Doctor of Philosophy in Medicinal Chemistry

Location: Boston

The work of developing new drugs to treat diseases begins with the medicinal chemist. In this program, you’ll build on your master’s degree in medicinal chemistry with advanced knowledge of the behavior of chemical substances at the molecular level. 

During this doctoral program, you’ll have the opportunity to work alongside professional experts in modern laboratories to design, synthesize, and analytically examine drug compounds. You’ll study how chemical substances behave at a molecular level, and how the chemical properties affect drug kinetics, absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. And you’ll participate in research directed toward a fuller understanding of pharmacological actions, leading to improved drug design.

Students may elect to complete a minor concentration in drug metabolism, integrating the knowledge of drug metabolism, analysis of pharmaceuticals in biological fluids and incubation mixtures, enzyme kinetics, and animal care and use.
 

For admission to the PhD program, an applicant must have:

  • A masters degree in a related field
  • Minimum overall 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Scores in the 70th percentile or above in each section of the GRE (Graduate Record Examination/General Test)

Additionally, the following courses are recommended to have been completed with a C or better:

  • General Chemistry with lab
  • Organic Chemistry with lab
  • Analytical Chemistry with lab
  • Physical Chemistry with lab
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Calculus
  • Pharmacology
  • Physics
  • Physiology

Year I-Fall

COURSE
TITLE
SEMESTER HOURS
CHE 714 Spectroscopic Analysis (w/ lab) 3
CHE 731 Advanced Organic Chemistry 4
PSB 710 Principles of Pharmaceutical Sciences 3
PSB 818L Laboratory Rotations 0
PSB 819 Graduate Seminar 0
TOTAL
10

Year I-Spring

COURSE
TITLE
SEMESTER HOURS
PSB 818L Laboratory Rotations 1
PSB 819 Graduate Seminar 1
PSB 820 Advanced Medicinal Chemistry I 3
PSB 851 Bio-Organic Chemistry 2

Elective 3
TOTAL
10

Year II-Fall

COURSE
TITLE
SEMESTER HOURS
CHE 810 Heterocyclic Chemistry 2
PSB 819 Graduate Seminar 0
PSB 880 Research 1

Elective 2 - 3
TOTAL
5 - 6

Year II-Spring

COURSE
TITLE
SEMESTER HOURS
PSB 802 Chemistry of Macromolecules 3
PSB 819 Graduate Seminar 1
PSB 880 Research 1
TOTAL
5

Year III*

COURSE
TITLE
SEMESTER HOURS
PSB 815 Drug Metabolism 3
PSB 819 Graduate Seminar 2
PSB 880 Research 3
PSB 8XX Advanced Medicinal Chemistry II 3
PSB 8XX Advanced Topics In Medicinal Chemistry 3
CHE or PSB 700/800 Elective 3
PSB 8XX Grant Proposal 3

Total credit to complete degree requirements: minimum 50 s.h.

*At the end of Year II, students must successfully complete a Medicinal Chemistry Comprehensive Exam (MMCE) administered by the Medicinal Chemistry faculty in order to progress on the PhD phase of the program.

Suggested Elective Courses

COURSE
TITLE
SEMESTER HOURS
CHE 717 Instrumental Analysis (w/ lab) 4
CHE 719 Synthetic Preparations (w/ lab) 3
CHE 755 Stereochemistry 3
MAT 763 Advanced Statistics 3
PSB 815 Drug Metabolism 3
PSB 860 Chromatography 2
PSB 861 Chromatography Laboratory 1
PSB 872 Special Problems (Ph.D programs only) 1 - 2