13 Best Genetics Courses Online

You can take genetics courses online to get an understanding of the field especially if you want to study genetics in a higher institution. You can also participate in the online genetics courses if you are already a student of genetics looking to get more understanding of a particular subject.

With universities partnering with various online learning platforms you can find hundreds of genetics courses online. If you are looking to gain an understanding of genetics and understand the terminologies, the online genetics courses can help you acquire this knowledge without stress.

Also, if you are already a student studying genetics in a higher institution and a particular subject is still hard for you to understand, look through the genetics courses online listed here if you can find what you are looking for.

Aspiring genetics students can also participate in the courses to test the waters and gain basic knowledge before applying for the program in a university of their choice.

When you take the genetics courses online, you get to enjoy the benefits that come with online learning. Some of the courses are also free to participate so you don’t have to worry about getting a hole in your pocket when you learn.

What is Genetics?

Genetics is a branch of biology concerned with the scientific study of genes and heredity and the way certain traits or qualities are passed down from parents to offspring or from one generation to another as a result of changes in DNA sequence.

Why Do We Study Genetics?

The reason why genetics are studied are:

  1. The study of genetics gives a fundamental knowledge and understanding of how organisms, populations, and species evolve.
  2. It helps researchers develop new strategies to treat and prevent human diseases
  3. To compare the genomes of various species to uncover similarities and differences that improve the understanding of how human genes function and are controlled.
  4. Studying genetics will help you understand your own health and make healthy choices like choosing the right partner to marry
  5. It explains how genes are involved in health and diseases
  6. To improve medicine and medical research to improve human lives

Benefits of Online Genetics Courses

The advantages that come with studying genetics courses online are:

  • Learning is convenient and easy, you can literally study curled up on the bed, sofa, or anywhere you can comfortable.
  • There is a lesser distraction which makes your concentration higher
  • The classes are flexible allowing you to easily carry out your existing responsibilities and still be able to work
  • You can learn at your own time, that is self-paced learning
  • No stress of driving around to class
  • Unlimited access to course materials which you can always do whenever you are with your smartphone, tablet, iPad, or PC.
  • Classes are faster to complete

Requirements to Take Genetics Courses Online

To take genetics courses online, you are required to have the appropriate online learning tools, some cash since not all the classes are free, and be your passion to learn and acquire knowledge. You also need to have prior knowledge of biology, chemistry, and math.

Best Genetics Courses Online

There are hundreds of genetics courses online that are either paid or free. However, I have only listed and explained the best in this blog post. They are handpicked using reviews of others who have participated in the course and the institution offering the course.

The best genetics courses online are:

  • Introduction to Genetics and Evolution
  • Genomic Data Science Specialization
  • Bioinformatics Specialization
  • Big Data, Genes, and Medicine
  • The Little Stuff: Energy, Cells, and Genetics
  • Causes of Human Diseases: Exploring Cancer and Genetic Disease
  • Clinical Bioinformatics: Unlocking Genomics in Healthcare
  • Medtech: Exploring the Human Genome
  • DNA: Biology’s Genetic Code
  • Genetic Models for Animal Breeding
  • Case Studies in Functional Genomes
  • Diploma in Genetics and Evolutionary Developmental Biology
  • Understanding Plant Genetics

1.     Introduction to Genetics and Evolution

This is one of the best genetics courses online offered on Coursera by Duke University. This is where you should start if you have no prior knowledge of genetics or want to test the waters before pursuing the program in a higher institution.

Participating in this course will offer you a foundational knowledge of genetics and evolution by introducing you to the basics and help you understand terminologies used in the field.

This is a college-level class offered to freshers at Duke University but you can take the course on Coursera for free whether you are already a college student or still an aspirant.

The course consists of 11 syllabi and each contains videos, reading materials, and quizzes. There is a certificate offered upon completion of the course but it isn’t free. It takes approximately 25 hours to complete the course and you can do that on your own time.

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2.     Genomic Data Science Specialization

This specialization is offered by Johns Hopkins University – one of the top medical schools in the world – on Coursera. There are 6 courses in the specialization taught by renowned professors who will teach you the tools and techniques at the forefront of the sequencing data revolution. This course is for those pursuing a degree in biology or genetics.

When you complete the courses, you will gain skills in Bio-Python, bioinformatics, data science, computational biology, statistics, and python programming. You need to have prior knowledge of data science and biology to take this course. You may want to consider taking the IBM data science professional certificate program to gain knowledge and equip yourself with advanced data science skills that you can apply to this specialization.

The course takes 6 months to complete and comes with a certificate of completion.

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3.     Bioinformatics Specialization

This is one of the best genetics courses online offered on Coursera by renowned professors at the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego). The specialization is surprisingly for beginners and no prior experience is required. If you want to understand how genomes are sequenced and compared or how the genetic basis for diseases is identified, then you should enroll in this course.

The specialization consists of 7 courses designed to help you maters bioinformatics software and computational approaches in modern biology. You will gain skills in Viterbi algorithm, Suffix tree, python programming, whole genome sequencing, and algorithms. It is 100% online, completely free to enroll in, and takes 9 months to complete.

There is also a certificate of completion.

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4.     Big Data, Genes, and Medicine

The State University of New York (SUNY) in collaboration with Coursera is offering the course, Big Data, Genes, and Medicine online to advanced experts in health and bioinformatics. The program explores the human body biology and chemistry, genetics, and medicine and how it relates to the science of Big Data.

Enrolling into this course will equip you with professional skills that will take your understanding of genetics to the next level. The course consists of 6 syllabi and each of them include video lectures, reading materials, and some quiz.

The total duration of the course is 40 hours. It is one of the best genetics courses online for professionals looking to gain the latest knowledge and skill in genetics.

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5.     The Little Stuff: Energy, Cells, and Genetics

This is one of the best genetics courses online offered for free on Coursera by the University of Colorado, Boulder. It is a beginner-level course that explores the smaller side of biology, basics of genetics and inheritance, genetic technologies, and how cells turn into cancers in the human body.

The course consists of 4 syllabus each of which contains video lectures, course materials, and quizzes. You will get unlimited access to these materials once you sign up to enroll in the course. It is taught in English but subtitles are available in French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish to allow as many people as possible to join. It takes 10 hours to complete and offers a certificate.

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6.     Causes of Human Diseases: Exploring Cancer and Genetic Disease

This is one of the best genetics courses online offered by the University of Leeds on FutureLearn. One of the reasons why we study genetics is to explore how genes are involved in diseases that attack the human body and also to improve human health. This course proves this by exploring the role of genes in cancer and genetic disease.

This course can be taken by anyone who has an interest in medicine and what causes diseases in humans. The course duration is 2 weeks with a weekly study of 4 hours. To get unlimited access to the course material, you will need to pay a monthly fee of $15.83, else it is free.

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7.     Clinical Bioinformatics: Unlocking Genomics in Healthcare

This is one of the best genetics courses online offered by the University of Manchester also on FutureLearn. It is designed for health care professionals and explores the discipline of clinical bioinformatics and its role in today’s healthcare.

The course is broken down into 5 syllabi with each of them taught weekly through video lectures and course materials. You can start anytime you want and learn at your own pace.

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8.     Medtech: Exploring the Human Genome

One of the reasons for the study of genetics is to improve medicine and medical research. In this course, you will explore genomes and its contribution to transforming healthcare thereby improving medicine and human lives.

Health care specialists can also take up this course and learn how genomics can improve patient care and also gain an understanding of how genomic data will help them identify illness risk more accurately. This is an opportunity to gain advanced knowledge of genomics in healthcare. The course duration is 5 weeks and you get to learn at your own pace. The fee is $15.83 per month.

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9.     DNA: Biology’s Genetic Code

This is one of the best genetics courses online offered on edX by Rice University. If you’ve never understood what DNA is and the science behind it then this is an opportunity to enroll in a course that will teach you, from scratch, all about DNA.

In this course, you will learn the methods that identified DNA as the genetic material, types of damage that affect DNA structure and how DNA moves around, place of origin and timing for DNA replication, and much more knowledge about DNA. The course has a free and paid track. The difference is that the paid track offers you unlimited access to the course and a certificate. The paid track costs $169.

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10.  Genetic Models for Animal Breeding

Enroll in this course to gain an understanding of genetics and the statistical principles that enable responsible animal breeding. You will learn the steps and techniques to set up a breeding program, understand the main concepts in animal breeding, apply genetic models and tools to predict the breeding value of animals, and many more.

The course is free to enroll but if you want a certificate and lifetime access to the material then you need to pay $149. You can enroll at any time and learn at your own pace. With a commitment of 4-6 hours per week, you can complete the course in 6 weeks.

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11.  Case Studies in Functional Genomes

In this course, you will learn terminologies such as FASTQ files, RNA-seq, ChIP-Seq, DNA methylation data analyses, and Bioconductor and also learn how this relates to genetics. It is one of the best genetics courses online offered on edX by Harvard University.

The course is self-paced and allows you enroll at any time, it is also free but you won’t get unlimited access to the material nor a certificate unless you pay $149. You will learn mapping reads, analyzing RNA-seq data, analyzing DNA methylation data, and analyzing ChIP Seq data.

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12.  Diploma in Genetics and Evolutionary Developmental Biology

This is one of the best genetics courses online offered on Alison and provided by NPTEL. The course is free and explores the study of genetics and evolutionary developmental biology and its benefits to living. This can give you an understanding of how to improve your health, cure diseases, and make the impossible to be made possible.

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13.  Understanding Plant Genetics

Not only humans possess genes, but plants also have and in this course, you will explore the fascinating mechanisms and classifications involved in plant genetics. It is an interesting field of science that will help you fully understand the functions of genes in plants and other fundamentals.

The course, Understanding Plant Genetics, is one of the best genetics courses online offered on Alison, and anyone interested in the genetic makeup of plants can take the course.

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This wraps up the list of genetics courses online which consists of only the best courses and I hope they have been helpful. Most of the courses are free but the certification isn’t, if you can ignore the certificate you can learn a host of things on genetics without paying a dime.

Genetics Courses Online – FAQs

Can I learn human genetics online?

Yes, you can learn human genetics online from online learning platforms. Most of the courses discussed in this post are after all, on human genetics and they are all offered online.

Where can I study genetics online?

You can study genetics online on Coursera, edX, Alison, and FutureLearn.

Is genetics a hard course?

Genetics is a hard course to teach and to learn.

Are online genetics courses self-paced?

Yes, online genetics courses are self-paced.

How long does it take to study genetics?

The amount of time it takes to study genetics depends on the degree you’re pursuing. An associate degree in genetics takes 2 years to study, a bachelor’s degree takes 4 years, a master’s degree takes 1-3 years, while a doctorate degree takes a minimum of 4 years.

Are geneticists in Demand?

There is a high demand for geneticists and it is expected to keep going higher as the years go by.


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Thaddaeus is a lead content creator at SAN with over 5 years of experience in the field of professional content creation. He has written several helpful articles for Blockchain projects in the past and even recently but since 2020, he has been more active in creating guides for students who want to study abroad.

When he's not writing, he's either watching anime, making a delicious meal, or definitely swimming.

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