Pharm.D. Professional Electives

Professional Electives. As part of the College’s professional curriculum, students must complete three courses (minimum of 3 credits each) to improve their knowledge and understanding in a variety of practice areas. Students must complete a minimum of two of the three courses within the College of Pharmacy (BPS, PHC or PHP designation at the 300 level or higher; excluding BPS 497, BPS 498, PHP 497, and PHP 498). Students may use a 3-credit independent study (BPS 497, BPS 498, PHP 497 or PHP 498) or an approved course outside of the college for their third required elective. All requests for non-approved courses as professional electives must be reviewed and approved by the Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs.

Students desiring to expand their understanding in biomedical, pharmaceutical, and pharmacy research may select professional electives that focus learning on the theory and practice of laboratory research techniques, the evaluation and quantification of results, and on the understanding and interpreting of scientific literature. They will develop skills for oral and written communication of hypotheses, methods, and interpretations, and will carry out basic scientific research in one of the following four areas of specialization: medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, pharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics, pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacoeconomics, or pharmacology and toxicology. Students focusing their elective professional courses in this manner may also be able to apply and work toward an M.S. degree with a focus in one of the following areas:

Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy: Molecular mechanisms of chemical carcinogenesis; combinatorial chemistry; solid-phase peptide synthesis; screening, isolation, and structure elucidation of physiologically-active natural products; biosynthesis of microbial and plant natural products; herbal medicine.

Pharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics: Design, development, production, evaluation, and regulatory approval of pharmaceutical and self care products as well as pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies using virtual, clinical, and preclinical data, often with an emphasis on population approaches.

Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics: Health and economic outcomes research pertaining to pharmacotherapy as used in human populations. Specializations include medication adherence, decision and cost-effectiveness analyses, post-marketing surveillance, epidemiologic methods, and quality improvement and measurement.

Pharmacology and Toxicology: Research projects explore the mechanisms involved in various disease states and their pharmacological intervention, and mechanisms of toxicity of various environmental agents. Ongoing topics include the effects of hormonal imbalances and antihypertensive agents on cardiac function and metabolism in hypertension, diagnosis and treatment of arthritis, effect of septic shock on drug metabolism, developmental neurotoxicity of environmental agents, hepatoxicity and nephrotoxicity of heavy metals, interindividual variation in metabolism of heterocyclic amine carcinogens, regulation and genetic heterogeneity of enzymes involved in drug and xenobiotic metabolism, calcium- and non-calcium mediated pathways of cell death, and the development of inhibitors to cell signaling events.