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University of Pittsburgh    
2022-2023 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  May 28, 2024
2022-2023 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Pharmaceutical Sciences - Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology Track, PhD

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The Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology (PSP) is an interdisciplinary science to study drug actions and rational development of new drugs through network analysis, multitype-multiscale modeling and simulations “mechanism-driven”, as well as data analysis “data-driven”. The PSP track focuses on applying Pharmacometrics and System Pharmacology techniques to facilitate the development of novel drug candidates that are less likely to fail during clinical trials and to provide a better understanding of drug mechanisms of action and therapeutic effects at the systems pharmacology level.

  • You will develop a broad knowledge of pharmacometrics and systems pharmacology to develop drug candidates that are less likely to fail during clinical trials.
  • You will develop strong computational modeling and simulation expertise from drug target fishing, to drug lead identification, to drug profile optimization.
  • You will develop strong computational expertise on pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) modeling and simulation.
  • You will develop skills on multiscale modeling of biological processes at the molecular, gene, organ and organism levels.
  • Your will have opportunities to study with faculty from a variety of background including computer-aided drug design, computational and systems biology/pharmacology, population PK/PD modeling, computational chemical genomics, computational biophysics, etc.
  • Candidates with programming experience, basic/intermediate knowledge in statistics and/or hands-on modeling experience are highly desired.

This program is associated with the Computational Chemical Genomics Screening Center. More about this program track is here.

PhD Comprehensive Exam and Dissertation


Students must complete a total of 72 credit hours to fulfill the requirements for the PhD. Required courses for all PhD students are listed below. Students who have had prior course work or extensive experience in a given area may be exempted from the required course at the discretion of the faculty. The remaining credit requirements are completed through elective courses and dissertation research. The specific plan of study is developed by the student and their faculty advisor and committee. Courses should be selected to assure an adequate breadth of knowledge as well as depth in the student’s focus area. 

3rd Year: Spring

PhD Comprehensive Exam and Dissertation

Each student follows a program of study developed in conjunction with the major advisor with input from the student’s doctoral committee. The program of study must contain all of the program core courses as well as elective courses specific to the student’s focus area.

Following completion of course work, students are required to complete a comprehensive examination. To be eligible for the comprehensive examination, students must be in full graduate status and have completed didactic course work with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00. To qualify for advancement to candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy degree the student must pass the comprehensive examination.

Admission to PhD candidacy constitutes a promotion of the student to the most advanced stage of graduate study and provides formal approval to devote essentially exclusive attention to research and writing of the dissertation.

Each PhD student must write a dissertation that presents the results of research carried out by the student. An appropriate research project involves a substantive piece of original and independent research grounded in an appropriate body of literature. It is relevant to an identifiable field as it is currently practiced. It represents a hypothesis tested by collection and analysis of data and provides a significant contribution or advancement to that field.

See Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Degrees for a full overview of regulations and procedures for PhD candidates.

Further information is available on the School of Pharmacy website:

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