Joint PharmD/PhD Program

The UIC College of Pharmacy offers a select number of highly qualified students the opportunity to work toward both the PharmD and PhD degrees in an integrated fashion. The objective of the joint program is to train students for careers in academic pharmacy and research. Students admitted to this highly competitive program participate in the PharmD curriculum and pursue original doctoral research projects in the laboratories of the university’s graduate faculty.

The first two to three years of the program are used to complete the P-1 through P-3 didactic PharmD curriculum. Choice of a permanent thesis advisor can take place at any point before moving to the graduate focused years (G-1 through G-3 or more). Students in the graduate phase of the program work side-by-side with PhD students in the graduate program of choice and meet all departmental requirements of the PhD degree. Original publications and presentations at national meetings are expected. Following completion of the PhD phase of the program, students rejoin other PharmD students to complete PharmD clerkship requirements.

Application Procedure

Application to the program is normally made at the time of application to the College of Pharmacy. However, candidates will also be considered during their first two years of PharmD training in the UIC College of Pharmacy. Admission to the program requires acceptance by the Admissions Committees of the College of Pharmacy and the Graduate Program of interest. Criteria for admission to the program include academic excellence in pre-pharmacy and other subjects, prior research experience, potential for independent creative research, and commitment to a career in pharmaceutical research. Laboratory work, beyond traditional laboratory courses, concentrating in biology, chemistry, physics, biophysics, or socioeconomics is helpful in preparing for the training program. The admissions policy is flexible enough to accommodate those students who have already identified the field in which they wish to carry out research as well as those who are still undecided about their area of research specialization.

In addition to the application to the College of Pharmacy through PharmCAS, application to the program requires the submission of several documents to the joint program:

  1. Supplemental application form, which is available on the program’s website (https://pharmacy.uic.edu/sites/default/files/PSTP%20form%20V1-0-6a.pdf)
  2. GRE test scores
  3. A statement of purpose for the joint program
  4. Optional curriculum vitae
  5. If necessary, updated transcripts since PharmCAS application

Applicants are encouraged to submit one or two additional letters of recommendation, focusing on the applicant’s research experience, directly to the program office. Applications for simultaneous admission to the joint program are encouraged in the autumn of the year preceding admission to provide the fullest opportunity for consideration, since rolling admissions procedure is used.

Degree Requirements

Students in the joint program complete requirements of the College of Pharmacy for the PharmD degree and requirements of their chosen research program for the PhD degree. Please see the descriptions of the specific programs (PharmD and PhD) for details on the requirements of each program. The joint program makes it possible for students to earn both degrees more quickly than would be possible if each were done sequentially by allowing requirements completed concurrently and to be counted toward the completion of both degrees.

More Information for Prospective Students