The field of genetics studies heredity at various levels from molecules to populations, and seeks to discover the molecular basis of heritable biological traits. As a science, genetics occupies a pivotal position in modern biology; its understanding is essential for any serious student of life sciences. Outside of academia, genetics touches many everyday aspects of human life. The food we eat and the clothes we wear come from the organisms modified by methodical application of standard genetic principles. At Iowa State University faculty in 20 different departments are involved in genetics research, both basic and applied. This large group of faculty provides students with a multidimensional perspective on genetics and presents them with broad range of possibilities to become involved in genetics research.
Genetics students can participate in a learning community called “The Secret of Life.” Participants take an orientation class together, are partnered with a mentor and are invited to several social events with other students and genetics faculty.