Pathway to the Genetics and Genomics Doctorate Program

The Department of Human Genetics is pleased to announce the Pathway to Genetics and Genomics Doctorate Program for eligible Human Genetics M.S. students.

The purpose of the Pathway to Genetics and Genomics Doctorate Program is to provide outstanding students in the Human Genetics Master’s program with an opportunity to transition to the Genetics and Genomics Ph.D. program.  Human Genetics M.S. students accepted into the Pathway to Doctorate Program would be eligible for a more direct application process to the Ph.D. program and a shortened timeline to candidacy. 

HG M.S. students who are accepted into the Pathway to Genetics and Genomics Doctorate Program would be eligible for the following:

  • Waive the application fee to Rackham Graduate School
  • Apply directly to the Genetics and Genomics Ph.D. program
  • Eligible students can be considered for a position on the Genetics Training Grant upon acceptance into the Ph.D. program
  • Matriculate into the Ph.D. program having completed the majority of required coursework
  • Begin Ph.D. training in August prior to the first semester of Year 1 and elect to complete up to two 4-week research rotations in Human Genetics labs
  • Begin thesis research during the first semester of Year 1 in the Ph.D. program; support will be provided by thesis mentor
  • Potentially advance to candidacy after the first semester of Year 1 in the Ph.D. program
    • Checkpoint 1, Preliminary Exam:  Completed at the end of Spring/Summer, prior to Year 1
    • Checkpoint 2, Course completion and formal evaluation by Ph.D. Program Committee:  Completed at the end of Fall semester, Year 1


Human Genetics M.S. students who meet the following criteria, in addition to the Rackham Graduate School application requirements, would be eligible to apply for the Pathway to HG Doctorate Program:

  • Superior academic performance in Human Genetics graduate courses, including HUMGEN541, HUMGEN542, HUMGEN544, HUMGEN821/822, HUMGEN803 and BIOINF525 (or equivalent course)
  • Selection of the Research Track Master’s degree and evidence of progress toward research goals
  • Letter of support from HG faculty research mentor

Application Process:

Students currently enrolled in the Human Genetics M.S. program can submit an application to the Pathway to Doctorate program.  Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their interest in transitioning to the Ph.D. program with their research mentor, Director of the M.S. program and Department of Human Genetics Associate Chair of Education prior to submitting an application.

Applicants to the Pathway program should submit the following documents directly to Molly Martin (

  • University of Michigan transcripts
  • Research Statement:  Please write a description of your research interests and accomplishments, your motivation for pursuing a Ph.D. in Genetics and Genomics and your career goals (up to 2 single-spaced pages).
  • Letter of support from your current research mentor 

The Pathway to Doctorate applications will be evaluated by the Chair of the Department of Human Genetics, Associate Chair of Education, Director of the HG Master’s program, and Genetics and Genomics Ph.D. admissions committee and may also involve consultation with course instructors.  It should be noted that the review process is highly selective and admission to the Pathway program is not guaranteed to all HG M.S. students who apply.

Pathway to Doctorate application deadline is April 1st, 2021.