The Interfaces Program


The curriculum for Penn’s HHMI-NIH Interfaces Scholars Program is unique among U.S. higher education institutions.  In order to train the next generation of research scientists in imaging, we are asking students selected for this prestigious program to take the first 18 months of their coursework in the medical school (including all lectures, dissections, labs, and small group discussions – excluding only the clinical sections) concurrently with PhD coursework in the imaging sciences.  Imaging courses and labs are designed to work in tandem.  Courses inform the labs, which are primarily hands-on opportunities with different imaging instruments.  This is a prime example of how the theory of our program informs the practice.

While we will work with each student to tailor the curriculum to suit his/her particular needs, the curriculum in the first 1.5 years is approximately the same for all students.

Overall Example Schedule (Week View)
Fall Year 1

Morning – Medical school Module 1 courses

Afternoon – Imaging Acquisition course 2 days per week



 Spring Year 1

Morning– Medical school Module 2 courses

Afternoon – Fundamental Techniques of Imaging (lab courses)






Summer Year 1

Research rotation

Fall Year 2

Morning – Medical school Module 2 courses

Afternoon – Biomedical Image Analysis



Spring Year 2

BE650, Math Elective, rotations and/or research



Summer Year 2

Research and preparation for qualifying exam

Fall Year 3

Qualifying exam and research


Basic Schedule for MD/PhD Students