Kristen Clements, an MD/PhD student in the Biomedical Science PhD Program at Penn State College of Medicine is seen in one of the laboratories of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology in July 2016. Clements is pictured with her hands at the level of her shoulders, with a small laboratory tube in one hand and some laboratory equipment in the other. Clements works in the lab of George Lucian Moldovan, PhD.

Biomedical Sciences PhD

How Do I Apply to the Biomedical Sciences PhD Program?

Penn State College of Medicine’s Biomedical Sciences PhD Program follows the application process for The Graduate School at Penn State.

All students must submit an application through The Graduate School.

Before applying, please be sure to read The Graduate School's admission requirements.

Individuals having a baccalaureate (or higher) degree in science-related majors from a United States institution of higher learning, or an equivalent degree from a foreign institution of higher education, such as biology, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, chemistry, physiology or microbiology, may apply for admission to the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program.

Individuals with a non-biomedical sciences background may also apply, but acceptance into the program will depend significantly on the applicant’s specific background and statement of purpose for pursuing advanced study in biomedical sciences. An applicant’s undergraduate background must, at minimum, include biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and molecular biology or genetics.

Application Instructions

Beginning for Fall 2020 admission, the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program no longer requires the submission of GRE scores.

To complete your application through The Graduate School, please note the following:

  • Campus: Select "Hershey Med Ctr."
  • Major: Select "Biomedical Sciences."
  • Option: If appropriate, select the option of most interest to you. Choosing an option or "None" does not commit an applicant to a specific option, nor does it affect evaluation of your application.
  • Degree: Select "Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)." Please note that we do not admit students into an MS degree in Biomedical Sciences.

A complete application through The Graduate School should include:

  • Completed online application
  • Payment of the $65 application fee
  • Copies of official transcripts from all colleges and/or universities attended, uploaded by the student (do not mail official transcripts unless specifically requested to do so)
  • 3 letters of recommendation, uploaded through online application system by person writing the reference
  • TOEFL score (if applicable) - School Code 2660 - sent directly from the testing agency
  • Personal statement including your reasons for applying to the program; your research interests; your research experience (not including lab courses): and your future goals
  • Resume or curriculum vitae

Key Dates

Formal applications for the doctoral program for domestic or international students must be received by Jan. 1 and all supporting documents should be received by Jan. 15.

Review of completed applications begins in November.

Admission to this program is for fall semester only.

Interview Process

Highly competitive applicants selected based on the materials in their completed application package are invited to interview with faculty members in the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Graduate Program.

Applicants in the United States visit in-person with expenses paid by the BMS Graduate Program. In addition to meeting with members of the BMS faculty, applicants also have an opportunity to interact with current graduate students.

This visit also provides applicants the opportunity to explore the College of Medicine campus and the Hershey area. Please note, students are required to participate in all interview-related activities.

Highly qualified international applicants are typically interviewed by Skype, giving them an opportunity to interact with several BMS faculty members.

Tentative 2019 Interview Dates

  • Jan. 17 to 19, 2019
  • Jan. 24 to 26, 2019
  • Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2019
  • Feb. 7 to 9, 2019
  • Feb. 14 to 16, 2019

Contact Us

If you have questions about the Biomedical Sciences PhD program, please contact Kristin E. Smith, MS, Director of Graduate Admissions, at 717-531-1045 or