Programs of Study

Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences program will prepare students for academic careers, research careers and upper-level executive positions in both public and private institutions. Students will develop relevant, interdisciplinary research skills by applying work to current and future pharmaceutical problems and challenges. 

Students in each of the six options – clinical research, medicinal chemistry, nanopharmacology, nuclear pharmacology and imaging, pharmacogenomics and drug discovery – will study the scientific framework of their specialty area. They will master highly technical, cutting-edge research methodologies appropriate to their respective specialties and responsive to the latest research findings and pharmaceutical issues. 

The curriculum of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Ph.D. program is geared toward the development and evaluation of new drug therapies, and research on drug modalities, drug delivery, drug metabolism and pharmaceutical analysis. 

Students will be expected, early in their program, to identify a research area within their option and, with guidance from their faculty adviser, develop a plan of research supporting this interest. Graduates of the Ph.D. program in Pharmaceutical Sciences will be able to: 

  • Conduct high-quality research 
  • Lead and partner effectively in research initiatives with other interested stakeholders 
  • Disseminate research findings through publication and conference participation 
  • Serve as worldwide “ambassadors” for the UMass system 
  • Demonstrate unparalleled ethical perspective on research issues and approaches 

Admissions and Degree Requirements 

Applicants to the Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences program must have a B.S. or M.S. degree or be in the last semester of their baccalaureate or master’s program. Courses from prior masters’ degrees must be closely related to courses within the Ph.D program in order to be applied toward meeting course credit requirements in the doctoral program.

Curriculum Plan of Study

Beyond the prerequisite courses, the curriculum will consist of a minimum of 49 credits of coursework and 12 credits of dissertation. Coursework will generally be scheduled in the fall and spring semesters. The expectation is that full-time students will finish the program in 4 to 5 years. The Program Director and advisors in the Ph.D. program will guide graduate students through a full-time program of study. Full-time study is equivalent to 9 credit hours per semester. View the curriculum plan of study.