Pharmacology (Ph.D.) Program Details

Degree Requirements 

    ❱   Required coursework
    ❱   Qualifying or comprehensive examination
    ❱   Graduate School writing proficiency requirement
    ❱   Graduate School Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement
    ❱   Dissertation 
    ❱   Final oral examination/Dissertation defense

Research Specializations

    ❱  Neuropharmacology
    ❱  Behavioral pharmacology
    ❱  Cardiovascular pharmacology
    ❱  Renal pharmacology
    ❱  Molecular and cellular pharmacology
    ❱  Cancer pharmacology
    ❱  Endocrine pharmacology
    ❱  Clinical pharmacology
    ❱  Toxicology

Research Areas & Interests 

Faculty Research Interests

A sampling of research interests 

  • Frequencies and types of adverse events associated with rapid alcohol dosing
  • Influence of neuropeptide regulation and gut microbiota on foraging and food choice
  • Neuropeptide regulation of binge eating and cocaine-seeking
  • Effects of typical and new estrogen receptors on neuronal function, particularly on neuritogenesis
  • Fine mechanisms involved in the intracellular traffic of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) 
  • Neurodegenerative mechanisms and exploring novel interventions, particularly in relation to Parkinson’s disease
  • Molecular actions of drugs of abuse on the development of central and peripheral nervous systems 
  • Behavioral and neurotoxicological consequences of prenatal and neonatal drug administration
  • Biological substrates of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders using animal and cell models
  • Life-span consequences of prenatal exposure to cocaine and nicotine
  • Role of loud noise in the etiology of autism and depression
  • Biological effects of natural compounds on prostate cancer using in vitro and in vivo models to target novel molecular products
  • Neuropharmacological and behavioral approaches to study hormonal regulation of orexin functioning the central nervous system
  • Psychostimulants and central control of cardiovascular and respiratory function
  • Effects of neuroleptics upon dopamine-containing cells in the retina
  • Drug development of new anti-cancer drugs for prostate and breast cancer
  • Detection of dopamine and metabolites by HPLC with electrochemical methods and medical informatics

Program of Study*


BIOC 101   General Biochemistry

PHAR 200  Intro to General Principles of Pharmacology 

PHAR 219  Graduate Biomedical Informatics

PHSI  210    Medical Physiology

PSYC 207   Applied Multivariate Statistics

PHAR 201   Introduction to Pharmacology Research Methods

PHAR 203   Introduction to Theory and Methods in Toxicology

PHAR 216   General and Systemic Pharmacology I

PHAR 217   General and Systemic Pharmacology II

PHAR 204   Research Seminar

PHAR 205   Literature Seminar

PHAR 400   Independent Research** 

**This course can be taken for a maximum of 10 credits with the student taking up to 2 credits per semester.


A sampling of elective courses

PHAR 208  Advanced Problems in Pharmacology

PHAR 202  Experimental Design and Statistical Methods

PHAR 209  Drug Development in Clinical Pharmacology

PHSI 251    Advance Endocrinology

PHAR 425  Seminar: Special Topics in Pharmacology

PHSI 260   Cardiovascular Physiology

PHAR 220  Alcohol Studies

PHSI 269   Renal Physiology

PHSI 252   Cell and Molecular Physiology

PHSI 206   Neurophysiology

PHAR 212  Cellular and Biochem Pharm

PHAR 301  Forensic Toxicology

PHAR 302  Biological Effect of Toxic Substances

PHAR 308  Clinical Toxicology

PHAR 424  Special topics in Neuropharmacology


*Courses included in the sample program of study are subject to change. Students should consult with their programs regarding their required program of study.

Admission to Candidacy 

Students are admitted to formal candidacy by the Graduate School when they have completed the required coursework, passed the qualifying or comprehensive examination, submitted an approved topic for research, and been recommended by the Department. Candidates must also have satisfied the Graduate School writing proficiency requirement and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement.

Graduate Funding 

Admitted students may be eligible to compete for Graduate School competitive awards, which provide tuition remission and a stipend during the academic year. Additionally, graduate research or teaching assistantships may be available at the department level. Research assistants and teaching assistants work no more than 20 hours a week under the program's direction, usually in support of faculty research (research assistants) or in support of assigned courses (teaching assistants). Please see the Funding website for more detailed information.