Pharm.D / Ph.D

Program Description

The Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)/Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree Program enables highly qualified students to obtain both degrees in a shortened period of time. This Pharm.D./Ph.D. degree program is designed primarily for students who are strongly motivated toward an academic/research career in the pharmaceutical sciences. The program is flexible enough to accommodate individuals of varied educational backgrounds. The actual time required for completion of the program depends on the individual qualifications and interests of the student.

Pharmacotherapeutics Specialization

An experimental pharmacotherapeutics specialization has been integrated with Mercer’s graduate program leading to the dual Pharm.D. and Ph.D. degrees in pharmaceutical sciences. This program will address clinically relevant issues in pharmacotherapeutics and include clinical investigations involving patients or healthy volunteers.

Program Requirements

Upon acceptance into the Pharm.D./Ph.D. degree program, students will be assigned to an adviser from the faculty of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The adviser will schedule the program of study until the student selects a major professor. The specific program selected will be determined by the student's previous academic history as well as by the departmental requirements of the Ph.D. program. The structure of the Pharm.D./Ph.D. degree program differs from that of the Pharm.D. program in several respects.

  1. During the first year, the student’s research capability and commitment will be assessed through documented evaluation by the research adviser after the end of the 1st semester, 2nd semester, and again at the end of the 1st summer, with oversight of the Student Advisory Committee as well as the director of graduate studies and department chair. Additionally, Pharm.D./Ph.D. students will complete a self assessment of their first year and present their first year research results at the end of the first summer as a requirement for progression. At the end of the first year, if progress is determined to be unsatisfactory, the student has the option of changing dissertation advisers.

  2. Pharm.D./Ph.D. students will take Ph.D. core courses in place of professional electives that simultaneously satisfy the requirements of both the Pharm.D. electives and the Ph.D. program.

  3. Pharm.D./Ph.D. students are exempt from the following Ph.D. core courses: PHA 806 (Dosage Forms and Drug Delivery Systems - 2 hours), PHA 808 (Pharmacokinetics - 3 hours), and PHA 809 (Principles of Drug Action - 3 hours).

  4. PharmD/PhD students are required to complete five (5) advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) in the areas of Advanced Community Pharmacy, Advanced Institutional Pharmacy, Acute Care (2) and Ambulatory Care. In addition, students complete three (3) elective experiences by registering for PHA 696 (Research) over 3 APPE blocks. PHA 650 (Pharmacotherapy Case Conference) also is required.

  5. The student is expected to participate in Graduate Seminar throughout their matriculation and to enroll for credit in the summer semester beginning with Year 3.

Following completion of the third year, the student focuses on the research component of the curriculum. With the exception of the Advanced Practice Experiences, the student should have completed all prerequisite and core courses by this time.

Continuation in the Pharm.D./Ph.D. degree program is contingent upon satisfactory performance and progress toward fulfillment of the requirements of the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program and the Doctor of Philosophy degree program. Students admitted to the Pharm.D./Ph.D. degree program are expected to complete all program requirements. For students who decide to withdraw from the dual degree program at any point, they must reapply for admission to either program separately, and if accepted, they must fulfill all requirements of either program individually.

Financial Arrangements

Students who are enrolled in the Pharm.D./Ph.D. Degree Program will pay full tuition for the first three years. Tuition waiver will be granted for the remainder of the program, normally the fourth through seventh years. Students will be encouraged to apply for extramural funding of their educational program. Departmental stipends will be awarded on a competitive basis for years 4-7, subject to availability. Stipend support beyond this time will be based on extramural funding. Financial support through tuition waiver or stipends is provided based on contribution to the teaching program as described in departmental policies.

For more information on the Ph.D. program, email or 678.547.6730, or for the Pharm.D. program, email or 678.547.6232