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Coursework Information

Coursework and Related Requirements

Completion of an individual program of study, agreed to by the student and the graduate supervisory committee, is required. Students are evaluated by the faculty yearly until admitted to official candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. Admission to candidacy requires satisfactory completion of the core pharmaceutics courses, and passage of a written and oral qualifying examination. The department does not require a fixed number of credit hours for the Ph.D. degree. Instead, students must complete a core of four pharmaceutics courses and four elective courses (8 or more total hours) from an approved list. No foreign language is required. A dissertation based on original research must be prepared and defended.

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Pharmaceutics Graduate Curriculum

1.   Prerequisites

  • Organic chemistry with laboratories - one year
  • Physical chemistry - one year
  • Calculus - one year
  • Anatomy, cell biology, developmental biology, classical genetics, or physiology - one semester

2.   Required Coursework (didactic: 25 hours; total hours: 30)

  •  Core Pharmaceutics sequence (PHCEU 7010, 7011, 7020, 7021, 7030, 7040) – 15.5 cr1
  • Electives – at least 4 elective courses that total to a minimum of 8 credit hours2
  • Journal Club (PHCEU 7975) – 1 cr per semester for 4 semesters3
  • Seminar PHCEU 7890 – 1 cr in semesters when presenting a full research seminar
  • PHCEU 7031 “Lipid Based Drug Delivery” (0.5 cr) when offered
  • MBIOL 7570 “Case Studies and Research Ethics” (1 cr)

3.   Department Seminar

All graduate students are expected to attend department seminar each week of the Fall and Spring Semesters. In addition, they are required to present at least two seminars prior to their Ph.D. defense. These should be presented in their 2nd and 4th years after joining the Department. They should also enroll in PHCEU 7890 (Research Seminar – PhD) during the semesters in which they present. The Ph.D. defense is considered an additional department seminar. All students are required to attend PhD defenses. Students are highly encouraged to present podium or poster presentations at local, regional, or national meetings.

4.   Highly Recommended Electives

  • Biocompatibility (PHCEU 7210, 2 cr)
  • Biomaterials (PHCEU 6020, 3 cr)
  • Biostatistics (MDCRC 6050, 1-2 cr)
  • Integrated Drug Development Process in the Pharmaceutical Industry (PHCEU 7055, 1.5 cr)
  • Nanomedicine (PHCEU 7230, 3 cr)
  • Therapeutics Discovery, Development, and Evaluation (PHARM 6500, 2 cr)
  • Introduction to Regulatory Affairs (BME 5110, 3 cr)

5. First Semester (Fall)Second Semester (Spring)Third Semester (Fall)Fourth Semester (Spring)

First Semester (Fall) Second Semester (Spring) Third Semester (Fall) Fourth Semester (Spring)
PHCEU 7010 (1.5 cr)
Molecular Biology
(1st 7 weeks)
PHCEU 7020 (4 cr)
Advanced Physical Pharmacy & Dosage Forms
PHCEU 7011 (3 cr)
PHCEU 7975 (1 cr)
Journal Club

PHCEU 7021 (2 cr)
(2nd 7 weeks)

PHCEU 7040 (4 cr)
PHCEU 7975 (1 cr)
Journal Club
Electives or Ph.D. Thesis Research (PHCEU 7970)
(8-10 cr)
PHCEU 7030 (4 cr)
Macromolecular Therapeutics and Drug Delivery
PHCEU 7975 (1 cr)
Journal Club
Electives or Ph.D. Thesis Research (PHCEU 7970)
(6-8 cr)
Research seminar when presenting only (PHCEU 7890, 1 cr)
PHCEU 7975 (1 cr)
Journal Club

MBIOL 7570 (1 cr)
or Ph.D. Thesis Research (PHCEU 7970) (0-2 cr)

Electives or Ph.D. Thesis Research (PHCEU 7970)
(0.5-2.5 cr)

6.   Recommended Elective Courses for Students Specializing in the Following Research Areas

Advanced Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Drug Delivery Systems


Pharmacokinetics & Pharmacodynamics

[1] Core sequence (PHCEU 7010 - 7040) is taught annually.  Comprehensive exam must be taken within six months of completing the core sequence.  The comprehensive exam is offered autumn and spring semesters annually.

[2] Students must take 4 journal club courses starting their first semester after matriculation. The sequence should be taken without interruption.

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