Dept. Code:  HGG


The graduate program in Human Genetics and Genomics is part of the University-wide interdisciplinary training program that involves faculty from the basic science and clinical departments of the University of Miami. This program aims to train scientists broadly in areas of human genetics and genomics relevant to human health and disease.  Modern medicine is increasingly dependent on “genomic literacy” among practitioners and patients, and training the scientists who will work in genomics is an important mission of our program.  Individuals earning PhD degrees in human genetics will have various career options, including clinical laboratory (after fellowship training and board certification, for which existing programs are available at the University of Miami), research laboratory, or computational research in academia, healthcare, and the biotechnology industry.

During the first year PIBS curriculum, students will have the opportunity to take two introductory short courses: Variation and Disease and Family Studies and Genetic Analysis. Rotations through faculty laboratories provide students with hands-on experience in various research areas. The rotations also provide the student the background necessary to select their dissertation advisor and area research.

During the second year the curriculum focuses on core coursework in molecular and computational genetics, biostatistics, and seminars and journal clubs. During the second and third years of study, students formulate and defend a dissertation proposal.

During the third year, students choose to pursue one of two tracks within the program: molecular genetics or computational genetics. Course requirements differ slightly between these two paths: students in the molecular genetics track will take Advanced Topics in Molecular Genetics while the Computational Genetics track students take Fundamentals of Genetic Epidemiology and Medical Biostatistics II. All students participate in a one-credit clinical rotation during their third or fourth years, and complete a teaching practicum.



All students are admitted through the Program in Biomedical Sciences (PIBS) for the PhD programs in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology, Human Genetics & Genomics, Microbiology & Immunology, Molecular Cell & Developmental Biology, Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology, Neuroscience, and Physiology & Biophysics. The PIBS Admissions Committee will review and make decisions on applications after December 15th.

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in a biological or related discipline (e.g., psychology, chemistry, engineering, physics). Although there are no absolute prerequisites, courses in general biology, cell/molecular biology, calculus, general physics, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and biochemistry are encouraged.
Strong candidates will have research experience in a laboratory setting (including publications of abstracts and/or papers), an excellent academic record and GRE scores, excellent letters of recommendation from scientists who know the candidate well, and the motivation to pursue state-of-the-art biomedical research.

In the first year all students take a common curriculum to build a solid foundation in biomedical science. The core coursework in the fall ranges from molecules to cells to systems of human physiology. Lectures are balanced by breakout sessions, in which faculty members discuss the primary literature with students in small groups. The core curriculum also offers critical learning opportunities in biostatistics and in using genomic and other databases, as well as education in ethics. Students also meet several times in small groups with experienced faculty mentors to discuss important issues of faculty development. Specific coursework relating to the individual graduate programs is done largely in the second and third semesters of study.

• Students should apply online at:


Interdepartmental PhD Program in Human Genetics and Genomics
Miller School of Medicine

William K. Scott, Ph.D.
Program Director
Professor ,The Dr. John. T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
1501 N.W. 10th Avenue, BRB 414 (M860)
Miami, FL 33136
Tel: 305-243-2559
Fax: 305-243-2523

Dori McLean
Education Coordinator
The Dr. John. T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
1501 N.W. 10th Avenue, BRB 362 (M860)
Miami, FL 33136
Tel: 305-243- 8779 / Fax: 305-243-2523