• Admissions

    Admission to the PhD Program in the Department of Pharmacology is through the broader Biosciences Program of the University.  Following initial enrollment and participation in the University's Biosciences Program for the first 8 months of graduate work, students then matriculate into the Department of Pharmacology. 


    • May be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or foreign international.
    • Must have completed requirements for a bachelor's degree at an accredited academic institution prior to matriculation.
    • Must meet all admissions requirements of the Graduate College at the University of Iowa and the Department of Pharmacology.
    • Must have a demonstrated desire and commitment to perform biomedical research.  Strong preference is given to applicants who have previous laboratory research experience.

    Evaluation for admission is based on a combination of:  

    • Undergraduate academic performance
    • GRE scores  
    • Letters of recommendation (three)  
    • TOEFL scores, where applicable  
    • An interview with the applicant, where possible  

    General requirements for admission:

    • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
    • Minimum GPA of 3.00, or foreign equivalent
    • Completion of the following coursework 
      • Mathematics, through calculus
      • Chemistry, through organic
      • Statistics, one semester (or equivalent)
      • Biochemistry, one semester (or equivalent)
      • Other advanced biology course, one semester (or equivalent)
      • Physics, one year
    • GRE General Test

    Other qualifications that enhance an application: 

    • Undergraduate major in the biological sciences or chemistry
    • Previous laboratory research experience
    • Master's degree in the biological sciences, chemistry or a related area  

    Entering the program in this manner allows students to enjoy the flexibility of investigating several disciplines - by performing research rotations in any three of the Biosciences Program-affiliated laboratories in the fourteen programs under the Biosciences umbrella. 

    During this first year, all students are required to participate in: 

    • Introductory courses that teach basic principles relevant to scientists across disciplines within the biosciences
    • Biosciences Critical Thinking and Communication, which teaches students to critically evaluate scientific literature  
    • Departmental seminars
    • Program specific electives (for students interested in Pharmacology, those listed under curriculum are recommended)  

    Students are assigned an advisor to assist in the selection of courses and research rotations. The curriculum for each student is tailored to fit the student's individual interests. 

    In April of the first academic year of graduate studies in the Biosciences Program, each student is expected to select a research laboratory and program affiliation, and to begin her/his thesis research project. 

    For students who wish to join the Department of Pharmacology as a home department, all coursework completed in the Biosciences Program is applied toward the requirements of the Department of Pharmacology.

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