Frequently Asked Questions

Are you interested in graduate school?

Our graduate program is designed for students who are committed to pursuing a career in the basic and health-related sciences. Our students are trained in the fields of physiology, pathology, pharmacology, endocrinology, and neuroscience. All students enter directly into the Ph.D. program.

What kind of jobs can I get with a Ph.D. in Pharmacodynamics?

Graduates in Pharmacodynamics can compete for jobs in four major areas:

  • Academics: Starting as a post-doctoral researcher with the ultimate goal to assume faculty positions in Departments of Physiology, Pharmacology, Neuroscience and other Life Science in Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Veterinary Medicine, and Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  • Industry: Physiologist/pharmacologist in pharmaceutical industries with the ultimate goal of becoming a laboratory section leader in a company.
  • Research Institute: Physiologist/pharmacologist at biomedical research institutes.
  • Government Laboratories and Regulatory Agencies: Positions of physiologist/pharmacologist in federal and state research laboratories and regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration.

What is the financial assistance?

All students who are accepted into our Ph.D. program receive a nationally competitive stipend and full tuition coverage. The minimum stipend for incoming graduate students starts at $31,000. The most qualified applicants are eligible for a University of Florida Graduate School Preeminence Award (UF GSPA) with a starting stipend of $35,000. Competitive and prestigious fellowships such as the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship are also available to support underrepresented minority students.

What are the qualifications?

We (and the University of Florida) employ a holistic approach to evaluate and recruit students who are passionate about doctoral training in our program. A strong interest in biomedical research demonstrated by a consistent and strong involvement in scientific research in biological, biochemical, physiological, pharmacological/toxicological, neuroscience and other relevant fields during undergraduate studies is highly desirable. A strong basic science curriculum is preferred. The minimum GRE score set by the University of Florida is 280 with an average score of above 300 for our admitted classes in the past several years. For international students, the minimum TOFEL score set by the University of Florida is 80 (internet test) with an average score of greater than 100 for the admitted College of Pharmacy-wide classes in the past several years.

What will I have to do during my training?

  • Courses: Required “core” courses include systems physiology and pathophysiology, pharmacology, biostatistics, and research ethics. Additional required courses emphasize journal article evaluation, oral presentation skills, and scientific writing. Students have the opportunity to select advanced elective courses that are most relevant to their research projects and career development. Students typically take their Doctoral Candidate Qualifying Exams at the end of the second year in the program.
  • Research: During the first year of graduate training, students complete laboratory rotations. In these rotations, students are introduced to the particular research program of each lab. After the last rotation, the student will select a major advisor and his or her laboratory in which to perform the student’s dissertation research. Note: Students advance directly to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree and are not required to complete an M.S. degree first.
  • Teaching: During their graduate training, students in our program participate in teaching and scholastic activities. Teaching not only helps students develop their communication, mentoring and organization skills, but also provides students who are strongly interested in an academic career path valuable, early experience. The majority of the teaching responsibilities involve assisting faculty in exam administration, mentoring pharmacy students, and assisting in teaching labs and small group discussions. Senior students will have the opportunity to engage in classroom lectures.

How long does it take?

On average, students take 4.5 to 5 years to graduate from our department with a Ph.D.

Where is the University of Florida?

The University of Florida is in Gainesville, Florida, which is in the north-central part of the state. For more information about the city, please visit the city’s homepage at http://www.cityofgainesville.org/

Interesting facts about our graduates from the past 10 years:

  • Our graduates hold faculty positions at universities including Georgetown, Howard, Duke, and the University of Michigan.
  • Our graduates hold research scientist or director positions in the pharmaceutical industries.
  • Our graduates currently hold postdoctoral positions at major research institutions such as the Mayo Research Institute.
  • One of our graduates is a research scientist for the US Army Medical Research Institute!

Want to know more about pharmacology? Check out this video: