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Degree Requirements

word cloud genetics

Genetics Major

The B.S. in Genetics requires a minimum of 120 credits. This page provides information on the Genetics degree requirements, double majors, double degree and courses required for a Genetics minor.

Degree requirements can be found in the catalog here as well as at the bottom of this page. Quick links to pdf copies of the degree requirements and 4-year plans are offered below.

Files:

Genetics Requirements 2022-23

Genetics 4-year plan LAS 2022-23

Genetics 4-year plan AGLS/CALS 2022-23

 

Double Major

  • Students earn a B.S. degree with a double major when all of the course requirements for two separate majors have been met.
  • For a double major including Genetics all of the required courses in Genetics and Life Sciences, Supporting Sciences, and Mathematics must be completed (see the B.S. degree requirements from the links on the right for specification of these courses).
  • One of the two majors is designated as "primary". An advisor is assigned for each of the two majors. Registration access numbers (RAN) are provided to the student each semester by the advisor for the primary major.
  • If the two majors are in different colleges, then the Communications and General Education Elective requirements are set by the college of the primary major. It is not necessary to complete the general education requirements from both colleges.
  • To declare a double major, students meet with their adviser to complete the curriculum change form.
  • Double majors in Genetics and Biology are not allowed.

 

Double Degree

  • Students earn two separate Bachelor's degrees when all of the course requirements for two different majors and the general education requirements of the Colleges of those majors have been met and at least 30 credits more than the total number required for the major with the highest credit requirement have been completed.
  • This means that for a double degree including Genetics, at least 150 total credits must be completed. This compares to 120 total credits needed for the Genetics degree by itself.
  • To declare a double degree, students meet with their adviser to complete the curriculum change form.
  • Double degrees in Genetics and Biology are not allowed.

 

Minor in Genetics

  • A minor in Genetics may be earned by completing Gen 313, Gen 313L, Biol 314, Gen 409, Gen 410, and a minimum of 2 additional credits in Genetics at the 300-level or above. Please note you cannot take both GEN 313 and GEN/AGRON 320. Only one course is allowed.
  • At least 9 credits from this list of courses must count only towards the minor, and not be used for any other major, college, or university requirement.
  • To declare a minor, students meet with their adviser to complete the curriculum change form.

 

Degree Requirements:

Numbers in parentheses in the following tables indicate course credits, with 1 cr. equivalent to one hour per week in class for a full semester. Generally 3 hours of laboratory work are equivalent to 1 credit.  The B.S. in Genetics requires a minimum of 120 cr. Courses are available in both fall and spring unless otherwise noted, and some are also available during the summer term. 

Requirements vary by catalog year.  Year of entry generally determines the catalog year although students may elect to move to a newer (but not older) catalog than their year of entry.  Requirements for the Genetics major did not change between 2010 and 2015.  Starting with the 2016-17 catalog, an additional requirement for a course in the bioinformatics/computational biology area was added.

2016-17 (and later) catalogs: Students are on the catalog of the year of entry to Iowa State but can choose to switch to a newer catalog. The requirements for the 2016 through 2020 catalogs are identical.  However, Math 181, Math 182, and Stat 401 are no longer available.  If already taken, they can be used. Students should take Math 160 or 165 as their first calculus class and choose either Math 166 or Stat 301 to fulfill the third course. To avoid confusion, only the checklist and sample four-year plans for 2020-21 are shown here. Use these for any catalog 2016 or later.

Genetics and Other Life Sciences

GEN 110 (1) or GEN 112 (0.5) Genetics Orientation (fall only) or GEN 112 (spring only)
BIOL 211 (3) /211L (1) Principles of Biology I with laboratory
BIOL 212 (3) /212L (1) Principles of Biology II with laboratory
3-4 credits Environmental Awareness Required only for majors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (see list of courses under elective choices)
GEN 313 (3) /313L (1) Principles of Genetics with laboratory
BIOL 314 (3) Molecular Cell Biology
BIOL 315 (3) Biological Evolution
MICRO 302 (3) Biology of Microorganisms
GEN 322 (3) or GEN 349 (3) or BCBIO 402 (3)

Introduction to Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (fall), The Genome Perspective in Biology (spring), Fundamentals of Systems Biology and Network Science (spring)

(One of these courses is only required for 2016 and newer catalogs)

GEN 409 (3) Molecular Genetics (fall)
GEN 410 (3) Analytical Genetics (spring)
GEN 462 (3) or EEOB 561 (3) or EEOB 563 (3) Evolutionary Genetics (fall), Evolutionary and Ecological Genomics (alternate spring), or Molecular Phylogenetics (alternate spring)
GEN 491 (1) Undergraduate Seminar (fall or spring)
Advanced Biological Science Electives (6) 6 credits from list of department approved courses in Genetics and related disciplines

Mathematics and Statistics

STAT 101 (3) or STAT 104 (3) Principles of Statistics, or Introduction to Statistics
MATH 160 (4) or MATH 165 (4)  Survey of Calculus, or Calculus I, or Calculus and Mathematical Modeling for the Life Sciences I (*no longer offered)
MATH 166 (4) or STAT 301 (4)  166- Calculus II, or 181* Calculus and Mathematical Modeling for the Life Sciences II (*no longer offered), or 301-Intermediate Statistical Concepts and Methods, or 401*-Statistical Methods for Research Workers (*no longer offered)

Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics

CHEM 177 (4) /177L (1) General Chemistry I with laboratory
CHEM 178 (3) /178L (1) General Chemistry II with laboratory
CHEM 331 (3) /331L (1) Organic Chemistry I with laboratory
CHEM 332 (3 )/332L (1) Organic Chemistry II with laboratory
BBMB 404 (3) or BBMB 420 (3) Biochemistry I, or Physiological Chemistry
BBMB 405 (3) or CHEM 211 (2) /211L (2) or CHEM 325 (3) or BBMB 411 (3) Biochemistry II, Quantitative and Environmental Analysis with laboratory, or Chemical Thermodynamics, or Techniques in Biochemical Research. If BBMB 420 is used for the first semester of biochemistry, then BBMB 405 cannot be used as the second semester.
PHYS 131X & PHYS 131L (5) or PHYS 231X & PHYS 231L (5) General Physics I, or Introduction to Classical Physics I. General physics does not require a previous calculus course whereas classical physics is calculus-based.
PHYS 132X & PHYS 132L (5) or PHYS 232 & PHYS 232L (5) General Physics II, or Introduction to Classical Physics II. General physics does not require a previous calculus course whereas classical physics is calculus-based.

University Requirements

ENGL 150 (3) Critical Thinking and Communication
ENGL 250 (3) Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Communication Minimum C. Students may go directly to ENGL 250 without first taking ENGL 150 if they have an ACT E score of 24 or higher or an equivalent SAT score. After completing ENGL 250 with a C or better, students receive credit for ENGL 150.
LIB 160 (1) Library Instruction
International Perspectives (3) One course in this area from a university approved list is required. This course can count simultaneously for both the university requirement in International Perspectives and a college requirement in the humanities or social sciences area.
U. S. Diversity (3) One course in this area from a university approved list is required. This course can count simultaneously for both the university requirement in International Perspectives and a college requirement in the humanities or social sciences area.

Requirements for majors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

SPCM 212 (3) or AGEDS 311 (3) Fundamentals of Public Speaking, or Presentation Strategies
Ethics (3) One course from a college approved list is required.
Social Sciences (3) One course from a college approved list is required.
Arts and Humanities (3) One course from a college approved list is required.
Advanced English Writing (3) One upper level English course from a department approved list is required.

Requirements for majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

World Languages (0-8) This requirement is met by three or more years of the same foreign language in high school or by completion of a World Languages 102-level course.
Social Sciences (9) Three courses from the college approved list are required.
Arts and Humanities (12) Four courses from a college approved list are required.
Advanced English Writing (3) One upper level English course from a department approved list is required.