Dual Pharm.D./ Ph.D. Program

Information for Prospective Students

The program is a unique joint effort between the SSPPS and the Biomedical Sciences and Graduate Program on the UC San Diego Health Sciences Campus with emphasis on Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Development.  


The overall goal of this training program is to provide students with a visionary perspective on the drug discovery and development process. 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 in academia, as faculty members in schools and colleges of pharmacy, government, leaders in drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry, or other health professions where they will engage in academic instruction and research. A distinction between this dual PharmD/PhD and other joint doctoral programs is that training for the PharmD/PhD degree is envisioned to be closely aligned with the drug development process as well as therapeutic practices and outcomes.

Application Process

  1. Students are selected from first- and second-year classes currently enrolled in SSPPS. Applicants who are currently enrolled in the PharmD Program must submit the PharmD/PhD application by the fall quarter of the second year.
  2. Following receipt of application materials and excellent performance in the required research rotations, the PharmD/PhD Admissions Committee will review applications and conduct interviews.
  3. Following interviews, highly qualified applicants may be offered admission to the PharmD/PhD Program.
  4. During the summer between the first and second year, students will explore research opportunities through laboratory rotations at UC San Diego and with collaborative research institutes with faculty that hold a primary affiliation with the UC San Diego Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. Stipends and/or fellowships may be available to support the summer research experiences.
  5. 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.
  6. Following successful completion of the second year of the PharmD curriculum, students devote all academic time to research for their PhD thesis project.
  7. Once they have completed all of the requirements for the PhD degree, students return to complete the third (pre-clinical) and fourth (Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences) years for the PharmD degree.
  8. Following successful completion of all of the requirements, the candidate will be awarded both the PharmD and the PhD degree. It is anticipated that the program will take, on average, 7 or 8 years to complete the requirements for the joint degrees.

Important note: 

Students with excellent prior research experience and commitment to dual degree training may arrange a laboratory research rotation during the summer prior to matriculation into the PharmD curriculum. 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.

For more information about this program, please visit: Biomedical Sciences and Graduate Program.

Additional PharmD/PhD Program Information (History and Background)