Applying to the Pharmaceutics PhD Program

The Department of Pharmaceutics is a component of the School of Pharmacy. The Department offers a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics. Our program focuses on Physiologically-Based Approaches to Drug Delivery and Disposition. We offer a training environment that includes cutting edge laboratory instrumentation and technologies, award-winning faculty, devoted and experienced teachers, and knowledgeable staff.

The research program of the department includes NIH-funded laboratories addressing a variety of fundamental and clinical problems pertaining to drug transport, metabolism, and toxicity, pediatric and obstetric/fetal pharmacology, enzyme or transporter function in various diseases, drug interactions, pharmacogenomics and the development of vaccines.


 Course Work

Course work requires our graduate students to achieve a level of proficiency in pharmacokinetics, pharmacology, and biostatistics. Most course work is completed in the first 2 years of the graduate program. The program is quite flexible and easily adaptable to meet individual interests and needs. For course descriptions, see the course catalog.

Research Rotation

In the first year of the program, students rotate through the laboratories of at least three faculty members. At the end of the first year, the student chooses a faculty advisor and a dissertation research project.

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Financial Support

Except for special circumstances, students accepted into the PhD program receive financial support in the form of research assistantships or pre-doctoral fellowships from Training Grants or other sources. The department will cover tuition costs, a monthly stipend (currently $2,758/mo) and health insurance. Health coverage is available for spouses and dependents for an additional fee. For more information see the UW Human Resources web page on the Graduate Appointee Insurance Program.

Career Opportunities

A wide range of career paths is available to graduates of this program. Opportunities include drug development in the pharmaceutical industry; research in hospitals, institutes, and foundations; teaching and research in academic institutions; and positions with government regulatory agencies (FDA).

Application Information

We welcome requests for information and applications from talented students holding undergraduate and graduate degrees in the biological sciences, chemistry, biochemistry, engineering, pharmacy or in or a closely related discipline. Admission decisions are based on academic record (suggested minimum of 3.0 GPA for last 2 years of study), GRE/TOEFL scores, letters of recommendation, and the personal statement.

International students are required to demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting English language proficiency test scores (minimum required score: TOEFLiBT is 80 but the recommended score is 92 or higher ) or by having a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a regionally accredited English-speaking institution.

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Application Checklist

To be submitted online to the Graduate School (Do not send application materials by mail to the Department or Graduate School):

To be submitted online only for the Department of Pharmaceutics (Do not send any application materials by mail to the Department or Graduate School) :

  • Self report of GRE scores (verbal, quantitative and analytical required)
  • Self report of English language proficiency test scores for international students (e.g., TOEFL)
  • Statement of Purpose describing your background, academic interests, and career objectives. Please note any special circumstances we should consider in your application
  • CV listing educational and employment history
  • Designating 3 individuals to submit letters of recommendation – please note we do not have a specific form to complete. Electronic submission of the letters is required.

Deadline for Application Submission and Department Interviews

Applications must be submitted by December 31st. For details about the application process, see the Graduate School application web page. Interviews for potential students in the department will be held in February during the department’s invitation-only recruitment event.

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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I apply for Spring or Winter Quarter?
A: No. The Department only accepts applications for Autumn Quarter. For exact start dates, see the UW academic calendar.

Q: Do you have a Master’s degree program?
A: In general, we only offer a Ph.D. degree program to entering students.

Q: Can the application fee to the Graduate School be waived?
A: No, the fee cannot be waived.

Q: What departmental code should I use for the test scores?
A: Just use the institution code for the UW (4854). The GRE must be taken within five years of application and the TOEFL exam within 2 years of application.

Q: Are there minimum test score requirements?
A: No, our department does not have minimum score requirements for the GRE, TOEFL, or IELTS. However, the UW Graduate School’s minimum required score is 80 on the TOEFLiBT  and the recommended score is 92 or higher for international students.  The University is phasing out usage of IELTS. IELTS with a test session date after  May 30, 2017 will not be accepted. For more information about English Language Proficiency Requirements, refer to the UW Graduate School’s Memo 8.

Q: How are applicants evaluated, and what are your average GPAs and scores for those admitted?
A: We evaluate applicants in a holistic fashion taking into consideration their GRE scores, letters of recommendation, personal statement, their experience with research, and GPA. We do not have minimum cutoff criteria for GRE or GPA scores. Below are the average statistics or applicants who were admitted to our program in the last five years:

Average GPA at application GRE V average percentile GRE W average percentile GRE Q average percentile
3.6 71 69 82

Q: How many applications do you receive and how many students are accepted?
A: We receive about 70-80 applications each year and accept 3 to 5 students per year.

Q: Do you interview potential students?
A: Yes, the department interviews all applicants who are shortlisted. Those in the US are interviewed in person while those overseas are interviewed via Skype.

Q: I still have questions. Whom can I contact?
A: Please email for more information about the Department of Pharmaceutics or if you have additional questions or concerns.