NYMC > Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBMS) > GSBMS Academics > Degrees & Programs > Doctor of Philosophy > Pharmacology > Program overview

Program Overview

Doctor of Philosophy

Specific Program Requirements (Hegis Code 0409)

Students may enter the Ph.D. program in one of three ways: (1) via our Integrated Ph.D. Program (IPP), which does not require a declaration of a major until the second year of study, (2) with advanced standing following the completion of one of the Graduate School’s Master’s programs, or (3) highly motivated and talented students from NYMC’s School of Medicine may be admitted to the dual-degree M.D./Ph.D. program.

For all entry tracks (see below), a minimum grade of B– must be earned in each pharmacology course in order for it to be applied to the degree requirements. Elective credits must be in advanced didactic courses in pharmacology (catalog numbers between 2000 and 7999) or in other disciplines if approved by the program director. Journal Club (PHRM 8010) and Laboratory Demonstrations (PHRM 8300) must be taken each semester and each year, respectively, that the student is in residence in pharmacology, except for the year before graduation. Students who have chosen a dissertation sponsor, but who have not yet achieved candidacy, should enroll in Research Techniques in Pharmacology (PHRM 9200) each semester. After the student achieves candidacy, enrollment in Doctoral Dissertation Research (PHRM 9900) is required each semester that the student remains in residence.

Entry through the Integrated Ph.D. Program or with Advanced Standing

The course requirements for students entering through the Integrated Ph.D. program or with Advanced Standing are the same. Advanced Standing students will add to the courses taken as an NYMC Master's student to complete their Ph.D. degree requirements.

During the first year, students with advanced standing undertake two research rotations (PHRM 9110) in different laboratories in order to gain an appreciation of different areas and strategies of investigation and to determine a suitable dissertation advisor. The number of rotations may be reduced based on the student’s prior laboratory experience. 

Entry as an M.D./Ph.D. 

The M.D./Ph.D.program overview can be found in the M.D./Ph.D. section of our website.

Qualifying Examination

After completion of the required core courses, the student must appear before the Pharmacology Faculty for a Qualifying Examination, which has both written and oral components. This usually occurs at the end of the second year. Upon successful completion of the Qualifying Exam, the student chooses a research advisor in order to develop a research proposal that will lead to a successful thesis and thesis defense.


The student is eligible to enter doctoral candidacy after successful completion of the Qualifying Exam, the accumulation of at least 35 didactic credits including all the required courses, and the recommendation of the program faculty. M.D./Ph.D. students are eligible for candidacy under the same conditions except that the credit requirement consists only of the required graduate courses.

Dissertation Committee

The Dissertation Committee must include at least five members of the graduate faculty, including one from another graduate program. The research sponsor serves as the chair of this committee. A scientist from outside the institution may be included on the committee.