UPGG Academics

A certificate and a PhD are available in this program.


The curriculum requirements for the Duke University Program in Genetics and Genomics are relatively flexible.


Students are required to take three full-semester courses—University Program in Genetics 778 (Genetic Approaches to the Solutions of Biological Problems) during fall of first and second years; University Program in Genetics 702 (Writing Grant Proposals) fall of second year—as well as two semesters of a literature-based genetics and genomic journal club class (University Program in Genetics 701), two seminar classes (University Program in Genetics 716, University Program in Genetics 750), one additional full-semester course with an emphasis in genetics, and two mini-courses selected from a variety of offerings.

By the end of the second year, students should have completed 24 graded course credits. Courses for first year students are chosen in consultation with the director of graduate studies and a first year advisory committee. Courses are available and encouraged for students past the first year of study, and decisions about additional coursework are made in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor and committee to complement the requirements of the student’s own research interests.

Additional Activities

In addition to courses, students participate in other educational activities. These include an annual student organized retreat and a biweekly student research seminar series (University Program in Genetics and Genomics 716). Students organize the distinguished lecturer series with advice from a faculty committee member, and students host the dinners with the distinguished speakers. Although a teaching experience (TA) is not required, interested students have the opportunity to develop teaching skills as an assistant for one semester. Finally, students complete a preliminary examination typically during the second year of graduate school and form their thesis committee. Students admitted to the University Program in Genetics and Genomics obtain a PhD by working with faculty of the interdepartmental University Program in Genetics and Genomics.