Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences / Master of Science in Information Systems

The Penn State College of Medicine, Department of Biomedical Sciences, and the School of Business Administration at Penn State Harrisburg offer a cooperative program leading to the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) to be granted by the Penn State College of Medicine, and Master of Science in Information Systems (M.S.I.S.) to be granted by Penn State Harrisburg. This concurrent degree opportunity facilitates the completion of both a biomedical sciences doctorate and a professional degree in information systems. The program is designed primarily for students interested in pursuing a career involving high-quality research and positions of management and technology responsibility within the biomedical sciences community.

Admission Requirements

The concurrent programs require that the student fi rst be admitted to the biomedical sciences program. Subsequently, the student is recommended for and applies for admission to the graduate school for the Penn State Harrisburg M.S.I.S. program.

Application Requirements

The followong are requireed for applicants:

Biomedical Sciences

Completed application; Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score; a bachelor’s degree reflecting a reasonable background in zoology or biology, mathematics and chemistry; a minimum junior/senior grade point average of 3.00 and with appropriate course backgrounds; two letters of recommendation; a curriculum vitae; a description of career goals. Reading knowledge of one or two foreign languages is recommended.

M.S.I.S. Program

Completed graduate school application; Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score; letter of recommendation from the department chair of the biomedical sciences department; evidence of proficiency in analytic skills through college-level calculus and statistics demonstrated either by completion of courses or successful completion of a mathematics proficiency examination approved by the program; evidence of proficiency in microcomputer applications skills; proficiency in writing evidenced by a score of "4" or higher on the writing assessment portion of the GMAT; proficiency in entry-level financial accounting as demonstrated by completion of college-level coursework; completion of a set of pre-program business core requirements demonstrated by completion of a minimum of six credits of advanced undergraduate work in each core areas. Each course must have been completed with a grade of B or higher within seven years prior to admission to the M.S.I.S. program. The School of Business Administration will review the applicant’s transcripts for acceptability of the courses.

Transfer and Additional Credits

No courses from the M.B.A program or M.S.I.S. program may count toward the Ph.D. until the student is admitted to the Biomedical Sciences Program. However, graduate-level courses taken in either in the M.B.A. or M.S.I.S. program at Penn State Harrisburg or at another graduate-level institution may be applied to the M.B.A. or M.S.I.S. in accordance with the transfer policies of the Graduate School. 

It is anticipated that most students in the concurrent programs will require additional graduate credits in order to satisfy the entry and pre-program requirements in business administration. Nine credits of course work in biomedical sciences may be transferred toward the M.S.I.S. Students must obtain a grade satisfactory to the program in order for the credits to be transferable. Nine credits of M.S.I.S. course work may be transferred for credit toward the Ph.D. degree, subject to the approval of the Department of Biomedical Sciences.


All students in the concurrent program have two advisors, one in the School of Business Administration and one from the faculty in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. Because the concurrent program is designed to be taken in synchrony with the objective that both degrees will be earned simultaneously, students who do not demonstrate progress toward completion of both degrees may be denied continuation in the concurrent program. Such a decision will rest jointly with the faculties of the M.S.I.S. and the Ph.D. programs.

The Course Matrix

For more information and the latest updates on the concurrent programs, visit the Department of Biomedical Sciences website or call 717-531-8285.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.






This page is not a part of the official Penn State University Bulletin.