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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Anatomy (ANAT)

Program Home Page

PATRICIA J. McLAUGHLIN, Director, Anatomy Graduate Program
C1745A College of Medicine, Mail Code H181
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Hershey, PA 17033
717-531-6414
pxm9@psu.edu

 

Degrees Conferred:

Ph.D., M.S., Dual-Title Ph.D. in Anatomy and Clinical and Translational Sciences

 

The Graduate Faculty

 

The Program

The Anatomy (ANAT) Graduate Program provides students curricular training with a unique focus on human anatomy, health and disease, and the opportunity for concentrated research in a related discipline such as biochemistry, cell biology, embryology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology, structural biology, and virology.  Students receive rigorous training that provides the skills necessary to be leaders in biomedical research and other endeavors that benefit from a rigorous scientific background, including education, law, journalism, and public policy. A dual-title degree in Anatomy and Clinical and Translational Sciences expands the educational experience of students training in anatomical science to include training, via a unique curriculum and research focus, for career paths that involve clinical trials or clinical research programs.

The first-year Fall curriculum provides 12 credits of the necessary core material that encompasses human gross anatomy, human embryology, and human microscopic anatomy (histology) for the anatomy degree and includes: 1) ANAT 503, 2) ANAT 512, 3) ANAT 505, and 4) ANAT 506.  In addition, the Fall curriculum includes a one-credit Colloquium which introduces the student to professionalism, scientific communication, and addresses manuscript evaluation and writing, as well as scientific methodology and techniques that will be discussed in subsequent coursework.  The professionalism elements reinforce ethics courses but focus on regulatory issues of animal or patient use and research. The first-year Spring curriculum includes one 3-credit course focusing on neuroanatomical studies (NEURO 511).  In addition, during the first year, students complete three research rotations that expose them to the wide range of research interests of The Pennsylvania State University graduate faculty from both basic and clinical science departments at the College of Medicine in Hershey. These rotations serve to inform the students with regard to choosing a thesis or dissertation adviser and forming a master’s or doctoral committee. In addition students are advised to take ethics, statistics and electives.  The doctoral students also complete their candidacy examination which entails an oral presentation and a written examination on anatomical coursework.  In the Fall of the second year, the students are engaged in 2 credits of Supervised Teaching (ANAT 602) that allows them to have a full complement of experiences in lecturing, dissecting, preparation of exams, and tutoring students. In addition, the requirements involve a 6-credit BMS course on Biomedical Sciences that encompasses 6 modules providing underlying principles of basic cellular processes of medical sciences.
Successful completion of the Program results in conferral of the master’s or doctoral degree in Anatomy.

The Anatomy Graduate Program is an interdepartmental program that engages faculty from 4 basic science and 9 clinical science departments. This broad-reaching Program provides students a wide ranging understanding of multiple disciplines with specific expertise in a chosen area, and encourages interdisciplinary research that is the hallmark of biomedical sciences in the 21st century.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

  1. Completed official Penn State Graduate School Application for Admission; Master's or Doctoral Degree
  2. Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) general test
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. Statement of goals including a) your reasons for applying to the Anatomy Graduate Program, b) particular areas of research interests if known, and c) long-term career goals
  5. Post-secondary course work must include biochemistry and molecular biology or genetics.

Dual-Title Ph.D. Degree in Anatomy and Clinical and Translational Sciences Admission Requirements

Potential Dual-Title trainees will express an interest in the Dual-title Degree as early as during the recruitment process for the Anatomy Graduate Program, and may apply for the dual-title Ph.D. in Anatomy and Clinical and Translational Sciences following admission to the Graduate School and to the Anatomy Program and prior to taking the candidacy examination in Anatomy, no later than the end of the third semester of graduate study in Anatomy.  Students interested in the Dual-Title Degree will be considered for admission to the Clinical and Translational Sciences Program by a committee consisting of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Program co-directors and faculty affiliated with the Clinical and Translational Sciences Dual-Title Program.  To apply, the student must submit the following documentation to the Clinical and Translational Sciences Dual-title Program:

  1. A statement of interest, including the applicant’s reasons for pursuing a career that includes clinical/translational science.
  2. A letter from the candidate’s research mentor which endorses the candidate’s participation in the Clinical and Translational Sciences Dual-title Program.
  3. A letter of support from the head of the candidate’s primary program. If the candidate has not yet selected a research mentor, the program head’s letter should describe the program’s support of the candidate’s desire to incorporate clinical/translational research in the candidate’s training plans.
  4. A description of the candidate’s academic performance to date.


Degree Requirements


Master's Degree Requirements


  1. Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.
    The Anatomy Program actively recruits students to earn an M.S. degree. To receive an M.S. degree in Anatomy, at least 30 credits are required (400-, 500-, 600-, or 700-level) with a minimum of 18 credits from courses at the 500 and 600 level courses combined.
    1. Required Program Courses: ANAT 503 (6 credits); ANAT 512 (2 credits); ANAT 505 (2 credits); and ANAT 506 (2 credits). In addition one semester of ANAT 590 (1 credit assigned an “R” grade), 1 semester of a Biomedical Ethics course (1 credit), and 10 credits of elective course work must be completed. NEURO 511 (3 credits) is highly recommended as an elective, but is optional.
    2.  Required Program Courses: ANAT 600 (6 credits).

    Students must complete original laboratory research that culminates in a thesis. The thesis must be accepted by the advisers and/or committee members, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School, and the student must pass a thesis defense. Additionally, all requirements listed in the Graduate Bulletin for the M.S. degree must be fulfilled.

    Doctoral Degree Requirements

    Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

    During the Fall semester of the first year of study, Ph.D. students are required to take ANAT 503 (6 credits); ANAT 505 (2 credits); ANAT 506 (2 credits); ANAT 512 (2 credits); ANAT 590 (1 credit assigned an “R” grade). In the Spring semester, students are required to take NEURO 511 (3 credits); PHS 500 (1 credit); and ANAT 596 (1-3 credits). In addition, each student must complete research rotations, as well as elective courses that may include statistics or other electives. Each student for the Ph.D. degree must fulfill written and spoken English communication requirements that are satisfied by preparing written and oral reports describing the laboratory rotations during the first year.
    At the end of the first year, admission to Ph.D. candidacy is determined by performance in course work, laboratory rotations, and the ANAT Graduate Program Candidacy examination. Students join their research laboratory by the end of the summer of the first year.

    Doctoral Committee

    The Doctoral committee is formed upon entry into the dissertation laboratory, and must comply with the Graduate Council doctoral committee requirements. The committee must include three Anatomy Graduate Program faculty, with at least two faculty members in the major field.

    During the second year, students take BMS 501 (3 credits), BMS 502 (3 credits), and ANAT 602 (2-3 credits for participation in structured teaching), and elective courses (including statistics and ethics if not otherwise completed) that are selected in consultation with the candidates’ dissertation adviser and doctoral committee.
     
    Ph.D. candidates must pass a written comprehensive examination in the format of a grant application prior to the end of the fifth semester of enrollment. As part of this examination, the candidate also gives an oral presentation of this proposal to the candidate’s doctoral committee.

    It is expected that the Ph.D. candidate will have at least one paper submitted for publication in a major peer-reviewed scientific journal prior to the final oral examination (the dissertation defense). A dissertation must be prepared and defended by each Ph.D. candidate. The dissertation must be accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

    Dual-Title Doctoral Degree Requirements

    Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.
    The Clinical and Translational Sciences Dual-title Program requires a minimum combined total of 18 required elective credits, including a minimum of 2 credits of CTS 590; 6 credits of CTS 595A, CTS 595B, or BMS 571; a maximum of 3 credits of electives at the 400-level; and a minimum of 15 credits of electives at the 500-, 700- or 900- level. The electives are selected from an approved list of courses available at the Clinical and Translational Sciences Dual-title Program office. Reciprocity between the Dual-title Ph.D. Program and the Anatomy Graduate Program allows for up to 7 of the elective credits required for the Clinical and Translational Sciences degree to be met simultaneously (ethics, statistics, and 1 elective).
    Anatomy graduate students accepted to the Clinical and Translational Sciences Dual-Title Program will take the candidacy examination at the end of the third semester of graduate training: (1) to allow exposure to the Clinical and Translational Sciences Curriculum in the Spring semester of the first year and Fall semester of the second year, which will prepare the students for the integrated content of the dual-title candidacy exam, and 2) to allow sufficient time to identify and assure commitment of an appropriate dissertation adviser who embraces the dual-title program of the student. During the candidacy examination, the student will also be assessed for candidacy to the dual-title program, and at least one member of the candidacy committee must come from the dual-title program. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs may serve in a combined role.
    In addition to the general Graduate Council requirements for doctoral committees, the doctoral committee of an Anatomy and Clinical and Translational Sciences dual-title doctoral degree student must include at least one member of the Clinical and Translational Sciences graduate faculty. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ graduate faculty may serve in a combined role.
    The committee chair will be a member of the Graduate Faculty in the primary area of study. Faculty members who hold appointments in both the primary area of study and the CTS program may serve in a combined role. If the committee chair does not serve in this combined role, the faculty member representing the CTS program must be designated co-chair of the committee.  The CTS representative(s) will be expected to assist in constructing and evaluating comprehensive examination questions that cover the secondary area of study.
    Upon completion of the doctoral dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense) to earn the Ph.D. degree. Students enrolled in the dual-title program are required to write and orally defend a dissertation on a topic that reflects their original research and expertise in both Anatomy and Clinical and Translational Sciences. The dissertation must be accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Other Relevant Information

This program is offered only through the College of Medicine at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this Program and other forms of student aid are described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set forth in the Graduate Bulletin.

Courses

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.

ANATOMY (ANAT) course list

 

Last Revised by the Department: Summer Semester 2016

Blue Sheet Item #: 44-07

Review Date: 6/28/16

Faculty linked: 8/14/14

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