The major focus of the program in Pharmacology is graduate education at the doctoral level. The various requirements are intended to prepare each student to be both scientist and teacher and to give the training necessary to begin a research career.
The curriculum provides a broad background in basic biomedical sciences in the first year, followed by more specialized coursework in the second year depending on the student's interests and needs. Research itself is begun in the first year of the program through laboratory rotations, and career skills such as grant and manuscript writing, and oral presentation of scientific data are emphasized.
Students are encouraged to work in several different laboratories during their research rotations as well as to participate in research training programs offered at other institutions. "Technique courses" to gain different points of view or ancillary techniques that broaden the student's research training are also encouraged. It is expected that after 3 rotations, students will select a mentor for their thesis research.