PHD in Clinical Pharmacology // Drug Repurposing

PHD in Clinical Pharmacology

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The PhD program in Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics (CXPT) is a novel interdisciplinary program of study that educates students with the perspective and skill set to identify important connections between fundamental biomedical research and human disease. Recognizing that “bench” researchers need to be familiar with the basic principles of clinical research and “clinical” researchers need to be familiar with the basic scientific concepts relevant to the disease under study and the laboratory techniques in that discipline, the program provides cross-training between clinical and basic sciences—focusing on the investigation of disease processes, drug development and the efficacy and toxicity of therapeutic regimens.

Course requirements and research opportunities for graduate students enrolled in the program provide both experimental (basic) and disease-focused experiences that complement the graduate’s respective research focus. The program’s emphasis is on translational, rather than basic science research.


Candidates with an advanced health-professional degree (i.e., PharmD, MD, DDS) or bachelor’s or advanced degree in a relevant background (i.e., biomedical sciences) are invited to apply. A student currently enrolled in the PharmD program at USC may pursue a PharmD/PhD dual degree.

Admission Criteria

The Admission Committee will consider applications based on the following factors:

1. Overall Grade Point Average (GPA)
A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required. Special attention is given to the grades achieved in science courses relevant to the program (e.g., chemistry, biology, biochemistry, pharmacology and physiology).

2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Score
GRE scores of 153 Quantitative and 144 Verbal (new exam) or a combined Verbal and Quantitative GRE score of 1000 (old exam) are required. However, priority for financial support is given to applicants with GRE scores of at least 308 (new exam) or 1200 (old exam).

3. Letters of Recommendation
Three letters from faculty knowledgeable of the student’s ability and capability are required. These letters should provide a thorough assessment of the student’s experience in laboratory research, ability to communicate in verbal and written English, motivation, creativity and other qualities in the student’s academic performance.

4. TOEFL Scores for International Applicants
A minimum TOEFL (computer based) score of 213 is required. A score of 250 is highly competitive for admission and financial support. An IELTS score of 7 is competitive; and an IBT minimum score of 100, with at least 20 in each section, is required.


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