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Washington State University

PhD Program

The PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Molecular Medicine program is based on the WSU Health Sciences campus in Spokane, where you will interact face-to-face with research faculty and students in pharmacy, medicine, nursing, and other health sciences. The WSU Spokane campus also houses state-of-the-art research core facilities.


Our program course requirements are flexible and can be tailored to fit your individual needs and career goals. Students actively participate in weekly research seminars with special emphasis on enhancing communication and leadership skills. Students also have an opportunity to be involved in student organizations to enhance their networking skills.

You will have the opportunity to learn from preeminent researchers who are world-renowned experts in their fields. Areas of study include but are not limited to:

  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Molecular therapeutics
  • Drug discovery
  • Drug delivery/nanotechnology
  • Drug metabolism
  • Dietary supplements
  • Cancer biology
  • Translational pharmacology

Click here to view our list of faculty mentors.

Strengths of our program

Our program houses more than 25 graduate training faculty with active research projects supported by federal and private funding organizations. Our faculty use multi-disciplinary basic and translational approaches to:

  • Understand mechanisms of disease
  • Identify new therapeutic targets
  • Develop novel treatments
  • Optimize therapeutic regimens

Careers in research

Our program offers research in a wide array of disciplines which allows students to choose from an extensive range of career opportunities after graduation. Career related seminars are offered throughout the year to give students exposure to these opportunities.

Some career options for graduates include the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology companies, hospitals, specialty laboratories, government agencies, academia, and more!

Program level graduate student learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the general field of pharmaceutical sciences.
  2. Develop the expertise to use appropriate methodologies to solve novel and emerging problems related to pharmaceutical sciences.
  3. Disseminate research findings to local, regional, national, and international audiences primarily through publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at conferences.
  4. Participate in professional organizations, including becoming members, attending meetings, and taking leadership roles where appropriate.
  5. Participate in teaching, internships, fellowships, workshops, credentialing and grant applications to enhance competitiveness for career opportunities as appropriate.
  6. Train students in critical, integrative, and evaluative thinking at the highest levels of rigor.
  7. Develop advanced written and oral communication skills.
  8. Become independent, self-motivated researchers with the ability to identify specific problems in their field of expertise and to formulate solutions to these problems.
  9. Develop a comprehensive knowledge of previous and current research in their field of expertise and be able to demonstrate that knowledge capability in a review of the literature at a level that is potentially publishable.
  10. Generate innovative questions within their field of expertise and pose hypotheses related to those questions
  11. Apply sound methodological approaches to test hypotheses related to specific research questions and describe the methods effectively.
  12. Perform statistical analyses of research data and present the results in a way that clearly describes the data.