Pharmacology & Neuroscience (Doctorate)

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Your future in pharmacology starts in the lab.

Gain a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of drugs and their effects on physiological systems through Creighton University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology & Neuroscience. This research-intensive doctorate program will prepare you for a career in research, as a leader in academia or as part of the pharmaceutical or biotech industries. Our graduates have gone on to work as professors, industry scientists, postdoctoral researchers, and medical science liaisons.

Students and faculty within Creighton’s pharmacology program continue to research various diseases such as asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease and pulmonary hypertension, neurological diseases such as epilepsy, autism, and schizophrenia, substance abuse, stroke and birth defects.

Research what matters to you.

Creighton’s pharmacology doctoral program can be customized to fit your interests and career goals. You will work with a major advisor and dissertation committee to create a customized plan of study. This gives you a clear roadmap of what coursework and research must be completed to earn your PhD. Students can concentrate their studies across several areas of specialization including:

  • Neuropharmacology
  • Autonomic pharmacology
  • Cardiovascular pharmacology
  • Ocular pharmacology
  • Renal pharmacology
  • Exocrine pharmacology
  • Immunopharmacology
  • Toxicology

Big opportunities – small class sizes.

Take advantage of the resources of a large university without getting lost in the crowd. Small class sizes in Creighton University’s pharmacology doctoral program allow for each student to have regular access to our expert faculty members and specialized lab equipment. You’ll also be able to network and collaborate with other students in your cohort.

Our students and faculty continue to research various human diseases such as asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease and pulmonary hypertension, neurological diseases such as epilepsy, autism, and schizophrenia, substance abuse, stroke, auditory processing disorders and birth defects.


To earn the Doctorate of Science in Pharmacology & Neuroscience degree at Creighton University, you must complete 90 credits:

  • 36 credits in Program Core Courses
    • Foundational Science
    • Neuroscience and Molecular Pharmacology Laboratory
    • Introduction to Neuropharmacology
    • Receptor and Molecular Pharmacology
    • Fundamentals of Neuroscience
    • Biostatistics
    • Research Methods
    • Scientific Writing
    • Pharmacology Journal Club
    • Neuroscience Journal Club
    • Responsible Conduct of Research
    • Research Rotations
  • 14-18 credits in Seminars
    • Research Rounds
    • Pharmacology & Neuroscience Seminars

Independent Research (select credits needed to reach total degree credits of at least 90)

  • Directed Independent Study
  • Directed Independent Research
  • Doctoral Dissertation (must be presented and defended)

Students will select a major advisor and assemble a thesis committee. The student, advisor and committee will formulate a plan of study. The advisor and committee will assist the student during the entire course of the program.

Goals of the program along with a full course listing can be found in Creighton’s course catalog.


Creighton University has maintained continuous accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission since 1928.  For information regarding the University’s accreditation status, visit

Information regarding academic programs which hold specialized accreditation can be found on this page.

Admissions Requirements

Completed application & $50 application fee

Factors taken into consideration during admission decisions (not necessarily listed in order of importance):

Educational Background:

Bachelor of Art or Science from an accredited college/university. Applicants should have some undergraduate training in the life sciences, but a STEM-based undergraduate degree is not required. In general, students with strong biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, computer science or mathematics backgrounds are most successful and encouraged to apply. Opportunities to remedy deficiencies in basic undergraduate courses exist in the first year of graduate school.

Undergraduate Performance:

Ideally, the undergraduate record should be strong in all areas. However, evidence of ability to perform well in all science courses, particularly those stressing quantitative skills, is most important. Our program requires a minimum 3.0 GPA for admission.

Research Experience:

Research experience is not required; however, it is recommended as it demonstrates an experience-based understanding of and commitment to a research career.


Strong statements of support from three persons in a position to evaluate the applicant’s potential for success as a graduate student have significant impact on admissions decisions. Letters from instructors supervising research are strongly encouraged.

GRE scores:

The applicant must submit official GRE scores obtained in the last five years. A strong performance on the GRE carries considerable weight. A specific subject GRE is not required, but if submitted allowances are made for differences in undergraduate preparation. Use school code 6121 for this program.

Personal Statement:

The personal statement should articulate and give evidence of a strong commitment to research. Mention of specific, well-focused interests and descriptions of specific research experiences or activities are useful, but not essential, in applicant evaluation. Overly vague statements may be detrimental. The statement offers the applicant a unique opportunity to demonstrate critical thinking ability.

A personal interview may be requested in addition to the above requirements. The interview may be conducted in-person or virtually.

International applicants

Tuition & Scholarships

Tuition is waived for students accepted into Creighton’s pharmacology & neuroscience PhD program. Doctoral students also receive a stipend and health insurance coverage.

Important Dates & Deadlines

All completed applications (which MUST include letters of recommendation) received through February 1st are guaranteed to be reviewed on this schedule for entrance for the fall semester. Applications received after the February 1st date will need to reapply for the following year.


January 2nd: Review of completed applications begins.

February 1st: Application deadline.

January-March: Interviews for applicants.

January 15th-April 10th: Applicants are notified of admissions decision.

April 15th: Decision date for acceptance of admission offers by applicants.

August: Program Starts

Master's Degree

Master of Science in Pharmacology & Neuroscience (56 credits)

  • A research-based master’s degree in pharmacology & neuroscience is available for students who do not require a PhD for their education or career goals. The master’s program shares courses with the doctorate program, but has fewer requirements. Research projects are designed to reach successful completion within two years of starting the program.
  • Available on-campus only.

A full listing of courses offered for the Master of Science in Pharmacology can be found in the course catalog


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