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Providing exceptional research opportunities in genetics — ranging from molecular, cellular, and biomedical genetics to computational analysis of molecular evolution, populations, and genomes — while promoting the academic and professional development of our students

Application Deadline:  January 15

Genetics is a remarkable field in which classical concepts combine with cutting edge approaches to reveal the mysteries of biology. These exciting developments are reflected in the Intercollege Graduate Program in Genetics.

Program overview

Four Genetics graduate students talk about the program and why they like it. Read the transcript.

  • Provides training opportunities with more than 100 faculty members. Laboratory rotations allow incoming students to work with several faculty members to assess multiple opportunities for doctoral thesis research and explore new areas within the diverse field of Genetics.
  • Trains graduates for rapidly expanding careers in Genetics: at academic institutions, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, private research institutes, and governmental research laboratories. Training in the Genetics Program encompasses the full spectrum from the molecular to the population level in a wide range of model systems.
  • Supports cutting edge research with well-equipped laboratories and facilities. These include a suite of specialized instrumentation and core research facilities providing excellent support for Genetics research. In addition, highly sophisticated hardware and software resources are available for research involving bioinformatics and computational methods.


The Genetics program is highly focused on student development through:

  • Exceptional research and training opportunities
  • A curriculum designed to impart depth and breadth in Genetics
  • A variety of professional development activities, including a student-organized annual research symposium featuring guest lectures by leading geneticists from around the world as well as presentation of research conducted by our own students and faculty.

These efforts support the primary goal of our program: to provide bright and talented young scholars with the opportunity and freedom to realize their great potential in the field of Genetics.

Faculty Spotlight
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
The Rolls Lab discovers a new neuron repair pathway that could one day help people suffering from nerve damage. Existence of new neuron repair pathway discovered - Full article
Scientists in the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State -- including Huck Institutes affiliates Christina Grozinger, Christopher Mullin, Katriona Shea, and Reka Albert -- received three grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation to study various threats to honey bees, including disease, pesticides and the extinction and invasion of other species into their habitats. Researchers receive $1.14 million to study threats to honey bees - Full article
DNA can already tell us the sex and ancestry of unknown individuals, but now an international team of researchers that includes Huck Institutes affiliate Mark Shriver is beginning to connect genetics with facial features, degrees of femininity and racial admixture. 3-D model links facial features and DNA - Full article
A new suite of tools in the Millennium Science Complex is helping scientists experience data like never before. Health researchers build bridges with Penn State’s new visualization wall - Full article
Three-dimensional imaging of two different mouse models of Apert Syndrome shows that cranial deformation begins before birth and continues, worsening with time – according to a team of researchers, including Huck Institutes affiliate Joan Richtsmeier, who studied mice to better understand and treat the disorder in humans. 3-D imaging sheds light on Apert Syndrome development - Full article