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Pharmaceutical Sciences (PHD) - Drug Discovery & Development 
Program Description

Drug Discovery and Development Track

The Drug Discovery and Development Track of the Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences offers a Ph.D. degree in pharmaceutical sciences.  Students in this program must take courses in the major area as well as one of the several possible minor areas of study.

The objective of the Drug Discovery and Development Track is to impart advanced scientific knowledge in the drug discovery and design phases of pharmaceutical development, and to provide training opportunities in conducting state-of-the-art approaches in basic research in pharmaceutical sciences, and closely related sub-disciplines, in order to prepare the students for careers in independent research or related careers in academia, industry or government.  The average time to graduation is less than five years.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

Pharmaceutical Sciences -

The College of Pharmacy offers a graduate program leading to a Doctor of Philosophy and/or a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences.  Over twenty faculty participate in the program. 

Faculty research interests are in various areas of:

(1) Drug Discovery and Development

(2) Health Pharm Outcomes Research

(3) Pharmaceutics

College of Pharmacy  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Sonya M Flores-Basurto
Graduate Program Coordinator
Sonya M Flores-Basurto
Director of Graduate Studies
Nathan J Cherrington
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Christina M Inocencio
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

GPA 3.0 or higher
TOEFL 550 paper based or 79 intenet based (international students)
GRE is required, but no minimum requirement
3 letters of recommendation
Statement of purpose
Official Transcripts
Bachelor's degree in pharmacy, chemistry, or the biological sciences or Pharm.D. degree and adequate preparation in mathematics is a prerequisite to admission.

Standardized Tests

Required test(s): GRE
Required GRE Subject tests: None
Recommended tests: GRE
Recommended GRE Subject tests: None
Minimum GRE Verbal: 513
Minimum GRE Quantitative: 679
Minumum GRE Written: 4.5
Minimum GMAT: N/A
Minimum MAT: N/A
Minimum TOEFL: 79
Minimum IELTS: 7

Financial Aid

Research Assistantships available on a competative basis
Graduate Registration and Tuition Scholarships available on a competitive basis

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: December 1

International Applicants:

  • Fall: December 1
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 4832
NRC Taxon(a) for this program: Pharmacology, Toxicology and Environmental Health

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Drug Discovery and Development Ph.D. Coursework

A minimum of 38 units of course work in the area of the major subject including a minimum of 4 seminar credits, 6 laboratory rotation units, and a minimum of 4 research conference credits, 9 units in the minor subject, and 18 units of dissertation must be completed.  Courses in the Drug Discovery and Development program are listed under two different prefixes to the course numbers:  PHSC and PCOL.  All research and dissertation units are registered under PHSC.

PHSC 537a:      Medicinal Chemistry II (3 units, fall)

PHSC 537b:      Medicinal Chemistry III (2 units, spring)

PHSC 530         Nucleic Acids and Proteins as Drug Targets (3 units, fall)

PHSC 670:        Principles in Drug Discovery, Design, and Development (3 units, spring)

CHEM 550:       Synthetic & Mechanistic Organic Chem (3 units, Fall)

BIOC 565:        Proteins and Enzymes (3 units, Fall)

PHCL 595b       Scientific Writing, Presentation and Bioethics (2 units)

PCOL 586a        Laboratory rotations (fall & spring first year only, 6 units) OR

MCB 795a         ABBS Laboratory rotations:Introduction to Research (Colloquium) (fall & spring first year only, 6 units)

PHSC 596a       Seminar (fall & spring semesters until final defense, 4 units)

PCOL695a        Research Conference (fall & spring semesters, second year and beyond, 4 units)

Electives:          Electives (4-5 units) during year 1 and 2
Minor Requirements

Drug Discovery and Development Majors - Suggested Minor Programs

One minor is required. Students may choose from among the following approved minor list. Other options will be considered but must be approved individually by the Executive Council and Chairperson of the Program (minimum of 9 units).

1.         Chemistry/Biochemistry 

2.         Molecular and Cellular Biology

3.         Pharmacology & Toxicology

4.         Cell Biology and Anatomy

5.         Microbiology and Immunology

6.         Cancer Biology

7.         Neuroscience

8.         Medical Pharmacology

9.         Physiology

10.       Pharmaceutical Sciences (Internal Minor)


Student Handbook  
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Last revised 29 Aug 2018