Pharmaceutical Science PhD Program Information

Learn about the prerequisites for enrolling in a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science program. Find out about courses and potential research areas in this degree program.

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Essential Information

The Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science is a research-oriented program that prepares graduates for careers in teaching and private industry. This Ph.D. program takes at least four years of full-time study to complete - additional time may be needed to complete the dissertation. Programs generally draw from areas in engineering, chemistry, biology and economics. Some Ph.D. programs in pharmaceutical science allow students to specialize in a concentration area that corresponds to a stage in the drug development process, such as discovery, optimization, assessment and outcomes. Other concentration areas may include pharmaceutical policy, molecular pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry and pharmacotherapy.

Education Prerequisites

A Bachelor of Science is the minimum requirement for admission into a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science program. Many pharmaceutical science departments do not require that the undergraduate degree be in a specific discipline; however, departments encourage applicants to apply if their undergraduate degree is in biology, chemistry, pharmacy, chemical engineering or a related area. Applicants are also required to submit scores from the Graduate Records Examination (GRE), and may be required to sit for an interview.

Program Coursework

The first two years of a pharmaceutical science Ph.D. program introduces students to advanced topics in pharmaceutical science. The second half of study is devoted to research, completing a dissertation and presenting its defense. Courses may include:

  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Forensic toxicology
  • Protein chemistry
  • Introduction to pharmaceutical sciences
  • Drug development
  • Biotechnology
  • Drug delivery concepts
  • Formulation of proteins
  • Research and development statistics

Popular Career Options

Graduates with a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science have a wide range of job opportunities on the research and development side of the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Medicinal chemist
  • Pharmaceutical chemist
  • University professor
  • Pharmacotherapist

Job Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected growth of employment for medical scientists is expected to be 36% from 2010-2020. This rate is much faster than average for all other occupations in the United States. Growth for jobs in the pharmaceutical sciences has slowed since the 1980s primarily because of fewer biotechnology companies being founded, and a reduced number of research grants being awarded. BLS reports that medical scientists earned a median annual salary of $76,980 as of May 2012.

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  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Kentucky include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
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      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
        • Pharmacy
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
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    • Mississippi (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Mississippi include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
        • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
        • Pharmacognosy
        • Pharmacy
        • Pharmacy Administration and Regulation
  • School locations:
    • Washington (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Washington include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
        • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
        • Pharmacy
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
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    • Missouri (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Missouri include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
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    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at East Carolina University include:
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      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
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      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
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      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
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      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
        • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
        • Pharmacognosy
        • Pharmacy
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions

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