Student Portal > Career Counseling > Course Selection > Dermatology


The field of Dermatology offers a wide range of career options, including general office-based practice, an academic appointment with basic science, clinical, or epidemiological research, dermatologic surgery/procedural dermatology, pediatric dermatology, and dermatopathology. Dermatologists care for patients of all ages with both acute and chronic skin diseases as well as for patients with dermatologic manifestations of systemic disease. A strong preparation in internal medicine is advised; some surgical experience may enhance the experience but is not required.

As with other specialties, strong letters of recommendation written by faculty members who know you well are important.Four letters of recommendation are required with submission of your application. One of the four should speak to your clinical acumen in other areas (such as a medicine sub-I, etc.) with at least 2, preferably three other letters from dermatology. If you are an MD PhD student, one of your four letters should be from your PhD. It is best to ask a mentor or faculty member who has worked with you clinically for an extended period (at least one week) or with whom you have completed a longitudinal research project. Being able to speak to your specific strengths in a letter of recommendation is highly beneficial.

School Required Sub-I Category:  

Medicine Sub-I

A Peds-Sub I is aceptable if pursuing Peds-Derm.

Department Required Courses:


Highly Recommended:

Infectious Disease
Consideration of additional Dermatology elective (away rotation, pediatric derm, dermatopathology)
Dermatology Research


Plastic Surgery, ENT, Ophthalmology (if focused on procedural dermatology)
Allergy & Immunology
Medical Genetics
Pediatric Dermatology
Dermatology Research

To learn more about Penn's Department of Dermatology visit their website at:

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