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College of Agricultural and Life Sciences


Requirements for the Major

1420 Genetics/Biotechnology Center, 425-G Henry Mall, Madison, WI 53706-1580; 608-262-1069; www.genetics.wisc.edu

Professors Culbertson (chair), Anderson, Baum, Carroll, Colley, Doebley, Engels, Ganetzky, Hoffmann, Jahn, Kimble, Krakauer, Kung, Laughon, Masson, Pelegri, Prolla, Schwartz, Sondel, Vierstra, Yin, Yu; Associate Professors Gasch, Ikeda, Kennedy, Payseur, Perna, Skop, Sun; Assistant Professors Chang, Hittinger, Loewe, O'Connor-Giles, Pool

This department offers an undergraduate major under the Bachelor of Science degree program. Students completing the major are certified for the Bachelor of Science degree. The basic requirements of this curriculum include:  two years of chemistry, one year of physics, one year of general biology and Genetics 466 or two years of Biocore, one semester of calculus, biostatistics and introductory bacteriology. The major requirements include: advanced genetics, introductory biochemistry, a laboratory experience and 12 credits of genetics and genetics-related courses chosen from an approved list.

Genetics is a bachelor's program for students seeking a broad knowledge of heredity in relation to animal and plant breeding, and for students preparing for teaching and research in genetics. A B.S. degree with a major in genetics prepares students for many jobs in the growing biotechnology industry. Some of these jobs are in research and technical support, technical writing, quality control, assay development, and sales or marketing.

Many graduates continue their education by pursuing an advanced degree. Genetics students are competitive for admission to medical schools, veterinary schools, and graduate schools throughout the country. Graduate students may elect a Ph.D. program to prepare for careers in research, academia, and industry. Others may elect an M.S. program for a career in genetic counseling.

Because of the diversity and quantity of research activity on the Madison campus, the discipline of genetics provides an extraordinary number and range of opportunities for undergraduate majors to gain experience in research, a virtual prerequisite for admission to the top graduate programs in the biological sciences and for entry level positions in the biotechnology industry.

Requirements for the Major

Required Courses

L Sc Com 100 is recommended to fulfill the Communication Part A requirement, and
L Sc Com 212 is recommended to fulfill the Communication Part B requirement.

Mathematics and Statistics (8–9 cr)

This major requires calculus.  Prerequisites may need to be taken before enrollment in calculus.  Refer to the Course Guide for information about calculus prerequisites.

Math 221, or Math 171 and 217
Stat 371 or 571 or BMI 541

Chemistry (13–17 cr)

Chem 103 and 104, or Chem 109
Chem 343 and 344 and 345

Physics (10 cr)

One of the following sets:
(a) Physics 201 and 202
(b) Physics 207 and 208 *

Biology (10 cr)

One of the following sets:
(a) Biocore 301 (381, effective spring 2014 ) and 303 (383, effective spring 2014) and two of the following labs: Biocore 302, 304, 324 (382, 384, 486; effective spring 2014)*
(b) Biology/Botany/Zoology 151 and 152*
(c) Botany 130 and Zoology 101 and 102
[catalog update 8/23/13]

Core Biology Requirements (11–14 cr)

One of the following sets:
(a) Genetics 466 and Microbio 303 and 304
(b) Biocore 323 (485, effective spring 2014) and 333 (587, effective spring 2014)*
*If the Biocore sequence was taken to fulfill the Biology requirement (Biocore 301 [381] and 302 [382] and 303[383] and 304 [384], then Biocore 323 [485] and 333 [587] must be taken. [catalog update 8/23/13]
Biochem 501 or 507** or Bmolchem 503
**If Biochem 507 is taken, it must be taken as a part of Biochem 507 & 508, which counts in Subset 2 of electives.
2 credits required from: Genetics 545, 299***, 699***, 681, 682, 399
***Consult with your advisor if genetics-related research will be performed in a department other than Genetics.

Electives (12 cr)

12 credits required with 5 credits minimum from each subset:

Subset 1
Agronomy/Botany/Hort 339
Biochem 550
Genetics 545, 561, 562, 565, 607, 612, 629, 645, 655, 677*
Genetics/Hort 550
Microbio 470
*May choose among Genome Science, Genomic/Proteomic Analysis, Developmental Genetics and/or Population Genetics

Subset 2
Agronomy 338, 340
Agronomy/Botany/Hort 555
Agronomy/Hort 501, 502
Biochem 508, 620
BMI 576
Bmolchem 504
Botany 563
Botany/Zoology 410
Dy Sci 361, 362, 363
Hort/Path Bio 500
Microbio 528, 545, 550, 622, 632, 640
M M & I 460, 529
Pl Path 505
Zoology 360, 425, 470, 555, 570, 572
A biological science course as approved by advisor* (must have significant genetics component)
*Follow instructions on SPAC form

Capstone (3 cr)

Choose one.
(a) Genetics 566—offered in spring semester
(b) Genetics 677 (Genomic/Proteomic Analysis)—offered in spring semester
(c) Genetics 699 or Genetics 681 and Research Seminar* (must be taken concurrently; offered in fall semester)
*Consult advisor for exact course number