The doctoral program in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Medical College of Wisconsin has two major components: graduate level coursework and the completion of a novel, publishable research project.
The coursework requirements of the doctoral program are flexible and tailored to the needs of individual students as much as possible. Typically, the first-year curriculum for doctoral students consists of a set of core courses covering the fundamentals of biochemistry, molecular genetics, molecular biology of the cell and cellular signal transduction. However, an alternative translational core curriculum is available with focus on organ system biology and translational science. Subsequently, students may take semester long graduate courses on pharmacological principles, receptors and second messengers, ion channels and drug discovery. The option to take a medical pharmacology course is available.
After completion of the initial coursework, students take a qualifying examination. The qualifying examination consists of writing and defending a research proposal in an area different from the student's dissertation research. The exam typically takes place in the second year of the doctoral program.
After a student has successfully passed his or her qualifying examination and completed the basic coursework, his or her time is spent engaged in a cutting edge research project in the laboratory of a member of the department's graduate faculty. The final requirement of the program is for the student to write and defend a dissertation describing their research project
Requirements and Guidelines for PhD Program (PDF)