College of Pharmacy


Medicinal Chemistry

Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry

Program Purpose

The doctoral program prepares students to be scientific and technical experts in a topical area within the broadly defined field of medicinal chemistry. Training afforded by the program intends to impart state-of-the-art research and effective communication skills to participants for them to contribute as leading professionals to either the industrial or academic missions of the medicinal chemistry field. Students successful in obtaining the Ph.D. should be fully prepared for a range of professional postdoctoral research positions in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors, or to become faculty or technical staff in academic or professional programs.

Learning Outcomes

  • demonstrate a broad understanding of basic biomedical, chemical and physical sciences underlying the field of medicinal chemistry;
  • demonstrate a mature understanding of current methods of modern drug discovery, drug development, drug target characterization and validation, assay development, and biomaterial optimization;
  • be able to identify, compile, analyze, and assess technical, scientific and health-care related information from a variety of sources and perspectives;
  • be able to apply critical thinking and analytical skills to formulate a technical critique and express that argument clearly and cogently both orally and in writing;
  • demonstrate effective technical communication skills necessary to understand, contribute and participate in state-of-the-field discussions and forums;
  • exhibit a broad problem-solving ability and be able to formulate hypothesis-driven projects in modern areas of drug discovery and development, medicinal chemistry, and translational biomedical research;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the role of entrepreneurship in translating academic research into clinically useful drugs;
  • be fully prepared for professional postdoctoral entry-level research positions in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors, or as faculty or technical staff in an academic or professional technical training program;
  • possess state-of-the-art research skills, competence and practical techniques required to independently design, test and implement modern medicinal chemistry methods, assays, technologies, and innovative therapeutics.