Doctor of Philosophy in Genetics and Genomics


The Program in Genetics is the main interdisciplinary PhD program in the Natural Sciences at Texas A&M University and offers research opportunities in a diverse range of Specialties: Bioinformatics and Genomics; Conservation and Population Genetics; Medical Genetics; Microbial Genetics; Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Genetics; and Plant Genetics. Our goal is to provide research opportunities to aspiring scientist to become creative and resourceful, supporting their development of transferable skills and advancement to careers in academia, national laboratories, industry, science policy, entrepreneurship, and many more. Since the first graduate degree in Genetics was awarded in 1914 at Texas A&M University, more than 300 PhD and 200 MS degrees have been awarded in Genetics. The Interdisciplinary Faculty of Genetics, composed of 98 members representing 20 departments and 6 colleges, administers and teaches in the graduate program. 


Admission is based on undergraduate record (coursework, laboratory experience, and grades), letters of recommendation, resume and statement of purpose. Applicants whose native language is not English should plan to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants to the Genetics Program undergo a holistic evaluation by our Admissions committee. In addition to overall academic achievement (GPA), the committee considers factors including, but not limited to, the rigor and relevance of completed coursework (courses in Genetics, Genomics, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or similar areas are highly recommended), experience in laboratory research, scholarly outputs (presentations, publications), awards, leadership experience, faculty references, and scientific maturity. Applicants with unique experiences or circumstances are encouraged to describe those in their applications, as we are particularly interested in recruiting a diverse array of outstanding students. 

Curriculum and Graduation Timeline

In the fall of the first year, the students perform laboratory rotations and start their graduate courses. The laboratory rotations provide an opportunity to evaluate suitable laboratory environments for their graduate research. It is anticipated that most students have decided on a research laboratory by the start of the second semester. During the second and third semesters, students provide teaching assistance to Undergraduates in Genetics to gain teaching skills.  However, the main focus is on getting a research project started, with the assistance of the thesis advisor and three additional faculty, who form the thesis committee. This period is also the time when students will prepare for their preliminary examination, to be taken by fall of the third year. The third, fourth and fifth year are dedicated to continuing and completing the thesis project, presenting data at conferences and publishing the work, followed by the thesis defense. The PhD degree is awarded principally on demonstrated ability to conduct significant and original scientific research.

Our students are expected to present their research at national and international conferences and publish in established, high-impact peer-reviewed journals, and their teaching experience provides an additional valuable asset for future job opportunities. Our PhD graduates have been successful in obtaining faculty positions in top research universities, teaching colleges, as well as companies in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and agriculture.

Career Preparation

We prepare our students to succeed in the current interdisciplinary workforce by providing adequate education on modern and diverse scientific career opportunities in genetics. In addition to the strong scientific curriculum, our PhD students may choose to diversify through graduate certificate programs with an emphasis in teaching, business, science law and public policy. Our students can also experience the industry or science policy paths through external internships. Advice on diverse careers options is provided via a monthly Career Club. Recent visitors have represented areas including gene testing companies, national labs, medical science liaisons, pharmas, biotechs, angel investors, science communications, and life science consultancies. Career Club also provides training in areas such as job searching, networking, and other soft skills. To provide a community of scholars, the Genetics Graduate Student Association (GGSA) provides a social community with regular meetings, social events, and advocates for genetics training.

Steps to Fulfill a Doctoral Program