Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Pharmaceutical Sciences students viewing lab sample in Pharmacy Building.

The UB Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences is the foremost destination for PhD student scholars interested in challenging the boundaries of drug discovery, development and evaluation.

We invite you to study with our group of internationally renowned faculty as they advance the biotherapies and technologies of the future to improve human health and society. 

PhD Excellence Initiative

Sponsored through the university, this multi-year program provides enhanced nationally competitive funding packages to ensure the support and continuation of the next generation of scholars and researchers.

Support initiatives include: cost of broad-based fees for doctoral students who are full time and fully funded. Covered fees include the comprehensive fee, academic excellence and success fee, student activity fee, and the international student fee, where applicable.

Find out more: UB PhD Excellence Initiative.

PhD Level Funding

Learn more about the many ways UB can support your career aspirations through innovative assistantships, fellowships, scholarships and other benefits.

Find out more: PhD Level Funding.

Doctoral students receive a full tuition scholarship and stipend. Additional amounts may be received through individual scholarships.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree or higher in pharmacy, biochemistry, chemistry, biology, engineering or other science
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty knowledgeable of the student's ability and capability. Evaluators should comment on laboratory research, communication skills, creativity, and intangibles in the student's academic performance. An email request will be sent directly to your recommenders when you submit your application for formal review.
  • Personal statement: the personal statement is a general statement of purpose describing academic, professional, and research interests and should be no more than 500 words.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in organic and physical chemistry, biochemistry, biology and mathematics
  • Prior research experience and co-authorship in scientific publications are considered favorably.

Application Steps

Prepare Apply Requirements International Applicants

Applying to graduate, professional and research programs can be overwhelming. Let us help with these tips!

  • Our master’s programs typically take 1 to 2 years to complete, with the end goal being either gaining employment or continuing on to a doctoral or professional program. Note that master’s programs are typically self-funded.
  • Our doctoral program typically takes 5 years to complete, where students take coursework early on, followed by independent research culminating in a dissertation. 
  • Learn more about preparing for graduate school from UB’s Career Design Center, including:
    • When to start planning for graduate school
    • How to apply (includes information on letters of recommendation, personal statement and resume/CV)
    • Writing a personal statement
  • Learn about options for funding your graduate education.

Information for Current BS/MS or MS Students

Current students in our BS/MS or MS programs who are interested in the PhD program are required to submit a new application with new recommendations. MS students may apply either during their first or second year of the program. BS/MS students must complete their entire BS/MS program before joining the PhD program (some exceptions considered).

MS students who are accepted to the PhD program during their first year in the MS program are transferred directly to the PhD program and do not receive their MS degree. MS students who are accepted to the PhD program during their second year in the MS program are encouraged to complete their MS project and confer their MS degree before joining the PhD program.

It is recommended that students interested in the PhD program consider taking the required courses for the PhD program that are offered during their MS studies. If admitted to PhD program, students who have completed all of the required PhD courses will be allowed to take the Preliminary Exams.

Students accepted to the PhD program from our MS program who have elected not to receive their MS degree can apply all of their required PhD courses and graduate course credits towards the 72 credits needed for the PhD. These students should develop an academic plan carefully so that the remaining credit requirements needed for the PhD degree are met without exceeding the 72 credits by a large margin.

Students formerly in our BS/MS or MS programs who are accepted to the PhD and have received their BS/MS or MS degree can apply part or all of their prior graduate credits from the University at Buffalo towards the PhD. The Director of Graduate Studies will waive the required PhD courses taken during the BS/MS and MS program for these students. These students should work closely with the Director of Graduate Studies so that remaining credit requirements needed for the PhD degree are met without exceeding the 72 credits by a large margin.