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The Biology Graduate Program at Penn State

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Letter from program chair

Penn State’s Department of Biology is one of the top-ranked biology departments in the United States. Students in the graduate program can pursue both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in many areas of biology, including cell and developmental biology, genetics, genomics, physiology, neuroscience, organismal biology, plant science, ecology, evolutionary biology, and theoretical and computational biology.

We encourage you to contact the Graduate Faculty whose research most closely relates to your own interests and discuss with them the possibility of joining their laboratory. Alternatively, you may elect to rotate through two or three laboratories during the first semester of study and choose an adviser at the end of the rotation period. Together with your faculty adviser, you can develop a unique program of study and original research to suit your intellectual passion.

Admission to our program is based on merit as presented in your application and evaluated by the faculty, available space in a particular program, and the availability of financial support. Year-round assistantships and fellowships are guaranteed for five years to all biology graduate students (in good academic standing). However, applicants with strong academic records are encouraged to apply by December 15 to be considered in the first rounds of competition for enhanced financial support.

We are eager to welcome highly qualified and motivated students in our program, and we look forward to reviewing your application. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Stephen W. Schaeffer
Assistant Department Head for Graduate Education
814 863-7034