Application Information

Student Selection Criteria

Students must have an undergraduate science GPA of 3.5 and subsequently maintain a minimum 3.25 GPA each semester throughout Dental School. They must also provide the selection committee with a letter of recommendation from either a past or current research supervisor as indicated on page 1 of the application. Candidates will be selected based on the quality of the proposed program and demonstrated interest and aptitude for research.


The Honors Program in Basic and Translational research is open to talented incoming, first or second year students who have an interest in hypothesis driven basic science and bench to bedside research. Students will plan, implement and execute a hypothesis-driven research project over a one to two year period. Students apply for this Honors Program either prior to their admission to dental school or within their first or second year at Penn Dental Medicine. Students must identify a research mentor and develop a research project. As part of the application, students write a proposal that describes the hypothesis, significance, background and experimental design of the proposed study. The literature cited can be included in subsequent pages. The student, with the aid of the mentor, is expected to provide a time line for completion of the proposed studies. In addition, the mentor is required to provide a short description of the student’s role in the project and their commitment to overseeing the work.

Once applications are submitted, the faculty will review the research proposal and may conduct an interview with the student. Admission to the Honors Program in research is competitive, based on a quality review of the proposal and the ability of the student to complete the project as proposed, as well as the suitability of the laboratory to support the hypothesis driven research project.


  • Students begin a 6-week full-time research period in the summer prior to their first year.
  • Students prepare a detailed program plan which describes the scope, goals, objectives, activities, and time frame of their proposed studies.
  • Based on the approved research plan submitted to the Honors Program evaluation committee, students spend the summer of year 1-2 in more rigorous research project.
  • Formal presentations – Students are required to present their findings at Research Day.
  • Students must submit a final Honors Thesis before the end of their fourth year. Students are also strongly encouraged to publish their research results as an abstract or a manuscript.


View a list of research investigators for potential preceptors for the Research Honors program.

Contact Information

Questions regarding the application and review process can be addressed to Dr. Kathleen Boesze-Battaglia, Director, Honors Program.