Graduate Program


The NC State University Genetics Graduate Program was established in 1952 and is one of the longest-running genetics graduate programs in the USA. The graduate training faculty are a highly interactive group performing research in all aspects of genetics from molecules to populations. Our research encompasses behavioral genetics, biomedical genetics, computational genetics and bioinformatics, evolutionary, population and quantitative genetics, and molecular, cellular and developmental genetics. Our faculty utilizes a wide range of traditional and non-traditional model systems in their research. We consider graduate students to be professionals in training. The Program provides broad and comprehensive well-rounded professional training in genetics academia, research, and teaching experience. Students are intimately involved in program activities and have a strong voice in shaping the program. The Genetics Graduate Program also provides flexible academic pathways tailored to meet the background and career goals of the individual student.

The Genetics program is entering an exciting moment. We are in the process of finalizing a merger with the Functional Genomics program. Our two programs have a long history together and this merger will bring new and exciting opportunities in the years ahead. For the Fall 2024 admission cycle, applications for either Genetics or Functional Genomics will be considered for the new combined programs.

Want to visit NC State and the Genetics Program?

The Genetics Program invites top applicants to campus for recruitment events in the early spring. Candidates interested in visiting campus and the program prior to application should consider the Visit NC State Program, part of the North Carolina State University’s Graduate School’s commitment to enhancing the diversity of its graduate programs. The program is held in November each year and offers prospective graduate students, and particularly those interested in Ph.D. programs, an opportunity to visit our campus, at no cost, to learn more about current research of our faculty and graduate students, and to experience the quality of our graduate programs.

Learn more about this opportunity and apply for consideration at the link below!

Visit NC State Program


Graduate Program FAQs

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      • Application fee ($75 for domestic and US permanent residents, $85 for international)
      • One unofficial transcript from each previously attended college or university
      • Three recommendations, submitted via the online application
      • Personal Statement
      • Proof of English Proficiency (non-US citizen applicants only)

      • As of the Fall 2021 admission cycle, the Genetics Program is no longer requiring the GRE for MR, MS, or PhD applications. Applicants may provide their scores if they choose, but it is completely optional.

      • Masters of Genetics (MR), non-thesis
      • Masters of Science in Genetics (MS), thesis
      • Doctor of Philosophy in Genetics (PhD)
      • Graduate Minor in Genetics

      • The only Genetics graduate degree that can be completed part-time is the MR. The MS and the PhD require extensive time spent on coursework and research, resulting in a time commitment similar to a full-time job. Additionally, most of the core courses for all the degree paths are only given in the on-campus format and are not offered online.

      • Genetics graduate students are supported on Research and Teaching Assistantships (RA and TA). Specific pay varies depending on the assistantship, and students are paid bi-weekly.
      • The Graduate School also provides financial support through the GSSP. The Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP) is a competitive support package used to attract top students to NC State University. Graduate students that meet the requirements below are eligible to receive health insurance and tuition support (for a limited number of semesters).
        • Supported on a qualifying graduate assistantship (teaching or research) or fellowship of, at least, $666.67 per month.
        • Meet the minimum enrollment requirement – full-time – at all times.
        • Enrolled in an on-campus master’s or doctoral program. Distance Education and Graduate Certificate programs do not qualify for the Graduate Student Support Plan.

      • The Genetics Graduate Program only admits new students for the Fall semester.

      • Not all students need to identify a faculty mentor prior to applying, though some may choose to do so. See our Admissions page for more information on the different pathways into the Genetics Graduate Program.

        • Admitted students are not required to participate in any program activities prior to their first semester, but some students choose to do so. Options include:
          • Contacting faculty and starting lab rotations early
          • Participating in summer workshops or continuing education courses

        • The Genetics and Genomics (GG) Scholars umbrella program is built on the philosophy that the exploration of genes and genomes informs all fields of biology. The GG Scholars program is open to current and incoming PhD students. Incoming GG Scholars are able to explore a variety of life sciences graduate programs at NC State University during their first year, while current NC State PhD students have the opportunity to expand their training and research capabilities.
        • Learn more about the GG Scholars program at their website:

The BD Fellowship award supports 12 dedicated graduate students from domestic underrepresented minority backgrounds who are pursuing graduate studies in STEM programs at NC State University in the Colleges of Sciences and Engineering.

        • Quick Facts:
          • Stipend of $32,000 annually for first two years
          • Tuition, fees, and student health insurance waiver for first two years
          • Traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM (African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders) who are seeking to obtain a PhD are eligible to apply
        • More information and a link to the application can be found here: