Dual Pharm.D./ Ph.D. Program

Information for Prospective Students

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


The overall goal of this training program is to provide students with a visionary perspective on pharmaceutical sciences and 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 settings where they will engage in academic instruction, clinical care and research. A distinction between this dual 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 in the Pharm.D./Ph.D. program will meet all requirements for licensure as a pharmacist in the State of California.

Application Process

  1. Students should meet with Dr. Victor Nizet (vnizet@health.ucsd.edu), Director of the Pharm.D./Ph.D. Program as early as possible after entering pharmacy school to learn more about the program, and begin to plan their course of training.
  2. During the summers between the first and second year, and between the second and third 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.
  3. Students typically submit an abbreviated application to the BMS Program during the fall quarter of their second year of the Pharm.D. program.
  4. Following successful completion of the second year of the Pharm.D. curriculum, students devote all academic time to research for their Ph.D. thesis project.
  5. Once they have completed all of the requirements for the Ph.D. degree, students return to complete the third (pre-clinical) and fourth (Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences) years for the Pharm.D. degree.
  6. 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.

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 Pharm.D. 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 Pharm.D./Ph.D. Program Information (Structure and Options)