Advanced degrees in the biology of aging

The Buck provides several avenues to further your education in geroscience.

A unique and welcoming environment

The Buck Institute provides a unique and welcoming environment for current or prospective graduate students who want to pursue studies focused on the aging process or age-related diseases. Our collaborative research approach provides rich opportunities to interact and learn from scientists in various disciplines. PhD students sponsored by their home country or a degree-granting organization can complete their doctoral studies under the mentorship and supervision of one of our faculty. Three programs also operate in close association with the Buck Institute and allow students to perform full-time research in Buck’s laboratories and take courses taught by Buck faculty.

The Biology of Aging Doctoral Program at the University of Southern California is the nation’s first graduate program focused on studying the aging process. The program offers students the choice of performing research and taking courses either at the Buck Institute or at USC. The two-year Biological Sciences Master’s program with Dominican University of California also provides students with the opportunity to perform research projects in Buck Institute laboratories. In addition, the Buck Institute collaborates with Touro University, to host master’s students who are completing Touro’s 10-month Medical Health Sciences program. These programs provide students with full-time research experience and teach them the necessary skills to continue their careers in scientific fields.

PhD Program in the Biology of Aging

The nation’s first PhD program in the biology of aging offers graduates an unprecedented opportunity to learn from world leaders in the field of aging research, both at the Buck Institute and the USC Davis School of Gerontology in Los Angeles. The Buck and USC joined forces in 2014 to create this unique program, which enables the next generation of scientists to enter the field fully prepared to participate and make their own breakthroughs aimed at extending human healthspan. Drawing on the strength of both organizations, this comprehensive interdisciplinary program focuses on molecular, cellular, and regenerative medicine as well as the integrative biology of aging. PhD candidates take core courses on the molecular and cellular biology of aging and age-related disease and then select a specialty from the following list: neuroscience, molecular and cellular biology, stem cell and regenerative sciences, and biomedical sciences. Students will study closely with a faculty mentor and have opportunities to collaborate on research and publications, attend colloquia, participate in and attend national meetings, and develop a professional network to support an independent career in the field of research on aging.

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Master of Science programs

Dominican University

The Institute partners with nearby Dominican University in San Rafael to offer a Master of Science degree program in biological sciences that’s the first of its kind in the United States. Students enrolled at Dominican complete their research-intensive laboratory requirements at the Buck Institute. The program trains students for scientific careers focused on biomedicine, including understanding the aging process and detecting, preventing, and treating age- and metabolic-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, stroke, and osteoarthritis.

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Touro University

Students enrolled in Touro University’s Master of Science degree program in medical health services with an emphasis in pharmaceutical sciences work at the Buck Institute as part of a 10-month immersive experience in research techniques. Students are mentored by Touro faculty who also do research at the Buck. Upon graduation, many of the students enroll in Touro’s pharmacy program or other health sciences programs or go to work in the biotech industry.

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Graduate Student Society

All graduate students who perform their research at the Buck Institute automatically become members of the Buck’s Graduate Student Society (GSS). This student-run organization provides a platform for students to develop additional plans for their career and social growth while also working closely with the Buck administration and faculty to improve the overall experience for all graduate students at the Buck. The GSS meets monthly to discuss advocacy for student life at the Buck, schedule career development seminars, organize social gatherings, and discuss ways to improve students’ overall educational experience.

The GSS also hosts the annual Buck Student Aging Symposium, an all-day internal conference which provides students an opportunity to present their research to the Buck community.

Contact for more information

We are here to answer your questions and to help find the best program for your students.

Julia Molla

Program Director

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