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MD Program

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Patient-Centered, Systems-Focused Medical Education

Penn State College of Medicine offers a complete medical education program leading to the MD degree. Its central campus is located in Hershey, Pa., adjacent to Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, which is a part of Penn State Health's multi-hospital health system.

In addition to the program's central curriculum in Hershey, there are two parallel options within the overall medical education program. Our Accelerated Pathways are located on the central campus in Hershey, and our University Park Curriculum is located in University Park, Pa.

All students will be expected to meet our 10 competencies and minimum essential standards before graduating with an MD degree.

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Interested in our MD program? Use the buttons below to contact us.

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Our Vision

Our goal is to train humanistic, systems-ready physicians who are adaptive, critical thinking, collaborative and scholarly.

Traditionally, medical education has focused on two pillars: medical science and clinical care. As health care delivery rapidly shifts from physician-centric to patient-centric, and patient care involves both the care of the individual and the care of populations, a more comprehensive model is needed.

At Penn State College of Medicine, the two pillars have transformed to four:

Biomedical Sciences

Clinical Sciences

Educational Options

Our curriculum options are open to all enrolled MD students. Once you're accepted for admission to Penn State College of Medicine, you will be able to apply for the specific curriculum option you want. For combined degrees, you will need to meet the requirements and gain acceptance into the other program independent of the MD program.

Download a printable brochure describing these curriculum options

Hershey Curriculum and Accelerated Pathways

Hershey Curriculum

The Hershey Curriculum is revolutionizing the way tomorrow’s doctors are trained. We’ve created a four-pillar curriculum designed to give students a global perspective of the healthcare system.

Beginning your first year, you’ll serve as a patient navigator, guiding patients on a smoother journey through the often-complicated process of getting the care they need.

Learn more about
the Hershey Curriculum 

Hershey Accelerated Pathways

Penn State College of Medicine has launched a number of pathways that offer accelerated educational experiences and early entry into residency.

These pathways allow students who have committed to a specialty area to finish medical school early and get started on their residencies, helping to accelerate their professional development.

Learn more about the
Hershey Accelerated Pathways

University Park Curriculum and MD/PhD Program

University Park Curriculum

The University Park Curriculum is a four-year medical curriculum that uses early immersive practice-based experiences and patient stories as the springboard for integrated learning in basic science, clinical science, health systems science and health humanities.

Students have the opportunity to take advantage of the resources of a major Big Ten university campus and engage in health care at the community level while pursuing the full range of career options in medicine.

Learn more about
the University Park Curriculum

MD/PhD Program

Through the MD/PhD Program at Penn State College of Medicine, you’ll gain the tools and training you need to become a successful physician-scientist.

The program, typically completed in eight years, will prepare you for a successful career as a physician and scientist in biomedical and health medical research, academic medicine, or a related field.

Learn more about
our MD/PhD Program

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Why Choose Penn State?

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Health systems science education at Penn State College of Medicine includes a longitudinal curriculum spanning the full undergraduate medical school experience, as well as a health systems science and systems thinking leadership development program for faculty, residents, fellows and other educators.


You’ll have the unique opportunity to improve health around the world. Students in the Global Health Scholars Program travel to partner sites and provide essential care, from treating water-borne diseases in Peru to providing malaria and HIV care in Zambia.


College of Medicine students also have direct involvement in the betterment of the central Pennsylvania community. The LionCare student-run medical clinics provide community health outreach in Hershey and beyond.


Penn State College of Medicine is a change agent and a leader in promoting diversity and inclusion. We are committed to increasing the representation of our student population and workforce to reflect our nation’s demographics. We are equally committed to effectively caring for our increasingly diverse population. We recruit students who embrace the opportunity to provide quality medical care for marginalized and underserved communities. Our goal is to build the most diverse student body and workforce. We’re committed to a respectful and inclusive educational environment. We provide excellent care to all our patients, regardless of background. As we advance, we’re making discoveries that create improved well-being for all populations.

Our Advantages

  • Meaningful roles with patients from the start of medical school
  • Problem-based learning/small group learning/team-based learning
  • Lectures (Hershey curriculum) to enhance small group discussions
  • Assessments for learning, assessing and strengthening diagnostic thinking
  • Pass/fail in pre-clerkship curriculum
  • USMLE Step 1 after clerkships
  • Standardized patients and medical simulations
  • Self-directed learning
  • Navigation, preceptorships and clinical clerkships

Our Successes

  • Excellent match rates for residency
  • Graduates rated by residency directors as highly prepared, humanistic and valuable members of the health care system
  • More than 1,200 patients helped by students through their patient navigation work
  • High success rates for national standardized exams
  • Leader in today’s education of future physicians
  • Proven track record of student research publications
  • Full accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education

Applying to the MD Program

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We look for students with a strong undergraduate record in both the sciences and humanities, but we consider more than just academics. The admissions committee is particularly interested in applicants from diverse backgrounds who have clear potential for leadership and service in wide areas of patient care, research, medical education, administration, and service.

Learn about the application process for the MD Program here.

Eligible Applicants

The Penn State College of Medicine accepts applications from US citizens, US permanent residents, and applicants with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival status (DACA).

International candidates are not eligible to apply. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited US or Canadian college or university.

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Important Dates

  • American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application deadline is Nov. 15.
  • Applications must be completed in their entirety by Dec. 15.

Learn how to apply to the MD program

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More About Penn State College of Medicine

Learn more about Penn State College of Medicine in this video.

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What's New in the MD Program

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Student Resources

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Penn State College of Medicine strives to create the best culture of respect and inclusion for our students. A number of programs, services and facilities are available.

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Dr. Inginia Genao, right, Penn State College of Medicine’s vice dean of diversity, equity and belonging, meets with a student on the College of Medicine campus.
See more resources for current students

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Campus Life

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Student Housing

Housing is available to Penn State College of Medicine students, residents and postdocs in University Manor East and West apartment complexes. One of the complexes is pictured as seen from a higher floor of a nearby building, with a road and trees framing it in the background.
Housing in University Manor apartments is available to Penn State College of Medicine students.

Penn State College of Medicine offers housing in its University Manor East or University Manor West apartments to full-time students, residents, postdoctoral scholars and visiting scholars.

Read more about on-campus housing.

Life in Hershey, PA

Penn State College of Medicine is in Hershey, PA, a town known as the home of the HersheyPark amusement park and the Hershey Chocolate Factory. Two banners depicting cartoon candy characters are seen on a light pole in downtown Hershey, PA, in summer 2016, with a brick building with large glass windows in the background.
Hershey, Pa., is known as "The Sweetest Place on Earth."

Penn State College of Medicine's primary campus is located in Hershey, Pa. The area provides numerous diverse and delicious dining experiences, sports, concerts and entertainment, and is a short drive away from the Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, metro areas.

Read more about life in Hershey.