Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology (PhD)

General Information

The Department of Pharmacology was established at UBC in 1951. A Therapeutics division was subsequently added to add focus to evidence based drug therapy. Recently, the department merged with Anesthesiology to foster interactions between basic and clinical scientists. Faculty members in the department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics are engaged in research in areas of neural, cardiovascular, respiratory and clinical pharmacology as well as drug development. Exceptional students with an undergraduate degree may be admitted directly into the Ph.D. program. Some students do a combined M.D./Ph.D. program for which a separate admission into the M.D. program, by the Faculty of Medicine, is required. Students pursuing a Ph.D. will have the opportunity to interact with basic as well as clinical Scientists. Research projects in the department are funded by operating grants from CIHR, NSERC, The Heart Foundation, etc. In addition, many of our students receive the highly competitive CIHR and NSRC studentship awards.

The shared research interests in anesthesiology, pharmacology, drug development and therapeutics allow students to gain broad-based exposure to fundamental as well as medically-related aspects of drug research. 

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$1,538.45$2,702.80
Tuition per year$4,615.35$8,108.40
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 registrations21 21
Total enrolment2015172118
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: 19 May 2015]. 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