PhD in Pharmacology & Physiology

Our department offers a comprehensive and rigorous PhD program. Pharmacology, the study of the effects of drugs and chemicals on living organisms, is inherently interdisciplinary and builds on the strengths of physiology, biochemistry, cell biology, neuroscience, and molecular biology. Our faculty and students, using drugs and chemicals as tools, probe the molecular machinery of living systems in order to understand how cellular and organ systems function and how they are regulated.

Although the research areas covered by the participating faculty are broad, the most concentrated areas of research strength are 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.

There is a strong didactic component to the Ph.D. program, however it is inherently a research degree and the first year of study is divided between research in various laboratories (rotations) 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.

Accepted students receive financial support from the university including full tuition scholarship, health insurance, and an annual stipend of $35,500, unless supplanted by external funding (ie, foreign government scholarship, NIH fellowship, Gates Millennium Scholars, and others).

How to Apply

Learn about the application process and requirements. Our application deadline is December 1st every year.

How to Apply


Find the degree requirements here. On average, our students complete the program in approximately 5 years.


Meet our PhD Thesis Mentors

Faculty Mentors

Meet our Current Students & Alumni

Students & Alumni