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University of Pennsylvania Biomedical Graduate Studies

Predoctoral trainees at Wistar are Ph.D. or combined M.D.-Ph.D. candidates admitted to any of UPenn’s Biomedical Graduate Studies programs (including Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Cell and Molecular Biology, Genomics and Computational Biology, Immunology, Neuroscience, and Pharmacology) may pursue doctoral training at The Wistar Institute. Graduate students from the Departments of Biology or Chemistry in UPenn’s School of Arts and Sciences may also pursue Ph.D. thesis research with Wistar Institute faculty. The University of Pennsylvania oversees required course work as defined by the curriculum committee for each graduate group, and members of Wistar’s faculty contribute significantly to BGS teaching, recruitment, and other programmatic efforts.

Trainees obtain foundational knowledge through lecture and their progress is monitored by their dissertation advisor, selected both Wistar and UPenn faculty, and by Wistar’s Training Committee. At the appropriate time, the trainee obtains permission to write the dissertation, and the Training Committee is informed of consent. In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Ph.D., the dissertation committee must approve the dissertation and an oral presentation and defense of the dissertation.

When all the requirements of the individual’s graduate group have been satisfied, the Ph.D. is granted by the University of Pennsylvania.


BSG provides training and administration through seven graduate groups, some of which have distinct sub-specialty areas.

A Scientist’s Life Beyond the Bench: Serving the Community with a Ph.D. in Science and a Passion for Research

Kevin Alicea-Torres is a Ph.D. candidate at The Wistar Institute, enrolled in a UPenn Biomedical Graduate Studies program and pursuing his research training at Wistar.