Minimum requirements needed for the successful completion of the Ph.D. program in the Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences Pathway established by the Graduate School, HSC Office of Research and Graduate Education, and the Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty, are as follows:

Course requirements

  1. Number of credit hrs.: fall and spring semesters: 9-17; summer: 3 hrs. Approval is needed if a graduate student takes more than 17 hours in a semester. 
  2. Year 1, fall semester: completion of the undifferentiated biomedical sciences core curriculum, as described at: and
  3. Complete PPS pathway course requirements: one required course, Phar779: Drugs: Bench to Market, and at least two more advanced courses of choice.       
  4. Submit Plan of Study by the end of Year 2.  It should be designed with guidance from the student’s major advisor and graduate committee.
  5.  Every semester attend two 1 credit hour required courses: graduate seminar and a journal club.  Several different discipline-oriented journal club courses are available. 
    Note: It is recommended that committee meetings to discuss student progress be held after the student’s seminar presentation.  Mentor and committee members are encouraged to attend the seminar.
  6. Every semester register for research, for 1 or more credit hrs. as needed.  The mentor should evaluate student’s progress during the semester using the Research Evaluation Form provided by the course coordinator (program director). 

Teaching requirement

Mentors are responsible for arranging teaching experiences to meet this requirement in consultation with the student’s dissertation committee and the PPS Program Director.

Dissertation requirements

  1. Identify a Ph.D. committee chair/mentor by the end of the Year 1 in the program.
  2. Appoint a Ph.D. Committee by the end of the fall semester of Year 2.

Graduate committee: The committee should be comprised of 5 members and the major advisor must be a regular member of the Graduate Faculty.  NIOSH faculty may serve as a co-chair.  Majority of the graduate committee must be regular members of the graduate faculty.  At least two members must be from the pathway, at least one member must be from outside of the pathway. Only one committee member with no graduate faculty status is permitted.  Maximum number of committee members is 6. 

  1. Evaluate research progress annually, starting at the end of Year 2.  The Annual Student Evaluation Form and Progress Report is due June 15, following a graduate committee meeting.  The committee has to meet at least once a year to discuss student’s progress, with additional meetings scheduled as needed.  These meetings should be held preferably after the student’s seminar presentations.  
  2. Submit Individual Development Plan required from all HSC students (form available at: annually, by June 15, along with the Annual Evaluation Form (see above).  The IDP should reviewed with the mentor.
  3. Successfully pass the written part of the doctoral qualifying exam (Part I) by the end of the summer semester of Year 2.
  4. Successfully pass the oral part of the doctoral qualifying exam (Part II - dissertation proposal defense) within 6 months of passing Part I of the qualifying exam. 
  5. After passing part II of the doctoral qualifying exam, candidates are allowed no more than 5 years to complete the remaining degree requirements.
  6. At least one accepted 1st author publication in a peer-reviewed journal from your research is required. 
  7. Write a doctoral dissertation at the conclusion of your research project.  The dissertation must be submitted to your dissertation committee 10 business days before defense.
  8. Orally defend the dissertation (public defense). Defense must be posted/announced 2 weeks before your defense.
  9. Submit the final approved dissertation electronically as required by the University.

The SOP forms are available under “Graduate Program Forms"