Application to the PhD

Admissions Events

For prospective Summer 2020 applicants, we will be hosting informational online chats in October and November; you can RSVP here to receive an invitation to our next online admissions chat.

Please note: This degree program does NOT lead to a PharmD and will NOT allow you to be a practicing pharmacist.

Eligibility for Application

  • At minimum, a Bachelor of Science degree in a science field (e.g. chemistry, biology, pharmacy, neuroscience, physiological psychology) that will be completed before the start of this PhD program.
  • Research experience in the sciences
  • Note: Advanced standing is not automatically granted to students with advanced degrees (ie, Master of Science degree).  Advanced standing or exemption from any of the core courses is granted on a very limited basis by the Program Director. Applicants who would plan to seek advanced standing or coursework exemptions should make a special note about this in their application.


Candidates who are admitted with departmental funding and who maintain normal progress are supported with:

Visit BGE's Tuition and Fees page and PhD Financial Support page for more information about tuition and financial assistance.

Students with third-party funding sources guaranteed for the entirety of their PhD program (ie, scholarships/sponsorships/fellowships through governments, employers, or private organizations) should include a copy of their award/sponsorship letter with their application.  If the sponsorship is awarded after submitting your application, please send a PDF copy of the letter to Mary Wells at to be added to your application file.

How to Apply

The Pharmacology PhD Program requires an online application to be completed to the Office of Biomedical Graduate Education (BGE) through the application portal of the Georgetown Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (see below link in the Application Requirements).

Application elements, including unofficial transcripts and letters of recommendation, are required to be submitted through the online application system. Transcripts from institutions outside the U.S. should be submitted to WES for course-by-course evaluation for equivalency to U.S. standards as described below in the "Application Requirements" section.

The application deadline for our PhD program is December 1st every year, and the program starts on July 1st of the following year.  We expect all application materials to be submitted and received by the December 1st deadline.  International applicants are especially encouraged to start the application process early to allow plenty of time for transcript evaluation by WES (which can take 8 weeks or more).

Note: Georgetown's PhD in Pharmacology is a participating program in the NIH Graduate Partnership Program.  For students who apply via the NIH GPP, the primary adjudicator of your application will be the NIH.

Applicants are required to upload to the application system unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Please do not send electronic or paper copies of your official transcripts before receiving an offer of admission. For additional details review Admissions FAQ.


Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee
  • Academic Statement of Purpose
    This essay should address the following points at a minimum, and should be between one and three pages (12pt standard font such as Times New Roman, single-spaced)
    • Your experiences and background that motivate you to pursue a doctoral degree
    • Your long-term career goals and how a PhD in Pharmacology will help you attain those goals
    • Research you have conducted in the past, what your specific roles/tasks were in those projects, and how long you were involved
    • Your motivations for applying to Georgetown (ie, PhD mentors in our department whose research interests you and why)
  • Resumé/CV
    • All education and experiences should include start and end dates (month and year). For current/in progress experiences, please include start date (month and year) and use "present" instead of an end date.
    • Research and work experiences should each include a brief bulleted list of responsibilities (and accomplishments if relevant)
    • Minimum acceptable font size is 11pt. If necessary, please allow your CV/resumé to span more than one page in order to include all requested details while maintaining font sizes and spacing that facilitate readability.
    • Items in each section of the resumé should be listed in reverse-chronological order (with current/most recent experiences listed first)
  • Three letters of recommendation that address the elements described in the instructions below.
    (click here for instructions to send to letter writers)
    The program requests that students forward the following instructions to letter writers:
    • Rate the applicant as: Exceptional, Outstanding, Very Good, Above Average, Average, or Below Average.
    • Comment on the applicant's ranking compared to other students you have mentored. E.g., The student is in the top 5 students of the 50 students I mentored over the last 30 years.
    • Comment on the applicant's drive, creativity, independence, and resilience


  • Unofficial Transcript(s) are required at the time of application; official transcripts are required if you are offered admission to the program.
    • If you have any transcripts from outside the US where you earned a degree or will earn a degree (any undergraduate or graduate institution attended or currently attending as a degree-seeking student that is outside the US), we require it to be evaluated for equivalency with U.S. standards. English translations of international transcripts cannot substitute for transcript evaluations.  Degrees earned outisde the US in English-speaking countries or at institutions where English is the primary language of instruction are also required to be evaluated for equivalency with US standards.  The preferred place for this evaluation is the World Education Services (WES). WES charges a fee and requires an original transcript sent directly by the school. Please have WES send their evaluation(s) directly to the Office of Biomedical Graduate Education (3900 Reservoir Rd NW, Med-Dent SE108, Washington DC 20057). Your application will not be considered complete until we receive your transcript evaluations for all international institutions where you earned a degree. If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact Ms. Mary Wells at

  • Pharmacology Supplemental Document:
    • Part 1 - Essay answering the following prompt, maximum one page: Please tell us about an incident in your research where you experienced failure. Include what you did about it and what you learned from the experience.  Note: This essay is separate from the Statement of Purpose.
    • Part 2 - A simple rank-ordered list of six faculty members in our department with whom you would be interested in doing research. The list should be ranked 1 through 6, with "1" being the faculty member with whom you are the most interested in doing thesis research in our department.
      Please upload Parts 1 and 2 as one PDF file to the Supplemental Data Forms section of the Online Application.  
  • Evidence of proficiency in the English language is required for all applicants regardless of citizenship status. (TOEFL/IELTS if applicable).  Click here for explanation of English proficiency requirement.
    • All applicants are required to demonstrate a level of proficiency in the English language sufficient to meet the admission requirement of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; citizenship is not proof of language proficiency. Proficiency can be demonstrated by the receipt of a bachelor's or advanced degree (ie, master's degree) from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction for the entire university.  Please note: Applicants receiving degrees at universities in U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, are required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS unless the primary language of instruction at their prior post-secondary institution is English). For any questions on this requirement, please contact
    • The minimum TOEFL score for admission is 80 (Internet-based test) and 550 (paper-based test). The minimum IELTS score for admission is 7.0 (paper-based test only).
      5244 is the code for Georgetown University.

For questions regarding the PhD in Pharmacology program and application requirements, please contact Ms. Mary Wells at  For technical questions about using the online application system, or to inquire if certain materials have been received by mail, please contact our biomedical admissions office at

GRE scores

Effective starting the 2017-2018 application cycle, we have decided to remove GREs from our application process.  A growing literature makes it abundantly clear that GREs are poor predictors of graduate student success (see: Hall et al. and Moneta-Koeler et al.).  Moreover, GRE scores consistently disadvantage women and individuals from underrepresented groups in science.  Thus, given the poor predictive value of the GRE, we feel it only serves as an access barrier to applications as significant time and money are required for the examination and subsequent score reporting. 

Patrick Healy Graduate Fellowship

The Ph.D. Program in Pharmacology is deeply committed to diversity within our community. We particularly encourage applications from individuals from historically underrepresented groups in science. Students from diverse backgrounds may be considered for the Patrick Healy Graduate Fellowship.

Named in honor of Georgetown’s 28th President, Patrick Healy, the first African-American to earn a doctorate degree, and the first African-American President of Georgetown University (1874–1882), the Healy Fellowship is intended to further Georgetown’s commitment to creating a diverse community composed of the most qualified students. The Program is designed to help recruit and retain graduate students who are talented individuals of the highest caliber and who might otherwise find it difficult or impossible to successfully pursue a doctoral degree. The Graduate School is committed to training diverse future faculty, researchers, and leaders who will enrich critical thinking, knowledge generation, and knowledge advancement across all disciplines. Diversity is a crucial element in preparing students for the service of others.

Healy Fellowships will be awarded to students whose background or experience, when evaluated holistically, suggests they are uniquely able to contribute to the diversity of the Georgetown community and to the academic profession as a whole. Support will be provided to Patrick Healy Fellows for twelve months per year for up to five years, assuming satisfactory progress toward the Ph.D. Because departmental nominations are due in February, only applicants whose applications are complete by February 1st will be considered for departmental nomination.