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The UCSD Genetics Training Program provides advanced courses, discussions and professional interactions for students already enrolled in a UCSD doctoral program. Students typically enter through the Biological Science, Biomedical Sciences, or Neurosciences PhD programs, each of which serves a diverse set of research interests. We also train students in appropriate areas of Bioengineering, Bioinformatics & Systems Biology or Public Health Epidemiology. Students from diverse backgrounds and students with disabilities are welcome in each of these entry programs and are encouraged to apply. Candidates who need assistance or accommodations in the application/interview process should contact the respective degree program or the UCSD Office for Students with Disabilities. As part of their graduate training, students from each entry program conduct laboratory rotations in a variety of laboratories, including laboratories headed by Genetics Training Program Faculty.

Students who join laboratories affiliated with the Genetics Training Program may be nominated for the Program by their faculty mentors based on academic merit, research performance, and the training relevance of the student's thesis research problem to the Genetics Training Program. Nominations and applications are invited from all Program Faculty and First Year Students in each of the major feeder programs through an email call letter shortly after the end of Spring quarter. All applications are reviewed by the Steering Committee, which also ranks eligible students for potential support from an institutional training grant from the National Institute for General Medical Sciences.

Selected students begin the training program in Fall of the second year of graduate study, after completion of the core requirements in their program of origin and after choosing a thesis research topic with an appropriate mentor. Students spend the majority (3 years) of their graduate school careers as Genetics trainees, resulting in strong identification with this program throughout their graduate studies. Genetics students also retain full affiliation with the degree program through which they were admitted, and elective coursework can be used to simultaneously satisfy requirements of both the program of origin and the Genetics Training Program.

For more information regarding admissions, training opportunities, and program requirements any of the degree entry programs, please follow the links above or search the program name from the main UCSD web site.


2017 Applications are due by 12:00 pm Wednesday, July 26. A call for applications was sent by email to training faculty, and to first year students who attended the advertised informational lunches. Any student entering the second year and working in genetics and genomics with a mentor among our program faculty is welcome to apply. Applications should include in single pdf:

1. Nomination letter from the proposed mentor. The letter should indicate that the PI supports the student participating in the program, has adequate resources for the student’s thesis research, and supports the student’s career goals. Please also note PI's past contributions or current commitments to the Genetics Training Program (teaching, standing committees, etc.) and outcomes of past GTP students, if any.  If the student contributes to the program’s diversity, please note as well. 1-2 pages max.

2. Student’s research plan. A brief description by the student of the what the dissertation work aims to accomplish and in broad strokes how it will be done. One page max.

3. Undergraduate and Graduate transcripts. Undergraduate transcripts should be available from the degree program through which the student entered, unofficial graduate transcripts from BLINK are fine for graduate marks at UCSD.

4. GRE scores. While these are being de-emphasized among criteria, we would still like to track them. A copy from the degree program is sufficient.

Students who plan to apply to the Genetics Training Program should generally take graduate level Genetics (BGGN223, BIOM252, or equivalent) during the first year. Applications will include a brief description of the proposed thesis research relevant to genetics or genomics, a nomination letter from the proposed mentor, and copies of undergraduate and first year graduate transcripts. The research proposal should emphasize the questions being asked and the general approach that will be used to address them. Nomination letters should indicate the mentor's level of support for both the student and the program and may highlight aspects of the student's qualifications, background, or abilities beyond grades or test scores that should be considered.

Faculty who wish to join the Genetics Training Program are encouraged to contact the program director. For review by the Steering Committee, faculty should submit an NIH Biosketch with Other Support information, a statement of research and a statement of teaching and service relevant to the Genetics Training Program. The Steering Committee will review new faculty affiliations at the same time they review Student Applications.