Thank you for your interest in the University of Pennsylvania’s doctoral program in Pharmacology.  

Applications for Fall 2023 are open until December 1, 2022.

Applicants apply via Biomedical Graduate Studies, the administrative home for all graduate groups that confer a Ph.D. in basic biomedical sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. BGS only accepts electronic applications, and the application process for each academic year begins in October of the previous year.

We evaluate each applicant as an individual and consider all components of their application. The personal statement should be used to share your motivations to pursue a PhD in your chosen field or discipline.  We encourage you to share your journey from your personal history to formative experiences that have led you to pursue a PhD. The research statement should describe your meaningful research experiences, highlighting your findings and their implications for the field. Letters of recommendation should come from individuals who can speak to the qualities you have that make you an excellent researcher and PhD candidate. Please include at least one current or previous research mentor, preferably the most recent one.  The community statement should describe how your personal perspectives will shape and be shaped by engagement with the Penn community. More information and FAQs can be found here.


PENN PALS is a free, individualized application support program run by current PGG Students. Get CV and personal statement reviews and interview support!
Pharmacology Penn Pals 

Graduate Record Examination

As of July 2018, Biomedical Graduate Studies at the University of Pennsylvania no longer requires or accepts GRE scores as part of its application.

TOEFL Scores

International students whose native language is not English must also provide evidence of English proficiency. The PGG accepts TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores as an impartial measurement of a facility in English.

Transcripts and Diplomas

All accepted candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree with adequate physical or natural science background. The candidate should furnish official transcripts issued by the institution(s) attended and evidence of degree(s) earned.


All candidates must provide recommendations from three people who know the candidate well enough to evaluate intellectual capability, work habits, educational goals, and extracurricular achievements.

Stipend and Tuition

All PGG students who maintain satisfactory academic progress receive financial support until they complete all Ph.D. requirements. This includes a twelve-month stipend plus tuition, fees, and health insurance. The amount of the stipend, which varies from year to year, will be $37,000 in 2022/23.

Some PGG students hold individual fellowships awarded by such organizations as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), the Ford Foundation, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation (now called PhRMA). Most pre-thesis students are subsidized by training grants awarded to the PGG or to other programs at the University by the NIH. Penn is once again the number one recipient of NIH funding. All students are encouraged to apply for graduate training fellowships during their graduate studies. A comprehensive list of fellowships and Ph.D. training support can be found.

Students from foreign countries are not eligible for federal training grants during the pre-thesis study. However, the Medical School offers funding for a few outstanding foreign scholars through the office of Biomedical Graduate Studies.

Additional support from the Department includes funds to attend local or national meetings while in pre-thesis status.