Genetics student looking in microscope.

Program Overview

Quick Facts

Today’s most rapid advances in the life sciences involve a fundamental understanding of the fields of genetics and genomics.

As a Genetics Concentration student, you will have the opportunity to learn about the newest genetics developments and applications through courses in human genetics, molecular biology, biometry, genomics & bioinformatics, and specialty courses and laboratory experiences unique to your interests.

The range of your career options will be one of the widest within the life sciences, from academics to industry to governmental institutions and laboratories.  The applications of genetic concepts can be found everywhere from law, forensics, economics, pharmaceutical drug discovery to new approaches to advanced patient care.

Meet the Biology Faculty Who Teach in this Concentration

Research Opportunities

As a Genetics Concentration student, you will be able to refine your career goals by working with faculty in field or laboratory research areas, or non-laboratory-oriented areas.  Students may choose to participate in research in any Biology faculty member’s lab, or faculty associated with the Medical Education Center at Ball State.

You and your fellow student researchers at Ball State are a valued member of every faculty member’s program. You will find multiple opportunities to learn to communicate and publish your research findings in highly respected scientific journals as well as present their findings at local, state, national, and international conferences.  Each opportunity further builds your knowledge and skills, and adds value to your degree and resume.

Some of the research projects our students have assisted with include:

  • analysis of chromatin and nucleosome structure
  • bioinformatics analysis of scaffold/matrix attachment regions of the nucleus
  • phylogenomic analysis of the Gramineae
  • novel approaches to the analysis of the control of meiosis
  • pedigree analysis of critically endangered breeds of equids
  • genetic analysis of human genealogical database medical phenomena
  • cutting-edge technologies to study neuronal circuitry
  • detection and destruction of disease-causing aberrant proteins
  • molecular underpinnings of cancer and ALS

As a student as Ball State, you will also have the opportunity to write proposals for submission to our Undergraduate Research Program and scientific organizations to further build your resume to increase your career options beyond graduation from Ball State.

Laboratories and Advanced Equipment

In a laboratory-focused field, it is important to have access to authentic labs and equipment that you will use in your career or in graduate school with pipetting equipment, incubators, autoclaves, fluorescent readers, and more. At Ball State, you will be able to conduct research and apply your knowledge utilizing tools such as sophisticated confocal and electron microscopy, laser technologies, flow cytometry, and advanced genomic analyses to solve real research problems.

Student Organizations

The Department of Biology is home to several academic clubs that provide an opportunity to connect with other students in your concentration for support, professional development opportunities and academic discussion.

A few student organizations you may be interested in joining as a genetics student include:

Small Class Sizes

Our low student-to-professor ratio and small class sizes give you personalized attention from faculty, who are world-class experts in their disciplines.

Your coursework from the freshman year onward can be tailored to your interests and career goals through specific optional Chemistry and Biology courses within the concentration. All genetics students are strongly encouraged to take coursework in one of two biochemistry courses depending on your career goals, as well as courses related to your specific interests. Your academic advisor is your partner and will work with you to become a successful Ball State graduate.

The concentration in genetics fulfills part of the requirements that lead to a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree with a major in biology. All biology majors must also complete the biology core curriculum and the University Core Curriculum.

Credits Required

Total to Graduate: 120

  • Biology Core Curriculum: 37-38
  • Genetics Concentration: 30
  • University Core Curriculum: 66-70


All biology majors in every concentration are required to complete a core curriculum in biology that is separate from your concentration requirements and from the University Core Curriculum.

These foundational courses provide you with an overview of the principles in biology and develop a necessary competency in chemistry, physics and math.

Biology Core Courses: 18 credits

  • BIO 111 – Principles of Biology 1
  • BIO 112 – Principles of Biology 2
  • BIO 201 - Symposium
  • BIO 214 – Genetics
  • BIO 216 – Ecology
  • One of the following:
    • BIO 314 – Methods in Genetics
    • BIO 315 – Methods in Cell Biology
    • BIO 316 – Methods in Ecology

*Note:  All genetics concentration students are required to take BIO 314.

Other Required Courses: 18-20 credits

  • CHEM 111 – General Chemistry 1
  • CHEM 112 – General Chemistry 2
  • PHYC 110 – General Physics 1
  • One of the following:
    • CHEM 230 – Organic Chemistry for the Life Sciences AND CHEM 241 – Organic Chemistry Laboratory 1
    • CHEM 231 – Organic Chemistry 1 AND CHEM 241 – Organic Chemistry Laboratory 1
  • One of the following:
    • MATH 112 – Precalculus Trigonometry
    • MATH 114 – Precalculus Trigonometry (accelerated 8 week course)
    • MATH 161 – Applied Calculus 1
    • MATH 165 – Calculus 1 

*Note:  All genetics concentration students are required to take MATH 161.


The courses you will take to complete the genetics concentration are:

  • BIO 215 – Cell Biology
  • BIO 314 – Methods in Genetics
  • BIO 448 – Biometry
  • BIO 452 – Advanced Genetics
  • BIO 453 – Human Genetics
  • BIO 454 – Genomics and Proteomics
  • BIO 457 – Molecular Biology
  • MATH 161 – Applied Calculus 1
  • 5 credits from the 200-400 level of biology, biotechnology, botany or zoology

For a complete list of all the courses you will take for your degree and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

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Take the Next Step

Do you want to learn more about our program or have questions about the application process or financial aid? We’re here to help! One of the best ways to understand why Ball State is right for you is to schedule a visit through our Office of Undergraduate Admissions to see it for yourself. Or if you’d like to speak directly to someone in our department, please feel free to call or email us.


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