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Projected Schedule

  • First year: Take two courses and a research seminar each semester and do three research rotations during the two semesters. Select a thesis advisor by the beginning of June. Begin to prepare for a qualifying exam in the Fall of your second year while doing experiments towards your PhD project.
  • Second year: Take the qualifying exam during the first semester and any other courses to complement your pharmacology education. You can present a thesis prospectus to a thesis committee at any time prior to the end of your third year.
  • Third year (and subsequent years): Meet with thesis committee once a year until the thesis defense. Complete your IDP (Individual Development Plan) form at and be prepared to discuss at all thesis defense meetings. All Pharmacology Graduate students are expected to attend Pharmacology seminar series and present their work yearly at Research-in-Progress meetings to the Department.
  • Teaching is an integral part of the Ph.D. program, providing important experience for all students, not just those who plan academic careers. To fulfill their teaching requirement, most students serve as Teaching Assistants (during their second or third year, after passing the qualifying exam) in two courses in the Department of Pharmacology or in any other department that is part of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) Program. Fulfillment of this requirement usually occurs by the end of the third. Students submit two courses/semester they prefer to TA to the registrar by July 1st of each calendar year. The DGS will attempt to assign the preferred courses to each TA.