The University of Mississippi
School of Pharmacy Department of Medicinal Chemistry

Graduate Program Description

The Department of Medicinal Chemistry offers a graduate degree program leading to the Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences with an emphasis in Medicinal Chemistry The Ph.D. program is designed to provide expertise in the chemical and biological areas through both course work and laboratory research experience. The graduate curriculum is intended to maximize the talents of each student and to facilitate attainment of the individual student's professional aspirations.  

Graduate Support

  • Graduate Student Support
    It is the goal of the faculty of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry to support graduate students at the highest level of support as dictated by available funds. Such assistance will be provided only to those individuals who demonstrate satisfactory progress toward fulfillment of the requirements for the degree sought as determined by the faculty of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry. All graduate students will be reviewed for satisfactory progress towards their degree after each semester. In general, financial support will be provided for five years for students in the Ph.D. program.
  • Financial Assistance
    Graduate students are eligible for financial assistance in the form of fellowships and assistantships. Graduate assistantships in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry include both teaching and research assistantships. Teaching assistantships require part-time laboratory or classroom assistance of a faculty member, while research assistantships require part-time research activities within the department. The current stipend level for assistantships in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry is very competitive with compensation levels offered by other Medicinal Chemistry graduate programs in this country.  

Graduate Degree Program

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Curriculum:  The graduate course requirements for a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry consists of a minimum of 21 graduate course hours in medicinal chemistry, 6 hours of chemistry courses, and 6 hours of elective credit. These requirements can be satisfied in the following way.

    • Advanced Medicinal Chemistry I, II (MEDC 501 and MEDC 502) (6 hours)
    • Drug Action and Design (DAD) courses (four out of seven) (12 hours)
    • Seminar on Current Medicinal Chemistry Topics (MEDC 543 and/or MEDC 544) (2 hours)
    • Chemistry courses 500/600 level (6 hours)
    • Graduate Level Elective courses (contingent upon research advisor approval) (6 hours)
    • Problems in Medicinal Chemistry (MEDC541 or MEDC 542) (1 hour)
  • Original Research Proposal (ORP):  The student must prepare, submit, and successfully defend an original research proposal (ORP). This ORP will encompass both an oral and written component. After completion of at least 4 semesters of course work and upon receipt of an official letter from the departmental Chair, the student is provided 30 days within which time he/she must submit a 2-page research proposal abstract to the departmental faculty for idea approval. The approval process may take up to, but no longer than, one week. Once the departmental faculty approves the ORP abstract, the student will have 60 days in which to complete the ORP. A copy of the original research proposal must be delivered to departmental faculty members at least one week in advance of the examination date. All ORP defenses will be scheduled for a minimum of 2 hours.   

  • Seminar requirement:   Students are required to register for MEDC 643 (Fall) and MEDC 644 (Spring) every semester, with the exception of the semester where a seminar is presented (MEDC 543 or MEDC 544).
  • Dissertation Research: Graduate students will select a research advisor during their first semester in the graduate program, and a begin working on a doctoral research project.   After admission to Ph.D. candidacy (successful completion of cumulative exams and ORP) students will assemble a Dissertation Committee and prepare and defend a Dissertation Prospectus, which abstracts the research topic for their dissertation.