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La Salle News

December 8, 2020

La Salle, Penn Engineering enter academic-program partnership

La Salle biology students in a lab.

The 4+1 program will allow La Salle undergraduates to work toward and earn a master’s degree in bioengineering from Penn.

La Salle University has entered an academic-program partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, creating a pathway for La Salle undergraduates to simultaneously complete undergraduate course work while earning credits toward completion of a graduate degree in bioengineering at Penn.

Junior students at La Salle who are majoring in natural and physical science and math programs are eligible for admission into the University of Pennsylvania’s Master’s in Bioengineering program. Upper-level students at La Salle, beginning in their third year, can enroll in courses at Penn that would meet criteria for undergraduate and graduate programs at La Salle and Penn, respectively.

Image of La Salle University and Penn Engineering logo.“This partnership meets an immediate need for our students,” said David Zuzga, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of La Salle’s Department of Biology. “Penn’s bioengineering programs are a niche strength in Philadelphia’s life science ecosystem. Access to their Master’s in Bioengineering program provides for our students an opportunity to work toward completion of their undergraduate studies at La Salle in biology and other natural and physical sciences with an eye toward a graduate degree—both of which providing transformational career outcomes.”

The partnership will provide students with access to summer internships and fellowships, as well as mentorship, professional development, and research opportunities.

This 4+1 program is believed to be the first academic partnership in the STEM and science fields between the two Philadelphia higher education institutions.

More information

Learn more about La Salle’s 4+1 program, in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania.

“I am very excited about this partnership between Penn Engineering and La Salle, which will enable La Salle undergraduate students to access Penn courses and transition to an accelerated Master’s degree at Penn,” said Ravi Radhakrishnan, Ph.D., professor and chair of Penn’s Department of Bioengineering. “This partnership also builds interdisciplinary strength by facilitating life science majors to transition to bioengineering and other engineering programs.”

To prepare students for the program, La Salle will offer a new four-course concentration in BioDesign—an emerging discipline drawing on design thinking, biology, engineering, and entrepreneurship to develop products and technologies to address unmet healthcare needs.

“This partnership with the University of Pennsylvania builds upon our already strong and innovative science programs at La Salle,” said Steven F. Siconolfi, Ph.D., La Salle’s interim provost and vice president of academic affairs. “It’s the latest addition to our cutting-edge offerings in the sciences, including biology and integrated science, business and technology. And similar to those programs, this partnership will prepare our students for leadership roles in rewarding careers of their choosing.”

Learn more about La Salle’s Department of Biology and the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Bioengineering, which is housed in Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.

—Christopher A. Vito

Current and prospective students can learn more about this new program by contacting David Zuzga, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of La Salle’s Department of Biology, at