Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Program

About the Program

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) College of Pharmacy (COP) offers a program of graduate study and research in drug discovery, leading to the doctor of philosophy degree (Ph.D.).  The drug discovery sequence emphasizes the coursework, laboratory and literature search skills that are integral to elucidation of the mechanism of action of drugs, and the extent and character of drug actions. Students who pursue this sequence will be primarily under the tutelage of faculty in the department of pharmaceutical sciences, a group that has expertise in areas such as: pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, toxicology, and biochemistry. Particular areas of expertise include cardiovascular pharmacology, molecular pharmacology, anti-inflammatory steroids, and cancer pharmacology.

The Health Professions Division (HPD) at NSU requires all graduate students who are enrolled in health-related Ph.D. programs, including pharmacy, to take a series of core courses in their first and second years.  After completing the first year of study, students will focus primarily on the drug discovery core courses, written comprehensive and oral qualifying examinations, and research in a drug discovery area that is consistent with the faculty expertise in the College of Pharmacy at NSU. Because of its exclusive emphasis on pharmacy topics, the program does not duplicate degrees or courses offered by other NSU Centers.  In addition, the PhD program is consistent with the criteria for accreditation set by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. 

Curriculum Outline

Students are required to take a minimum of 60 credit hours, at least 36 of which must be in didactic coursework. A grade of B, or better is expected in the didactic work.  No less than 54 of the credit hours will be taken at NSU. Coursework aimed at correcting an academic deficiency in a student’s background will not count toward program requirements. Graduate teaching assistants (GTA) and graduate research assistants (GRA) will be limited to a maximum load of thirteen and a minimum of six credit hours per semester, during the fall and spring semesters.  Other students will be limited to a maximum of fifteen and a minimum of nine credit hours per semester.
At the completion of this course of study and research, students will be able to:

Course Schedule
Year Semester Course Credits
FIRST FALL Bioethics: Principles of Life Science Research (Core) 3
*Clinical Pharmacology or Elective 4
Biostatistics I (Core) 3
Graduate Research 2
Graduate Seminar 1
WINTER Clinical Drug Development: Advanced Pharmacokinetics and Biopharmaceutics 3
Molecular and Cellular Pharmacodynamics 3
Graduate Research 2
Experimental Statiscis and Informatics 1
Scientific Writing (Core) 1
Graduate Seminar 1
SUMMER Research/Internships 3
SECOND FALL Research Techniques and Instrumentation (Core) 3
Advanced Pharmacogenomics and Molecular Medicine 3
Graduate Research 2
Graduate Seminar 1
WINTER Applied Pharmacology 3
Elective 3
Graduate Research 2
Journal Club 1
Research Design (Core) 1
Graduate Seminar 1
SUMMER Research Funding and Proposal Development (Core) 1
Graduate Research (Core) 2
Written Comprehensive and Oral Qualifying Exams** 0
THIRD FALL Dissertation Research 8
Elective 2
Graduate Seminar 1
WINTER Written Comprehensive and Oral Qualifying Exams 0
Dissertation Research  8
Graduate Seminar 1
SUMMER Dissertation Research 8
FOURTH FALL Dissertation Research 8
Graduate Seminar 1
Winter Dissertation Research 8
Graduate Seminar 1
Dissertation Defense 0

*Pharmacy graduates may take clinical pharmacology or an elective. Evaluation for graduate students will be more rigorous than for students in the professional program who also take this course.
**To be administered after the winter semester but before the summer semester begins.

Admission Requirements

Students will be recruited for the Ph.D. program from the NSU College of Pharmacy; other U.S. schools/colleges of pharmacy; graduates with degrees in pharmacy-related fields such as chemistry, biology, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, etc.; and international institutions, especially graduates with pharmacy degrees, from India, China, Europe, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.  Successful applicants, whether foreign or domestic, will be required to comply with the guidelines outlined below:

Application Procedures

Applicants may apply for matriculation into the fall semester. The Office of Admissions processes applications on a rolling admissions basis; therefore, it is in the best interest of the applicant to apply as early as possible. In order to be considered for admission, students must complete the application form and submit supporting documents and a nonrefundable fee of $50.
Candidates for admission must submit the documents outlined below:


In order to be processed, all applications must be submitted with the application fee and supporting documents, to:

Nova Southeastern University
Enrollment Processing Services
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue-P.O. Box 299000
Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33314-9905

Official transcripts of all work attempted at all colleges and universities must be forwarded by the institutions attended to EPS. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that arrangements are made for these transcripts to be sent. A final transcript covering all of the applicant’s work must be forwarded to EPS prior to matriculation.

Letters of evaluation
Three individual letters of evaluation from professors or supervisors in the applicant’s major field of study are required.

Test scores
All applicants are required to submit official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. The NSU code is 5522. GRE scores must be less than five years old prior to the candidate’s matriculation.

Foreign coursework (if applicable)
Undergraduate coursework taken at a foreign institution must be evaluated for U.S. institution equivalence. It is the applicant’s responsibility to have the coursework evaluated. A complete course-by-course evaluation must be sent to the office of admissions. Applicants should contact one of the three services listed below for evaluation of their transcript.

Personal interview
Upon receipt of the completed application and required credentials, the Committee on Admissions will select those applicants to be interviewed. The chosen candidates will be interviewed on the Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale campus.  The Office of Admissions will notify those who are selected for an interview of the date and time of such an interview. Being granted an interview is not a guarantee of admission.