Pharmacology and Toxicology PhD Program
Message from the Director
John Auchampach, PhD
Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology
Director, Graduate Program in Pharmacology & Toxicology
Welcome to the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at MCW! Our graduate program focuses on cellular signal transduction processes, the site of action of the majority of drugs used to treat patients today. We offer a flexible program for students interested in basic biological processes, translational science or drug discovery.
Pharmacology and Toxicology
About the Program
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
The objective of the graduate training program in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Medical College of Wisconsin is to train biomedical researchers for the 21st Century. Our goal is to give our students the skills to conduct independent research at the cutting edge of biomedical science. Candidates can pursue their PhD degree by applying to either the Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences (IDP), the Neuroscience Research Program (NDP), or direct admission into the Pharmacology and Toxicology program.
Doctor of Philosophy; Master of Science (special arrangement only). These programs expose students to a variety of perspectives in biomedical research and allow exploration of multiple fields within the biomedical sciences before choosing a specific program for their dissertation.
A Bachelor’s degree (either completed or in the process of completing) is required for admission to any MCW graduate program. Applicants will ideally have a 3.0 or higher grade point average (GPA). Personal statements and letters of recommendation from professors, advisors, research supervisors, etc. who know you well are highly regarded in the admission process. An official test score, GRE or otherwise, is no longer required for admission consideration. However, test score submissions will be consider if they are submitted voluntarily. Prior research experience is also strongly considered.
The MCW Graduate School operates on a rolling admissions basis. However, applications accepted by the priority application deadline of December 15th will receive first priority for admission the following Fall. Students are admitted once per year.
Tuition and Fees
If you have questions regarding tuition or your account, please contact the Office of Student Accounts, at (414) 955-8172 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please refer to the All Student Handbook (PDF) for tuition payment policies and information.
All full-time PhD degree-seeking students in good academic and professional standing receive the following financial support package:
- Full tuition coverage
- Yearly stipend ($31,530 for the '20-'21 academic year)
- Complimentary health insurance
There is no additional process to secure this package aside from accepting an offer of admission. Further, this package is guaranteed from the time of enrollment through completion of degree requirements.
Current MCW Employees
Tuition Course Approval Form - Human Resources (PDF)
There will be a $100 late registration fee for anyone not completing registration by the date indicated on the schedule each semester.
There is also a $250 late payment fee for tuition not paid on time according to the Tuition Payments policy in the All Student Handbook (PDF).
Late payment fee is in addition to any late registration fee.
Graduate Program Student Information
Requirements and Guidelines - Student and Faculty Handbook (PDF)
Effective July 1, 2009 (updated version April 2019) for the Pharmacology & Toxicology Graduate Program
- Dissertation Committee Meeting Report (DOCX)
- Qualifying Exam Report (PDF)
- Doctoral Qualifying Examination Evaluation Form (PDF)
- Committee Approval: Doctoral Dissertation / Master's Thesis (PDF)
- Outline Approval: Doctoral Dissertation / Master's Thesis (PDF)
- Intent to Graduate (PDF)
- PhD Dissertation Final Checklist (PDF)
- Report of the Final Examination (PDF)
- Confidential Report: Doctoral Dissertation / Master's Thesis (PDF)
- Binding Form: Dissertation / Thesis (PDF)
- Degree Application (PDF)
MCW Graduate School
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-0084 (fax)