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PharmD + PhD Consecutive Program

  • photo of student in lab

    After completing her pharmacy degree, Elise Waldron-Young completed her PhD degree program research on selective inhibitors for a hardy and potentially deadly parasite.

  • photo of student researcher

    Henrietta Abodakpi works as a clinical pharmacology reviewer for the Food and Drug Administration following the completion of the Pharm.D. degree and Ph.D. degree in Pharmaceutics.

  • photo of trivedi

    The college's first Pharm.D./Ph.D. graduate, Meghna Trivedi is a UHCOP faculty researcher studying HER2+ breast cancer in collaboration with colleagues at UH and Baylor College of Medicine.

Professional students often develop an interest in research and a desire to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences after completion of the Pharm.D. Below are general guidelines for such individuals; for more details, please consult Jason Eriksen, Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs.

A Pharmaceutical Sciences Ph.D. can be earned in the concentrations of Pharmacology, Pharmaceutics, Medicinal Chemistry, or Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy.

Research Experience

The essence of a Ph.D. degree is research. The most critical criterium of admission to the Ph.D. program is a strong commitment and drive to do research. During your professional years, you perform research in faculty labs to (1) test whether you really desire a research career; (2) enable faculty members to evaluate your research potential; and (3) get a start on a potential dissertation project.

If admitted to the Ph.D. program and upon completion of the Pharm.D., a student becomes a graduate assistant, earning a stipend and Graduate Tuition Fellowship (GTF) support to pay graduate tuition and fees.

Students MUST have research experience before being admitted to the Ph.D. program. There are several ways this can be done:

P1: Focus on your Pharm.D. studies during the first year (admission to the Ph.D. program requires excellent Pharm.D. grades). Think about research topics, survey faculty interests, talk to faculty and read the professional literature.
P2: You can take up to 2 SCH of Special Topics in faculty laboratories during the summer of P2.
P3: During the spring of P3, you can take 2 SCH of Special Topics in faculty laboratories, if you have not already done so in P2 (4 SCH is the maximum Special Topics allowed).
P4: APPEs require your complete attention, and research must be done only during the one 6-week rotation period that is allowable.

Note: Some students have also worked in laboratories during the winter break between fall and spring semesters on a volunteer basis.

Graduate Admission

Submit your credentials during the summer near the end of your P3 year:

  1. Letter of reference from a faculty member with whom you have done research.
  2. A personal statement addressing these four items:
  1. Describe your career interests, as well as short- and long-term professional goals.
  2. Describe your research experiences and skills
  3. Explain the reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in your selected concentration in Pharmaceutical Sciences
  4. Provide any additional information that you would like the graduate admissions committee to consider.

The graduate admissions committee also will obtain Pharm.D. admissions credentials from the Pharm.D. admissions office and conduct interviews. The decision should be made by the end of September; the date is chosen so that students have time to make alternative career plans in the event of a negative decision yet allows sufficient time for faculty to develop stipends if admission is granted.

Graduate Enrollment

After graduating with your Pharm.D., you would be enrolled as a Ph.D. student and begin receiving a stipend as either a Research or a Teaching Assistant beginning the summer after graduation. From this time, all graduate tuition and fees would be paid by the university (in the form of Graduate Tuition Fellowship).

For further discussion, contact Jason Eriksen, Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs.