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Pharmaceutical Sciences, Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences prepares graduates for leadership roles in the evolving needs of pharmaceutical and biomedical education, research, and industry. Graduates of the program are trained to respond to rapidly changing needs in a variety of fields associated with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, academic and government institutions.  Students learn fundamental skills in basic and applied research in toxicology, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, and industrial pharmacy in a student-centric curriculum within an inclusive and collaborative learning environment.

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Degree Concentration

Students will complete their degree within one of four concentrations within Pharmaceutical Sciences.

  • Industrial Pharmacy
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology

All students participate in a core curriculum, with an individual specialized course of study within their concentration.  Each student will complete original laboratory scientific research as part of a doctoral dissertation (thesis).

Within the Department, there are more than 30 independent research groups led by faculty with a diverse range of expertise and research interests, including pharmaceutical dosage design, drug discovery, synthesis and production, pre-clinical testing, environmental toxicology, toxic risk assessment, structural and biochemical toxicology, nanotechnology, pharmacogenomics, gene therapy, molecular modeling, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modeling. Some therapeutic areas of interest include cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases, and pulmonary disease.  Students are trained in an inter-disciplinary environment that provides depth and breadth of knowledge with the opportunity for collaborative research with individuals with expertise in other fields.

Program Contact

For information regarding the academic program and requirements for the degree, contact the Graduate Program Director, PHS Department.

Woon-Kai Low, Ph.D

Graduate Program Director, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Program information

Summary of application and program requirements.

An applicant seeking acceptance in the Doctor of Philosophy program, Pharmaceutical Sciences must have completed an appropriate Baccalaureate or Master’s degree. This degree must be in the natural or physical sciences and may include degrees in the pharmaceutical sciences, toxicology, biology or chemistry. Other degree areas are considered on a case-by-case basis by the Admissions Committee.

The basic minimum requirements for an applicant with an undergraduate degree include:

  • An undergraduate grade point average of 3.5 or better
  • Suitable Graduate Record Examination (General Exam) scores
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose

The basic minimum requirements for an applicant with a suitable Master’s degree include:

  • A graduate grade point average of 3.0 or better
  • Suitable Graduate Record Examination (General Exam) scores
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose

Prior to registration, the student must receive written confirmation from the Office of Admission as to the approval of matriculation into the doctoral program.  The admissions committee may require that certain deficiencies be remedied during the first year of the Ph.D. program through additional coursework beyond the 60 credits of the degree.

Admission to the doctoral program does not imply advancement to candidacy for the degree. Additional requirements, including satisfactory completion of the core curriculum, passing the qualifying examination, passing the oral presentation of the research proposal, and the establishment of the Ph.D. research committee, must be fulfilled before a graduate student may be considered a candidate for a degree.

The Ph.D. faculty mentor and research committee are responsible for assisting the candidate in their research, but the primary responsibility for successfully completing the research and dissertation rests with the candidate.

The program of study consists of a minimum of 60 credit hours (45 credits of coursework beyond the baccalaureate degree and a minimum of 15 credits of research PHS 950), exclusive of prerequisites and dissertation research. An additional 3 credits are required for training in ethics that do not contribute to the 60 credits of the degree. Any potential lower credit requirements will be listed within the acceptance/admission letter.

The coursework for each student consists of a core curriculum and a specialization curriculum which is determined in consultation with the faculty mentor. In some cases, students may be required to complete more than the minimum number of credits in their area of specialization or a minor field of study in order to make up for any deficiencies in background experience and education. The final list of coursework, research, and other requirements grows out of the advisement process between the student and mentor/advisor and, if necessary, with the PHS Dept. Chair.

The basic research component is completed under the guidance of a faculty mentor who also serves as the student’s academic advisor.  Students do not need to secure mentorship prior to enrollment in the program.

The Core Curriculum consists of 10 credits plus 15 Doctoral Research credits. All core coursework requirements must be completed within the first two years of study.  Since courses are generally offered on a two-year rotation, required courses must be taken when offered.  The Research Tool course, PAS 265, Scientific Inquiry: Regulation and Ethical Challenges, must be completed by the end of second year.  PAS 265 will not contribute to the total minimum credit requirements.

Course code

Course title

Contribution to minimum credit requirements

PHS 256

Pharmaceutical Analysis Lab

3 credits

PAS 253

Biopharmaceutical Statistics

3 credits

PHS 251

Seminar in Pharmaceutical Sciences

0 credits

PHS 252

Seminar in Pharmaceutical Sciences

0 credits

PHS 253

Seminar in Pharmaceutical Sciences

0 credits

PHS 254

Seminar in Pharmaceutical Sciences

1 credit

PHS 950

Doctoral Research

Minimum 15 credits

In addition to the Core Curriculum, Distributive core curriculum:

Course code

Course title

Contribution to minimum credit requirements

IPP 241

Advanced Biopharmaceutics

3 credits

Electives

Course code

Course title

Credits

IPP 101

Special Problems

3

IPP 231 & 231L

Principles of Manufacturing Pharmacy, Lecture & Laboratory

4

IPP 233

Industrial Pharmacy Journal Club

2

IPP 234

Pharmaceutical Materials

3

IPP 235 & 235L

Product Formulation, Lecture & Laboratory

4

IPP 236

Evaluation of Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms

3

IPP 237

Industrial Pharmacy

3

IPP 247

Special Drug Delivery Systems

3

IPP 250

Targeted Drug Delivery Systems

3

IPP 255

Biotechnological Drug Delivery Systems

3

IPP 265

Introduction to Industrial Pharmacy I

3

IPP 266

Introduction to Industrial Pharmacy II

3

IPP 267

Advanced Physical Pharmacy

3

IPP 271

Degradation and Stability of Pharmaceutical Systems

3

IPP 273

Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Data Analyses

3

PHS 240 & 240L

Electron Microscopy & Laboratory

4

PHS 250 & 250L

Cell & Tissue Culture & Laboratory

4

Notes for Elective Courses 

Registration for courses should be performed after consultation with your academic advisor/research mentor.  Students may choose any of the courses listed above when offered after consultation with their academic advisor/research mentor.

Any course offered by the PHS department in the Pharmaceutical Sciences program at the graduate level will satisfy the elective requirements.  However, courses not listed above can only be taken as electives after approval from their academic advisor/research mentor and the Chair of the PHS department.

Courses offered by different departments within the College of Pharmacy of Health Sciences or by other departments or other academic units of the University can only be used to satisfy the program elective requirements after approval from the academic advisor/research mentor and PHS Dept. Chair.  Students should also keep in mind that permission from the other departments or academic units is also typically required for registration.

In addition to the Core Curriculum, the Distributive core curriculum:

Course code

Course title

Contribution to minimum credit requirements

PHS 212

Applied Biopharmaceutical Chemistry I

3 credits

Electives

Course code

Course title

Credits

MCM 101

Special Problems

3

MCM 207

Peptides and Peptidomimetics

3

MCM 223

Design of Nucleoside Analogs

3

MCM 225       

Biocatalysis in Drug Discovery                                                                     

3

MCM 231

Medicinal Chemistry Journal Club

2

MCM 255

Chemical Aspects of Drug Metabolism

3

MCM 263

Lab in Analysis of Biomacromolecules

3

MCM 265     

Principles of Drug Design I                                                                 

3

MCM 266      

Principles of Drug Design II                                                                     

3

MCM 267

Computer-Aided Drug Design

3

MCM 268

Drug Synthesis

3

MCM 269

Advanced Topics in Prodrug Design

3

MCM 270

Medicinal Chemistry of Antiviral and Anticancer Chemotherapeutic Agents

3

CHEM 227

Organic Spectroscopy

3

CHEM 121

Advanced Organic Chemistry

3

Notes for Elective Courses 

Registration for courses should be performed after consultation with your academic advisor/research mentor.  Students may choose any of the courses listed above when offered after consultation with their academic advisor/research mentor.

Any course offered by the PHS department in the Pharmaceutical Sciences program at the graduate level will satisfy the elective requirements.  However, courses not listed above can only be taken as electives after approval from their academic advisor/research mentor and the Chair of the PHS department.

Courses offered by different departments within the College of Pharmacy of Health Sciences or by other departments or other academic units of the University can only be used to satisfy the program elective requirements after approval from the academic advisor/research mentor and PHS Dept. Chair.  Students should also keep in mind that permission from the other departments or academic units is also typically required for registration.

In addition to the Core Curriculum, the Distributive core curriculum:

Course code

Course title

Contribution to minimum credit requirements

PHS 212

Applied Biopharmaceutical Chemistry I

3 credits

Electives

Course code

Course title

Credits

PHM 101

Special Problems

3

PHM 102

Principles of Pharmacology I

3

PHM 103

Principles of Pharmacology II

3

PHM 201

Pharmacology of the Autonomic Nervous System

3

PHM 203

Research Methods in Pharmacology

3

PHM 209

Pharmacological Aspects of Respiratory Disease

3

PHM 211

Biochemical Neuropharmacology

3

PHM 216

Advanced Psychopharmacology

3

PHM 221

Clinical Pharmacology

3

PHM 232

Pharmacology Journal Club

2

PHM 240

Pharmacology of Anticancer Drugs

3

PHM 246

Pharmacology of Drugs Abuse

3

PHM 247

Reproductive Pharmacology

3

PHM 249

Cardiovascular Pharmacology

3

MCM 223

Design of Nucleoside Analogs

3

PHS 213

Applied Biochemistry II 

3

PHS 250 & 250L

Cell & Tissue Culture and Laboratory

4

PHS 257

Gene Technology in the Pharmaceutical & Health Science

3

Notes for Elective Courses

Registration for courses should be performed after consultation with your academic advisor/research mentor.  Students may choose any of the courses listed above when offered after consultation with their academic advisor/research mentor.

Any course offered by the PHS department in the Pharmaceutical Sciences program at the graduate level will satisfy the elective requirements.  However, courses not listed above can only be taken as electives after approval from their academic advisor/research mentor and the Chair of the PHS department.

Courses offered by different departments within the College of Pharmacy of Health Sciences or by other departments or other academic units of the University can only be used to satisfy the program elective requirements after approval from the academic advisor/research mentor and PHS Dept. Chair.  Students should also keep in mind that permission from the other departments or academic units is also typically required for registration.

In addition to the Core Curriculum, the Distributive core curriculum:

Course code

Course title

Contribution to minimum credit requirements

PHS 212

Applied Biopharmaceutical Chemistry I

3 credits

Electives

Course code

Course title

Credits

TOX 101

Special Problems

3

TOX 201

Methods in Toxicological Evaluation

3

TOX 205

Neurotoxicology

3

TOX 207

Recent Advances in Forensic Toxicology

3

TOX 209

Advances in Clinical Toxicology

3

TOX 210

Biochemical Toxicology

3

TOX 215

Analytical Methods in Toxicology

3

TOX 216

Environmental & Occupational Toxicology

3

TOX 217

Toxicology of the Hematopoietic & Immune System

3

TOX 218

Pathophysiology of Organ System

3

TOX 219

Molecular Toxicology

3

TOX 222

Cellular Pathophysiology

3

TOX 223

Liver and Kidney Toxicology

3

TOX 230

Toxicology Journal Club

2

TOX 250

Product Safety and Risk Assessment

3

PHS 213

Applied Biochemistry II

3

PHS 239

Functional Neuroanatomy and Neuropathology

3

PHS 240 & 240L

Electron Microscopy & Laboratory

4

PHS 250 & 250L

Cell & Tissue Culture & Laboratory

4

PHS 264 & 264L

Analysis of Cell Structure and Function & Laboratory

4

PHS 271

Oxidants, Antioxidants & Free Radicals

3

Notes for Elective Courses

Registration for courses should be performed after consultation with your academic advisor/research mentor.  Students may choose any of the courses listed above when offered after consultation with their academic advisor/research mentor.

Any course offered by the PHS department in the Pharmaceutical Sciences program at the graduate level will satisfy the elective requirements.  However, courses not listed above can only be taken as electives after approval from their academic advisor/research mentor and the Chair of the PHS department.

Courses offered by different departments within the College of Pharmacy of Health Sciences or by other departments or other academic units of the University can only be used to satisfy the program elective requirements after approval from the academic advisor/research mentor and PHS Dept. Chair.  Students should also keep in mind that permission from the other departments or academic units is also typically required for registration.