As part of the CU Anschutz Graduate School, all PhD students in good academic standing are guaranteed financial support.

All regular full-time departmental faculty in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences are formal members of the pharmaceutical sciences graduate program and can take students into their laboratories if appropriate.

On average, students in this program earn their PhDs in 5.5 years.

The normal requirements for admission to the graduate program in pharmaceutical sciences include a bachelor of arts or science degree from an accredited institution, as well as an academic record which satisfies the minimum admission requirements established by the CU Graduate School. Admissions are for the fall semester only.

An undergraduate degree in pharmacy, chemistry, biology, or chemical engineering is excellent preparation for graduate training in pharmaceutical sciences; however, no specific undergraduate major is required. All applicants for the program should have completed a year of study in the following subjects: general chemistry, organic chemistry, calculus, biology, and physics. In addition, courses in the following subjects will be highly recommended to supplement the student’s background: biochemistry, statistics, cell biology, physical chemistry, computer science, and immunology. Under special circumstances, deficiencies in important areas may be made up within the first year after entrance into the program.

Normally, admission to the program will be dependent upon an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better. Students applying with a GPA less than 3.0 may be considered individually on a provisional basis. If you do not have a degree from a U.S. or Canadian institution, your official transcript will be evaluated by the Office of International Affairs.

The admission deadline for completed applications to be received at the School of Pharmacy is Dec. 1. Given that admission to the program is very competitive, it is impossible to evaluate your qualifications for admission (test scores, grades) until the selection committee assesses the entire applicant pool.

Admission to the program includes financial support via a stipend awarded on a 12-month basis. Based on the rules of the CU Anschutz Graduate School, all PhD students in good academic standing are guaranteed financial support.

Although a priority of the School of Pharmacy is to provide financial support to our graduate students, payment of stipend, tuition and any fees by the School of Pharmacy or by grants, contracts or gifts to the School of Pharmacy faculty is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress (as defined by the graduate school’s Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Handbook) and completion of required teaching duties, core courses, research rotations, seminars, and examinations (as listed on the progress report form). We also reserve the right to review and adjust our funding policies at any time. All students are expected to work full-time toward program requirements for 12 months of the year.

Required Pharmaceutical Sciences Program Courses

PHSC 7310Fundamentals of Pharmaceutical Sciences3 credits
PHSC 7320Physical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences3 credits
PHSC 7400Ethical Issues in Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Sciences1 credit
PHSC 7650Research Rotation in Pharmaceutical Sciences (two required)1 credit
PHSC 7568Seminar in Pharmaceutical Sciences (each semester)1 credit
PHSC 7330Development of Drugs and Biologics2 credits
PHSC 8990Doctoral Thesis≥30 credits

Representative Elective Courses

PHSC 7608Molecular Interactions3 credits
PHSC 7609Biophysics and Spectroscopy2 credits
PHSC 7651/CHEN 5838Pharmaceutical Biotechnology3 credits
PHSC 7345Nanotechnology and Drug Delivery2 credits
PHSC 7353Protein Formulation2 credits
PHSC 7660Liposome-based Drug Delivery2 credits
PHSC 7665Pharmacokinetic Principles and Applications3 credits

Through the pharmaceutical sciences graduate program, our goal is to educate pre-doctoral students to develop independent research careers in pharmaceutical sciences with a basic, clinical or pharmaceutical outcomes emphasis. Upon completion of the graduate program, our students use their training to make a difference in academia, industry or government. The learning objectives for the graduate program are:

  1. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of central concepts in the biomedical sciences.
  2. Understand the current concepts in basic and clinical pharmaceutical sciences.
  3. Read and critically evaluate the scientific literature.
  4. Formulate hypotheses based on current concepts in the field and design, conduct, and interpret their own research projects.
  5. Present research results in peer-reviewed publications and in a dissertation.
  6. Communicate research results effectively through oral presentations at scientific seminars, conferences, and other venues.

School of Pharmacy Graduate Degree Requirements

The following are specific rules approved by the graduate faculty of the School of Pharmacy for graduate studies leading to doctor of philosophy degree in toxicology. All other requirements for these degrees will follow the guidelines of the Graduate School, which can be found in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Handbook. The student carries the major responsibility of meeting the rules of the School of Pharmacy and the Graduate School. Failure to meet the following rules and guidelines may result in delay of graduation. ​

Rajesh Agarwal PhD

Professor and Interim Chair Cancer Prevention and Control Program Co-Leader

Peter Anderson PharmD

Professor Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program Director

Christina Aquilante PharmD

Professor Director of Pharmacogenomics for the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine

John Carpenter PhD

Emeritus Professor Director of Business Development, University of Colorado Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Co-Founder and Co-Director

Melanie Joy PharmD, PhD

Professor Pharmaceutical Science Innovation and Commercialization Director

Jennifer Kiser PharmD, PhD

Associate Professor Colorado Antiviral Pharmacology Laboratory Co-Director, University of Colorado Center for Translational Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacogenomics Associate Director

Uday Kompella PhD, FARVO, FAAPS

Colorado Center for Nanomedicine and Nanosafety Co-Director and Co-founder Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ophthalmology, and Bioengineering

Daniel LaBarbera PhD

Professor Director CU AMC Center for Drug Discovery, Co-Director, Drug Discovery and Development Shared Resource (D3SR)

Philip Reigan PhD

Associate Professor Computational Chemistry and Biology Core Facility Director

Nichole Reisdorph PhD

Professor Mass Spectrometry Facility Director

Laura Saba PhD

Associate Professor Director, Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Dmitri Simberg PhD

Associate Professor Colorado Center for Nanomedicine and Nanosafety Co-Director

For questions regarding graduate school programs contact:

Isabella Jaramillo
Phone: 303.724.7263

Peter Anderson PharmD

Professor Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program Director