Departmental Guidelines

  • Students are strongly encouraged to set up an appointment with a Departmental advisor before declaring a major.
  • To declare Genetics as a major, you must have an overall GPA and a science GPA of 2.0 or better. You must maintain a GPA of 2.00 to remain in the major. Please note that a GPA of 2.8 or higher is required to perform research, which is a mandatory requirement of the major.
  • All communications between the Department and students will be done electronically through your Rutgers email or the Department web page.
  • A permanent advisor will be assigned to each student after they have declared the Genetics Major.
  • Students may not double major within two biological sciences. This is the official policy of the Division of Life Sciences. In general students may also not major in Genetics and in a Biologically oriented program from SEBS (e.g., biotechnology). Please contact the Vice Chair if you have any questions about a second major.
  • Calculus 135-136 or Calculus 151-152 are both acceptable for the major. Basic Statistics for Research (960:401) can be substituted for the second semester of Calculus.

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. Cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 (note that a GPA of 2.80 is required to do research, which is a mandatory requirement of the major)
  3. Must 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])

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.

To declare the Major:

Students in SAS should do this electronically at:

No one will be approved for the major until they have filled out the Genetics Major Information form. The form will be emailed to you once you have completed the prerequisites and declared the major on SAS MyMajor.

All communication with students will be conducted electronically, so you should make sure the Department knows your current email address. If you change your email or want to use an alternative email address (e.g., aol, yahoo, gmail), please notify This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Requirements for the Major

The Department offers a single major. All students in Genetics must take the course sequence of:

Successful completion of both Genetic Analysis I and Genetic Analysis II are required to fulfill the introductory Genetics requirement. Both courses may be used to fulfill the Genetics requirement for the biological sciences major (which would normally be fulfilled by Genetics 447:380).


In addition to Genetic Analysis I and II, all students are required to take three (3) additional courses:

  1. Molecular Biology & Biochemistry 
  2. Genetics Lab Course:
  3. Genetics Communication Course:


  • Both 447:315, 447:302, and 694:214 are only offered in the Spring semester.  694:215 is offered in the Fall semester.
  • 447:430-Effective Communication Skills in Genetics must be taken after completing one semester of research. 
  • Students doing an Honors thesis in genetics will take 447:414 and 447:415-Thesis Writing and Communication in Genetics instead of 447:430-Effective Communication Skills in Genetics.

Students must complete an additional 18 credits. All student are required to take a minimum of 6 credits of independent scholarship (Research - various courses) or Advanced Independent Study. This 6 credits of independent scholarship must be taken over two semesters with a single advisor. Students must also complete 6 credits of electives courses from the approved list. The remaining six credits may be either courses from the approved list of electives or additional research independent scholarship. For more information, see the The Research Approval Form under Student Forms.

There are obviously alternative ways through the Genetics major. One student might enter a research laboratory in her Junior year and complete 12 credits of research (3 per semester) for two years. This would be equivalent to the Department's old Option A. Another student might work with a faculty member during his Senior year to develop educational software for Genetics (6 credits of Advanced Independent study). This would be equivalent to the Department's old Option B. Another student might complete a year of research in their Junior year and then a year of Advanced Independent Study developing informational websites. Each student has a faculty advisor and can develop their individualized major.

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.