Pharm.D. / Ph.D. Program

The college offers a sequential Pharm.D./Ph.D. degree track program to qualified pharmacy students. This program combines the features of a professional Pharm.D. degree with the advanced training and research of a pharmaceutical sciences Ph.D. degree.  The areas of emphasis of the program are: Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Pharmaceutics.

Goals and Philosophy

The Pharm.D./Ph.D. program is designed for highly motivated and qualified individuals who are seeking a combination program in the clinical and basic sciences that will prepare them for a career in academics, research, or other areas in which the ability to translate basic science research into clinical applications is sought. By carefully structuring this program, it maybe possible for students to complete the requirements for both the Pharm.D. and Ph.D. degrees in a shorter time than would be the case if the two degrees were obtained separately.

The Pharm.D./Ph.D. program is available to students who have already been admitted to and are enrolled in the Pharm.D. program, but only a few select Pharm.D. students will be able to meet the rigors and demands of this program.

Duration of the Pharm.D./Ph.D. Program

Unlike the Pharm.D. component, which has a fixed curriculum, the Ph.D. is a research degree, and so it is impossible to put a firm timetable on the duration of the program. Traditional Ph.D. students typically require five years to complete their degree. However, the efficiencies built into the Pharm.D./Ph.D. program should shorten the time required to complete the Ph.D. degree. We estimate that students will be able to complete their Ph.D. degree within three years after the Pharm.D. degree.

Outline of the Pharm.D./Ph.D. Program

Enrollment in the program is restricted to currently enrolled Pharm.D. students. The enrollment process consists of two phases.

Phase I is the recruitment and discernment phase that occurs between the semesters of the first and second professional years. Students who have demonstrated exceptional performance at the end of the semester of the first professional year will be invited to join Phase I of the Pharm.D./Ph.D. program. During this phase, students will enroll in a research seminar course and complete a minimum of three exploratory research rotations. In addition, students in Phase I will be encouraged to take course work required for admission to the Ph.D. degree. At the end of the P2 semester, students will formally apply to the Pharm.D./Ph.D. program. Application materials consist of transcripts, a statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. One letter of recommendation should be from a research supervisor who has agreed to work with you in the future Ph.D. portion of the program.

Phase II begins when a student is accepted to the Pharm.D./Ph.D. program. Phase II students will be able to apply to the Graduate School through the University’s Graduate Select Admission Program. During Phase II, students will continue the Pharm.D. curriculum while also carrying out research and taking additional course work geared towards the Ph.D. degree. During the fourth professional year, Phase II students will continue their research during three research rotations. Upon graduation with the Pharm.D. degree, these students will be officially enrolled as Ph.D. students. It is expected that these students will take their Ph.D. candidacy exams within 9-12 months of completing their Pharm.D. degree. After entering candidacy, students will complete their Ph.D. research and defend their dissertation to obtain a Ph.D. degree.