Frequently Asked Admissions Questions (FAQs)

What is the University of Michigan looking for in a successful candidate?

Our program is designed for students who wish to gain knowledge in human genetics and methods of inquiry about issues affecting human health and medicine.

What kinds of employment or educational opportunities will be available to me after I obtain the Master’s in Human Genetics?

The Master’s degree provides a knowledge base that will enhance your competitiveness for applications for (a) graduate degrees such as PhD, MD, or JD, (b) employment in academic research, industry, clinical diagnostics or (c) public service.

How long does the Human Genetics M.S. typically take to complete?

For full-time students, the degree requirements can be completed within a calendar year. However, part-time study is also available which would extend the length of training to include additional semesters of study.

Is there flexibility in the required curriculum?

Our curriculum is designed to offer individualization based on a student’s own interest and goals. There is flexibility with regards to the length of study, the elective coursework, and the laboratory in which research track students choose to conduct their thesis work.

Is the residency of an applicant considered in the admissions process?

No. We make no distinction in our admissions process between in-state, out-of-state, or international applicants.

Do you look at my combined GRE scores or certain sections? Are my MCAT scores acceptable instead of GRE scores?

We look at each of your GRE scores (verbal, analytical, and quantitative) separately. No one section is more important than another. If you feel your scores do not reflect your abilities or some circumstance affected your performance, please include an explanation in your application. The usefulness of GREs is in their universality – unlike GPAs and letters of recommendation, the GRE is one commonality between all of our applicants. MCAT scores are accepted but less desirable than GRE.

How are my transcripts evaluated?

Transcripts are examined to confirm that the prerequisite courses have been successfully completed. Specifically, this will include: 1) an upper level human genetics course (generally this means a 300-400 level course, even though the title may include the word ‘introduction’); 2) biochemistry (one semester is sufficient and each university will have different science prerequisites for enrollment in biochemistry); and 3) a general, introductory statistics course. In addition, we will be interested in the courses taken within your major and electives taken in other areas. If you are presently enrolled in a course that would qualify as a prerequisite and won’t therefore appear on your official transcript, be sure that this is brought to our attention. In short, we look at all years and all courses taken.

Whom should I ask to write letters of recommendation?

The three letters of recommendation should provide input from people in responsible positions who can comment on your academic, employment, or volunteer performance, character, and interests. For undergraduates this often means professors, academic advisors, or employers. Letters from people who really know you, rather than just from people who have impressive titles, are the most valuable.

What should I include in my academic statement of purpose?

Your academic statement of purpose should include information about your academic preparation for the Master’s program and any research experiences you may have had. Also, include a description of your career goals and discuss how the Human Genetics M.S. program can help you achieve those goals. If you are applying for the research track, please list the faculty you are most interested in working with for your thesis research and describe why their research program interests you. This is a platform for you to convey why you are a good fit for the program and vice versa.

What should I include in my personal statement?

The personal statement should include information about the factors that motivated you to pursue a Master’s degree in Human Genetics. If you have had any personal experiences or challenges that influenced your academic performance, professional development or career path you can describe them here. This statement provides an opportunity to describe your personal journey that led to the decision to pursue the M.S. degree and highlight what makes you unique from other applicants.

My GPA is below 3.0. Will this exclude me from acceptance?

Not necessarily. We look at each applicant’s transcript and total application to determine their suitability for acceptance. We take into account elements such as demonstrated improvement over the course of an undergraduate career, with particular focus on grades from prerequisite science courses. In addition, admission decisions will be based on the total package of GPA, GRE (MCAT, etc.) scores, research or other relevant experience, the statement of purpose and the personal statement and letters of recommendation.