Medicinal Chemistry, PhD

This specialization offered by the Center for Drug Discovery (CDD) trains students in the design and synthesis of novel, biologically active compounds and in the study of their mechanisms of action using biochemical, biophysical, and pharmacological approaches. Specializations are available in synthetic, biochemical/pharmacological, and biophysical medicinal chemistry. These will be targeted to treat drug abuse; addiction; and other indications such as neuropathic pain, obesity, neuropsychiatric disorders (psychoses, ADHD, depression, anxiety, eating disorders); and neurodegenerative disorders.

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.


Qualifying examination
Annual review
Dissertation committee
Dissertation proposal
Dissertation defense

Core Requirements

A grade of C– or higher is required in each course.

Complete the following (repeatable) course twice:2
Pharmaceutical Science Seminar
PHSC 6810Pharmaceutical Science Colloquium1
Required Core
PHSC 5100Concepts in Pharmaceutical Science2
PHSC 5102Concepts in Pharmaceutical Science 22
PHSC 6212Research Skills and Ethics1
or BIOL 6381 Ethics in Biological Research
CHEM 5612Principles of Mass Spectrometry3
CHEM 5626Organic Synthesis 13
CHEM 5628Principles of Spectroscopy of Organic Compounds3
CHEM 5672Organic Synthesis 23
CHEM 5676Bioorganic Chemistry3
PHSC 5400Principles of Drug Design3
PHSC 6222The Chemistry and Biology of Drugs of Abuse2
PHSC 6224Behavioral Pharmacology and Drug Discovery2


Complete 6–7 semester hours in the following subject areas: BIOL, BIOT, CHEM, NNMD, PHSC, PMCL, PMST6-7

Research and Dissertation

PHSC 8940Doctoral Training and Research1
Proposal Preparation
PHSC 9681Doctoral Proposal2
Complete the following (repeatable) course twice:
PHSC 9990Dissertation3

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

45 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required