PARS: Empowering young women to pursue careers in science and medicine




Penn Academy for Reproductive Sciences (PARS) offers young women in high school the opportunity to explore their interests in reproductive health and research science, and to learn directly from top professionals in these fields. PARS strives to provide a highly interactive environment for its students through small-group discussions, demonstrations, and hands-on labs.


For six Saturdays during the spring and fall, and three consecutive weekdays during the summer, 10-12 motivated students gather on the University of Pennsylvania campus to learn from top researchers and physicians in their fields about several topics in the reproductive sciences, including:


-          Reproductive anatomy and physiology

-          Genetics and epigenetics

-          Stem cells and development

-          Assisted reproductive technologies

-          Oncofertility

-          Medical ethics

-          Planning for careers in science and medicine



Since the summer of 2010, over 100 students have participated in the PARS program. Our alumni continue to pursue science in their undergraduate educations, through summer research experiences, and through internships with the PARS faculty on the University of Pennsylvania campus. PARS students have also received scholarships to study at the University of Pennsylvania, Barnard College, and Drexel University, among others.  


The complete syllabus for the Spring 2015 program is available here.

Dates for the Spring 2015 PARS session are Saturday March 21, March 28, April 11, and April 28th, from 9 AM-1 PM. Applications from qualified 10th-12th grade female students, in the Philadelphia area, are now being accepted through February 27th (at midnight). PARS Spring 2015 Application.


To learn more, please contact Jamie Shuda Program Outreach Coordinator.

To complete the PARS Alumni Survey, please click here.


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This work is funded in part by grant U54-HD06817 from the National Institutes of Health.