Undergraduate Courses Offered

Genetics Undergraduate Courses

Courses may vary by semester or professor teaching availability. If you have questions, please contact the Genetics Undergraduate Director, Betty Gardner.

GN 301 Genetics in Human Affairs 3.

Appreciation and understanding of genetics in everyday life. A genetic perspective on normal human development, birth defects, birth control, cancer, organ transplants, intelligence, mental illness, and radiation and chemical exposure and issues raised by applications of recently developed genetic techniques such as in vitro fertilization, genetic engineering, and prenatal monitoring.

GN 311 Principles of Genetics 4.
Prerequisite: BIO 183 or ZO 160.

Basic concepts and principles of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genetics. Mendelian inheritance, polygenic inheritance, linkage and mapping, chromosome aberrations, population genetics, evolution, DNA structure and replication, gene expression, mutation, gene regulation, extranuclear inheritance, bacterial and viral genetics, and recombinant DNA technology.

GN 312 Elementary Genetics Laboratory 1.
Corequisite: GN 311.

Genetic experiments and demonstrations using a variety of bacterial, plant and animal organisms. Mendelian inheritance, linkage analysis, population genetics, cytogenetics, biochemical genetics, DNA isolation, electrophoresis, and Southern blotting.

GN 421 Molecular Genetics 3.
Prerequisite: C- or better in GN 311.

Biological macromolecules and their interactions, DNA topology, eukaryotic genome structure, chromatin and chromosome structure, transcription and transcription regulation, epigenetics, RNAi and RNA processing, recombinant DNA technology, genetic transformation and cloning of plants and animals. Bacteria, viruses, plants, animals, and fungi as genetic systems. Students cannot receive credit for both GN 421 and GN 521.

GN 423 Population, Quantitative and Evolutionary Genetics 3.
Prerequisite: GN 311 and (MA 131 or MA 141).

This course is an introduction to population, quantitative and evolutionary genetics. This course will acquaint students with basic population genetics models. The course will cover genetic variation; measures of genetic variation; basic and advanced topics of selection; ecological genetics; inbreeding; genetic drift and effective population size; mutation; neutral theory and coalescence; gene flow and population structure; linkage disequilibrium and recombination; quantitative genetics; heritability;’ quantitative trait loci; molecular population genetics and evolution.

GN 425 Advanced Genetics Laboratory 2.
Prerequisite: GN 312; Corequisite: GN 421.

This is a challenging advanced genetics laboratory designed to provide research and communication training and in-depth understanding of modern genetics through hands-on activities. Students will participate in a semester-long supervised research project in contemporary genetics using a model genetic organism and state-of-the-art techniques. The project will be directly related to research in the coordinating faculty member’s laboratory. The project will require literature review, hypothesis development, experimental design and execution, data analysis and presentation of results in written and oral form.

GN 427 Introductory Bioinformatics 3.
Prerequisite: GN 311 and (MA 131 or MA 141) with grades of C- or better.

This course is an introduction to bioinformatics for genetic and biological sciences. The course will provide a foundation in biological computing that includes command line interfaces, reformatting data, creating and editing graphics, automating analyses and database access, and scripting in biological programming languages used for bioinformatics such as Python, Perl, and R. Laptop required.

GN 434 Genes and Development 3.
Prerequisite: C- or better in GN 311.

Overview of pivotal experiments in embryology and developmental genetics; genes and genetic pathways that control development in animal model systems and humans; focus on the application of molecular genetic approaches to the study of genes and development; reading and discussion of primary scientific literature.Cannot receive credit for both GN 434 and BIO 361.

GN 441 Human and Biomedical Genetics 3.
Prerequisite: C- or better in GN 421.

This course is an in-depth study of human and biomedical genetics and the role of genetics in human health and disease. The course will acquaint students with contemporary knowledge of genetics in disease causation and susceptibility, the use of model organisms to inform human biology and contemporary topics in human genetics research like epigenetics, therapeutic cloning, gene therapy, the role of genetics in response to drugs and predictive medicine. Credit cannot be given for both 441 and 541.

GN 451 Genome Science 3.
Prerequisite: C- or better in GN 311.

Genomic approaches with a foundation in classical and molecular genetics, including both historical strategies used in early major genome projects, and cutting-edge contemporary methods for genomics and systems biology; the sequencing, assembly, and annotation of genomes and transcriptomes; use of genomic methods to tackle problems in epigenetics, metagenomics, and proteomics; application to a wide variety of species and biological questions, including evolution and human health; reading, discussion, and presentation of current scientific literature.

GN 456 Epigenetics, Development, and Disease 3.
Prerequisite: B or better in GN 311.

Scientists are just beginning to fully appreciate how our genes and the environment interact to influence human development and disease. The emerging field of epigenetics offers new insights into these complex connections. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression and phenotypes caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Topics may include imprinting, mechanisms driving epigenetic modifications, how environmental exposures may influence your grandchildren’s health, why identical twins exhibit differences in behavior or disease susceptibility, and epigenetic and environmental bases of diverse diseases. We will also discuss experimental strategies for studying epigenetics.JR standing.

GN 461 Advanced Bioinformatics 3.
Prerequisite: GN 427 and ST 311 with grades of C- or better.

This course provides in-depth experience in applying bioinformatic computing techniques to experimental data with a focus on the genetic and biological sciences. The course will provide experience in genome sequence analysis and assembly, extracting, manipulating and visualizing genetic and molecular data, analysis of macromolecular sequences, and generating and visualizing phylogenetic date. Laptop required.

GN 490 Genetics Colloquium 1.
Prerequisite: GN 421.

This course will involve a critical study of research in genetics. Students will evaluate primary research publication on prepared topics assigned by the instructor, with emphasis on review of recent and current research.

GN 496 Genetics Research Experience 3.
Minimum of sophomore standing. Limited to Genetics Majors and Genetics Minors. Students must submit required signed course contract prior to registration.

GN 496 provides an opportunity for students to gain real-world experience by conducting independent research in a genetics research program. A minimum of 135 hours must be completed for the three hours credit. The experience must be arranged by the student and approved by the Director of the Undergraduate Genetics Program in advance of beginning the work. To gain approval, students must submit the completed GN 496 Contract, signed by their GN 496 supervisor (Research Mentor) and by their academic advisor. The student is required to write a research paper evaluating the results of their project. In addition to the work described in the contract, students will complete a series of reflective written assignments during and at the end of their GN 496 experience.

GN 497 Genetics Teaching Experience 3.
Minimum of sophomore standing. Limited to Genetics Majors and Genetics Minors. Students must submit required signed course contract prior to registration.

GN 497 provides an opportunity for students to gain experience in an aspect of genetics education research and/or developing, implementing, and evaluating the effectiveness of materials for use in the genetics classroom. A minimum of 135 hours must be completed for the three hours credit. The experience must be arranged by the student and approved by the Director of the Undergraduate Genetics Program in advance of beginning the work. To gain approval, students must submit the completed GN 497 Contract, signed by their GN 497 Teaching Mentor and by their academic advisor. The student is required to write a scientific paper evaluating the results of their project. In addition to the work described in the contract, students will complete a series of reflective written assignments during and at the end of their GN 497 experience.

GN 521 Molecular Genetics 3.
Prerequisite: GN 311.

Biological macromolecules and their interactions, DNA topology, eukaryotic genome structure, chromatin and chromosome structure, transcription and transcription regulation, epigenetics, RNAi and RNA processing, recombinant DNA technology, genetic transformation and cloning of plants and animals. Bacteria, viruses, plants, animals, and fungi as genetic systems. Students cannot receive credit for both GN 421 and GN 521‘);”>GN 521.

GN 541 Human and Biomedical Genetics 3.

This course is an in-depth study of human and biomedical genetics and the role of genetics in human health and disease. The course will acquaint students with contemporary knowledge of genetics in disease causation and susceptibility, the use of model organisms to inform human biology and contemporary topics in human genetics research like epigenetics, therapeutic cloning, gene therapy, the role of genetics in response to drugs and predictive medicine. Credit cannot be given for both 441 and 541.