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Graduate Studies Overview

Grad student working in lab using microscope.

The department offers separate programs in genetics or biochemistry and molecular biology leading to Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Enrollment is open to students with baccalaureate degrees in agricultural, biological, physical sciences or engineering. Entering students must have excellent academic records in biological, mathematical or physical sciences. Assistantships are available for Ph.D. students. M.S. students are self-paying.

Programs of Study

Graduate research in both genetics or biochemistry and molecular biology programs includes human, animal, plant and microbial biochemistry, and genetics, as well as molecular and biomedical genetics. Core courses for both programs include advanced discipline specific courses, as well as courses in methods, proteomics and genomics, and professional development. Additional courses are selected from the biochemistry/genetics curriculum, special offerings and supporting departments’ course offerings to provide the academic and technical competencies needed to enhance the research focus of a student’s program.


Graduate Program Options

Master of Science

Students in the Department of Genetics and Biochemistry may work toward master’s degrees in either genetics or biochemistry and molecular biology. Students can select a traditional two-year research-focused track or a one-year, non-thesis program that comprises three semesters, including one summer semester.

Doctoral Program

The Department of Genetics and Biochemistry offers programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in either of two subject areas: genetics or biochemistry and molecular biology. The primary focus is on the planning, performance and presentation of independent research, conducted under the supervision of a faculty member.

Resources for Graduate Students

Applicant Resources

If you are interested in applying to the graduate program in the Department of Genetics and Biochemistry, the following accordions offer information and resources that may be helpful.

  • The Graduate School

    Current graduate students may find the following links containing University policies helpful:

    For general information about the Clemson University Graduate School, as well as the most current degree requirements and course listings, visit the Records and Registration page.

  • Admitted Students GPA Average

    Students admitted to the program over the last three years averaged a GPA score of 3.4. A GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required for a competitive application.

  • Application Fee

    There is no fee to apply to the program.

  • Assistantship Stipends and Fees

    Clemson University Graduate School no longer charges an application fee. The Department of Genetics and Biochemistry does not require the GRE.


    The current minimum stipend for Ph.D. students starts at $27,000 per year and provides a tuition waiver. The stipend increases to $29,000 after successful completion of the comprehensive exam (typically after the second year). Students supported on a research assistantship may receive a higher stipend at the discretion of the faculty supervisor.

    Stipends and tuition waivers are not available for M.S. students.


    Ph.D. students on assistantship pay graduate student fees each Fall and Spring term (view current graduate fees). Summer fees must also be paid if enrolled for credit for summer term. Health insurance is also available.

  • Clemson Life: Housing, Health, Organizations

    Study under faculty dedicated to excellence. Learn as part of a close-knit graduate community. Your time in graduate school will be a time of intense professional development, and it will be a life phase that you will never forget. This section provides information on important issues that relate to your Clemson chemistry graduate student experience. Of course, it’s impossible to anticipate all of the issues that might arise, so contact the department if you have questions.


    Most graduate students select off-campus housing, for which a variety of options in many cost ranges are available within a short walk or drive from campus. Clemson has an excellent free local bus system that provides frequent service to most local apartment complexes and campus buildings. More information about housing is also available on the Clemson Home website.

    Insurance and Health Services

    Clemson University requires all full-time (nine hours or more), on-campus graduate students to have health insurance coverage. All international graduate students are required to have health insurance. This policy is administered by Redfern Health Center as a “hard-waiver program.” All full-time, on-campus students are enrolled in the University plan unless they present evidence of acceptable alternative coverage to RHC’s Office of Student Insurance before the semester begins. One waiver is valid for a year. To partially offset some of the health insurance premium costs associated with this requirement, Clemson provides all graduate assistants who purchase health insurance from Clemson with an annual, nonrefundable, non-transferable health insurance subsidy.

    Find out more on the Redfern Health Center website.

    Graduate Student Organizations

    Clemson has several campus organizations that cater specifically to graduate students. You may find information on many of these organizations on the Division of Student Affairs website.

    The Graduate Student Government serves as a liaison between graduate students and the rest of the University community, and many International Student Organizations are focal points for the international student communities and cultures on campus. GSG also supports a travel grant program for graduate students and encourages graduate students to participate in many campus activities.

    Local and Regional Resources

    For additional information on Clemson and Upstate South Carolina, follow these links:

Quick Links

The following resources may be helpful to applicants to — or current students in — the graduate programs in the Deoartment of Genetics and Biochemistry:

Student in lab showing two guests, a woman and man, an example of an experiment.

Tackling Challenges

Locally Relevant, Globally Impactful Research and Scientific Discovery

Find out why Clemson is the ideal place to pursue your graduate degree. Members of the College of Science leadership team highlight the graduate programs in the Clemson University College of Science, looking at the many programs and facilities available to students. We look forward to welcoming you to the Clemson family!

Watch the Video

Graduate Student Support


The graduate academic advising team guides students through the curriculum and general education requirements to help ensure continued progress toward a degree and graduation. Together, you will devise an educational plan that meets the University and departmental requirements, but that is individualized to fit your interests and aspirations. In addition to our advising meetings before registration each semester, you may meet with your adviser at any time to discuss courses, academic issues, careers or other topics. For more information, contact a member of the team.

Cheryl Ingram-Smith, Ph.D.
Graduate Program Coordinator

257-A Life Sciences Facility
Phone: 864-656-2376

Alison Starr-Moss, Ph.D.
M.S. Coordinator

Poole Agricultural Center 158
Phone: 864-656-6877

Kimberly Brown
Registration Coordinator

Poole Agricultural Center 151
Phone: 864-656-2426

Financial Assistance

There are several types of financial support available for students in graduate programs. Each type of support is awarded to qualified students on a competitive basis. Continuation of all support is based upon satisfactory progress towards a degree.

The current stipend for assistantships ranges from $25,000–$30,000 for Ph.D. students.

These are also the minimal stipends for students admitted to the program on research assistantships. Students in the Master of Science program are self-supporting.

For current information on graduate tuition and fees, visit the Clemson University Tution & Fees webpage.

Department of Genetics and Biochemistry
Department of Genetics and Biochemistry | 190 Collings St., Clemson, SC 29634