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Established in 2008, PULSE is Penn State College of Medicine’s educational outreach program for high school students passionate about the biomedical sciences. PULSE, operated as a medical student interest group, is a semester-long (12-week) academic course taught at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. PULSE aims to cultivate interest in medicine, biomedical science and health care systems science by introducing passionate learners to medical students, biomedical researchers and practicing clinicians.

The PULSE course will be held again in fall 2020 with the topic of adolescent medicine. PULSE will also continue its professional development and mentorship program. The program is currently not able to offer the course for credit or offer transportation.

Any student interested in science/medicine in ninth to 12th grades can apply to PULSE.


  • To supplement student science education with a quality, 12-longitudinal medical curriculum
  • To foster the interests of high school students from surrounding communities through interactive lectures, problem based learning sessions, and clinical shadowing opportunities.
  • To enrich high school students’ current approaches in acquiring knowledge in scientific endeavors.
  • To enhance critical thinking skills and foster independence.
  • To provide important information for educational options and career paths in healthcare.
  • To empower Penn State students to act as mentors and educational leaders.
  • To encourage active participation of underrepresented groups in medicine by providing mentors and instructors with whom they can identify.

College of Medicine students

PULSE remains active throughout the year and encourages involvement of medical, PA, nursing and graduate students. Students would like to learn more about the organization or get involved, shoild contact any of the officers listed below.

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General information

About the Course Expand answer

The topic for PULSE 2020 is adolescent medicine. Subjects and activities the group expects to explore this year include:

  • Lecture and project-based learning topics:
    • Neurodevelopment of the adolescent brain
    • Reproductive health and development
    • Metabolism and nutrition
  • Hands-on cadaver lab
  • Health professions career panel
  • College preparation assistance
    • College selection, SAT/ACT and essay tips, science major information
  • Course structure:
    • 50-minute lecture
    • 1-hour problem-based learning session
    • Longitudinal mentorship sessions
  • Location:
    • Lecture Room B
      700 HMC Crescent Road
      Hershey, PA 17033
      (No. 14 on the Campus Map)
      Enter from the College Entrance, take the elevator to the fourth floor
Application Information Expand answer

Applications for PULSE 2020 are closed, and acceptances have been released. The program looks forward to receiving the next set of applications in April 2021.

Leadership Expand answer


Board of Directors

Direction to LR-B Expand answer
  1. Park in Centerview Parking Lot on floors 3, 4, or 5.
  2. Walk toward the Main Hospital entrance. Enter through this entrance.
  3. Walk straight, past the Starbucks and the Student Store, to the Nittany Lion.
  4. At the lion, turn right towards North entrance.
  5. Use the elevators at the North wing to go to the fourth floor.
  6. Turn right and walk through the big double doors.
  7. Turn right once you pass the bathrooms, and LR-B will be on your right.

The campus map may be helpful.

Schedule Expand answer

PULSE 2020 will be on Mondays from 4 to 6:30 p.m., Sept. 14 through Dec. 14, 2020. There will be no class on Columbus Day (Oct. 12) or the Monday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 23).