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Ph.D. Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the deadline for admission?
A: Applications should be submitted by the first week of January each year to be considered for admissions during the Fall Semester.

Q: What are the minimum requirements for applicants (GPA, GRE scores etc.)?
A: We don’t have set minimum requirements. We view each applicant carefully and consider the combination of GPA (with emphasis on chemistry courses), GRE scores, letters of recommendation and the personal statement. We have in the past taken students with deficiencies in one of the above areas that have turned out to be outstanding scientists. We view the collection of materials to arrive at our decision. One requirement, set by the Graduate School and the University, deals with the English Proficiency minimum requirements. If an applicant’s scores for the TOEFL/IELTS are below a set level the student must take courses in English through the Applied English Center on campus to overcome their deficiencies.

Q: How many students do you take each year?
A: The number varies from year to year but averages around 10 per year.

Q: How many applicants do you receive each year and what percentage of students that applies gets accepted?
A: Generally, the number of applicants per year varies quite a bit but the average typically ranges from 75 to 100. The number of students desired by faculty varies from year to year as well. We have taken as many as 15 new students and as few as three. A very rough estimate of the percentage of applicants that apply that get accepted is around six to nine percent.

For more information and statistic on previous years admissions and graduation rates please visit Graduate Studies Program Profiles page. You will want to scroll down the page to the “School of Pharmacy” section and then select the link for Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Select the link “DPP” to view information regarding the PhD program.

Q: Can I contact an advisor I am particularly interested in and bypass the recruitment process and directly join this laboratory?
A: No. We accept only students who receive unanimous support by all faculty members. In doing so, we ensure that each faculty member is comfortable in accepting any of our applicants into his or her laboratory. The first semester the student does not have a formal advisor and attends a series of lectures regarding the research interests of the faculty members in the department. After these seminars have concluded, the student rank ranks the faculty members he or she would most like to work with. Every effort is made to give students their first choice.

Q: Do you accept applicants who want only a master’s degree?
A: No, we only accept students for the Ph.D. track. However, upon completion of the oral and written comprehensive exams, the students are automatically granted a master’s degree. If the student is deemed unable to continue on for the Ph,D, program, he or she will have the opportunity to obtain a terminal master’s degree.

Q: What is the average time it takes your students to earn their Ph.D.?
A: From the point a student joins the department until the time they are formally awarded their Ph.D. is 5.3 years. The thesis defense may occur many months before the actual degree is conferred.

Q: Can any of my courses be waived if I took similar courses at a different university?
A: Maybe. If the university is reputable and the syllabus clearly identifies the content similarity it may be possible but requires faculty approval.

Q: What do I have to pay for if accepted into the graduate program?
A: If accepted, you will be considered to be 50% supported by a graduate research assistanceship (GRA) and will be provided with the full cost of tuition, a generous stipend and basic health insurance. You will be responsible only for general living expenses as well as a couple campus fees.

Q: What methods of payment for the application fee are accepted?
A: The application fee can only be paid through the application website. Please check there for payment options.

Q: Do I need to take an English Proficiency Exam (i.e., TOEFL, IELTS, PTE)?
A: Most likely yes, if you are an international student. For more information on requirements and exemptions please see English Proficiency Requirements

Q: Do letters of recommendation need to be formatted in a special way?
A: No. Unlike some universities, we do not require special formatting. It is important that the reference be signed and printed on institutional letterhead.

Q: I can’t afford the application fee or test fees. Can I get a waiver?
A: The department does not offer fee waivers for the application fee. If you are needing assistance covering the cost of the various fees for exams, please see ETS GRE® Fee Reduction Program.

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