May 30, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog


Chris Toomajian, Director of graduate studies

4024 Throckmorton Hall
Fax: 785-532-5692

Genetics is an interdepartmental graduate program with faculty participants from many academic departments of the University.

Program overview

The Genetics Graduate Program is sponsored by several departments to offer specialized education in genetics to students in multidisciplines. Graduate work leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Genetics is administered by the faculty of participating departments. These departments are Agronomy; Animal Science and Industry; Biochemistry; Entomology; Horticulture, Forestry, and Recreation Resources; Plant Pathology; Veterinary Medicine; and the Division of Biology. The genetics program consists of 35 graduate faculty members and about 20 graduate students, in addition to visiting scientists, and postdoctoral fellows. All faculty members direct active research projects, and there is a high degree of interaction and cooperation among researchers in various areas of genetics.

Graduate students are expected to start research in their first year and will receive individual attention and guidance. The objective is to produce graduates with a broad training in genetics, who are able to conduct independent research programs that are creative and productive. The curriculum is broad, including plant, animal, physiological, molecular, microbial, fungal, yeast, population, quantitative and behavioral genetics, as well as cytogenetics, genetic engineering, and biotechnology in general. Students are expected to specialize in one of four areas of genetics for their advanced study: Molecular Cellular and Developmental Genetics; Genetics of Plant-Microbe Interactions; Arthropod Genetics; or Quantitative Genetics.

Original research is a requirement for study in the Genetics Graduate Program. The small size of the research labs, typically three to six students per lab, makes for close interaction within the group. Students are also encouraged to interact with other faculty and students in the program and in the member departments.


Incoming students generally have degrees in some area of biology. However, the overwhelming considerations are an intensive interest in genetics, and minimum prerequisites for admission into our programs. Application procedures require:

  1. A completed application form
  2. A statement of professional goals and objectives
  3. Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  4. Three letters of recommendation

Additional Graduate School regulations apply to applicants from outside of the United States. Foreign students are expected to have a TOEFL score of 600 or better; the GRE is desired but not required. Outof- state tuition is waived for students who are awarded graduate research or teaching assistantships.

Students who consider pursuing graduate careers at Kansas State University are encouraged to visit the university in order to meet with members of faculty and with other students and to form their own impression of the general atmosphere and of the many research possibilities. If that is not possible, students are encouraged to browse the research programs of specific Genetics Faculty ( Research programs that interest prospective students should be listed when applying for admission to the program.