Michael Ludwig and Caitlin McMenamin, both students in the Anatomy PhD Program at Penn State College of Medicine, are seen at work in a lab in the Department of Neural & Behavioral Sciences. The two are looking downward and framed at right by clean glassware hanging on a lab wall.

PhD Programs

With small classes, one-on-one mentoring, and a strong connection with Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the PhD programs at Penn State College of Medicine provide world-class training in anatomy, the biomedical sciences, neuroscience and public health.

Explore our PhD Programs:

Prepare for an academic career in the biological sciences through specialty training and teaching experience.

You’ll conduct original research under the supervision of a faculty member, culminating in the oral defense of a written thesis. You’ll also have the opportunity to gain teaching experience in the medical gross anatomy course and/or neuroanatomy course.

Common Careers
  • University faculty
  • Teaching hospital faculty
  • Professional school faculty

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In this internationally recognized program, you’ll receive rigorous curricular and research training with a unique focus on human health and disease.

Students specialize in one of four tracks: biomedical sciences, biochemistry and molecular genetics, translational therapeutics, or virology and immunology. You’ll emerge with the skills needed to be a leader in biomedical research or another field such as business, education, or law.

Common Careers
  • University faculty
  • Management consultant for the medical industry
  • Science writer

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Technological advances in medicine have led to ever-growing datasets and constantly changing platforms and structures — and PhD-level biostatisticians are needed more than ever to help identify key scientific discoveries from these data.

At Penn State, you’ll have access to two newly established institutes that offer exciting opportunities to pursue research projects in biostatistics: the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Institute for Personalized Medicine.

Common Careers
  • Pharmaceutical company biostatistician
  • University biostatistician
  • Hospital biostatistician

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Understanding the workings of the nervous system — how it functions and what goes wrong in a wide array of neurological and psychiatric diseases — is one of the greatest challenges in biomedical sciences.

In this program, you’ll work alongside renowned faculty in clinical and basic studies of a range of neurological diseases and in translational studies aimed at developing novel diagnostics and therapies.

Common Careers
  • Investigator at a research institute
  • University faculty
  • Government program management

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Learn the skills to work at the intersection of laboratory findings and early clinical trials, rapidly turning scientific discoveries into new medicines.

Students in our NIH-support Medical Scientist Training Program can pursue graduate studies in anatomy, bioengineering, biomedical sciences, engineering sciences and mechanics, neuroscience, or physiology.

Common Careers
  • Academic medical school faculty
  • Academic leadership
  • Investigator at a research institute
  • Investigator in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry

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The Penn State Clinical & Translational Science Institute has established a dual-title PhD program in Clinical and Translational Sciences that brings together a range of courses, from statistics and epidemiology to scientific communication and bioinformatics.

The coursework, combined with a required internship experience, faculty mentoring, and exposure to CTSI tools and resources, gives students the broad base of knowledge needed to launch a career in clinical and translational science. Students graduate with a PhD in a concentration of their choice with the dual title in Clinical & Translational Sciences.

Common Careers
  • Investigator at a research institute
  • Investigator in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry

Explore the Program