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Joe Cirilo, a student in the Biomedical Sciences PhD program, is seen at work in a College of Medicine lab in June 2020.

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How Do I Apply to the Biomedical Sciences PhD Program?

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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.

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Application Instructions

The Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program does not request or use GRE scores in our admissions process.

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)." 

A complete application through The Graduate School should include:

  • Completed online application
  • Payment of the application fee ($65 U.S. applicants, $85 international applicants)
  • 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/IELTS score (if applicable) - School Code 2660 - sent directly from the testing agency
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
    • The BMS admissions committee will use this statement to learn about you as an individual, your background, professional experiences and goals, and to determine whether the program is a good fit for you. Describe your personal and professional experiences that motivate your aspiration to pursue a graduate career in biomedical sciences. If applicable, describe research experiences including a brief description of research questions, methodologies, and outcomes. Include your research interests, professional goals and describe how the BMS program at Penn State College of Medicine will help you achieve them (up to two pages).

Key Dates

Formal applications for the doctoral program for domestic or international students must be received by Dec. 1 and all supporting documents, including all references letters, MUST be received by Dec. 5.

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 Graduate Program. Interviews are conducted in January and February.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the Biomedical Sciences PhD program, please contact us at