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FAQ: Graduate Programs in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to do to apply?

Official transcripts, TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo scores, a statement of personal goals and philosophy and two letters of recommendation are needed for the application. Visit the How to Apply page for detailed information.

What is your application deadline?

Applications must be received by the SDSU Graduate School before April 15. All application materials should be sent to the Graduate School.

Is there financial support for admitted students?

Ph.D. Program: The department provides an assistantship (teaching or research assistantship) to competitively admitted students. The assistantship allows the student to pursue graduate education without having to seek outside employment. Limited assistantships are available each year.

M.S. Program: Financial aid is available for domestic graduate students by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Currently, we do not have financial aid for international students.  

Can I apply for spring or summer semester?

Unless there is a need, the department generally accepts applications for fall semester only.

Will I be notified when my application materials have arrived to the department?

The department does not send acknowledgments upon receipt of applications. You will be informed by e-mail by the Graduate School if you are missing required application materials. It is your responsibility to ensure the arrival of all required documents. Please note that your application will not be forwarded to the department by the Graduate School for review until all the required documents have been received by the Graduate School.

How do you select students?

The following basic criteria are used to evaluate applicants:

The quality of your academic performance, TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo scores if you are an international student without a degree from an English-speaking country, the comments from your references, the nature and quality of your research experience and its fit to the available projects and your motivation and commitment to graduate studies as relayed in your personal statement.

How will I be notified of my admission status?

Once a decision has been made by the admissions committee, which is likely to be in early May, you’ll receive an e-mail notification from the department. Official admission documents will be sent to you by U.S. mail. Please inform the Graduate School and the department of any changes in your contact information.

Does the department require specific prerequisite coursework?

The following prerequisites are the courses required for admission to our graduate program:

  • Two semesters of general chemistry
  • Two semesters of organic chemistry
  • One semester of biochemistry

In some instances, applicants who have not had prerequisites at the undergraduate level may be allowed to enroll and make up such a deficiency during their first year in the program.

What type of courses will I be taking?

Ph.D. Program: See our Ph.D. course listing for the program.

M.S. Program: See our M.S. course listing for the program.

What is the cost in tuition and fees?

Ph.D. Program: Tuition and fees for students supported by an assistantship from the department are waived. Self-support students are required to pay the full tuition and fees. Please visit the Graduate School website for information about tuition and fees.

M.S. Program: See our tuition and costs page.

What are some career options with this degree?

Career opportunities open to graduates with advanced training in pharmaceutical sciences include industry and academia related to pharmaceutical or biomedical sciences.

Does the department offer a M.S. degree program?

Yes. Learn more about our M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences degree.  

Can I apply to study with a specific professor or research group?

In general, applications are made to the department graduate program, not to an individual professor or research group. However, faculty with funding are allowed to select their own students who meet the minimum requirements; the selection needs to be approved by the Pharmaceutical Sciences Academic Affairs and Admissions Committee.

What are the research areas of the faculty in the department?

Please visit the department website for each individual faculty’s research interests at Faculty Research Opportunities.