Plan of Study

DGS is an upper division program. The student typically matriculates as a junior. Students are admitted to the program in the fall semester.

Students apply to the DGS Program during 2nd semester of sophomore year, due date FEBRUARY 1. A  student from any UCONN major meeting the DGS pre-requisites may apply.

High school students….apply to UCONN as an Allied Health Sciences Major and indicate an interest in tracking DGS on the application. The Program also accepts transfer students from other Universities, although please note, an additional and separate application to the University of CT is required for transfer students.
Below is a typical 4-year plan of study.

Students in the DGS Program take course work and laboratory training for 3 semesters on the UCONN Storrs campus in the two disciplines of DGS; Cytogenetics and Molecular Diagnostics, but concentrate in one or the other during their 4th and final internship semester at an affiliated cytogenetics lab or molecular lab. The plan of study is a one-cohort plan, courses are offered once per year, and as such, students enter the program in the fall semester only.

Students must complete all the DGS and AH departmental courses with a C or better according to the Program’s scholastic standards.

Degree conferral is not contingent upon passing any external certification or licensure examination
Internship Information

DGS Course Descriptions are listed below the Plan of Study.  Visit the course catalog for more information about DGS, AH, and MCB courses.

4-year Plan of Study

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DGS Course Descriptions

DGS 3222. Medical Cytogenetics

Study of human chromosomes for prenatal and post-natal detection of chromosome abnormalities, chromosome polymorphisms, cell culture and harvest, human chromosome nomenclature, staining and banding techniques, mechanisms of numerical and structural chromosome abnormality, numerical syndromes, duplication and deletion syndromes, the sex chromosomes, sex chromosome abnormalities, mosaicism, genetic imprinting, indications for chromosomal analysis, molecular cytogenetic testing.

DGS 3223. Laboratory in Cytogenetics

Human chromosome morphology and identification, aseptic technique, lymphocyte culture and harvest, chromosome banding, karyotyping and microscopic analysis of normal and abnormal cases.

DGS 3225. Microscopy & Chromosome Imaging

Theory and techniques of brightfield and fluorescence microscopy, and computerized chromosome imaging.

DGS 3226. Current Genetic Research

Retrieval, review and discussion of current primary genetics literature in addition to attending and reviewing University research   seminars/guest speakers. May be repeated one time for credit.

 DGS 4224. Cancer Cytogenetics

Genetic basis of cancer, chromosome instability syndromes, processing of tumor samples, chromosomal changes of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies, and nomenclature of acquired changes.

DGS 4234/4234W. Diagnostic Molecular Technologies

DNA and RNA diagnostic technologies used in clinical settings; clinical applications in prenatal diagnosis; cancer management, transplantation, paternity testing, forensic medicine and microbiology.

DGS 4235. Laboratory in Molecular Diagnostics

DNA isolation, blotting techniques, fluorescence in situ hybridization, polymerase chain reaction and Genprobe assay.

DGS 4236. Case Studies in Molecular Pathology

Clinical cases in molecular pathology are presented and discussed.

DGS 4246. Contemporary Issues in Human Genetics

Historical and contemporary issues relevant to human genetic, including the layperson’s understanding of genetic testing and diagnosis; and the ethical, legal, and social issues associated with them.

DGS 4248. Advanced Karyotyping and Report Writing

Karyotyping constitutional and cancer cytogenetic cases, diagnosing cytogenetic syndrome/conditions and cytogenetic changes associated with neoplasms. Writing complete, precise, and accurate cytogenetic reports.

Molecular Diagnostic Internships

DGS 4402. Specimen Preparation, Nucleic Acid Isolation and Assessment

Practicum experience in specimen preparation for molecular testing, nucleic acid isolation, and nucleic acid quality control assessment.

DGS 4503. Amplification Methods

Practicum experience in DNA and/or RNA amplification stressing polymerase chain reaction.

DGS 4510. In Situ Hybridization Methods

Practicum in fluorescence in situ hybridization or other in situ hybridization techniques.

DGS 4512. Cloning Techniques

Theory and techniques of cloning.

DGS 4513. Blotting Applications

Theory and techniques of nucleic acid and/or protein blotting (e.g. Southern blot, reverse clot blot).

DGS 4515. Microbiological Applications of Molecular Diagnostics

Practicum experience in the application of molecular technologies to microbiology.

DGS 4604. Sequencing Techniques and Data Analysis

Practicum experience in nucleic acid sequencing and data analysis.

Cytogenetics Internships

DGS 4810. Suspension Cell Culture, Harvest, and Analysis

Techniques for processing suspension cell cultures and for isolating and identifying human chromosomes from suspension cell samples (bloods, bone marrows, and/or solid tumors). Culture, harvest, staining, microscopic analysis, and karyotyping of suspension cell samples.

DGS 4820. Attached Cell Culture, Harvest, and Analysis

Techniques for processing attached cell cultures and for isolating and identifying human chromosomes from attached cell samples (amniotic fluids, chorionic villus samples, products of conception, skin biopsies, and/or tumors, etc.). Culture, harvest, staining, microscopic analysis, and karyotyping of attached cell samples.

DGS 4830. Molecular Cytogenetic Technologies

Hands-on experience in fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and other molecular cytogenetic technologies as applicable (e.g.: microarrays).

Combined Cytogenetics and Molecular Diagnostics Internships

DGS 4850. Investigative Topics in Laboratory Genetics

Exploration of an area of individual interest in laboratory or clinical genetics.

DGS 4997. Honors Research

Design and implementation of an honors research project.