Skip to main content
Sign In

Department of Pharmacology

Department of Pharmacology

Graduate Training Curriculum

Student Handbook
Student Handbook

​Curriculum Overview

The Department’s training program attempts to allow for individual flexibility while providing a common core experience for every student. The required courses are listed in the next section. Each student is encouraged to choose electives that match his or her interests. Each student not in the MST Program must do three research rotations, each in a different laboratory. In addition to course requirements, second-year students must also fulfill the Major Seminar requirement during the spring semester.

Students must maintain a minimum of a ‘B’ average in all required courses.

Required Courses

Research Rotations
Introduction to Research in Pharmacology
Fall, Winter, Spring, PHCL 7650, 2.0 cr
Directed laboratory research in an area selected by the faculty. Students are required take three rotations lasting one academic “quarter” each, starting in the fall semester of their first year.

Research rotations are designed to introduce students to research methodologies, to teach approaches to scientific problem solving, and to provide the opportunity to explore various laboratories as potential homes for thesis research. Students should approach the research rotations with the primary goal of identifying their future thesis advisors. Research rotations also provide students with the opportunity to accumulate a variety of different research experiences.

The proposed rotation plan, a two-page formally written paper, must be submitted to the Graduate Training Committee at least two weeks prior to the start of the rotation to ensure that the proposal is appropriate. An individual faculty member cannot have more than one Pharmacology student doing a research rotation in his or her laboratory at any given time.

There are several considerations which a student should keep in mind when choosing a rotation advisor. Rotations must be performed with a member of the Departmental Training Faculty . It is the student’s responsibility to take the initiative to contact a rotation advisor and arrive at an agreement with the advisor in a timely manner.

At the completion of each required rotation, students must present a post-rotational seminar. This seminar will be presented on a predetermined Monday during the regular Departmental Seminar Series. The actual dates of the post-rotational seminar series for any given year are available from the Graduate Training Coordinator. In the post-rotational seminar, the student presents the rationale, methods, and results obtained from the rotation project, as well as an interpretation and a discussion of the rotation project results. The post-rotational presentation usually lasts about twenty-five minutes, with five minutes at the end customarily devoted to questions from the audience.

Rotation Grades

Each rotation is assigned a letter grade. The rotation advisor assigns the initial grade following the post-rotational seminar. Based upon subsequent faculty input, the grade for the seminar may be adjusted up or down by one-half grade.

Each student (with the exception of students in the MD/PhD Program) must complete at least three research rotations by the end of the first program year. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program. The possibility of a fourth rotation during the summer quarter between first and second year will be considered for students unable to decide upon a thesis advisor.

Additional Course Information:

First Year
Second Year