Graduate Students

Program Discovery(605) 312-6590 

Learn from national research experts

We are shaping the next generation of leaders in medical research. Each year, new students are accepted to perform their graduate research at Sanford Research through applications to the University of South Dakota (USD) and South Dakota State University (SDSU). 

Supportive and specialized

A collegial and collaborative environment as well as a variety of learning formats in the laboratory and classroom ensure our graduate students are sufficiently trained to accomplish a variety of science careers. From cutting-edge research to the latest techniques, students receive outstanding training with accomplished faculty mentors who hold faculty appointments at the Sanford School of Medicine at USD and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at SDSU. Sanford Research and its academic partners work together to coordinate the graduate students’ classroom workload their research projects.

Call (605) 312-6590 or email us for more information.

Academic and research benefits

  • Train with national research leaders with expertise in vast disciplines including biochemistry, cellular biology, developmental biology, neuroscience, genetics and more
  • Complete three laboratory rotations during your first year before selecting a thesis advisor
  • Complete elective courses on site at Sanford Research
  • Explore a variety of science careers through career development workshops; past topics have included biotech, pharmaceutical industry, undergraduate teaching, clinical laboratory directing, science policy and technology transfer
  • Engage in K-12 outreach activities through Sanford PROMISE
  • Host and learn from prominent guest speakers; past speakers have included Nobel laureates and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigators
  • Learn in our 300,000-square-foot facility with over 200 research employees, state-of-the-art equipment and a 130,000-square-foot open collaborative space

For more information, please contact graduate education.

Graduate Opportunites

From participating in laboratory investigations to developing original research to pursuing an interdisciplinary graduate education, students learn both in the classroom and laboratory. With the Basic Biomedical Sciences Program, graduate students work alongside our researchers as they further our understanding of human disease and translate that knowledge into novel approaches for diagnosis, treatment and therapeutics.

Learn more.

It is collaboration between researchers and doctors that has led to the most extraordinary advancements in medicine, and the Physician Scientist Program allows graduate students to gain experience as both. By blending the two disciplines of MD and PhD, graduate students perform translational research and develop a unique integration of skills that prepare them for a physician scientist career.

Learn more.

The skills needed to pursue a cutting-edge career awaits graduate students in the Biochemistry Program. Besides developing a solid biochemistry foundation, graduate students gain hands-on experience in a variety of learning formats to develop their laboratory skills. Through their research projects, graduate students have the opportunity to understand human diseases and translate basic science findings into clinical treatments that impact patient care.

Learn more.

Graduate Student Testimonials

Hannah Hannah Wollenzien
Hannah has always wanted to pursue a career in research, and she feels more prepared than she could have imagined due to her Sanford Research mentors.

Read Hannah's Story


Elle Anderson
Despite looking all across the country, Elle found the perfect graduate program for a career as a doctor and researcher right here close to home.

Read Elle's Story


Bethany Freel
A small town girl from Missouri toured Sanford Research with her undergraduate professor and found all she was looking for in a graduate program.

Read Bethany's Story