University of Colorado Denver

Graduate School

Pharmaceutical Sciences


Academic Office 1, L15-1503

12631 E. 17th Avenue

Aurora, CO 80045

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:

PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences,

Format: Campus

Program Description:

Pharmaceutical sciences is a multi-disciplinary approach to solving problems associated with improving drug therapy for patients. It includes designing and synthesizing new drugs, developing new analytical methods to determine the purity and quality of therapeutic agents, finding better ways to deliver the drug to a patient, minimizing side effects, and assessing the activity and stability of drug compounds. Classically, pharmaceutical sciences was defined by the sub-disciplines of pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology, but most modern research problems cross these traditional boundaries and topics now include pharmacoeconomics, pharmacoepidemiology, health services research, and drug policy. In short, a graduate degree in pharmaceutical sciences is an ideal choice for anyone who wishes to work on developing new drug products and devices, as well as improving utilization of existing products and devices.

The objective of the Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate program is to educate pre-doctoral students to develop independent research careers in pharmaceutical sciences with a basic, clinical or pharmaceutical outcomes emphasis. Upon completion of the graduate program, students will receive a PhD degree and utilize their training in academia, industry or government. The learning objectives for the graduate program are:

Demonstrate a basic knowledge of central concepts in the biomedical sciences.

Understand the current concepts in basic and clinical pharmaceutical sciences, and in pharmaceutical outcomes research.

Read and critically evaluate the scientific literature.

Formulate hypotheses based on current concepts in the field and design, conduct, and interpret their own research projects.

Present research results in peer-reviewed publications and in a dissertation.

Communicate research results effectively through oral presentations at scientific seminars, conferences, and other venues.


  • Emphasis on pharmaceutical biotechnology
  • Opportunity to work at the edge of patient care, with industry and/or directly with patients
  • Training in financial and legal aspects of pharmaceutical sciences
  • PhD concentration in pharmaceutical Outcomes
  • Full benefits and competitive stipend for all trainees
  • Interdepartmental and collaborative
  • Highly accomplished training faculty
  • Rigorous, yet flexible, curriculum


Research Areas: Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Molecular Biophysics, Cancer Pharmacology, Clinical & Translational Sciences, Medicinal Chemistry, Drug Discovery, Pharmaceutical Outcomes. 

* Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research is a distinct concentration area.

Program Events: Seminar series, annual symposium, annual research retreat in the Rocky Mountains, national conferences and meetings.

Financial Support: Students receive full support that includes all tuition and fees, health and dental insurance, and a $30,000 annual stipend.



Applications accepted September 1 to December 1 for the following Fall semester. On-campus interviews take place in February. See program website for details.

Career paths of graduates: Considering the unique strengths of our program, someone who is successful and productive in our program will find a high demand for their talents. Most of our students find jobs with large/small pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies, academics, or governmental positions.

Why CU Anschutz? Located in Aurora, Colorado, the Anschutz Medical Campus is the largest academic health center in the Rocky Mountain region. With six graduate and health professional schools, multiple clinical centers and institutes including an NIH-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, two nationally-ranked teaching hospitals, and a VA hospital, CU Anschutz is engaged in clinical care, research, education, and service. Together, clinicians, graduate students, and research faculty contribute to a large and vibrant cancer research community that is poised to address present and future challenges.

We are committed to diversity and equity. Students from all backgrounds will find resources & support on campus.


The University of Colorado Denver is Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

International Student Requirements:

International students must meet ALL of the standard requirements and also must provide: • Original transcripts and documentation in English (or a certified English translation) of the completion of a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, or the equivalent • Documents required to process immigration documents • Certified English translation of all academic records and references not in English • $75.00 international non-refundable application fee • Evidence of proficiency in English as demonstrated by one of the following: - Citizen of a country whose official language is English - Composite score of 75 or above on the TOEFL or composite score of 6.5 or above on the IELTS - Graduate of CU Denver’s ESL Academy - Earned bachelor’s degree or higher from a foreign or US accredited institution where the language of instruction was English. - Earned a bachelor’s degree from the US or successful completion of at least 2 semesters (12 credits) of full-time study in a graduate-level master’s program at an accredited institution with a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Intensive

Loans Offered: Students are encouraged to work with the University's Financial Aid Office to obtain information on financial aid opportunities. University of Colorado Denver FASFA Code: 004508

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 0-999

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