Ph.D. in Pharmacology

Application deadline is December 1, 2019.

For prospective 2020 applicants, please contact our program coordinator, Mary Wells (, with any questions about the program.
Our application deadline is December 1st every year, and our program starts on July 1st every year.

Admissions Events for 2021

For prospective 2021 applicants, we will be hosting online chats starting next October 2020; you can RSVP here to receive an invitation to our online admissions chats.

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

The Department of Pharmacology & Physiology offers a comprehensive and rigorous graduate program leading to the Ph.D. degree in Pharmacology. Pharmacology is the study of the effects of drugs and chemicals on living organisms. Modern pharmacology is inherently interdisciplinary and builds on the strengths of biochemistry, physiology, cell biology, neuroscience, and molecular biology to explore and understand these effects.

But just as importantly, drugs and chemicals are powerful tools that allow researchers to probe the molecular machinery of living systems. For this reason, much of the research in pharmacology is directed toward understanding how cellular and organ systems function and how they are regulated.

In their research, faculty at Georgetown use molecular, biochemical, and physiological approaches to pharmacology, which is conducted in cultured cells, isolated organs, intact animals, and humans. Although the research areas covered by the participating faculty are broad, the most concentrated area of research strength is in neuropharmacology and signal transduction.  Because of our strong focus on neuropharmacology, students interested in clinical pharmacology or cancer pharmacology may wish to apply elsewhere.   In particular, the Tumor Biology Program at Georgetown is very strong.

Although there is a strong didactic component to the Ph.D. program, it is inherently a research degree. Thus, the first year of study is divided between research in various laboratories and course work. the following years are devoted, almost exclusively, to a novel research project culminating in publications in international journals and an original Ph.D. dissertation. On average, our students complete the program in approximately 5 years.

Contact Information

Department of Pharmacology & Physiology
Georgetown University Medical Center
3900 Reservoir Road NW
Washington, DC 20057
(202) 687-7007

Department office: Medical Dental Building, SE402
Directions to the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology

Program and Admissions Coordinator
Mary Wells
(202) 687-6012

Program Director
Ph.D. Program in Pharmacology
Patrick A. Forcelli, Ph.D.