Quantitative Genetics & Genomics Online Courses

Program Summary
Cost per credit hour:

2023-2024: $600
2024-2025: $610

Learn more about Tuition and Cost

1–4 Hours

This graduate curriculum provides specialized courses delivered online, offering flexible learning opportunities in animal quantitative genetics and genomics. These courses combine theory with application to solve real-world problems. These courses are offered through collaboration with five universities. Learn more about the program at each participating university.

FAQs for Quantitative Genetics & Genomics

Is this program right for me?

  • Positions and industries targeted by this program include livestock breed societies, breeding service companies, genomics and pharmaceutical companies, and university and industry-based extension and outreach programs.
  • As part of a master’s degree-level graduate program, this program provides a core in animal genetics and genomics necessary as the foundation for doctoral-level studies in these disciplines.
  • This curriculum has been designed to be comprehensive, providing students with limited prior knowledge the opportunity to learn and apply new methods and theories. Courses include hands-on experience using a variety of computer-based technologies.

"The AG IDEA program was a great way to learn from top animal breeders in our industry. Instead of being limited to courses taught by professors at my own university, I was able to gain experience and knowledge from others scattered all over the United States, which is critical when entering an industry that differs drastically by region. The flexible learning environment also allows graduate students to make their own schedules around research projects, teaching, and other commitments."

Jamie T. Parham, Ph.D., Product Manager - Beef, Neogen GeneSeek Operations

What will I learn?

Topics cover the breadth of modern animal genetics, spanning foundational concepts in quantitative genetics, the design of breeding programs, methods for predicting breeding values and controlling inbreeding, and their collective interface with molecular genetics and genomics.  

View the course planner for additional information about course descriptions, prerequisites, and recommended sequence.

"This program made it possible for me to learn from the best people in my field, which added to the already talented staff I worked with at the K-State campus. The flexibility and breadth of class options made this program unique and allowed me to take advantage of numerous classes I otherwise would not have been able to."

Kelli Retallick, Genetic Service Director, Angus Genetics Inc.

How will this program help me in my career?

The Qualitative Genetics & Genomics in Animal Science program will provide:

  • The foundation for highly-sought job prospects in the industry, extension, and/or research in animal genetics and genomics.
  • Opportunities to learn from and interact with instructors who are highly recognized in their respective fields.
  • The ability to develop virtual communication skills necessary for engaging with an ever-increasingly global agricultural community.

History of the program

The curriculum was developed, and courses were initially offered, through the support of the USDA-NIFA Higher Education Challenge Grants Program (2007-38411-18112; 2011-38411-30551). The curriculum is designed to train individuals at the master's degree level in animal genetics and genomics with the necessary skills to integrate advances in molecular genetics with agricultural systems. 

AG IDEA Student Handbook

List of Courses

University Contact
These campus coordinators can help you navigate Great Plains IDEA. Click on the university name to learn more about how Great Plains IDEA works at that campus. Mary Colasanti
Iowa State Online
Ashley Schultz
Stacy Duffield
Melissa Sailors
University Members
Members of the Great Plains IDEA are universities accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Member universities recruit, admit and graduate students, teach in an academic program and contribute to the leadership and maintenance of the alliance. Membership in the alliance is a selective process that engages institutional leadership at all levels.

Reuel Drilon is a student in the gerontology and aging studies program.As a non-traditional college student in my early 50s, living and working in the Pacific Island of Guam, choosing the right program for graduate studies was very important to me. The process of selecting the right program was intentional – it had to offer a diverse student population, professors with real-life experiences, a safe space to share cultural perspectives, and a curriculum that offered classes that were aligned with students’ educational and professional goals. The Great Plains IDEA program met and exceeded all my expectations. Concepts from every course have been applied in my profession to the extent that it has aided in the expansion of our services and the population we serve. As I reflect on these successes, I attribute much of it to the genuine care of the GP IDEA professors who were as passionate about the success of each student as they were in the subjects they taught. GP IDEA was definitely the right program for me!

– – Reuel C. Drilon, Gerontology and Aging Studies Graduate Student,
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