions Committee. The Executive Committee Chair shall serve as Director of Graduate Studies. Elections shall be conducted by nominations from the floor followed by a secret ballot. Incumbent members of the Executive Committee are eligible for re-election.
    • 2. In addition, the elected Executive Committee is empowered to appoint additional members to insure that all disciplines in the Genetics Area Faculty are represented on the Executive Committee.
    • 3. Duties
      • a. The Executive Committee shall assume its duties on June 1. It shall administer all matters pertaining to the Genetics Area Program except those technical administrative procedures which are handled through the appropriate channels of the home departments and divisions of the faculty members. It shall appoint committees as necessary to aid it in its work, and coordinate the activities of those committees.
      • b. The Secretary shall keep and distribute, as appropriate, the record and minutes of the meetings of the Executive Committee and the membership.
  • B. The Graduate Admissions Committee shall be composed of a Chair, who is also a member of the Executive Committee, and four additional members appointed by the Chair of the Executive Committee. The appointed members shall represent diverse academic units that contribute to the Genetics Area faculty. This committee shall make all decisions on the admission, transfer, evaluation, and continuation of graduate students in the Program.
  • C. A seminar Chair shall be appointed annually by the Executive Committee to organize the Genetics Faculty and Student Seminars.
  • D. The organizer of each Stadler Genetics Symposium shall be elected by the membership.


  • A. Eligibility
    • 1. All geneticists active in research and/or teaching in an area related to genetics in the University of Missouri are eligible for membership.
    • 2. When a member of the Genetics Area Faculty is appointed emeritus by the University of Missouri, that individual automatically becomes an emeritus member of the Genetics Area Program. The only difference between active and emeritus members is that the latter are not required to undergo triennial review.
  • B. Admission of new members
    • 1. Nomination may be made by a member of the Genetics Area Faculty or by the academic unit with which the candidate is affiliated. Nominations shall be made in the form of an application for membership in the Graduate Faculty and forwarded to the Chair of the Executive Committee.
    • 2. Nominations must be accompanied by evidence of effective teaching and/or recent independent research in the form of reprints or manuscripts accepted for publication in a referred scientific journal. The research must be beyond the candidate's doctoral dissertation research. In general, the equivalent of two recent (past two years) publications will be required. Candidates without the doctoral degree may be accepted on the basis of their individual qualifications.
    • 3. Election to membership shall be by secret ballot of the members following an open discussion of the candidate's qualifications. An affirmative vote of a majority of the members is required.
    • 4. Membership in the Genetics Area Program also requires membership in the Graduate Faculty. If the newly elected candidate has not previously been approved as a member of the Graduate Faculty, the Chair of the Executive Committee shall forward the application to the Graduate Dean certifying that the candidate has been approved by the Genetics Faculty.
    • 5. Elections for the purpose of accepting new members shall be held when necessary, normally coinciding with regularly scheduled business meetings.
  • C. Continuation of membership privileges
    • 1. Every three years, the Executive Committee shall conduct a review of all members to determine if continued membership is appropriate. It shall examine each member's contributions to the program through teaching, research , direction of graduate students, support of the genetics seminars and the Stadler Genetics Symposium, and other relevant services.
    • 2. Following the review, the Executive Committee may, by majority vote, recommend to the membership that an individual's membership privileges be terminated. If contested, membership privileges shall be retained by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members obtained by secret ballot.


  • A. Meetings
    • 1. An annual meeting shall be held in April to elect the Executive Committee and the organizer of the Stadler Genetics Symposium.
    • 2. Additional meetings shall be scheduled and called as needed by the Chair, the Executive committee, or by a majority of the members. The agenda for such special meetings shall be sent to the membership at least one week in advance of the meeting.
  • B. Conduct of the meetings
    • 1. All meetings shall be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order, unless otherwise specified in these Bylaws.
    • 2. A quorum shall consist of one-half of the total membership who are on active duty on campus during that semester.
    • 3. A simple majority of members present and voting is sufficient for the passage of any motion except for modification of these Bylaws.
  • C. Amendment of the Bylaws
    • 1. Written notification of the proposed amendment shall be sent to the membership at least two weeks prior to the time at which the vote will be taken.
    • 2. Amendments shall require approval by two-thirds of the total membership.

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