Pharmacology Doctoral Curriculum

Doctoral Tracking Process

The School of Medicine's BMS steering committee has developed a tracking system to ensure that all doctoral students continue to make adequate forward progress while enrolled in the program. To monitor student progress, a pharmacology-specific tracking sheet should be downloaded, completed and turned into the BMS office at the end of each academic year. Both students and their thesis advisers are responsible for both completing and signing the tracking sheet.


Computer Based Testing

Exams during the 2nd year pharmacology curriculum are computer-based. Block exams, which occur approximately every 3 weeks throughout the year, will be taken on student laptops (PC or Mac) that meet the following specifications.

Recommended Courses


Fall Semester                                                                       Spring Semester                                 

Credits        Course (Course ID)                                                          Credits        Course (Course ID)

3                   Advanced Cell Biology (MCBP 6070)                                   2               Biostatistics (GBCH 7250)
4                   Graduate Biochemistry (GBCH 6010)                                  3               Human Molecular Genetics (EPID 7810)
2 or 4            Research Methods  (MCBP 7120)                                       4               Research Methods (MCBP 7130)
1                   Seminar (MCBP 7140)                                                         3               Systems Biology (BMSP 7770)
1                   Workshop (MCBP 7100)                                                      1               Seminar (MCBP 7150)
                                                                                                                  1               Workshop (MCBP 7110)
Fall Total: 11-13 hrs                                                                               Spring Total: 14 hrs

                                                                                                  Summer Semester*

                                                                                                                 2                Research Methods (MCBP 713)(if necessary)

                                                                                                                             * Summer rotation if necessary (to complete Research Methods credits)

First Year Total: 27 credit hrs

Second Year Pharmacology Emphasis:

Fall Semester *                                                                                                           

Credits     Course (Course ID)                                     Days/Time             Course Director             

1               Advances in Pharmacology (GPHR 7210)    Wed 12:00-1:00      Katakam        
6               Medical Pharmacology (GPHR 7250)**        See Schedule         Clarkson                        
5               Principles of Pharmacology (GPHR 7230)    See Schedule         Clarkson         
1               Pharmacology Seminar                                  Fri 12:00-1:00         Katakam 


* Courses begins mid-July
** Requires concurrent registration for Principles of Pharmacology, or prior completion of Medical Physiology

Fall Total: 13 hrs  


Spring Semester

Credits     Course (Course ID)                                       Days/Time                  Course DIrector

1                Advances in Pharmacology (GPHR 7220)     Wed 12:00-1:00           Katakam    
3                Medical Pharmacology  (GPHR 7260)**        See Schedule               Clarkson                           
1                Pharmacology Seminar  (GPHR 7200)           Fri 12:00-1:00              Katakam 
2                Pharmacology Lab Research (GPHR 7510)   Variable                        Clarkson                    

  - Doctoral students need to take 2 of the 4 electives listed immediately below

Spring Electives:

2                Adv Topics in Cardiobiology (GPHR 7120)      Wed 1:00-3:00             Hamblin                   
2                Environ Signaling in Medicine (GPHR  7160)  Fri 1:00-3:00                McLachlan / Mielke                      
2                Cellular Control Mechanisms (GPHR 7050)    Tue 1:00-3:00               Bunnell                          
2                Endocrine Pharmacology  (GPHR 7060)         Thu 2:00-3:00               Lindsey       

Spring Total: 11 hrs

Second Year Total: 24 credit hours

Additional (Thesis Research) Years:

Third Year

Preliminary / Qualifying Exam (Fall Semester):
Preliminary Exam Guidelines

Prelim Exam Guidelines
Dissertation Research (GHPR 999)


Fourth Year

Dissertation Research (GHPR 999)


Fifth Year (if needed)

Dissertation Research (GHPR 999)


Attendance at all graduate lectures, exams, small group sessions, advances in pharmacology & departmental seminars is mandatory. If for some reason you are unable to attend a required class or session, you must obtain an excused absence from the Director of Graduate Studies (Dr. Clarkson). An official excuse is defined as:

  1. personal illness (verification may be required)  
  2. family emergency such as a serious illness or death in the immediate family 
  3. sanctioned events such as the annual BMS retreat, BMS Research Day presentation, or attending a scientific meeting.

An excuse for any other event must first be pre-approved by the Department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies.

Excused absences must be approved:

  1. in advance of scheduled events, or
  2. as soon as possible following an illness or another emergency.  Excused absences should not be submitted for approval at a much later date.

Any excessive unexcused absences can be penalized by a reduction in a course grade.



Doctoral students will be assessed in the following manner:

  • Any student receiving a "B-" or less in any course will be placed on probation.
  • A second "B-" will be considered to be grounds for dismissal from the graduate program.
  • A grade of "C" or less will result in loss of credits for that course.



General Violations:

  1. It shall be a violation of this Honor Code for a student to cheat.
  2. It shall be a violation of this Honor Code for a student to steal.
  3. It shall be a violation for a student to knowingly deceive another student, faculty member, or professional associate with the intent to gain advantage, academic or otherwise, for said student or for any other student.
  4. It shall be a violation for any student to fail to report any infraction of the Honor System to an appropriate representative or the Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology.


When a complaint is received, the Chairman of the Department will set up an ad hoc committee to investigate and adjudicate.

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