Undergraduate program

As a student in this program, you will learn about the genetic and cellular basis of life, and about how a fertilized egg develops into a complete organism. Many of the courses and research opportunities emphasize studies with model experimental organism, but some focus on studies with human cells and tissues.

Disciplines within GCD 

The Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development comprises faculty from the College of Biological Sciences and the Medical School. These faculty are engaged in research in three key disciplines of the department—genetics, cell biology and developmental biology. Research topics in these key disciplines are listed below:


Fundamental genetic mechanisms such as DNA and chromosome replication, DNA repair, recombination, and transposition; Gene expression and the many factors and circumstances that regulate it; Genomics--the analysis of whole genomes from both structural and functional viewpoints; Human genetics and genetic counseling

Cell Biology 

Interactions between cells, properties of cell membranes, molecular transport into and within cells, cell signaling processes; Control of the cell cycle, regulation of cell division; Cell structure and function, organelles, components of the cytoskeleton, cell motility

Developmental Biology 

Developmental mechanisms, specification of cell fates; Cellular differentiation, formation of tissues and organs

Courses, requirement and planning 

Faculty in GCD teach two of the core courses in the curriculum of the College of Biological Sciences: Genetics (Biol 4003) and Cell Biology (Biol 4004). GCD faculty also teach specialized courses for undergraduate and graduate students.

Get an overview of the Requirements for GCD Majors by visiting the University Catalog.

For information to help plan your curriculum, visit the WHY CBS? section of the CBS web site.

Research opportunities 

Many undergraduate students elect to carry out research projects with GCD faculty. Explore the research interests of our faculty by visiting faculty web pages. Learn how to get involved in research within GCD.

Have Questions about the GCD Undergraduate Major? Contact CBS Student Services at 612-624-9717.

Dr. Robert Brooker, Director of Undergraduate Studies

phone: 612-624-3053
email: brook005@umn.edu