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University of Pennsylvania
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University of Pennsylvania

Program Overview and History:

The Penn MSTP is one of the oldest and largest programs in the country, and the program has a long history of supporting MD-PhD students in the social sciences and humanities. The program currently has students enrolled in:

While there are no students currently enrolled in Philosophy, the program does have alumni in this discipline and welcomes applications. The MSTP will also consider applications in almost any other Graduate Program at Penn in the Social Sciences or Humanities.  

Information for Potential Applicants:


Penn’s MSTP seeks the same general attributes in candidates, regardless of their chosen field. Applicants in the social sciences and humanities, just like applicants in the biomedical sciences, should have significant research experience in their discipline, and strong letters of recommendation from research mentors. In addition, the program seeks candidates with strong academic records. The GPAs and MCAT scores of students in these fields are similar to those in other areas. The program is looking for individuals with a passion for discovery, and a clear sense of how they will combine research and medicine in their future careers. Successful candidates will have identified role models, and will have a realistic sense of their chosen career path.

The application process at Penn for MD-PhD candidates in the social sciences and humanities is initially nearly identical to the process for MD-PhD applicants in the biomedical sciences. The first step is application through AMCAS, followed by the supplemental application from Penn. The Penn supplemental application includes an additional essay for candidates in Anthropology and History and Sociology of Science. In addition, the programs listed above each require or encourage the submission of GRE scores. (HCM candidates can substitute GMAT scores). These materials (AMCAS application, supplemental application and required test scores) are sufficient for the first phase of review and are used by the MD-PhD program in conjunction with the relevant PhD program to determine whether a candidate will be selected for interview. If an applicant is invited to interview, the PhD program may then request additional materials (such as a writing sample, or the completion of portions of a separate PhD application), and he or she will have a minimum of several weeks to provide those. Admissions decisions for MD-PhD candidates in the social sciences and humanities are released at the same time as admissions decisions for MD-PhD candidates to the biomedical sciences. All admitted candidates receive a full funding package, and the stipend level for all students is the same, regardless of Graduate Group.

More information about the Penn MSTP admissions process is available at:


Contact information:

University of Pennsylvania Medical Scientist Training Program
Suite 100 Stemmler Hall
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6087
Lawrence (Skip) Brass, MD, PhD
Associate Dean and Director
Phone: 215-573-3540
Assistant: Lauren Barrett (, 215-573-4669)

Maggie Krall
Director of Administration
Phone: 215-898-8025