PhD Programs in Medical & Clinical Genetics

Discover some of the Ph.D. programs related to medical and clinical genetics. Get a comparison of common courses, time to completion, admissions requirements, and possible careers. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Medical and Clinical Genetics Ph.D. Degree Comparisons

While a Ph.D. specifically in medical and clinical genetics is uncommon, there are Ph.D. programs that require and/or allow students to take clinical genetics courses or focus their research and training on the topic. Common program titles may include a Ph.D. in Human Genetics, Ph.D. in Medical Genetics, or Ph.D. in Genetics and Genomics.

Ph.D. in Human Genetics

A doctoral degree program in human genetics can prepare individuals for a career in genetic research, in either an academic or industry setting, as well as a career in postsecondary teaching. While each school has a specific length of time for their program, a human genetics Ph.D. can typically take around four years to complete. Students may be required to complete laboratory time, pass a qualifying examination, conduct research, write and present a dissertation, and work as a teacher's assistant while acquiring their degree. Courses vary by school, but a few that are commonly required cover statistical genetics, human genetics, and genetic modeling. Students may be able to choose a discipline to specialize within this field too, such as molecular genetics or genetic counseling.

Ph.D. in Medical Genetics

Doctoral-level medical genetics programs also last around four years and typically require students to take courses from the school's medical department. A few courses that are commonly required in these programs can include advanced genetics, genome biology, and biostatistics. Depending on the school, students may be encouraged to participate in clinical internships or rotations, as well as complete teaching opportunities, to receive practical training. A doctoral degree program in medical genetics also requires laboratory time, a qualifying examination, research, and a dissertation, and it can prepare students for careers in research and academia. Students may be able to pursue a dual Ph.D./M.D. degree, depending on the school.

Ph.D. in Genetics and Genomics

Doctoral programs in genetics and genomics typically last five to six years and focus on teaching students how to conduct, analyze, and present biomedical research. Depending on the school, students may be able to specialize in more specific areas of genetics, such as microbial and viral genetics, population and evolutionary genetics, epigenomics, or developmental genetics, among other options. Commonly required courses can include biomedical sciences, presentation skills, and genetic ethics. Depending on the school, students may be required to work as a teaching assistant in addition to completing laboratory rotations, independent research, a qualifying examination, and a dissertation. As with other genetic doctoral programs, a Ph.D. in genetics and genomics can prepare students to pursue careers in scientific research and academia.

Degree Program Program Length Program Requirements Related Careers
Doctor of Philosophy in Human Genetics 4 years *Undergraduate degree
*Relevant math and science courses
*Medical Scientist
*Postsecondary Teacher
Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Genetics 4 years *Undergraduate degree
*Relevant math and science courses
*Medical Scientist
*Postsecondary Teacher
Doctor of Philosophy in Genetics and Genomics 5-6 years *Undergraduate degree
*Relevant math and science courses
*Medical Scientist
*Postsecondary Teacher

Medical and Clinical Genetics Ph.D. Admissions Requirements

Applicants to medical and clinical genetics doctoral programs need to have at least a bachelor's degree in a field that is relevant to the program, such as chemistry, biology, physics, or engineering. Those with other undergraduate degrees, such as those in psychology or humanities, or master's degrees in relevant areas may also be considered. It can depend on the school's individual requirements, but applicants without a relevant degree may be accepted if they have completed certain math and science courses or demonstrate competent knowledge through work experience. Doctoral-level genetics programs may also require transcripts, letters of recommendation, a curriculum vitae or resume, personal statement, and proof of relevant research experience. Some schools require GRE test scores as well, while others just encourage them.

Those interested in pursuing a Ph.D. program related to medical and clinical genetics have many options from which to choose, but they should first have earned a bachelor's degree, preferably in a relevant field. These doctoral degree programs typically consist of coursework, dissertations, and teaching assistantships, and they aim to prepare students for careers as medical scientists or postsecondary teachers.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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