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Doctor of Philosophy in Human Genetics

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  • Course description
    The Department of Human and Molecular Genetics offers a comprehensive program in graduate study leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Human Genetics. The program includes the completion of an original research project under the supervision of a faculty adviser and a background/foundation of courses that prepare students for research-oriented careers in the rapidly expanding field of human genetics. Major areas of study available to Ph.D. students in the program include clinical and molecular cytogenetics, molecular genetics, developmental genetics, cancer genetics, behavior genetics, population and quantitative genetics, genetic epidemiology, clinical genetics, and genetic counseling. Once core course work requirements have been completed, the students course plan is tailored to meet individual needs with regard to the area of research focus. A track in genetic epidemiology is available for those planning a career in this area. For more detailed information on the program please visit www.gen.vcu.edu/phd.

    Curriculum
    Typical course plan for the full-time student:

    Fall 1
    BIOC/MICR 503 Biochemistry
    5
    BIOS/STAT 543 Biostatistics
    3
    HGEN 501/BIOL 530 Human Genetics
    3
    HGEN 605 Experimental Methods in Human Genetics*
    3
    HGEN 690 Genetics Research Seminar
    1
    HGEN 691 Special Topics in Genetics – Classic Papers in Human Genetics
    1
    Total
    16
     
     *For HGEN 605, the student and faculty member will design a project that can reasonably be completed in 12 weeks. The student will spend approximately 12 weeks in that lab for a minimum of eight hours/week. The student's performance in the laboratory will serve as the basis for the grade that is received for this course.  
    Spring 1
    BIOC/MICR 504 Biochemistry
    5
    HGEN 603 Introduction to Mathematical/Statistical Genetics
    3
    HGEN 605 Experimental Methods in Human Genetics*
    3
    HGEN 690 Genetics  Research Seminar
    1
    HGEN 691 Special Topics in Genetics – Clinical Genetics Overview
    1
    HGEN 691 Special Topics in Genetics – Journal Club
    1
    Elective
    3
    Total
    17
     
    Summer 1
    HGEN 600 Clinical Genetics (optional)
    3
    HGEN 697 Directed Research in Genetics (lab rotation)
    3
    Total
    3-6
     
    Fall 2
    HGEN 511 Human Cytogenetics or HGEN 614 Pathogenesis of Human Genetic Disease
    3
    HGEN 690 Genetics Research Seminar
    1
    HGEN 691 Special Topics in Genetics – Journal Club
    1
    HGEN 697 Directed Research in Genetics
    3
    MICR 510 Scientific Integrity
    1
    Electives
    6
    Total
    15
     
    Spring 2
    HGEN 697 Directed Research in Genetics
    9-15
    Elective
    0-6
    Total
    15
     
    Fifteen additional credit hours will be taken in HGEN 697 after the second spring semester.

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