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School of Pharmacy

» Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Ph.D.) is a year-round program for students interested in diverse research areas such as:

  • Drug Design and Discovery/Medicinal Chemistry
  • Microbiology/Immunology
  • Pharmaceutics, Drug Delivery, and Pharmacokinetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Structural Biology
  • Social and Administrative Sciences

A minimum of 3-4 years of study will be required depending on prior academic experience.

Graduates of the program can use their training to pursue a variety of career opportunities in academia and the pharmaceutical industry. The School of Pharmacy's location in beautiful Irvine, CA, provides unique opportunities for students to network with nearby biomedical, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies. Graduates are also positioned to work as researchers at government and non-profit agencies, and at national laboratories such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

How Can I Learn More about the Ph.D. program?

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Admissions Information

Application Deadline

  • December 15, 2020  - Application deadline for Fall 2021 admission

Admission Decisions

  • March 1, 2021 - All on-time applicants are notified of admission decisions.
    • Complete applications are thoroughly reviewed and considered as a group by our Graduate Admission Team.  

How to Apply

Graduate application portal on PharmGRAD will open late August/early September.

Admission Requirements

  1. A master's degree from a regionally-accredited university or college or international university with a major in:
    • biology
    • biochemistry
    • biotechnology
    • chemistry
    • pharmaceutical sciences, 
    • related areas
    • An M.D., D.V.M., or Pharm.D. from a U.S. institution will be considered in lieu of a master's degree.
  2. Applicants without a master's or equivalent degree, demonstrating a robust research experience in the Program's areas are considered on a case-by-case basis.
    • Applicants without a master's degree are encouraged to contact the director of the graduate program before applying to the Ph.D. program.
  3. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  4. GRE (Graduate Record Examination) - Chapman University School of Pharmacy school code is 4315. 
    • GRE is not required for Ph.D. applicants applying to S.A.S. (Social and Administrative Services) program.
    • General test scores for competitive Ph.D. candidates:
      • Verbal: 153

      • Quantitative: 146

      • Analytical Writing: 4.0

  5. Two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic abilities.

    • If the last degree was awarded less than three years ago, at least one of the letters must be from a professor at the university that awarded the degree.

  6. Official transcripts from the bachelor's and master's degree-granting institution(s)
  7. A resume or CV with any relevant experience
  8. A personal statement of approximately 1-2 pages in length, double-spaced, which includes your:
    • Interest in the Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Chapman University
    • Research goals.
    • Career goals.
    • Academic and research goals.


Additional Information for International Students

International students are welcome to apply! Requirements include:

  • English Proficiency Exam – International applicants whose native language is not English must submit results of the CAE, TOEFL, IELTS, or PTEA.

    English proficiency minimum score requirement must be met before an application will be considered.

    Minimum Score Requirements
      • CAE = 180
      • IELTS = 6.5
      • PTEA = 53
      • TOEFL = 550 (paper–based) or 80 (internet–based).
        • Chapman University School of Pharmacy school code for TOEFL is 4047

    Applicants with low English proficiency score must retake exam to reach minimum requirement before submitting application.

    • Unofficial English Proficiency exam results submitted with application must include Student Test ID Number.
    • Student must notify test agency to allow Chapman University access official score.
  • An English proficiency examination is not required from international applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or higher rom a university:
    • in the United States, or
    • in another country where English is the official language.

Learn more about our International Application Requirements.

If you have any questions, please contact




The Ph.D. degree requires completion of at least 64 credits. These include 24 credits of core courses, 6 credits of seminar, at least 6 credits of electives, and a minimum of 12 credits of research and a minimum of 12 credits of dissertation course. The program culminates in a dissertation based on original research. This will present the student with the opportunity, under the supervision of a faculty advisor, to tailor his or her academic program towards a chosen career path.

Core Courses (24 credits)*
PHS 601 Ethics, Regulations, and the Pharmaceutical Pipeline 2
PHS 602 Drug Discovery and Development 3
PHS 611 Pharmacokinetics 3
PHS 612 Advanced Principles of Drug Action 4
PHS 623 Pharmaceutical Analysis 3
PHS 750 Biostatistics 3
PHS 792 Research Rotations 3
CS  621 Bioinformatics & Computational Biology I 3
Seminar Course (6 credits)
PHS 793 Seminar in Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences 6
Elective Courses (minimum 10 credits)
PHS 614 Biologics 2
PHS 615 Pharmacogenomics and Pharmacogenetics 2
PHS 621 Introduction to Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Processes 3
PHS 622 Formulation and Manufacturing Laboratory 2
PHS 631 Medical Diagnostics 3
PHS 632 Medical Devices 3
PHS 651 Quality System for Development and Manufacturing Drugs 3
PHS 660 Biopharmaceutical Regulation, Econiomics and Policy 3
PHS 661 Biomedical Market Access, Pricing and Reimbursement 3
PHS 662 Economic Evaluation of Health Care Services and Products 3
PHS 731 Advanced Pharmacokinetics 3
PHS 732 Advanced Pharmaceutics 3
PHS 733 Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Antibiotics 2
PHS 734 Proteomics 3
PHS 736 Advanced Pharmacology of Anti-Cancer Agents 2
PHS 741 Structural Biology 3
PHS 742 Immunology and Microbiology 3
PHS 790 Summer Internship in Pharmaceutical Sciences 3
CS  622 Bioinformatics and Computational Biology II 3
Research and Dissertation (> 24 credits)
PHS 791 Research in Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences >12
PHS 798 Dissertation 12
Total Credits

*Chapman M.S.P.S. and Pharm.D. graduates are credited for 20 core and/or elective lecture course credits. M.S. graduates from other institutions are credited up to 12 credits towards the core and/or elective lecture courses, based on the relevance of prior course work as determined by the department.

Why Choose CUSP?

Chapman University School of Pharmacy provides students with a personalized, interdisciplinary approach to education and research that combines a comprehensive education in the foundations of pharmaceutical sciences, ethics, and regulatory issues related to research trials from bench work to translational science with experience in leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Students will focus on areas of critical need for current and future pharmaceutical products, including:

  • New Biological Entities
  • New Chemical Entities
  • New Processes for Delivery
  • Formulation and Manufacturing
  • Ethics and Regulatory Aspects of Drug Development

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the career opportunities in the pharmaceutical sciences?

Over the years, pharmaceutical scientists have been instrumental in discovering and developing innovative drugs that save thousands of lives and improve the lives of countless others. Pharmaceutical scientists can pursue a variety of career opportunities/jobs. For example, they may be employed by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; work as researchers, scientists, and professors at universities; or work for agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), and national laboratories, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) publishes annual salary data for pharmaceutical scientists.

Source: AAPS

Does Ph.D. program require accreditation?

The Ph.D. program is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.

What are the admission requirements?

  • Please see Admissions Information section above, on this page. 

I do not have a master's degree in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, or biotechnology, but I have a master's degree in another field. Can I still apply for this program?

Please contact Program Director Dr. Innokentiy Maslennikov at

When is the application deadline? Are there multiple deadlines during the year?

January 15, 2020 is the application deadline for admission consideration to fall 2020 program. 

  • Program begins annually, only in the fall. 
  • Classes start in late August.
  • Required Orientation begins the week of August 17, 2020.

When can I expect to receive an admission decision? 

  • Chapman University School of Pharmacy Ph.D. program accepts applications until the January 15, 2020 deadline.
  • Complete applications are reviewed by our Graduate Admission Team.  
  •  All on-time applicants will be notified of admission decisions by March 1, 2020. 

Can I transfer from another program into the Chapman’s Ph.D. program?

Transfer will be considered on a case-by-case basis if the curriculum requirements are met.

What is the cost of the program?

There are three trimesters in a year.  A minimum of 3-4 years of study will be required depending upon prior academic experience. For detailed tuition information, please visit the Chapman University Tuition & Fee Information page.  Competitive Fellowships that cover tuition and a stipend are offered to qualified candidates.

Is there any financial assistance or tuition waiver plans?

Qualified students in the Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences are eligible to receive a tuition scholarship and research or teaching assistantships. The University’s financial aid office can provide more comprehensive information on other forms of federal, state, or private funding: (714) 997-6741 or Students should also explore the National Health Service financial aid site.

Other links to Fellowship or Scholarship programs:

American Chemical Society Awards

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Research Opportunities

American Association of University Women Awards

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

PhRMA Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowships

U.S. Pharmacopeia Global Fellowship Program

Is the School of Pharmacy on the Chapman University Campus in Orange, CA?

No. CUSP is located on the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine, CA. The campus is 15 miles south of the Chapman Campus at 9401 Jeronimo Rd. CUSP is conveniently located 1.5 miles east of the I-5 Freeway, off of Alton Parkway, and within 2 miles of the Irvine Spectrum.

Is there student housing near the School of Pharmacy?

Currently, there is no official Chapman student housing near CUSP. However, there are several apartment complexes within a few miles of the Rinker Health Science Irvine campus. A list of local apartment complexes, housing options, and other related resources is available on the CUSP Housing page