Master of Science in Translational Research

MSTR Admissions

Only one application is required for both the MSTR and ITMAT Funding.

This combined funding application deadline for students enrolling in July 2021 will be announced soon.

Contact us to learn more.


Tuition Rates

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Postdoctoral Applicants

  • Entrants must have MD, PhD, MSN, VMD, or DMD level degree
  • Entrants must enroll as full-time students and are not eligible to apply unless 80% of their time is protected

Predoctoral Applicants

  • Applicants must be enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania in the MD, DMD, VMD, Nursing, or Biomedical Science PhD programs.
  • MD-MSTR Applications are due in the fall of year 3 of the MD program.
  • DMD-MSTR Applications are due in the fall of year 2 of the DMD program and follow the dental dual-degree application process.

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The Online MSTR Application requires the following items:

Applicants, please add headers with your name to the applicable documents. 

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal statement: a one page description of the career goals that includes a description of how the MSTR degree meets your educational objectives
    • *Medical Students, please address the following in your personal statement:
      • What motivated you to pursue the MSTR program versus any of the other Master Degree programs or ‘year out’ research opportunities available to Medical Students?
      • Why do you want to pursue formal training during medical school versus at a later stage of Graduate medical training?
      • Why are you seeking out formal training in Translational Research?
  • Research plan: 2-3 page description of proposed research project
    • *Entrepreneurial track: project should emphasize innovation with the potential to commercialize
  • External support: description of the applicant's support awarded or under review for salary, tuition, or research supplies
    • Please specify if you prefer to be considered for a specific funding mechanism: TL1, KL2, ITMAT Scholarship
  • Primary Mentor NIH biosketch and other support
  • Transcripts — ONLY for predoctoral applicants — upload an unofficial transcript from your current graduate program issued to you from your school's registrar
  • Three letters of support from the applicant's:
    1. Primary mentor (send them the guidelines below)
    2. Secondary/co-mentor if applicable, or faculty member who can speak to your suitability for the MSTR program and/or experience in research
    3. Third faculty member who can speak to your suitability for the MSTR program and/or experience in research
      1. For KL2 applicants, this must be your division chief and /or department chair (send them the guidelines below)
      2. For all other postdoctoral applicants, choose another faculty member
      3. For all predoctoral applicants, choose another faculty member from undergraduate or graduate/medical school
  • Application Fee: $45 by credit card via CollegeNet

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Creating a CollegeNet Account

  1. Create a CollegeNet account. After logging into CollegeNet, select “Online Application”.
  2. Enter your Personal Information.  Save and continue to Program Information. 
  3. Choose “Perelman School of Medicine Masters Programs”
    • Post-doctoral and Faculty MSTR Applicants select: “Translational Research, MS, Post-doctoral applicants”
    • Pre-doctoral MSTR Applicants select: “Translational Research, MS, Pre-doctoral applicants”
    • Select "Summer 2021" term.
  4. You can enter information in stages, at your own pace, and access the application any number of times until submission.
  5. Once the application has been fully submitted, check the status and note the receipt of recommendation letters.

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Please note that the letters of support have specific guidelines:

Primary Mentor Letter Guidelines

The Mentor(s) letter of support should address the following:

  1. The commitment to mentor the candidate
  2. The suitability of the trainee's education objectives for stated career goals
  3. The feasibility and relevance of stated area of research to be undertaken during the program to include:
    • The resources available to complete the research
    • The availability of collaborative relationships that may be required to undertake the research question
  4. Mentor's prior experience mentoring in ITMAT programs and/or mentoring translational research trainees
    *Entrepreneurial track: include relevant experience as an innovator
  5. Add an appendix: Mentor's biosketch and other support

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Division Chief/Department Chair (KL2 ONLY)

The Division Chief or Department Chair letter of support should address the following:

  1. Commitment of the division/department to the scholar, his/her research direction and his/her career goals
  2. Guarantee of 80% protected time for the scholar
  3. Other funding available to the applicant; include # of years of support available (K12, dept support, etc), please be specific
  4. Availability of resources for the mentor and scholar
  5. The relevance of the research to the department/division research goals
  6. Prior experience with trainees in ITMAT programs and/or translational research

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Applications received after the deadline or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Non-discrimination/Disability Policy

The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices. Questions or complaints regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Suite 228, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106; or 215-898-6993 (Voice) or 215-898-7803 (TDD). Specific questions concerning the accommodation of students with disabilities should be directed to the Office of Student Disabilities Services located at the Learning Resources Center, 3820 Locust Walk, Harnwell College House, Suite 110, 215-573-9235 (voice) or 215-746-6320 (TDD).

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Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act

The federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, as amended, requires colleges and universities to provide information related to security policies and procedures and specific statistics for criminal incidents, arrests, and disciplinary referrals to students and employees, and to make the information and statistics available to prospective students and employees upon request.  The Campus SaVE Act of 2013 expanded these requirements to include information on and resources related to crimes of interpersonal violence, including dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. Federal law also requires institutions with on-campus housing to share an annual fire report with the campus community. 

In addition, the Uniform Crime Reporting Act requires Pennsylvania colleges and universities to provide information related to security policies and procedures to students, employees and applicants; to provide certain crime statistics to students and employees; and to make those statistics available to applicants and prospective employees upon request. 

To review the University’s most recent annual report containing this information, please visit: or

You may request a paper copy of the report by calling the Office of the Vice President for Public Safety and Superintendent of Penn Police at 215-898-7515 or by emailing

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COVID-19 Pandemic: Spring 2020

Recognizing the challenges of teaching, learning, and assessing academic performance during the global COVID-19 pandemic, Penn’s admissions committees for graduate and professional programs will take the significant disruptions of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 into account when reviewing students’ transcripts and other admissions materials as part of their regular practice of performing individualized, holistic reviews of each applicant. In particular, as we review applications now and in the future, we will respect decisions regarding the adoption of Pass/Fail and other grading options during the period of COVID-19 disruptions. An applicant will not be adversely affected in the admissions process if their academic institution implemented a mandatory pass/fail (or similar) system for the term or if the applicant chose to participate in an optional pass/fail (or similar) system for the term. Penn’s longstanding commitment remains to admit graduate and professional student cohorts composed of outstanding individuals who demonstrate the resilience and aptitude to succeed in their academic pursuits.

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