Benefits

The UCSF PharmD/PhD combined degree program has many benefits. Our program provides:

Efficiency

Through careful structuring of the combined degree program, it is possible for students to complete the requirements for both the PharmD and PhD degrees in a shorter time than would be expected if the two degrees were obtained separately.

  • Student pharmacists are encouraged to identify a research interest and a faculty advisor as early as possible in order to begin their research during spring of the 3rd PharmD year, prior to becoming a full-time PhD student (See Program Timeline.) Research within this program focuses on the fields of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics. Students in the UCSF PharmD/PhD program are in an excellent position to apply material presented in professional PharmD courses to their area of proposed PhD study and research.
  • Unlike the PharmD program, which has a set, 4-year curriculum, the PhD is a research degree, and, as a result, the duration of the program is not fixed. Traditional PhD students typically require a minimum of 5 years to complete their degree, but efficiencies built into the UCSF PharmD/PhD program are intended to shorten the time required to complete the PhD degree. It is estimated that combined degree program students will be able to complete their PhD degree as early as 4 years after the PharmD degree.

Unparalleled preparation

UCSF PharmD/PhD graduates will be uniquely qualified to translate basic pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics research to clinical applications. For example:

  • A UCSF PharmD/PhD graduate might study the genetic variability in drug transporters at the molecular level in a pharmaceutical company and continue this research in clinical studies to determine the impact of this variability on appropriate drug selection and patient care.
  • UCSF PharmD/PhD graduates working in academia can pursue a breadth of research topics and have the skills to demonstrate to others the relevance of basic sciences research to professional practice.
  • Graduates of the UCSF PharmD/PhD program will be well qualified to pursue careers in research and/or teaching in academia, governmental agencies, the pharmaceutical industry, or in a variety of other health care settings.

Qualification for PharmD licensure

Students who complete the combined degree program will meet all requirements for licensure as a pharmacist in California.