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Graduate Programs

PhD Program

The Ph.D. program in pharmacology at the University of Iowa is recognized both nationally and internationally.  Many graduates of the program have gone on to become leaders in the field of pharmacology. The emphasis of the Ph.D. program is on laboratory research as well as development of critical analysis and communication skills.  Students also gain knowledge of the field through course work in molecular and cell biology, human physiology and pharmacological sciences during the first two years of the program. Over the past five years, the time required to complete the Ph.D. degree has averaged 5.4 years.  Additional information about the program or to apply on-line, click here.

Interdisciplinary Programs

Faculty in the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology participate in a number of interdisciplinary graduate programs within the University as well as in several programs which combine a professional degree (M.D., D.D.S., etc.) with the Ph.D. degree in pharmacology. For additional information or to apply on-line, click here

What our students say about pharmacology

We asked our students why they chose to study here, and their comments highlight the important features and benefits of our Department, the University, and Iowa City:

"Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology in University of Iowa shares great features for both scientific and individual development. Twice-a-week seminar, constant guest speakers and highly collaborative projects keep all researchers and trainees at the very frontline of pharmacological research. Let alone the supporting faculties and friendly atmosphere, which provide ideal conditions for thriving in the realm of science. Pharmacology as a gorgeous combination of art of science and human welfare, is and always will be a top choice for my career. "
- Shi Fang, 4th year Pharmacology student in Curt Sigmund's lab

"As an international student, I have always felt welcome at the University of Iowa. The Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology is by itself a diverse community of people coming from various geographical and socio-cultural backgrounds. This ethnic diversity perfectly complements the multiplicity of research areas the department embraces. Moreover, it is commendable that any new graduate student in Pharmacology is free to find a lab of interest from within or outside the department. This flexibility greatly increases their chances of getting into labs that closely match their research interests."
- Chandra K. Maharjan, 4th year Pharmacology student in Dawn Quelle's lab

"There are three reasons for me to choose the Pharmacology program at the University of Iowa.  First, it is a program full of diversity and opportunities.  The research is of high quality in the fields of neuroscience, cancer, cardiovascular disorders, etc.  It also provides the opportunity to explore PhD in my interested research field outside the department.  The seminars presented by faculties, students and visiting speakers broaden my knowledge and widen my vision.  Second, the environment of the department is very friendly and everyone collaborates with each other frequently not only within the department but also within the College of Medicine.  It gives me a sense of belonging in the Pharmacology program.  Third, as an international student, the university offers English courses and holds activities to help us acclimate to the local life, which has a positive impact on all aspects of my life.  I am so glad that I have a chance to study in the pharmacology program at the University of Iowa."
- Mengya Wang, 4th year Pharmacology student in Andrew Norris' lab

"My first and biggest impressive of the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology here at the University of Iowa was its collaborative research atmosphere and interactive environment.  Being a small part of this vibrant medical research environment in our institution, it can be easy to be trapped within your own busy experiments.  However, our fellow graduate students within the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology are familiar with each other's research as a result of frequent departmental workshops and academic sharing opportunities.  Throughout the past few year being here, I have also appreciated the fact that many faculties within our departments are not only great mentors but also student advocates that will listen to our needs and suggestions and truly trying to provide the resources to our advantages. For example, since last year, our department host guest speakers of different career paths from the industry to meet with us and provide their insights on alternative career paths.  Because of these experiences on top of the rigorous graduate training program, I am really glad to have chosen the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology for my graduate training."
- Yujia Liu, 6th year Pharmacology student in Stefan Strack's lab

"What attracts me the most is the extraordinary department and outstanding research atmosphere at the University of Iowa.  The Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology pays great attention to the graduate students, supports us for both scientific and personal growth, and cares deeply about our paths of academic career.  As a graduate student here, we are exposed to twice-a-week seminars and workshops presented by speakers from a broad spectrum of research fields inside/outside the campus and students & postdocs within the department, which provide a fantastic opportunity for us to broaden our scientific horizon and interests.  The department ensures us with proper and sufficient training, from classroom to lab bench, and encourages us with multiple grant and fellowship applications.  What's more, the collaborative nature in the department intra- and extramurally not only further promotes scientific accomplishments but also nourishes us with a wide range of expertise.  And we also benefit enormously from the easy access to mentors and other faculty here, who are extremely friendly, love to talk about science, and never hesitate to answer any of the questions and makes every effort to free you from the confusions with their unique insights."
- Jianing Song, 6th year Pharmacology student in Stefan Strack's lab