Applying for the PhD Graduate Program

Typically, entering students will take interdisciplinary courses in molecular, cell and systems biology along with Introductory Pharmacology, Journal Club and three laboratory rotations in the first year. In the second year, students will take advanced courses, choose the research advisor and take the qualifying examination. Students start their dissertation research in the third year along with finishing coursework. Most Pharmacology graduate students are able to complete their program within four to five years. All students accepted in the program receive stipend support.

Admission Requirements

  • An earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or a degree equivalent to a four-year U.S. baccalaureate from a college or university of recognized standing
  • A Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) for the upper division of the undergraduate course work. An undergraduate major or specialized work in biological sciences or chemistry is preferred 

Contact Information

Dr. Ellen Tisdale
Department of Pharmacology
Wayne State University School of Medicine
540 E. Canfield Ave., Detroit, MI 48201

Office of Graduate Admissions
Wayne State University
5057 Woodward, Suite 6000, Detroit, MI 48202 


Application Procedures

Applications to the Department of Pharmacology's Ph.D. program should be submitted online by completing the WSU Graduate Application form. Information and instructions for completing the admissions process are available at the Graduate Admissions Office. It is not necessary to submit the $50 fee at the time of application. The Department will pay fees for applicants who are admitted. The online application includes the ability to upload transcripts and GRE/TOEFL scores.

A Personal Statement is required. This is a very important part of the application. It should include any research experience the applicant has, their current research interests, their plans after graduate school and the reasons that they chose the Department of Pharmacology at Wayne State. The statement can be included with the electronic application.

 Three letters of recommendation from persons able to judge the applicant's potential in graduate school shall be submitted as part of the electronic application.

Applicants should submit official copies of GRE scores (ETS institutional code:1898; departmental code:0216). This examination should have been taken within the last three years.

In the case of international applicants, official copies of scores from the TOEFL should be submitted (institutional code:1898). Minimal TOEFL scores are 600, 250 and 100 for the paper-, computer- and internet-based tests, respectively. 

Official copies of all academic transcripts should be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

To expedite the review of the application, copies of the personal statement, recommendation letters, unofficial copies of test scores and transcripts also may be sent to the Admissions Chairman by post or by email; however, official documents submitted within the electronic application are necessary for admission to be approved.

Check list for application materials to be submitted:

  • Electronic application
  • 1 copies of all transcripts
  • 1 copy of GRE scores (GRE is optional, but may assist committee in the application decision)
  • 1 copy of statement of career objectives
  • 1 copy each of three letters of recommendation
  • 1 copy of TOEFL score (if non-US citizen)
  • 1 copy each of international application materials as indicated (if non-US citizen)

In addition, a copy of GRE and TOEFL scores should be sent directly to the Department by post.

Other information

  • All students accepted in the program are given full stipend support at a competitive level (currently $26,716 per year) with tuition and full medical, dental and optical coverage paid.
  • The Department does NOT have a Master of Science program.
  • In some cases, Admissions Committee will request an interview, by telephone or visit, for final application consideration.
  • Applications should be submitted by March 1 at the latest. 
  • All application materials must be received before a final decision regarding admission can be made.
  • Admission is only applicable for the semester requested.
  • Notification is given shortly after receipt of the completed application. Notification of status will be sent to each applicant on the 15th of February, March, April and May. Send inquiries regarding status by email to or by post to the address above.
  • Graduate students are not required to do any teaching.
  • An English language course is offered for international students in late summer.
  • More information can be found on the  Wayne State University website.
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Department of Pharmacology