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To apply, please visit the University of Missouri Graduate Studies website.

Apply Online

The application deadline is January 15. Review of applications begins as early as December 1


Both U.S. residents and international applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. All accepted students will be required to submit the application fee.

Applying to the Genetics Area Program

Application Materials

A complete application consists of

Admissions Criteria

Applicants are expected to have the following:

  • bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher during the last two undergraduate years
  • a broad background in biology
  • research experience (highly desirable)
  • an introductory course in genetics and
  • one or more courses in each of the following:
    • organic chemistry
    • biochemistry
    • mathematics
    • physics
      • Deficiencies in these subjects can be remedied after admission.

Application Requests

  • Genetics Area program
  • University of Missouri
  • 22L Heinkel Building
  • Columbia, MO 65211-7400
  • (573)882-9007; 1-877-GENE-PHD (1-877-436-3743)

The University of Missouri Graduate School has some minimum requirements for GPA and English language scores.

Learn More

Want more information?

Contact us to learn more about admissions into the Genetics Area Program.

Robert Sanders

Academic advisor for Genetics Area Program


These requirements are effective for students entering GAP after June 1, 2000. Items VII and VIII affect students that entered the GAP in Fall 1999 and parts of items VII and VIII affect all GAP students immediately.

If you wish to nominate a course for inclusion in the GAP curriculum, please petition the GAP Executive Committee, 150c BLSC,

I. Prerequisites

These courses or their equivalents should either be on a student’s transcript or taken during the first year at MU.

  • General Genetics (Bio 2200)
  • Biochemistry (Biochem 4270)
  • Basic Statistics (Stat 1400)

II. Ethics

  • Bio 8060, Sec. 1. Ethical Conduct of Research. (winter)

III. Professional Survival Skills

  • Bio 8050, or equivalent. 2 credit hours

IV. Core Courses

Pick one from each of 2 areas. At least one course must be graduate level. You must receive a B or better for the course to count toward the GAP requirement. Courses not in italics may be used to fulfill GAP requirements but will not count toward the Graduate School’s requirement of 15 hours at the graduate level. Reaching the 15-hour requirement should not be a problem because courses under II, III, and VI all count.

Molecular Genetics
  • Bio Sci 4976, Molecular Biology
  • Chem 8085, Bioorganic Chemistry of Nucleic Acids
  • Microb 9430 or Biochm 9430; Molecular Biology I (fall)
  • Microb 9432 or Biochm 9432; Molecular Biology II (winter)
  • VPBio 8448, Molecular Methods in Nucleic Acids
Developmental Genetics
  • Bio Sci 8320, Developmental Genetics (fall, odd numbered years)
  • Bio Sci 9468, Mol. Biology of Plant Growth & Development (fall, even years)
  • Bio Sci 8350, Cell Biology
Population and Quantitative Genetics
  • Agron 7325, Field Crop Breeding
  • Agron 4330, Plant Breeding Theory
  • Agron 9425, Advanced Plant Breeding
  • Agron 9440, Applied Quant. & Statistical Genetics (winter, even years)
  • AnSci 7323, Applied Animal Genetics (winter)
  • AnSci 9423, Genetics of Populations
  • Bio 8700, Ecological Genetics (fall, even years)

V. Specialty courses

Pick any two. At least one course must be graduate level. You must receive a B or better for the course to apply the course toward the GAP requirement.

Genetics of Particular Organisms
  • Agron 7385, Cytogenetics
  • Biochm 7376, Computer Assisted Seq. Analysis & Molecular Modeling
  • Biochm 9460 (Bio Sci 9460), Cancer Biology
  • Bio Sc 4600, Evolution (fall and winter)
  • Bio Sc 4982, Human Inherited Diseases (winter)
  • Bio Sc 8300, Advanced Plant Genetics (winter, alternate years)
  • Bio Sc 8720, Speciation (fall, even years)
  • CS 7001, Bioinformatics
  • Microb 7404 Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Pl Pth 9540, Genetics of Plant-Microorganism Interaction
Evolutionary Genetics
  • Bio Sc 4600, Evolution
  • Bio Sc 8720, Speciation (fall semester, even years)
  • Bio Sc 8700, Ecological Genetics
  • Microb 7304 Immunology
  • Microb 9407 Advanced Immunology

VI. One elective approved by the student’s committee.

Any life science course, including genetics, or ancillary subjects, e.g., statistics, computer science, etc. The elective must be 3rd year-level or above (2nd year or above outside the life sciences), with at least 3 credit hours.

VII. GAP seminar

All students must be enrolled (and attend!) every semester unless excused by the Director of Graduate Studies.

One seminar must be given in this forum after the student’s second year at MU.

VIII. Student seminars

Students are required to present three research seminars (in addition to the defense presentation) during their MU tenure.

  • At least one of these must be given in the GAP seminar, after the student’s second year in the program (effective for students entering GAP in Fall 1999 or later).
  • Other acceptable presentations, subject to the approval of the student’s dissertation advisory committee;
  • One 15-minute talk or an in-person poster presentation at a national or international meeting;
  • One 15-minute or longer talk in a public, advertised forum.