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Genetics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program

The general goals of the Ph.D. Program in Genetics are:
  • To educate a diverse a group of outstanding students in Genetics by providing them with in-depth training through coursework and laboratory experience.
  • To train students to work effectively in their discipline and subdiscipline. Graduates should be able to design and conduct original research; evaluate existing scientific data and scientific literature; collect, organize, and interpret scientific data; and communicate the results of their work in oral and written forms at the level consistent with their degree.
  • To ensure a high quality of dissertation researchand good research productivity by considering published manuscripts
  • To assure that students complete required work for the degree as quickly as possible with a target goal of five years.
  • To place graduates in professional positions that will make use of their training in Genetics.
Expected Learning Outcomes: 
Objective:  To recruit a diverse group of outstanding students.
Toward this goal, the Program seeks to recruit an incoming doctoral class of at least two new students each year, with an average GPA better than 3.5 and GRE scores greater than 500 for verbal and 650 for quantitative scores. Our goal is to matriculate an average of 50% female and greater than 15% minority students.
Measures: Number and diversity of applicants that matriculate.
GPA & GRE scores of applicants, those accepted, and those who matriculate.
Outcomes: Of the PhD students admitted since 2004, the GRE/GPA averages were 565 verbal, 685 quantitative and 4.6 analytical writing. The average undergraduate GPA was 3.55.
Of the current students, 44% are female and 6% URM students.

Knowledge of Subject Matter and Quality of Research
Objective:   To provide students with high-quality, broad training in Genetics through courses and laboratory experience.
Measures: Student and peer evaluations of Genetics courses.
Course grades earned by students in required courses.
Performance of students on written and oral comprehensive examinations.
Evaluation of the dissertation and defense.
Outcomes:     Core courses and instructors are assessed through a formal student and peer evaluation process. Core course grades must be 3.0 or better. Comprehensive exams are monitored by a senior committee member to ensure fairness and rigor of the exam questions. Since 2004 all but one student taking their comprehensive exams have passed and continued on to successfully defend their dissertation research.
Program Completion
Objective:  To award Ph.D. degrees with an average time-to-degree of five years.
Measures: Number of years required for students to complete the Ph.D. degree.
Percentage of students completing the Ph.D. degree.
Percentage of students leaving the Program before completing a degree.
Outcomes: Time to completion: 2000-2010: 6.27; last 3 graduates (2009-2011): 5.0
Students completing the Ph.D. degree: 2004-2010: 3
Number of students leaving the program prematurely with a M.S. degree: 3
Number of students leaving the program prematurely without a degree: 1
Quality of Dissertation Research/Productivity
Objective:  Students should/must publish at least one significant peer-reviewed article as first author that is based on their dissertation research.
Measure:    Number of peer-reviewed research publications published or in press at the time of the defense.
Number of reviews published or in press at the time of the defense.
Total number of publications published on work done as part of the dissertation.
Ability of students to obtain pre-doctoral fellowships/grants.
Outcomes: GIDP students continue to be highly productive with respect to presenting at national meetings, publishing in peer reviewed journals, and their ability to obtain pre-doctoral grants from NSF, NIH or other institutions.
Placement and Subsequent Success
Objective 1:  Graduates must be able to find positions that build on, or use their knowledge of Genetics and related fields. These positions include:
a) postdoctoral research positions in academics, industry, or government
b) specialized training positions in medicine, law or business that require or prefer knowledge of Genetics.
c) faculty research/teaching positions at colleges or universities
d) research and science management positions in private or public sectors

Measures: Placement record of Ph.D. graduates.
For graduates who stay in academics, number of graduates that obtain their own postdoctoral fellowship grants and number of graduates that ultimately obtain research/teaching positions at universities and colleges.
For graduates who stay outside academics, number of graduates that obtain science-related positions.
Objective 2:   To offer a Ph.D. program that meets the changing needs of Genetics Ph.D. graduates.
Measure:    Surveys of graduate students and past graduates
Outcomes: Overall, the GIDP meets this objective
Quality of Research and Productivity
Objective:      Demonstrate the ability to design experiments, generate and analyze data, interpret results, formulate hypotheses, and publish research findings based on dissertation work in peer-reviewed journals.
Measure:       Submission of at least one publication in a peer reviewed journal, attendance at national and international conferences, fellowship applications for funding from internal and external funding sources.
Outcome:       Published research article(s), research poster and symposia presentations and awarded funding.
Teaching Experience
Objective:      Prepare students to teach at the university level in basic science departments and continue their careers as research scientists in either academia or industry
Measure:       Students are required to spend at least one semester as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in a UA course. Number of students in teaching assistant positions and number of students who teach at the junior college level.
Outcome:       Current and former students teach biology and on-line courses at local community college.
Responsible Conduct of Research
Objective:      Understand ethical and professional responsibility and integrity in research as required by the National Institutes of Health.
Measure:       Completion and performance in responsible conduct of research class, number of meetings with faculty and students where ethical issues are discussed.
Outcome:       Students completing responsible conduct of research receive a letter grade for the course and are to register their participation with the RCR office at the University. Ethics and integrity are addressed at laboratory meetings.
Program Completion
Objective:      Complete PhD in Genetics.
Measure:       Number of years required for all students to complete PhD, number of students who complete the program, number of students who do not complete PhD.
Outcome:       The average time to degree for Genetics PhD students is 4.80 years. 67 students have completed their PhD.  Since 2004, we have had 5 students leave the program. Three of these students were awarded Terminal Master's degrees.
Placement and Success
Objective:      Placement of Genetics Ph.D. graduates in productive professional careers
Measure:       Number of graduates who enter into a postdoctoral training programs, number of graduates who acquire positions in academic, industrial, or government and number of students who continue in genetics-related positions.
Outcome:       Graduates of the program continue their careers in academia, the pharmaceutical industry medicine and government.
Expected Learning Outcomes from Courses
Objective:      Recent Advances in Genetics (GENE 670). Lectures and discussion will focus on seminal findings in the field and classic fundamental research papers in Genetics.
Students will:
 -   Demonstrate skill in data analysis and interpretation through proposal writing and oral presentations
-       Students will be able to organize and orally present a research seminar, give a thoughtful critique, and give/receive constructive feedback.
Measure:  Student performance in class, monitor demonstration of general knowledge in preliminary exams and final defense.
-       Improvement in presentation skills, monitor feedback from fellow students, course coordinator and designated faculty.
Outcome: Students will have a depth and breadth of advanced topics in Genetics.
Each student presenting their research seminar will receive written evaluation as feedback from their fellow students and an individual personal evaluation from a Genetics faculty member.
Objective: Laboratory Research Rotations (GENE 795A) - Students will complete 3-4 laboratory rotations, assess opportunities for conducting mentored laboratory research.
Measures: Number of students that find a suitable laboratory for conducting their dissertation research, the number of students who do not find a laboratory. 
Outcome:  Students will identify a laboratory and continue their research with funding provided by the selected laboratory. All students in the program must identify a laboratory for their research to continue in the program. Since 2004 there have been no students who left the program due to inability to find a laboratory and faculty mentor. 
Updated date: Thu, 09/29/2011 - 11:16