PhD Curriculum

There are four categories of course work: Required intradepartmental courses (10 credits), intradepartmental course electives (6 credits), core/pre-requisite courses (up to 9 credits), extradepartmental course (9 credits unless decreased by excess core/pre-requisite courses)

Required Intradepartmental Courses (take all five courses, 10 credit hours)

■        Pharmacokinetics (PharmSci 700, 2 cr) (DE Smith)

■        Equilibria & Dosage Forms (PharmSci 701, 2 cr) (GE Amidon)

■        Biopharmaceutics (PharmSci 702, 2 cr) (GL Amidon)

■        Physical & Chemical Kinetics (PharmSci 703, 2 cr) (S Schwendeman)

■        Analytical methods in Drug Delivery (PharmSci 704, 2 cr) (W Cheng)


Intradepartmental course Electives (choose 6 credit hours from the following courses)

■        Nanotechnology (PharmSci 705, 2 cr) (J Moon)

■        Biologics (PharmSci 706, 2 cr) (A Schwendeman)

■        Solids (PharmSci 707, 2 cr) (N Rodriguez-Hornedo)

■        Cellular drug transport (PharmSci 710, 2 cr) (G Rosania)

■        Pharmaceutical Engineering (PharmSci 717, 3 cr)(P Tessier)

■        Advanced Pharmacokinetics /Pharmacometrics (PharmSci 760, 3 cr) (D Sun)

Core/pre-requisite Courses (may petition wavier if these courses have been taken in your previous studies)

Each of the courses below (square bullets) needs to have been completed either prior to joining the department or after beginning the graduate curriculum (and as soon as possible for pre-requisites (square bullets 3-4)).  If those courses taken during graduate study exceed 9 credit hours, the extradepartmental course requirement will be decreased accordingly (e.g., if 12 credits taken in the courses below during graduate study the extradepartmental requirement would be decreased by 3 credits resulting in a 6 credit extradepartmental requirement).

■         Physiology/pharmacology/cell biology/biochemistry >= 500 level (choose 6 credits)

●        Pharmacology 601 (3 cr, PSTP required)

●        Physiology 601 (3 cr)

●        Cell and developmental biology 530 (3 cr)

●        Human genetics 541 (4 cr)

■        Statistics (3 cr)  *

■        Differential equations (3 cr) *

■        Physical Chemistry (3 cr) *

* Either graduate or undergraduate level course can be taken to fulfill this requirement. Undergraduate courses < 400 level are not counted to fulfill graduate credit, but can be counted to fulfill prerequisite requirement)

Extradepartmental Courses (choose 9 credit hours from any extradepartmental courses)

Some options for extradepartmental courses below (note: this list is just a suggestion and some courses are also required by PSTP training program, but you may choose any other courses not listed here based on your research interests and your advisor’s approval)

■        Medicinal chemisty 534 (3 cr, PSTP required)

■        Medicinal chemistry 532 (3 cr) or Medicinal chemistry 533 ((3 cr) (one of them is required by PSTP)

■        Pharm 604 (1 cr) (PSTP required)

■        Pharmacology 502 (2 cr) or Med Chem 740 (1 cr) (one of them is PSTP required)

■        Physiology 601 (3 cr)

■        Cell and developmental biology 530 (3  cr)

■        Human genetics 541 (4 cr

■        Cancer biology 554 (4 cr)

■        Microbiology 640 (3 cr)

Seminar is required in the first two years. Registration in PharmSci seminar (#) is required the first two years in the graduate program.  Attendance is required all semesters.

Listing Row

Monday, September 30, 2013
Monday, September 30, 2013
  • Core Courses

    See PhD Curriculum 

  • Restricted Electives

    See PhD Curriculum

  • Elective Courses


    See PhD Curriculum 

  • Research Rotation

    During the fall semester graduate students are required to visit each faculty member in the Pharmaceutical Sciences (September-November) to discuss possible research rotations.  Students should take three research rotations during the fall and winter term.  The duration, scheduling, and learning objective of each research rotation will be decided upon by the student and advisor.


  • Advancement to Candidacy


    Preliminary committees should have at least three regular members of the Graduate Faculty, including at least two members of the Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty (with the student’s research advisor serving as Chair).  While the presence of an outside member is desirable, it is not required.

    Preliminary examinations, which consist of a written research proposal and oral presentation, should take place by the end of the second academic year of study.  The proposal should contain the specific aims or goals of the research project, appropriate background information to support these objectives, and future studies in sufficient detail to convince the committee that the student is ready to pursue his/her research project.  The research proposal should be distributed to committee members at least 7 days prior to the oral presentation.

    Presentation of a student’s experimental data is discouraged at the preliminary examination.  The primary objective is to evaluate whether or not the student can critically think and present a well-developed research proposal.  The student’s experimental data should be presented at a subsequent time during the “Research Update Meetings”.

    The “Course Work Requirement” form should be completed and distributed to all members of the preliminary committee prior to examination.  This form should also be given to Patrina Hardy (2002 Pharmacy) who will submit your information online for your “Recommendation for Candidacy”.

    Students will have two chances to pass the preliminary examination.


    Research updates, which include an oral presentation and a written report and/or copy of presentation materials, will be held after the preliminary examination on a yearly basis.  This is the time at which the student is evaluated with respect to his/her progress toward completing the research project and dissertation.  Research update meetings should include the Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty members and an outside member who can serve on the Dissertation Committee.*  The written report and/or copy of presentation materials should be distributed to committee members at least 7 days prior to the oral presentation.

    A written evaluation (less than one page) will be provided to the student by his/her research committee, and a copy placed in the departmental file, within one week of the research update meeting.  The written evaluation will also indicate the following consensus opinion of the committee:  Pass, Pass w/Conditions, No Pass.

  • Academic Standing and Discipline for Graduate Students

    A student whose cumulative GPA falls below a B (3.0 on a 4.0 point scale) in a given term or half term will be placed on academic probation for the following term or half term of enrollment. During the probationary term, the student will not be awarded a graduate degree or certificate and cannot transfer credit to a Rackham master’s program, be advanced to candidacy, or be allowed to change his or her program (i.e., dual degree, degree level, etc.). Upon the recommendation of the graduate chair, and with the consent of the Graduate School, a student may be given an opportunity to correct the scholastic and/or academic deficiency. Graduate programs may also require students to achieve minimum grades in the overall program of study and/or in particular courses.

    In this regard, the Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty has adopted the following policy:

    1. When a student’s overall GPA falls below 3.00, the student is no longer in good standing and will be placed on academic probation.  The student will then have one semester to make up the deficiency and will be eligible for financial support.
    2. If a student’s overall GPA falls below 3.00 for a second time, the student will be asked to leave the program.
    3. If a student’s semester GPA falls below 3.00, the student’s overall academic performance will be reviewed by the faculty and he/she may be placed on academic probation.
    4. Any student who is not making satisfactory progress in his/her coursework, or who has failed to demonstrate satisfactory progress in his/her research, may be asked to leave the program.
    5. Financial support is a privilege and will be determined for each student, regardless of performance, on a case by case basis.
  • Other Academic Requirements

    Medicinal Chemistry 660:  Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship in Pharmaceutical Sciences (RCRS)
    This course is REQUIRED for the ALL graduate students entering the College of Pharmacy (this includes Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Clinical Pharmacy) and is designed to satisfy the requirement of many government and national funding agencies for a standard course in the responsible conduct of research and scholarship in the biomedical sciences.  The course has also been designed to bring the entire research community of the College of Pharmacy together to foster a better understanding of the contribution of each discipline in the overall bench to bedside efforts of drug discovery and patient care.

    Third Year Seminar
    Third year students present a public seminar to faculty and other students on their research project, encompassing background, goals, progress to date, and plans for the future.

    Annual Dissertation Committee Meetings
    A dissertation committee must be formed within 2 months of admission to candidacy.  The committee meets annually at the third year seminar and during the fall term of the candidate's fourth and subsequent years.  The role of the committee is to monitor progress and help students keep on track for timely completion of their PhD.

    Dissertation Defense
    The dissertation defense includes a public seminar presentation, normally given during the regularly scheduled Pharmaceutical Sciences seminar program.

  • Forms