UCSF

Benefits

The PharmD to PhD career path has many benefits. Our path provides:

Efficiency

Through careful structuring of the PharmD to PhD career path, 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.

  • Doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students are encouraged to complete three required research rotations during years 2 and 3 of the PharmD curriculum. This includes an Extended Discovery Project in year 2 and two additional rotations during year 3 (See Program Timeline).
  • PharmD students can also complete one required core course for PSPG (PSPG245C) and will be eligible to complete Graduate Division mini courses offered in the spring quarter of year 2 of the PharmD program.
  • Unlike the PharmD program, which has a set, three-year curriculum, the PhD is a research degree, and, as a result, the duration of the path is not fixed. Traditional PhD students typically require a minimum of 5 years to complete their degree, but efficiencies built into the PharmD to PhD career path are intended to shorten the time required to complete the PhD degree. It is estimated that PharmD to PhD career path students will be able to complete their PhD degree as early as four years after the PharmD degree.

Unparalleled preparation

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

  • A PharmD to PhD career path 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.
  • A PharmD to PhD career path graduate might be involved in quantitative systems pharmacology in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, using modeling and simulation skills to design clinical trials, define the pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic relationships for new drugs, and build predictive models of drug response for special populations.
  • PharmD to PhD career path graduates working in academia will be prepared to 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 PharmD to PhD career path will be well qualified to pursue careers in research and/or teaching in academia, governmental agencies, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, or in a variety of other health care settings.

Qualification for PharmD licensure

Students who complete the PharmD to PhD career path will meet all requirements for licensure as a pharmacist in California.