Entry Requirements to declare the Major

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Students wishing to major in the Department of Genetics must have been enrolled at Rutgers for at least one semester.

In addition, students must:

  1. Be an SAS student
  2. Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00, and a GPA of at least 2.8 at the time of taking research for credit.
  3. Have earned a C or better in these courses (or equivalents):
    1. General Biology (119:115-116)
    2. General Biology Lab (119:117)
    3. General Chemistry (either 160:161-162 or 160:163-164)
    4. Mathematics (either 640:135-138, or 640:151-152, or 640:135 and 960:401 [Stats], or 640:151 and 960:401 [Stats])
  4. Students with an overall GPA < 3.0 must meet with the UGD before declaring the major.
    1. Genetics is a credit-intensive major and has a requirement of a 2.80 GPA at the time of taking research for credit
    2. Students entering the major with a GPA of < 3.0 may struggle to complete the major on time
  5. Attend a Genetics Major Declaration Meeting

A grade of "C" or better in courses credited toward the major is required for graduation, and each course may be repeated only once to replace D/F grades.

Genetics Major Declaration Meeting

 Attending our Majors Declaration Meeting is also a prerequisite for the major. The meeting will cover the requirements and expectations of a Genetics Major. All students are required to attend this meeting before being approved for the major.

IMPORTANT: The next live Declaration Meeting has been postponed. Please fill out the Meeting registration form below AND email us at to let us know you want to declare Genetics as your major. We will then send you a link to an asynchronous meeting with instructions to record your attendance.

To declare the Major:

Students in SAS should do this electronically at: https://secure.sas.rutgers.edu/apps/mymajor/.

No one will be approved for the major until they have completed the Declaration Meeting Registration and attend the meeting. If extenuating circumstances prevent you from attending one of these two sessions, you will need to make alternate arrangements. Please email the Vice Chair Dr. Gary Heiman  AFTER you submit your meeting registration indicating that you are unable to attend.

Please note that students may not major in more than one of the four programs of study offered by the Division of Life Sciences. In addition, students may not declare a major in both Genetics and Biotechnology (SEBS), or Genetics and Microbiology (SEBS). See the the Major/Minor Restrictions webpage for prohibited major/minor combinations. Please contact the Vice-Chair if you have any questions about a second major.

All communication with students conducted electronically must be through your Rutgers email address. No alternate email addresses may be used.

Advisors are assigned based on student last name and graduation year. For a list of advisors, click here.

Requirements for the Major

A. Life Science Core Courses (18 credits)

See Genetics Curriculum Worksheet for approved course numbers. Approved AP and Transfer credits may be substituted.

  • Organic Chemistry: Organic Chemistry I & II and Lab
  • Intro to Experimentation
  • Physics: General Physics I & II and Labs I & II

B. Genetics Core Courses (17 credits)

These courses are required for all Genetics Majors. All must be completed at Rutgers.

C. Independent Scholarship (minimum 6 credits) taken with a single Rutgers University faculty advisor over at least two semesters (except for the Genetic Counseling Rotation, which is performed under more than one advisor)

All must be completed at Rutgers.

  • C.1. Research courses:
    • Research in Genetics 447:406-407
    • Honors in Genetics 447:408-409
    • Research in Genetics - Writing intensive 447:410 
  • C.2. Other courses:  
    • Genetic Counseling Rotation 447:488 (reserved for Genetic Counseling Certificate Students)
    • Advanced Independent Study in Genetics 447:489-490

D. Genetics Electives (minimum 6 credits)

All must be completed at Rutgers.

E. Additional courses from Genetics Electives, Independent Scholarship, or Lab courses (6 credits minimum)

All must be completed at Rutgers.

  • These may be chosen from approved Genetics Electives (D), Independent Scholarship (C), or Lab Courses (B.2).
  • Honors students must complete at least 12 credits of Independent Scholarship (total 12: 6 from C.1 and 6 from E).

See the Student Handbook for examples of pathways through the Genetics Major.

Optional 1.5 Credit Course

Career Explorations in Arts and Sciences 01:960:210 Section 6, Medicine Bio, and Health. Learn about the ways that SAS majors build relevant skills for many jobs and have fun working with others to explore options.