Graduate School FAQs

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Support comes from different sources and topped up with grants or awards, including research and teaching assistantships —or fully supported through fellowships.The general rule is that the program and advisor will guarantee support for the duration of graduate training.

It depends on the program, some require more classes than others.

Most of the graduate programs have funding to support conference costs, you can also apply for travel grants, faculty can provide funding as well.

If the interest is to stay in academia, usually PhD students apply for a Postdoc position or research positions at different levels (technician, research associate, freelance research with contract, etc.) before looking applying for tenure or non-tenure positions. Master students usually apply to PhD or look for positions in labs (technician, research assistant, etc.). Our past graduate students hold a range of faculty and senior research positions in universities around the globe.

Our graduates are employed in both the private and public sector; including in the biotech industry, science communication/media, non-profit organizations focused on public health and agriculture, and a range of government agencies focused on human, animal and crop health.

Our core instrumentation facilities meet the needs of most students doing research in the life sciences. Examples include genomics, transgenic mice, cryo-electron microscopy, metabolomics, proteomics, and x-ray crystallography. The Huck instrumentation facilities are a state-of-the-art resource for faculty and students.

Visit here for a full list.

Some students whose projects involve fieldwork may need to travel to field sites at locations near to Penn State, across the US, or around the globe. Talk with prospective thesis advisors about whether fieldwork is a standard part of their research programs.

Because CIDD brings together research teams across 15 departments, there are daily opportunities for networking with disease focused researchers at Penn State. Other examples include; the informal ‘Monday Lunch’ seminar series, weekly ‘CIDD Seminar’ followed by lunch with the visiting speaker, participation in annual workshops on transdisciplinary research topics, and the Huck Leadership Board.