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BEST colleges for GENETICS

monkeygirlmonkeygirl Posts: 109Registered User Junior Member
edited January 2010 in College Search & Selection
I'm interested in majoring in genetics but i wanna kno which colleges are considered the best when it comes to genetics...i heard it was Dartmouth but i would like to hear from more people
Post edited by monkeygirl on

Replies to: BEST colleges for GENETICS

  • marie03marie03 Posts: 363Registered User Junior Member
    anybody? I would love to know too.
  • Angry DadAngry Dad Posts: 373Registered User Member
    A couple of lists are here.

    There are a lot of good Biology programs out there, though, and I think the conventional wisdom around here is that there's no need to get too specific about your area of study when choosing a college.
  • Undclrd StdntUndclrd Stdnt Posts: 272Registered User Junior Member
    I asked that same question to several people in the know, including college biology professors, genetics researchers and college administrators. They tended to state that many universities have done away with many of their overspecialized life science degrees such as Genetics and Zoology, because it is very important to get a strong broad base in the life sciences as an undergraduate, before moving on to the specifics. In any B.A. or B.S. in Biology or Biological Sciences, you will get a huge dose of Genetics. Plus, in most programs, you are able to fill the plate partially with Biology department electives. You can choose a majority of these closer to the Genetics or Molecular Biology area.
  • belevittbelevitt Posts: 2,005Registered User Senior Member
    This is really the right resource to look at for the biomedical sciences. It assesses and ranks departments at specific schools by the productivity of the faculty (publications are the currency of science)
    Chronicle Facts & Figures: Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index

    You might not be surprised to find that in genetics, the best schools are places like Harvard, Stanford, UCSF etc. They will have the largest facultys in this area and the best labs.

    Every biological science major has similar prerequisite courses including general chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, biochemistry, biology, physics, genetics, microbiology and on and on. These form an important basis for the rest of your career and your advanced coursework.

    I am surprised to hear from undclrd stdnt that some schools have done away with genetics but what he might be referring to is that some schools (Duke among others) have shifted their departments such that molecular genetics is grouped with Microbiology and classical genetics remains a stand alone department while Molecular biology picks up regenerative biology.

    You would be well served by finding out about the research being conducted at the schools you are considering and seeing what strengths (in the way of cores, research institutes, cross disciplinary projects) the schools have and judge how well they might mesh with your interests. Also, check out what advanced coursework is offered in Genetics because that too will differ between schools.

    Best of luck.
  • JasonHoyaJasonHoya Posts: 477Registered User Member
    that list is actually for Universities offering PhD degrees in Genetics. Undclrd is right in that many if not most schools (unless you're looking at schools with VERY strong science/technology/engineering focuses) do not offer specific majors in things like Genetics, but instead tend to offer a general biology degree or, less frequently, a Molecular Biology degree. Stanford has a PhD in genetics, but does not have an undergrad program in Genetics. Dartmouth doesn't have a Genetics major either, though I think you can do a concentration in Genetics in the Biology program. Duke also doesn't have a Genetics undergrad major, but a Biology degree with various concentrations available, including Genetics.

    So monkeygirl, if you're interested in Genetics, you'll need to search for General Biology or Molecular Biology degrees offering concentrations in Genetics. Also, i'd assume that programs in Molecular Biology would have great offerings related to genetics because molecular biology is all about gene expression, DNA, RNA, protein expression, etc, and thus has a basis in genetic principles. Most Biology programs will have courses in genetics and/or molecular genetics, maybe genomics/bioinformatics, population genetics, human genetics, etc. So don't limit your search to just stand-alone Genetics undergrad degrees.
  • belevittbelevitt Posts: 2,005Registered User Senior Member
    JasonHoya is correct. I actually hadn't noticed this until he mentioned it. It seems as though some schools no longer offer undergrad majors in a specific dept and just have concentrations through a more generalized dept like Biology or Zoology. I graduated from college several years ago and at least at the Univ of Wisconsin, all the depts had undergrad programs. The rest of my advice about advanced coursework, research interests, faculty productivity and research strengths will still hold true as the prestige of a field at a specific school is inherently bound up in who makes up the program.
  • JasonHoyaJasonHoya Posts: 477Registered User Member
    yup, definitely faculty productivity and research strengths/interests, since you might end up wanting to do research with a faculty member, independent research, work for a senior thesis, etc. Also look into the science facilities! You don't want to spend your days in an old falling apart building. For example Gtown's Nursing and Health Studies school has a very new (2-3 years old) molecular biology research lab for its Human Science faculty. Pretty awesome with all sorts of technology. On the other hand, Gtown's liberal arts College has very old but serviceable labs. Somewhat depressing (though they just started work on the new science center). So, look into the biology facilities!
  • NMCaseyNMCasey Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    I understand the points made above and doing research with interesting researchers on a specific project is ONE class or a thesis. Who is doing what and where? Can you please advise me as to who-which-researcher is doing what kind of research and where?

    We have to start reading published work to judge who is working on projects at which schools? There is no list or table of this kind in the internet ! ? I have looked.

    With the thousands of schools out there, my son is anxious to say the least of where his parents are going to send him. Now he is thinking to just go to the state U. where we live. I fear that school won't challenge him enough or prepare him for a really good graduate program.

    From reading these posts it would seem the "business" of universities is in the name and fame that the brand name has. Yale, Harvard, and Princeton and Stanford come to mind, but are these the best schools for BA in biology, since you can't major in genetics?

    Please advise.

    Thanks Casey
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Posts: 6,442Registered User Senior Member
    Gourman Report undergraduate genetics

    UC Davis
    U Wisconsin Madison
    U Illinois UC
    Ohio State
    U of Rochester
    U Minnesota
    U Georgia
    U Kansas
    Texas A&M
  • Sparkeye7Sparkeye7 Posts: 2,456Registered User Senior Member
    ^^^ Molecular Genetics @ TOSU + 1 ;)
  • VorpalsVorpals Posts: 115Registered User Junior Member
    Cornell has a Biological Sciences major with a concentration in Genetics.
  • worried_momworried_mom Posts: 2,205Registered User Senior Member
    Don't put too much weight on the rankings in the Gourman Report. Remember that it was last revised in 1997, so the data used for those rankings are at least 12 - 15 years old -- which is a lifetime in a fast-changing field like genetics.

    The Gourman Report
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Posts: 12,374Super Moderator Senior Member
    We have to start reading published work to judge who is working on projects at which schools? There is no list or table of this kind in the internet ! ? I have looked.
    Most universities have faculty biographies on their department webpages, so you can check out the kinds of research projects going on at a given university.

    For undergraduate work, it's more important to find a school with lots of research opportunities available, not necessarily to find a particular lab and attach oneself to a particular subfield. Doing research in, say, cell biology and earning a bachelor's in biology would still put your son in a great position to apply for a PhD in genetics.

    Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford are all excellent places to go for undergraduate molecular biology-type degrees. Many other excellent places also exist.
  • MomMEMomME Posts: 3Registered User New Member
    Gourman Report might be old, but several of those schools have solid, well-deserved, long-standing reputations for their excellent research in genetics. While it's true that genetics would normally be a subprogram within a biological sciences major (not a major itself), an undergrad at MIT, UW-Madison, or Cornell would be in the midst of some of the outstanding scientists in the field!
  • barronsbarrons Posts: 24,202Registered User Senior Member
    Wisconsin still offers one of the best genetics programs in the country. Large enough to have its own building.

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