Student Information Training Programs Research Centers

Pharmacology & Toxicology

Program of Study

The goal of the Ph.D. program is to provide students with both breadth and depth in graduate work in pharmacology and toxicology, and to provide an experience in independent research. Students are trained to develop a research project of their own creation, under the supervision of faculty at the University of Texas College of Pharmacy, affiliate/adjunct faculty in other programs on the UT campus or at the MD Anderson-Science Park campus located 30 miles from the UT campus. Upon graduation, students are prepared for a career in research and scholarly work in an academic institution, industry or government. To follow is a brief overview of the graduate program. For more details and contact information, see the graduate student handbook (PDF format. Download Adobe Reader.)

Research program and milestones

The primary goal of this Ph.D. program is to train students rigorously in basic and/or biomedical research in pharmacology and toxicology. Therefore, students begin their research experiences immediately upon matriculation into the program. Some students may perform research rotations during their first year, by spending 2-3 months in up to three laboratories. At the conclusion of this process they select a laboratory based on mutual agreement with the faculty member. Other students may enter the graduate program directly into a faculty member’s laboratory; in these cases the students embark upon their research immediately upon matriculation. During the course of the second and third years the students perform more in-depth experimentation and data collection. This forms the basis of a dissertation proposal that is defended in the qualifying exam. Upon successful completion of this exam, a student enters candidacy and performs the proposed experiments, under the supervision of a dissertation committee.


Students are required to take five didactic lecture courses in either the neuropharmacology or toxicology tracks, depending upon research interests (see handbook for a full list). All graduate students take one methods in pharmacology and toxicology course, a responsible conduct of research course, and at least one course in statistics. The goal of these curricular requirements is to provide a strong foundation in the basics of pharmacology and toxicology for all graduate students.

Seminars, Communication Skills and Journal Clubs

This graduate program strongly emphasizes excellence in oral and written communication skills, together with the ability to read and discuss the scientific literature. Therefore, during the first summer, all students participate in a course, “Communication Skills for Scientists,” in which students work one-on-one with faculty on both scientific writing and speaking. During the course of their education, each student gives a series of seminars and writes several papers, on which he/she receives critical, constructive feedback. The program also requires that students attend a journal club and/or seminar series each fall/spring semester, to better learn about their research fields and how to discuss the related literature.


Students are fully supported each semester by a variety of funding mechanisms, including graduate research assistantships, university fellowships, training grants, departmental traineeships, or teaching assistantships.

Last Reviewed: October 2, 2008

Division Information

Mailing Address:
Pharmacology & Toxicology
College of Pharmacy
The University of Texas
at Austin
107 W. Dean Keeton
Stop C0875
Austin, TX, USA

Email Address: pharmtox

Phone: 512-471-5158

Parkinson Gene Link May Aid Battle Against Disease

Dr. Som Mukhopad-
hyay led the research team that focused on the gene SLC30A10 and its role as a "door opener" in helping to remove elevated levels of manganese from cells. The study was published in the Oct. 15, 2014 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

> Read more about Dr. Mukhopadhyay's research.

Erickson Authors New Book

"Drugs, the Brain and Behavior" is co-authored by Dr. Carlton Erickson, the college's associate dean for research and graduate studies, and Dr. John Brick, executive director of Intoxikon International.

> Read more about Dr. Erickson's new book.

Gore receives SEBM award

Andrea Gore is named to the SEBM Distinguished Scientist Award.

> Read more about Dr. Gore's new award.

index of the major headings: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z