Schools with Stem Cell Research Programs: How to Choose

Students who are interested in stem cell research can participate in a number of different training programs, internships and fellowships. Opportunities are available to both undergraduate and graduate students at university stem cell labs and teaching hospitals.

How to Select a Stem Cell Research School

Biologists study the stem cell's ability to heal itself, as well as ways to use stem cells to grow different types of organs and tissues, in hopes of treating various illnesses and injuries. Although controversial, stem cell research is a growing field. At least a bachelor's degree is required to enter a stem cell research training program, but a doctoral degree may be required for some options. Students who are looking for stem cell research programs may want to take the following points into consideration:

  • Students should decide how much time they want to dedicate to their education; stem cell research programs may last a single semester to a one-year, while internships may range in length from a summer to an entire year.
  • A school with faculty who are experts in various fields, such as gene expression, immunology, tissue engineering or nanotechnology, can provide students with a broadened experience by exposing them to different areas of stem cell research.
  • Advanced researchers who are interested in stem cell research programs may apply for training programs such as fellowships for graduate students, post-doctoral research fellowships for Ph.D. holders or research grant programs for medical doctors.
  • Some schools require research fellows to be U.S. citizens, so prospective students who aren't U.S. citizens may consider their funding options.

Stem Cell Research Program Overviews


Competitive laboratory-based research internships may last a summer semester to a full calendar year. In addition to lab and classroom components, students may be required to attend symposia at their schools where they present their research results. Graduate students are typically expected to have a Bachelor of Science in Biology or other related field. Courses required in these types of programs commonly cover the following topics:

  • Immunology
  • Stem cell biology
  • Molecular biology

Training Programs

Training programs in stem cell research include both university fellowships and grant-funded training programs. These are available to current pre-doctoral graduate students, medical doctors or post-doctoral students, and they require coursework, lab work and independent research. Some of the requirements may include research methods courses in stem cell biology, an overview of research ethics and weekly presentations. Course topics might include:

  • Ethics, laws and policy in stem cell research
  • Reproductive physiology
  • Human biochemistry
  • Developmental genetics

10 Schools with Stem Cell Research Training Options

College/University Institution Type
Harvard University 4-year, Private
Stanford University 4-year, Private
University of California - Davis 4-year, Public
University of California - San Diego 4-year, Public
San Jose State University 4-year, Public
California State University - Northridge 4-year, Public
University of Wisconsin - Madison 4-year, Public
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities 4-year, Public
New York University 4-year, Private
University of Washington 4-year, Public

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