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

Applicants apply via Biomedical Graduate Studies, the administrative home for all graduate groups that confer a PhD 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.

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 provide evidence of English proficiency as well. The PGG accepts TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores as an impartial measurement of facility in English.

Transcripts and Diplomas

All accepted candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree with adequate background in physical or natural science. 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 maintaining satisfactory academic progress receive financial support until they have completed all PhD 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 $34,000 in 2019-2020.

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 pre–thesis study. However, the Medical School, through the office of Biomedical Graduate Studies, offers funding for a few outstanding foreign scholars.

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