Learning about Research as a PharmD Student Before Applying
The UIC College of Pharmacy offers a select number of highly qualified students the opportunity to work toward both the PharmD and PhD degrees. The objective of the joint program is to train students for careers in academic pharmacy and/or research. Students admitted to this highly competitive joint program participate in the PharmD curriculum and pursue original doctoral research projects in the laboratories of the university’s graduate faculty. Only very dedicated students, who exceed the normal standards for admission to the PharmD and PhD program of interest, will be considered for the joint program. The program does not expect to admit more than a few students per year. Further, the program expects that students seeking admission to the joint program will be seriously interested in, and dedicated to the completion of both degrees.
Highly qualified students interested in both the clinical aspects of pharmacy and research in the pharmaceutical sciences are invited to consider the joint PharmD/PhD program. This addition to our programmatic offerings makes it possible for students to earn both degrees more quickly than would be possible if each were done separately while maintaining the rigor of each program. Ordinarily, it would take approximately 9 years† to complete these two degrees sequentially. The joint program offers the potential of reducing that time by approximately two years by counting some requirements toward the completion of both degrees. The trade-off is that both degrees are received at the end of the period and neither degree can be awarded before the other is completed§.
Students admitted to the joint program can begin requirements for both degrees upon admission. Summers can be effectively used for research and laboratory rotations. The first two to three years of the program are used to complete the P-1 through P-3 didactic PharmD curriculum with some PhD courses as electives. Choice of a permanent thesis advisor can take place at any point before moving to the graduate focused years (G-1 through G-3†). Students in the graduate phase of the program work side-by-side with PhD students in the graduate program of choice and meet all departmental requirements of the PhD degree. Original publications and presentations at national meetings are expected. Following completion of the PhD phase of the program, students rejoin other PharmD students to complete PharmD didactic and/or clerkship requirements.Application Procedure for Current UIC PharmD Students
Students may be admitted to the joint program at any time during the PharmD program, but early admission will allow the student to take fullest advantage of the program. Students with a baccalaureate degree prior to PharmD matriculation can be formally admitted to the joint program immediately while students matriculating prior to receipt of a baccalaureate degree must wait until 120 credit hours have been earned—from all undergraduate and PharmD courses—to be formally admitted to the PhD portion of the joint program. Students who have not previously obtained a bacalaureate degree can begin to work in a lab and take courses in the graduate curriculum before being formally admitted to the joint program. If the prospective student is not formally admitted or chooses not to pursue the PhD degree, courses not previously approved by the College of Pharmacy PharmD program as electives will not necessarily count toward PharmD elective requirements.
All four PhD programs in the College are prepared to receive applications from current PharmD students for admission to the joint program. Interested students should contact the College of Pharmacy Director of Graduate Education, Dr. Richard A. Gemeinhart (PSTPApp@uic.edu; PHAR 357) as early as possible concerning the application process and PhD program specifics for admission. The Supplemental Application for Admission is required for admisison and contains detailed instructions for applicants. Some admissions requirements specified for direct admission to the PhD programs may be waived for exceptional applicants.
Learning about Research as a PharmD Student Before Applying
It is possible for any PharmD student to do research for PharmD elective credit. There are two approved PharmD electives, PMXX (BPS, PMMP, PHAD, PMPR) 380 and 390 (http://go.uic.edu/PMXX380). The two are much the same, but subtle differences will be noted for specific instructors in the descriptions. These courses are much like PhD rotations, but for PharmD students. A student can enroll for up to 8 cr. hr. to count toward PharmD electives. Beyond this 8 cr. hr., a student can still enroll, but the credits will not count toward PharmD electives or graduation.
There are also competetive summer opportunities to learn about research. David J. Riback Research Pre-doctoral Fellowships in the UIC College of Pharmacy are funded by an endowment created by Aaron E. Kaplan (Baccalaureate of Science in Pharmacy, 1947) in honor of his uncle, David (Graduate in Pharmacy, 1927). Funds from this endowment support intensive, short-term research training for PharmD students under the supervision of a College of Pharmacy faculty mentor. Riback Fellows receive a $5,000 stipend to pursue research training in the summer for 10 weeks on a full-time basis. An additional $1,000 is available to the mentor for research supplies. At the end of the training period, Fellows submit a brief (4 pages maximum) research report and are encouraged to present their results during the annual College of Pharmacy Research Day.
To give an overview of research in the college, there is also a survey course elective, PMPR 355 Seminar in Pharmacy Research, 1 cr. hr. This course is offered in the Spring semester and is open to all PharmD students. Researchers in the various programs present hour-long seminars on their work.
Application Procedure for Students Applying to the UIC PharmD Program
Applications for the PharmD are processed through PharmCAS. In addition to the on-line PharmCAS application, the supplementary UIC package must be downloaded, completed, and submitted directly to UIC. The Supplemental Application for Admission is required for admisison and contains detailed instructions for applicants. Only students who will receive a baccalaureate degree before matriculation into the PharmD program can apply to the program for simulataneous admission. If you wil not receive a baccalaureate degree before matriculation, please review the application procedure for current PharmD students and consider applying at the appropriate time.
Interested students should contact the College of Pharmacy Director of Graduate Education, Dr. Richard A. Gemeinhart (PSTPApp@uic.edu; PHAR 357) as early as possible concerning the application process and PhD program specifics for admission.
Requirements for Continuation in the Joint PharmD/PhD Program
Students in the joint program must meet all of the requirements of both the UIC College of Pharmacy for the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, as well as the UIC Graduate College and the specific PhD Program requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. For each participant, a plan of study (POS) will be generated. All interested parties, e.g. the PharmD/PhD student, PharmD advisor, PhD Advisor, DGS, and DGE, participate in formulating the plan of study, and each will sign the plan indicating concurrence.
Students must demonstrate satisfactory progress each semester toward completion of the requirements of the both programs. Satisfactory progress is defined as meeting the criteria to continue both programs. At minimum, students must maintain an overall 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale. If progress is judged unsatisfactory, a written notice of one's deficiencies (first written notice) will be issued, and the student will be placed on academic probation. Failure to remedy the stated deficiencies will result in a second written notice. Failure to improve sufficiently to be removed from academic probation within one semester following receipt of the second written notice will result in dismissal from the joint program.