Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology (PhD)

General Information

The graduate program in Pharmacology was established in 1951, and currently includes programs in cardiovascular pharmacology, neuropharmacology, viral pharmacology, free radical biology, and drug development. Additional training programs exist in therapeutics, evidence-based medicine, and clinical investigation. The pharmacology graduate program has strengths in basic science as well as translational research.

The graduate program in Pharmacology is a component of the newly formed Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and formalizes the Department's historical research and academic interactions. Within this new structure, additional research programs reflecting the close association between the disciplines of anesthesiology, pharmacology, and therapeutics are now available. Courses in pharmacology are taught at the undergraduate science, medical, dental, and graduate levels.

The program adheres to an 'apprenticeship' model of graduate training, in which graduate students work in close collaboration with a faculty member who is also their graduate supervisor. The program has strengths in projects covering a wide range of scientific and clinical areas of investigation. The primary aim of our graduate training program is to provide students with the skills necessary to conduct research in pharmacology and therapeutics that can be published in first-rate journals. Thus, an important factor in an applicant's admissibility is a matching of research and professional interests of the student and a faculty member within the program.

The Department has facilities available for original investigations in cellular, biochemical, viral, autonomic, cardiovascular, clinical, and neuropharmacology.

Quick Facts

Doctor of Philosophy
On campus


 Deadlines for
Start dateStudents with Canadian or US credentialsStudents with international credentials
SeptemberApril 1stMarch 1st
January August 1stJuly 1st
MayDecember 1stNovember 1st
JulyFebruary 1stJanuary 1st

All official supporting documents must be received by the deadline.

Program contact details

Medical Sciences Block C
The University of British Columbia
Room 211 - 2176 Health Sciences Mall
British Columbia, V6T 1Z3

Tuition / Program costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$96.50$156.00
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,508.28$2,649.80
Tuition per year$4,524.84$7,949.40
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$832.00 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $13,561.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.


New registrations1 214
Total enrolment1517211817
This program has a graduation rate of 100% based on 6 students admitted between 2002 - 2005. Based on 6 graduating students from the 2002 - 2005 admission cohort the minimum time to completion is 5.33 years and the maximum time is 7.66 years with an average of 6.19 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 17 Mar 2014]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 19 Feb 2015].

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Wan ki Wong: "Dr. Wong studied the blood pressure lowering effects of beta blockers, which are used to treat chest pain. He showed that different sub-types of beta blockers lower blood pressure by different amounts and generally have no effect on pulse pressure. His research provides new information to assist physicians and patients in clinical decision-making." (May 2014)
  • Dr. Heidi Noel Boyda: "Dr. Boyda investigated the side-effects of anti-psychotic medication and determined an underlying rationale for how these diabetic-like side-effects occur. Her research may aid psychiatrists to make more informed decisions regarding treatment and monitoring strategies, and offer patients better understanding of the medications they are taking." (November 2013)
  • Dr. Ryan Arthur Whitehead: "Dr. Whitehead evaluated a new class of painkillers. These peripheral analgesic drugs block pain at the site of origin, and do not cause patients to become sedated. . This new analgesic class is expected to have tremendous benefit for treatment of arthritis and neuropathic pain." (November 2013)
  • Dr. Ricardo Enrique Rivera-Acevedo: "Dr. Rivera's work focussed on treatments for chronic pain. He examined the pharmacological properties of local anesthetics on pain sensors. Using various methods, he established a model for the regulation of the sensors by these pain blocking compounds. His work provides a foundation for new approaches to selectively target and treat chronic pain." (May 2013)
  • Dr. Maen Fuad Sarhan: "The rhythmic beat of the heart relies on electrical signals. Dr. Sarhan studied ways in which a specific electrical signal is regulated when it is conducted along pathways known as sodium channels. Through his research he uncovered a new pathway which was found to be disrupted in patients with cardiac arrhythmia, and this confirms its physiological relevance." (November 2012)

Further Information