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Pharm.D./ Ph.D. Program
Information for Prospective Students
The purpose of the Pharm.D. / Ph.D. Program is to prepare students for positions in academia, government and the pharmaceutical industry that will require experience and knowledge in the conduct of original investigation related to the pharmaceutical sciences. Students who complete this program will be uniquely suited to perform basic and clinical research and to translate the results of the research to clinical practice. The course of study will prepare graduates for careers as faculty members in Schools and Colleges of Pharmacy or other health professions where they will engage in academic instruction and research or to serve as leaders in drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry. The program is a joint program between the SSPPS and the Biomedical Science Graduate Program on the UCSD Health Science Campus. A distinction between the Pharm.D./Ph.D. and other joint doctoral programs is that training for the Pharm.D./Ph.D. degree is envisioned to be closely aligned with the drug development process as well as therapeutic practices and outcomes.
Students are selected from first and second year students who are currently enrolled in the SSPPS, although it is encouraged for prospective students to indicate their potential interest in dual degree training as early as the application and recruitment process.
Students admitted to the program complete all required coursework in the first two years of the Pharm.D. curriculum. During elective opportunities in the second year of the curriculum (Spring Quarter), students are encouraged to explore graduate coursework relevant to their area of research concentration. During the summer between the first and second year, students will explore research opportunities through laboratory rotations at UCSD and at adjacent research institutes (Salk Institute, Scripps Research Institute, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute) with faculty that hold a primary affiliation with the UCSD Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. Stipends and/or fellowships may be available to support the summer research experiences. By the end of the second year of the curriculum, students select a graduate program and laboratory/mentor for thesis studies.
Important Note: Students with excellent prior research experience and commitment to dual degree training may arrange a first laboratory research rotation during the summer prior to matriculation into the PharmD curriculum.
Following successful completion of the second year of the Pharm.D. curriculum, students devote full-time to research for their Ph.D. thesis project. Once they have completed all of the requirements for the Ph.D. degree, students return to complete the third (preclinical) and fourth (Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences) years for the Pharm.D. degree. Following successful completion of all of the requirements, the candidate will be awarded both the Pharm.D. and the Ph.D. degree. It is anticipated that the program will take, on average, 7 or 8 years to complete the requirements for the joint degrees.
Applicants must be highly motivated and committed to improving health care through the conduct of research, as demonstrated by their ability to perform and aptitude for conducting research.
Admission Procedures: Applicants who are currently enrolled in the Pharm.D. Program must complete the attached Pharm.D./Ph.D application by the fall quarter of the second year.
Following receipt of the application materials and excellent performance in the required research rotations, the Pharm.D./Ph.D. Admissions Committee will review applications and conduct interviews. Following the interviews, highly qualified applicants may be offered admission to the Pharm.D./Ph.D. Program.
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