Pennsylvania State University
College of Medicine
Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033-2390
The 550-acre College campus includes Medical Sciences and Biomedical Research Buildings, a University Hospital, Animal Research Facilities, apartments, and fitness and day-care centers.
Students have outstanding records of academic achievement, with exceptional GRE performance. Students make important contributions to scientific literature during their research training and intellectual development. Graduates hold postdoctoral positions at prestigious institutions and establish careers in academia, industry, and government.
The College of Medicine is in Hershey, a community of approximately 20,000, an outstanding environment for research and scholarly achievement with easy access to the major attractions and metropolitan areas of the East Coast.
Programs of study and degree requirements
Penn State's Graduate Program in Acoustics is the largest and most comprehensive program of its kind, leading the nation in awarding M.S., M.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees in Acoustics. The department has earned both national and international reputations for leadership in acoustics research and education. The Graduate Program in Acoustics offers thirty courses in acoustics and vibration and many more courses in closely related disciplines with the College of Engineering. The department has an award winning distance education program and offers continuous professional education through the June Summer Sessions, workshops and short courses. The program has more than 100 students and 40 faculty.
Anatomy Program: This departmental program emphasizes the general areas of gross anatomy, histology/cytology, neuroanatomy, or appropriate combinations of these areas. A two-year M.S. program is also offered.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program: A departmental program with research opportunities in structure and function of macromolecules; genetic, enzymatic, and metabolic regulation; and genome organization, evolution, and stability. Areas of specialization include metalloproteinases biosynthesis and regulation, mucin glycoproteins and tumor antigens, gangliosides in brain development and infection, molecular genetics of anesthesia, early genomic and cellular events in carcinogenesis, signal transduction in growth and differentiation, RNA processing and transport, subcellular protein trafficking, regulation of RNA and DNA polymerase functions, macromolecular recognition, protein folding, and chromatin structure and remodeling.
Bioengineering Program: This intercollege program provides research opportunities in artificial organs such as the artificial heart and ventricular assist device; cardiovascular fluid dynamics in medical devices; cardiovascular biomaterials research, including blood-polymer interactions, surface modification/characterization, and scanning probe microscopy; controlled drug delivery, including biodegradable and smart biomaterials, polymer solutions, lattices and gels, and polymer-protein, polymer-cell, and protein-cell interactions; musculoskeletal research, including orthopedic biomechanics, implants, tissue adaptation, mechanotransduction, orthopedic biomaterials, and large-scale finite-element modeling; magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy; and surgical simulation, training, and robotics.
Cell and Molecular Biology Program: An interdepartmental program with a cross-section of research opportunities in nine departments within the College of Medicine. Research areas include membrane structure, receptors, and modulators; extracellular matrix; organelle assembly, structure, and function; cell division, differentiation, and regulation of gene expression; gene mapping and recombinant DNA; molecular interface between cells and human viruses; and intracellular events relevant to the immune response.
Graduate studies in the Intercollege Graduate Program in Genetics are designed to train students for independent research and teaching across the full spectrum of genetics from the molecular to the population level, using systems ranging from agricultural to human and medical (see the list of faculty for the full range of areas represented). Beginning and advanced graduate-level courses are taught by active research faculty members in their own areas of specialization. Research is conducted in a wide range of subdisciplines in genetics, as well as in numerous related areas of the biological and biomedical sciences. Students in the program have the additional advantage of association with students and faculty in their adviser's department.
The Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Health Evaluation Sciences is designed to prepare health care clinicians and other researchers for clinical investigation and health services research, two related fields in which shortages of trained individuals have been identified. Research opportunities for physicians, nurses, and epidemiologists as well as health services and policy experts are rapidly expanding in a wide variety of settings, including academic health centers, community hospitals, integrated health systems, health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, consulting, and government. This two-year program teaches population-based disciplines that enable the planning, execution, analysis, and dissemination of health care research, as well as the evaluation and improvement of health care practices.
Integrative Biosciences: An intercollege, intercampus program that develops new conceptual connections leading to innovative, interdisciplinary research in the life sciences. It provides nine options for study: biomolecular transport dynamics, cell and developmental biology, cellular and molecular mechanisms of toxicity, chemical biology, ecological and molecular plant physiology, immunobiology, molecular medicine, neuroscience, and nutrition sciences. Students participate on either the College of Medicine campus in Hershey or the University Park campus in State College, Pennsylvania.
The Department of Kinesiology is one of ten departments and schools in the College of Health and Human Development, The Pennsylvania State University. The Department offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees with programmatic emphasis in
1) biomechanics and locomotion studies;
2) exercise physiology;
3) history and philosophy of sport;
4) motor behavior.
There is considerable flexibility in designing the course of study for each emphasis. Many students enroll in independent study courses designed to promote research involvement in a topic of special interest. The Department places a strong emphasis on research and writing.
The Master of Science degree with a major in laboratory animal medicine is research-oriented and requires a minimum of 12 credit hours in the major subject, six credit hours in a minor subject, and six credit hours of thesis research. In addition to promoting specialization in a major area, this program encourages breadth of scholarship through the requirement of a minor in a related field. Although the program follows the general pattern laid down by the graduate school, the requirements are sufficiently flexible to permit students to adapt them to their particular interests and needs.
M.D./Ph.D. Program: This program provides the opportunity for students interested in careers in academic medicine and research to obtain the necessary training in clinical and basic sciences in a seven-year period. The dual-degree program provides a firm foundation in medicine plus research experience essential to design experiments and advance biomedical sciences through research. The program is partially supported by a Medical Scientis Training Program (MSTP).
Microbiology and Immunology Program: A departmental program with research opportunities to explore interactions of viruses with host cells and animal model systems, with emphasis on adenoviruses, hepatitis viruses, herpesviruses, papillomaviruses, papovaviruses, parvoviruses, and retroviruses. Individual research programs center on virus replication and assembly, neurovirulence, pathogenesis, latency and reactivation, oncogenesis, and the role of the cellular immune response in these processes. Viral systems are used as models for studies of eukaryotic gene regulation, signal transduction, and the human immune response. In addition, research programs are maintained in the areas of eukaryotic cellular differentiation, tumor cell biology, immunology, and human genetics.
Neuroscience Program: An interdepartmental program with broad representation of research in neuroscience. Research in cellular and molecular neuroscience includes areas such as growth factors, cell lineage, synaptogenesis, myelinogenesis, neurovirology, oxidative damage and neurotoxicology, neurogenetics, aging, and tumor cell growth. Systems neuroscience includes information processing in sensory and auditory systems, taste and reward, pain, and autonomic regulation.
The Graduate Program in Nutrition offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in nutrition science, including nutrition education and nutrition in public health. The program emphasizes both basic research in nutrition and the application of available knowledge to the improvement of the nutritional status of human beings and animals. A common core of nutrition courses is required. After selecting an area of specialization, students are guided in designing a program to develop the knowledge and skills appropriate to their professional objectives.
Pharmacology Program: A departmental program with research in cellular and molecular pharmacology, focused on intracellular signal transduction, ion channel and receptor structure-function analyses, growth control of cancer cells, identification of molecular targets for drug development, molecular toxicology including transgenic mouse models of neurotoxicity and DNA repair, and neuropharmacology.
Physiology Program: An intercollege graduate degree program with research focused on the mechanisms regulating cell function, metabolism, growth, and development under normal physiological conditions as well as in pathophysiological states. Areas of specialization include, but are not limited to DNA repair and carcinogenesis, transcriptional and translational control of gene expression, proteosomal and lysosomal mediated proteolysis, cell-cell and cellextracellular matrix interactions, genetic factors in disease susceptibility, intracellular trafficking of proteins and vesicles, ion channels and cardiovascular function, signal transduction, metabolic dysregulation and telomerase, and cell senescence and cancer.
Facilities & Resources
Laboratories are equipped with instrumentation required for modern biomedical research. Core facility and shared research support includes MRI; a BL3 containment facility; confocal and scanning microscopy; a transgenic/gene knock-out facility; flow cytometric analysis and sorting; custom peptide and DNA synthesis; automated peptide and DNA sequencing; MALDI-TOF mass spectroscopy; molecular modeling and docking software; laser densitometry; phosphoimager and fluorimager detection of chemiluminescent, radiolabeled, and fluorescent macromolecules; real-time PCR; amd microarray analysis. Consulting centers for biostatistics, informatics, and epidemiology are also available.
Expenses and Aid
Costs: University financial support is sufficient to allow students to devote full-time effort to graduate studies. Students are responsible for costs of books, a student activity fee, a parking fee, and 20 percent of the Penn State Student Health Insurance Policy (MEGA) premium, if selected.
Financial Aid: Students receive graduate assistantships of at least $17,415 per year, plus tuition waiver, or fellowships from various sources. Financial support allows full-time effort in graduate studies.
Housing/Living Expenses: For housing information, students should contact the Housing Office, PSU/COM, P.O. Box 850, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033 (telephone: 717-531-8210).
How to Apply
Qualified students with undergraduate preparation in the biological, biochemical, or physical sciences; an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher; competitive GRE scores; three letters of recommendation; and a personal essay summarizing background and professional goals are considered for admission. The most qualified applicants are accepted on a space-available basis.
Who to Contact
Office of Graduate Education
PSU College of Medicine
500 University Drive
Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033-2390
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