Recruitment Initiatives

The University of Pennsylvania and Biomedical Graduate Studies seek to draw students from diverse backgrounds, including diversity of work and life experiences, interests, culture, socioeconomic status, race and/or ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability. The University is committed to providing an accessible and inclusive environment where all students have access to our programs. More information about University-level initiatives is available here.

Undocumented Students

Applicants who are undocumented should use this contact information to learn more about available resources.

Underrepresented Minority Students

In the Perelman School of Medicine, the Office of Research and Diversity Training works closely with BGS to conduct a variety of outreach programs to recruit underrepresented students. Each year, faculty, current students and staff attend and participate in the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), the annual meeting for the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans (SACNAS), the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) annual national research conference, and the Leadership Alliance Summer Symposium. Additionally, BGS faculty members travel to approximately a dozen minority-serving colleges and universities each year to give scientific talks and meet with UR undergraduates to discuss BGS programs. 

Disadvantaged Students

The office also targets disadvantaged undergraduate students in its recruitment efforts. Staff have participated in the Educational Opportunity Fund of New Jersey and the Tri-State Consortium of Opportunity Programs in Higher Education annual events. Staff also work to recruit McNair scholars to BGS programs and arrange for faculty to meet with students at state-funded schools which are not specifically minority-serving but which include large numbers of disadvantaged students, such as Temple University, Rutgers University, and Brooklyn College. Penn also has a dedicated program to support First Generation, Low Income students. The ultimate goal through these programs is to increase the pool of interested and academically prepared students for careers in academic medicine and biomedical research. These programs are fully integrated with ongoing University-wide programs for minority student education, and with training programs within the PSOM that support research experiences for both minority and non-minority students.  

Disabled Students

Faculty and staff also work to recruit students with disabilities through a number of initiatives, including the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN), which maintains a database of prospective trainees and employees, including college students who are interested in laboratory research, and American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Entry Point Program, which promotes internship opportunities for disabled science students. Additionally, BGS staff attend the Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) each year. In 2018, the Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM) joined AHEAD, the Association on Higher Education and Disability, and was represented at the April 2018 symposium of the Coalition of Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education. 

International Students

BGS also seeks to recruit a geographically and culturally diverse student population.  Nearly half of the applicant pool is international, and approximately 13% of enrolled BGS students are non-US citizens.  In the 2018-2019 academic year, international BGS students represent the following 31 countries:  Albania, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Vietnam.