Graduate Bulletin

Pharmaceutical Sciences/Pharmacodynamics, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15                           [December 15 for international applicants]

All applications are evaluated by the end of January.

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 taken in obtaining a B.S. in Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Psychology, or Pharmacy before entering the program.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

Not required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Psychology, or Pharmacy is required.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should be approximately 500-1,000 words and should include the following elements: your interest in Temple's program; your research goals; your future career goals; and your academic and research achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required.  The GRE scores should be in the 65th percentile or above.  Recent scores have been in the range of 650-750 or more quantitative and 500-600 or more verbal.

Minimum TOEFL score or range of scores needed to be accepted: 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based, or 100 internet-based.


A resume is encouraged.


Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 40

Required Courses:

Survey in Pharmaceutical Sciences 1 s.h.

Pharmaceutical Analysis 3 s.h.

Statistics 3 s.h.

Seminar in Pharmaceutical Sciences 1-2* s.h.

Pharmacogenomics 2 s.h.

Biochemistry  4 s.h.

Elective courses for Ph.D. degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences can be found on the website:

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

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; 1.  a written section consisting of questions from the student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee (D.A.C.)  and 2.  a)  a second portion that includes the preparation of a research proposal approved by the D.A.C. and  b)  an oral summary of the proposal (30 mins) followed by an oral defense of the proposal. 

Each Advisory Committee question submitter will judge the quality of the student’s answer to their question (based on criteria such as accuracy, thoroughness, and originality) and share the score, and the reasons for it, with other members of the Advisory Committee.  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.

Students who are preparing to take their preliminary examinations 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 will 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 following: (a) the context and background surrounding a particular research problem; (b) an exhaustive survey and review of literature related to the problem; and (c) 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 a Ph.D. candidate and a timeline for completing the investigation and writing process will be 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 both research methods and a mastery of her/his primary area of interest. Dissertations 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 Advising Committee is formed to oversee the student's doctoral research and is comprised of at least three Graduate Faculty members. Two members, including the Chair, must be from the School of Pharmacy. Committee compositions must be approved by the departmental graduate committee. The Chair is responsible for overseeing and guiding the student's progress, coordinating the responses of the Committee members, and informing the student of her/his academic progress.

The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and oral defense, including the student's ability to express verbally her/his research question, methodological approach, primary findings, and implications. This committee is comprised of the Doctoral Advising Committee and at least one additional Graduate Faculty member from outside the School of Pharmacy. The Outside Examiner should be identified no later than the beginning of the semester in which the student will defend the dissertation. The Committee will vote to pass or fail the dissertation and the defense at the conclusion of the public presentation.

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 Graduate Secretary and the Graduate School (

Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation should confirm a time and date with their Dissertation Advisory Committee and register with the Office of Graduate Studies at least 15 days before the defense is to be scheduled. The Office of Graduate Studies will arrange the time, date, and room and forward to the student the appropriate forms.  After the Graduate Secretary has made the arrangements, the student must send the Graduate School a completed "Announcement of Oral Defense" form at least 10 days before the defense. The Department will post flyers announcing the defense.


Program Contact Information:

Department Information:

Office of Graduate Studies

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Suite 528, School of Pharmacy
3307 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140

Department Contacts:


Karen Austin

Office of Graduate Studies

Room 528


Program Coordinator:

Daniel J. Canney, Ph.D.

Graduate Chairperson:

Daniel J. Canney, Ph.D.

Associate Director of Graduate Studies:

Joy Baumgardner, Ph.D.


Robert Raffa, Ph.D.


About the Program

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

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:

Health Sciences

Students may take a majority of required and elective courses at the Main and Health Sciences campuses. Several courses may be offered at the Fort Washington campus. Research must be carried out at the Health Sciences campus under the supervision of an advisor who is a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Full-time status is highly preferred due to the nature of ongoing research.

Interdisciplinary Study:

The program encourages interdisciplinary coursework, research, and collaborations among faculty and students with interests in Organic Chemistry, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Molecular Modeling.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Areas of Specialization:

The Pharmacodynamics concentration involves the study of integrated drug transport and mechanism of drug action research.  For more information, see our faculty's research interests as described at

Job Placement:

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.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are able to take up to 9 credits.


Financing Opportunities

Support options include University Fellowships, Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, and NIH training grants.  Recipients of support are determined on a competitive basis during the admission process.  Fellowships and assistantships include full tuition remission (up to 9 credits) and a monthly stipend.  The principal duties of a Teaching Assistant (TA) include assisting faculty members in laboratory instruction, preparing apparatus or materials for Pharm.D. students, conducting recitations, grading quizzes and reports, and proctoring exams. TAs are expected to work 20 hours per week. Research Assistants (RAs) are expected to spend 20 hours per week engaged in research and will be assigned to a specific faculty member. The research subjects are determined by consultation between the student and her/his research advisor. 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 of support. Applications should be directed to Office of Graduate Admissions, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Temple University School of Pharmacy, 3307 North Broad Street, Suite 528, Philadelphia, PA 19140.


April 2008