Medicinal Chemistry

Preparation for Graduate Study

Applicants should hold a baccalaureate degree in a discipline such as pharmacy, chemistry, biochemistry or biology. This training should include the following coursework: two semesters each of calculus, organic chemistry, and pharmaceutical or biological sciences and one semester of physical chemistry.

Degree Requirements

The student's academic and research programs are tailored to meet his or her specific interests and professional goals and are decided upon by that student and his/her supervising professor. However, all students take a set of "core" courses in advanced organic chemistry, advanced medicinal chemistry, advanced biochemistry and molecular biology (12 semester hours). Within one calendar year of admission, each student declares a sub-specialization in medicinal chemistry (synthetic medicinal chemistry, bioorganic chemistry or structural molecular biology) and fulfills the core requirements of that sub-specialization.

Following completion of the core requirements, and typically near the end of the second year of study, the student will be required to take the candidacy examinations. The written candidacy examination consists of a single comprehensive exam prepared by the student's examination committee consisting of division faculty and other faculty members whose selection is based upon the student's specialization and research. Within 90 days of passing the written exam, the student submits a formal, original NIH proposal to the examination committee concerning a topic chosen by the student and approved by the examination committee. This serves as the basis for the oral candidacy examination. Upon successful completion of both examinations, the student is admitted to candidacy and the dissertation committee is formulated and charged with supervising the dissertation research and final defense.

See also: Medicinal Chemistry Guide to Graduate Study (PDF)

Career Opportunities

Ph.D. medicinal chemists find rewarding careers in all sectors of the scientific community. Salaries and advancement opportunities compare favorably with graduates in other biochemical and pharmaceutical sciences. Recent graduates from our program have assumed positions at academic institutions, medical schools, the Food and Drug Administration and in pharmaceutical industry.

Last Reviewed: June 2, 2014

Division Information

Mailing Address:
The University of Texas
at Austin
Medicinal Chemistry
BME 6.202
College of Pharmacy
The University of Texas
at Austin
2409 University Ave.
Stop A1900
Austin, TX, USA

Email Address: pharmacy

Phone: 512-471-5263
Fax: 512-232-2606

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