Program Requirements

Required Courses

  • M Pharm 200 – Introduction to Laboratory Research – Lab rotations in individual faculty laboratories
  • M Pharm 291 – Research Topics in Pharmacology – The objective of the course is to teach students how to critically read, critique and evaluate scientific articles by collectively reading and discussing, with two faculty members, key papers describing research developments.
  • M Pharm 292 – Research Projects, Proposals and Presentations – Critically read primary papers and give formal scientific presentations.  This course functions as a qualifying check point for students to prepare them for the PhD qualifying exam.
  • M Pharm 251 – Pharmacology Seminars – Graduate students present and discuss their research progress in a seminar format.  The objectives of 251 are to highlight the science done in DMMP and to help students improve their presentation skills by providing them with the opportunity to speak to a diverse audience.  M Pharm 251 is mandatory for all 1st and 2nd year students.  Third year students and above are required to present once a year.
  • M Pharm 237 – Integration of the Biology of Disease, Molecular Diagnostics and Therapeutics – Detailed examination of principles of pharmacology and mechanisms of drug action at organismal, tissue, cellular and molecular levels, with emphasis on pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, and drug discovery and development process.  This course also includes in-depth discussion of certain therapeutic agents.
  • MIMG C234 – Ethics and Accountability in Biomedical Research – Responsibilities and ethical conduct of investigators in research, data management, mentorship, grant applications, and publications.  Responsibilities to peers, sponsoring institution, and society.  Conflicts of interest, disclosure, animal subject welfare, human subject protection, and areas in which investigational goals and certain societal values may conflict.

Teaching Experience: Seminar presentations to department faculty and students are required of all students in the graduate program at least once a year (M Pharm 251).  One quarter as a teaching assistant is required and must be completed by the end of the student’s third year in the program.  Students in the Medical Scientist Training Program are not subjected to the teaching assistant requirement.

Advisors: A graduate advisor, who guides their academic program, is assigned for the first year. By the end of their first year, students have chosen a faculty sponsor(s) to serve as their advisor for dissertation research, and have begun research in the laboratory of their mentor(s).

Advancement to Candidacy Exam: This exam is a two-step process. 1. The first step is the M Pharm 292 course on proposal writing. All first year students enroll in M Pharm 292, where they learn to write and orally defend a proposal. The proposal is on a topic unrelated to any of their rotation projects. Students who do not earn a passing grade in M Pharm 292 will be dismissed from the Ph.D program. 2. The second step of the qualifying exam will be on the thesis topic. Students will prepare a written proposal, and defend the proposal in an oral exam in their third year.

Doctoral Committee: Students form their Doctoral Committee in the spring quarter of the second year. The committee will include one Graduate Training Committee member. The Doctoral Committee must have a minimum of four faculty members, including one who does not have an appointment in the Home Area.

Annual Committee Meeting: After passing the ATC, students hold an annual Doctoral Committee meeting each winter or spring quarter, to present a progress report. The progress must be submitted two weeks prior to the meeting. These annual meetings should focus on accomplishments and roadblocks during the past year.

Oral Exam, defense of thesis: Pre-defense Meeting: Prior to scheduling the final oral examination, students must have a pre-defense meeting. After this meeting the committee members should give their approval for a defense within a certain time frame. Final Oral Examination (Defense of Dissertation): Students are required to have a public oral defense and submit a written dissertation to the Graduate Division.