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Genetics and Developmental Biology

The doctor of philosophy in genetics and developmental biology degree is particularly well suited for students interested in emphasizing plant, animal, microbial (bacterial or fungal), or insect genetics or developmental biology. Students in the program learn research approaches such as genomics, analysis of gene expression, metabolic engineering, functional analyses of genes, evolutionary development, and conservation genetics


Grade Point Average/Transcripts

The minimum undergraduate grade point average is 2.75 (on a 4.0-point scale); however, grade point averages are compared to those of other applicants. Typically, successful applicants have a grade point average above 3.0. Please request that previous academic institutions send transcripts to WVU, or mail original or certified copies of transcripts to WVU Graduate Admissions, One Waterfront Place, Morgantown, WV 26501.

English Language Proficiency

For applicants for whom English is not their first language, a score at or above the indicated threshold is required in any one of the following tests of English language proficiency:

TOEFL Internet-Based = 79
TOEFL Computer-Based = 213
TOEFL Paper-Based = 550
IELTS = 6.5

Please request that the testing agency send the test scores to WVU (the code for WVU is 5904).

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Scores from the GRE general test (verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing) must be submitted. The program does not have a specific minimum GRE score, but scores are compared to those of other applicants and considered in conjunction with other qualifications.

Please request that the testing agency send the test scores to WVU (the code for WVU is 5904).

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must provide three letters of reference from persons acquainted with the applicant’s professional work, experience, or academic background. Electronic letters will be solicited by WVU after students provide necessary details about their references on the graduate application portal.

Statement of Interest

Applicants must submit a written statement of 500 words or more describing the applicant’s previous experience and indicating the applicant’s goals and objectives relative to receiving a graduate degree. This essay of experiences and interests must be uploaded on the graduate application portal.

Advisors and Funding

No applicant is accepted unless a faculty advisor has made a commitment to mentor the applicant. Applicants are encouraged to email potential advisors to ask about availability of positions in their individual laboratories. In some cases, the graduate admissions committee will try to match strong applicants with funded advisors who have similar research interests. Most accepted students are supported on research or teaching assistantships that include a stipend and a tuition waiver. Funding for a majority of these assistantships comes from grants to individual faculty members. As such, openings vary from year to year and may be limited. We do not offer a first-year program with rotations during which students may find an advisor. An advisor for each student must be identified prior to admission.

Program Requirements

Program Contact:
Panaccione, Daniel
Division Coordinator of Graduate Programs
Professor of Plant Pathology
G109 South Agricultural Sciences
(304) 293-8819