Genetic Engineering Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Dec 12, 2019

Genetic engineering is a broad field with applications in biology, medicine, agriculture and food science. Depending on their specific interests, genetic engineers have a wide range of educational options at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Programs for aspiring genetic engineers can be found at 4-year colleges and universities. Genetic engineering programs might focus on agriculture, biotechnology or another specialized field.

Schools with Genetic Engineering Programs

These schools offer degrees related to genetic engineering at varying levels, including bachelor's and master's degrees in biotechnology and similar programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees 2018-2019*
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $55,584 (undergraduate)
$38,630 (graduate)
University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $11,742 in-state, $22,564 out-of-state (graduate)
Duke University Durham, NC 4-year, Private Master's, Doctoral $54,712 (graduate)
John Hopkins Baltimore, MD 4-year, Private Master's $55,816 (graduate)
New Mexico State University Las Cruces, NM 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $5,427 in-state, $16,738 out-of-state (graduate)
Harvard Medical School Cambridge, Massachusetts 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $50,420 (undergraduate)
$47,562 (graduate)
University of Massachusetts Lowell, MA 4-year, Public Doctoral $15,060 in-state, $26,840 (graduate)
Oregon State University Corvallis, Oregon 4-year, Public Master's $14,331 in-state, $25,563 out-of-state (graduate)
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, Ohio 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $49,042 (undergraduate)
$45,204 (graduate)

Source: National Center for Educational Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Students may wish to consider the following when looking for genetic engineering schools:

  • Those who wish to work in medical science research may be trained as physicians as well as research scientists; they often earn a dual M.D./Ph.D. degree.
  • Individuals interested in teaching genetic engineering at the university level typically hold a doctoral degree.
  • Students should have a good idea of their specific research interests and look for schools with faculty whose research interests match their own.

Genetic Engineering Bachelor's Degree

Students who intend to go on to master's or doctoral programs in genetic engineering may study any of the life sciences, physical sciences or engineering. A common major is biology; biology programs may offer specializations such as microbiology or genetics.

Genetic Engineering Master's Degree

Master's-level students might choose a biomedical engineering program; biomedical engineering is a broad term that covers genetic engineering, molecular medicine and diagnostic imaging. Students in these programs complete a thesis or non-thesis project and may be required to fulfill teaching requirements. Another master's degree option is a professional science master's degree in biotechnology; these programs are geared toward students who want to work in industrial settings. They combine business management courses with biological science training and include a supervised internship.

Genetic Engineering Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree

Students with science or engineering backgrounds can enter a Ph.D. program in biomedical engineering or molecular biology after earning either an undergraduate or master's degree. Ph.D. students are required to write and defend a dissertation.

Genetic Engineering Dual Degrees

Some aspiring genetic engineers, particularly those interested in medical research, choose a dual degree program that leads to both an M.D. and a Ph.D. Individuals who hold this dual degree are referred to as medical scientists. These programs take a total of eight years to complete. The first two years are typically spent in preclinical medical studies followed by four years of dissertation research. After defending the dissertation, students complete their medical education by completing clinical rotations.

A variety of schools offer programs related to genetic engineering, including biotechnology. Students may wish to consider schools with programs that fit their specific interests, as well as whether they wish to go into a medical field

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