Learn more about the Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

About the Program

The School of Pharmacy offers a graduate program leading to the MS and to the PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a concentration in Pharmacodynamics. The program is designed to prepare students for positions in the pharmaceutical industry, government agencies, and as faculty in various departments performing biomedical research.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location: Health Sciences Center, Main

Some courses may be offered at the Fort Washington campus. Research must be carried out at the Health Sciences Center campus under the supervision of an advisor who is a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: Full-time status is recommended due to the nature of ongoing research.

Interdisciplinary Study: The program encourages interdisciplinary coursework, research and collaborations among faculty and students with interests in biochemistry, molecular modeling, organic chemistry and pharmacology.

Areas of Specialization: The Pharmacodynamics concentration involves the study of integrated drug transport and mechanism of drug action research.

Job Prospects: Graduates generally accept employment offers shortly before or after defending their dissertation. Job opportunities for graduates include positions as postdoctoral researchers, scientists in the pharmaceutical industry, and faculty members in a variety of departments involved in biomedical research.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students are able to take up to 9 credits before formal application must be made to the program.

Financing Opportunities: Support options include University fellowships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships. Recipients are determined on a competitive basis during the admission process and receive a stipend and full tuition remission (up to 9 credits per term).

The principal duties of a Teaching Assistant (TA) include assisting faculty members in laboratory instruction, preparing apparatus or materials for PharmD students, conducting recitations, grading quizzes and reports, and proctoring exams. TAs are expected to work 20 hours per week.

A Research Assistant (RA) is expected to spend 20 hours per week engaged in research and is assigned to a specific faculty member. The research subjects are determined by consultation between the student and their research advisor.

Applications should include a statement of previous teaching and/or research experience, areas of interest, and future goals; official transcripts; and a curriculum vitae. The department attempts to make offers of assistantships on or before May 1. June 1 is the final date for acceptance or declination of department offers. Applications should be directed to:

Temple University School of Pharmacy
3307 North Broad Street, Suite 528
Philadelphia, PA 19140

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: December 15

All applications are evaluated together after the deadline.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with the applicant's academic competence and professionals in a supervisory position.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: It is recommended that applicants complete the courses (or their equivalent, as determined by the School of Pharmacy) to obtain a BS degree in Biochemistry, Biology, Pharmacology, Pharmacy or Psychology.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A master's degree is not required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A baccalaureate degree in Biochemistry, Biology, Pharmacology, Pharmacy or Psychology is required.

Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended may be sent electronically to Alternately, unopened official transcripts bearing the school’s seal must be sent directly from the Registrar at each institution to the School of Pharmacy’s Office of Graduate Studies.

Applicants who earned a degree at a non-U.S. institution must submit an equivalency evaluation of their transcript(s) through a third-party provider, either World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).

Statement of Goals: In approximately 500 to 1,000 words, state your specific interest in Temple's program, research goals, future career goals, and academic and research achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Scores are expected to be in the 65th percentile or above.

Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 85
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 58

Resume: Current resume or CV required.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 46

Required Courses:

Core Courses
PS 8002Pharmaceutical Analysis3
PS 8051Seminar in Pharm Science1
PS 8121Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Seminar Series1
PS 8127Pharmacokinetics3
PS 8128Principles in Drug Discovery3
PS 8129Bioethics in Research2
PS 8131Principles of Biochemistry4
PS 8402Pharmacodynamics3
PS 8403Advanced Pharmacogenomics2
STAT 5002Introduction to Biostatistics3
Electives 115
Research Courses 26
Preliminary Examination Preparation
Pre-Dissertation Research
Dissertation Research
Total Credit Hours46

Electives can be taken in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Biology, and other disciplines with guidance from the advisor.


Of the 6 required research credits, a minimum of 2 credits of PS 9999 must be taken. The other 4 credits may be taken in any combination of PS 9994, PS 9998, and PS 9999.

Culminating Events:
Preliminary Examination:
The purpose of the preliminary examination is to demonstrate critical and interpretive knowledge in specialized areas of the discipline. The examination evaluates the student's ability to apply specific research foci to anticipated practical problems in the field. Students who accumulate 40 didactic credits are eligible to take the exam.

The preliminary exam consists of two sections. The first is a written section consisting of questions from the student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee (DAC). Each member of the DAC submits a question and then judges the quality of the student's answer based on criteria such as accuracy, thoroughness and originality. They then share that score and their rationale for it with the other members of the DAC. The evaluators look for a breadth and depth of understanding of concepts in the areas being tested, application of that knowledge, and the ability to write technical prose in a manner consistent with scientists in the field. The second section of the preliminary exam includes the preparation of a research proposal approved by the DAC and a 30-minute oral summary of the proposal followed by an oral defense of the proposal.

Students who are preparing to take their preliminary examination should confirm a time and date with the Director of Graduate Studies and register with the Administrative Assistant in the Office of Graduate Studies. The student and Director receive confirmation of the time, date, room and proctor for the examination.

Dissertation Proposal:
The dissertation proposal demonstrates the student's knowledge of and ability to conduct the proposed research. The proposal should consist of:

  • the context and background surrounding a particular research problem;
  • an exhaustive survey and review of literature related to the problem; and
  • a detailed methodological plan for investigating the problem.

The proposal should be completed and approved no more than one year after completing the preliminary exam. Upon approval, a doctoral student is promoted to PhD candidacy, and a timeline for completing the investigation and writing process are established.

The doctoral dissertation is an original, theoretical and/or empirical study that makes a significant contribution to the field. It should expand existing knowledge and demonstrate the student's knowledge of research methods and a mastery of their primary area of interest. The dissertation should be rigorously investigated; uphold the ethics and standards of the field; demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the primary area of interest and the broader field; and be prepared for publication in a professional journal.

The Dissertation Examining Committee (DEC) is formed to oversee the student's doctoral research. It is charged with evaluating the student's dissertation and oral defense, including the student's ability to express verbally their research question, methodological approach, primary findings and implications. The DEC, which includes the members of the DAC, is comprised of at least three Graduate Faculty members. Two members, including the Chair, must be from the School of Pharmacy. The Chair is responsible for overseeing and guiding the student's progress, coordinating the responses of the Committee members, and informing the student of their academic progress. At least one additional Graduate Faculty member from outside the School of Pharmacy must be included on the DEC. This outside examiner should be identified no later than the beginning of the academic term in which the student will defend the dissertation. The DEC members vote to pass or fail the dissertation and the defense at the conclusion of the public presentation.

Committee compositions must be approved by the departmental graduate committee. If a student needs to change a member of a committee, the new member must be approved by the departmental graduate committee and by the Graduate School. The changes must be documented with the Administrative Assistant and the Graduate School using the "Request for Change in Dissertation Committee" form, found in TUportal under the Tools tab within "University Forms."

Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation should confirm a time and date with their DEC and register with the Office of Graduate Studies at least 15 days before the defense is to be scheduled. The Office of Graduate Studies arranges the time, date and room and forwards to the student the appropriate forms. After the Administrative Assistant has made the arrangements, the student must send the Graduate School a completed "Announcement of Dissertation Defense" form, found in TUportal under the Tools tab within "University Forms," at least 10 days before the defense date. The department posts announcements for the defense.


Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sciences Office of Graduate Studies

School of Pharmacy

3307 N. Broad Street, Suite 528

Philadelphia, PA 19140


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


Sophon Din

Program Coordinator:

Daniel J. Canney, PhD

Graduate Chairperson:

Swati Nagar, PhD

Department Chairperson:

Ellen Walker, PhD