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Dr. Yongsoo Kim, an associate professor in the Department of Neural & Behavioral Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, is pictured in his lab in July 2016, framed by laboratory equipment and looking away from a screen depicting two images of a section of the brain.

Neuroscience PhD

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Understanding the Brain-Body Connection

The Neuroscience PhD Program at Penn State College of Medicine brings together scientists from different basic and clinical disciplines to focus on the nervous system. We do so with a strong emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. To increase access to our program for all students, especially from underserved communities, we removed GRE requirements for application to our program in 2019.

Some researchers seek to clarify the development or function of the brain at the cellular, molecular, or genetic levels. Others seek to understand how the nervous system processes information, controls autonomic functions, regulates states of consciousness, or determines behavior. Still others search for the means to diagnose, prevent, and successfully treat malignant brain tumors, congenital and acquired brain diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, or dysfunctions caused by pathologic states in brain structure. All are committed to educate graduate students in the neurosciences in a supportive and inclusive environment.

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About the Program

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Students in the Neuroscience Graduate Program begin by taking core courses in biomedical sciences and fundamental neuroscience, and completing three laboratory rotations to develop technical skills and identify potential laboratories for thesis research before taking their Qualifying Exams.

Penn State College of Medicine provides an inclusive and supportive environment that promotes not only research and learning, but to also enhance social justice in our communities.

All accepted doctoral students receive a stipend and paid tuition costs, allowing for full-time graduate studies.

Learn more about the Neuroscience PhD curriculum.

Program Goals

The interdepartmental structure of the Neuroscience PhD program provides students with the flexibility to take multidisciplinary approaches to research problems in neuroscience, and collaborations among laboratories are strongly encouraged. Research programs are well-supported by grants from private and public funds, particularly from the National Institutes of Health.

Penn State College of Medicine provides a collegial environment that promotes research and learning.

Our immediate goal is to prepare students to assume responsible positions as researchers or teachers in the neurosciences. Our ultimate goal is to provide a foundation that will prepare them for leadership positions in academia, industry or a wide range of related disciplines. Graduates of the program have transitioned to careers in academic science, industry, healthcare and administration.

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More About Penn State College of Medicine

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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.
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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.