Doctor of Pharmacy/Doctor of Philosophy (PharmD/PhD)

USC offers an accelerated PharmD/PhD program administered by the School of Pharmacy. This program integrates the professional pharmacy school curriculum with graduate curricula in the Pharmaceutical and Translational Sciences (Tracks: Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics; Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology; and Pharmaceutical Sciences) to develop an accelerated course of study leading to both the PharmD and PhD degrees. The program prepares clinical scientists for careers in academia, government and industrial settings.

Students interested in the joint PharmD/PhD degree must be accepted by both programs. Students will not be given special consideration for admission to either program because they are applying for the joint degree.

USC School of Pharmacy’s Accelerated PharmD/PhD Program:

The USC PharmD program has created several Areas of Concentration (AoCs) to distinguish its students and to challenge them to new possibilities and career opportunities.  Specifically, the AoC in Research is designed to provide longitudinal research experience to students who are interested in pursuing a research-intensive career.

Students who are interested in pursuing PharmD/PhD training are strongly encouraged to pursue the AoC in Research in order to take advantage of the dedicated time for research during the PharmD curriculum prior to applying for admission into the PhD program.

A shortened time to complete the PhD training (from five to three years) is anticipated if a student continues with his/her AoC research during his/her completion of the PhD thesis. A total of 15 units of coursework completed for the PharmD may be applied toward the PhD degree.

Note: Admission into the AoC in Research is not a guaranteed admission into the PhD program. Students must meet all application requirements for the Pharmaceutical and Translational Sciences Ph.D. program.

  • Notification of acceptance into PhD program will be during Spring of P4 PharmD (usually March). Full-time PhD training begins the Fall semester following graduation from the PharmD program.
  • Once admitted into the PhD program, the student should complete the Candidacy Exam during Y1 of the PhD program.
  • Complete Dissertation during Y3 of the PhD program.
  • Expected length of the PharmD/PhD program is seven years in total: 4 years for the PharmD/AOC in Research (3 years) + 3 years for the PhD program (post-PharmD). (Duration of training may be longer depending on the start of the program and research thesis)

For questions related to the program above, please contact the Graduate Affairs Office at 323.442.1474 or email:

Sample Program (PharmD 4 years + PhD 3 years) starting with AoC in Research P2 PharmD