What is Genetics and Genomics?

Genetics: Studies of genes and their roles in inheritance.

Genomics: Investigations of large sets of genes or gene products, up to and including the entire genome.

Genetics is a fundamental aspect of all biological processes and affects all facets of our lives. Understanding and analyzing the function and behavior of genes is critical to improving the quality of life for human beings and has far-reaching implications for our entire global ecosystem.

Traditionally viewed as a discipline within biological sciences, today the study of genetics and genomics is an interdisciplinary exercise that involves multiple fields, including computational sciences and information systems.

Female and male UAB students working cooperatively at a whiteboard.

It is also a rapidly advancing field in research and training. With the ever-increasing use of genetic tests, and of whole genome sequence information for disease diagnostics, there is a high demand for qualified and experienced genetics researchers and health-related professionals. The UAB Undergraduate Program in Genetics and Genomic Sciences (GGS) is designed to nurture a new generation of UAB undergraduates who will be ideally equipped to pursue and succeed in a career in academic or government research, medicine, biotechnology in industry, and other health-related sciences.

Why Study GGS at UAB?

Our central mission is to provide you with strong educational and research experiences that will help you achieve career goals in genetics and genomics-related health sciences and research. You will have the opportunity to develop skills in leadership, teaching, research, providing professional services, and scholarship.

GGS is one of only of a small group of undergraduate programs available at American universities and offers a rich environment of research, training, and education. The degree is offered in partnership between the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Genetics in the School of Medicine. Courses will be taught by experts across campus, offering you a remarkable opportunity to access high-level instruction as an undergraduate.

Currently there are over 100 UAB faculty members from more than 15 departments in six schools that participate in undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral training in areas related to genetics and genomics. The number of faculty will increase over the next five years with the establishment of the new UAB-HudsonAlpha Center for Genomic Medicine, UAB's Hugh Kaul Personalized Medicine Institute, and UAB Informatics Institute.

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Learn more about our faculty and our courses, and feel free to ask us questions about the program. We look forward to seeing you in class.