Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy

Quick Facts

Faculty of Medicine
Health and Medicine
Mode of delivery: 
On campus
Registration options: 


Possible start dates: 
  Deadlines for
Start date Students with Canadian or US credentials Students with international credentials
September April 1st March 1st
January August 1st July 1st
May December 1st November 1st
July February 1st January 1st

All official supporting documents must be received by the deadline.

Program contact details

Application enquiries: 
Please mail paper documents to: 

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

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.

Tuition / Program costs

Fees Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat International
Application Fee $94.75 $153.00
Tuition *
Installments per year 3 3
Tuition per installment $1,478.71 $2,597.84
Tuition per year $4,436.13 $7,793.52
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)   $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly) $797.00 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly) starting at $13,043.00 (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.


Enrolment Data: 
  2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
Applications 3 6 8 6 9
Offers 1 1 3 2 4
New registrations 1   2 1 4
Total enrolment 15 17 21 18 17
Completion Rates and Times: 

This program has a graduation rate of 83% based on 6 students admitted between 2001 - 2004. Based on 5 graduations between 2010 - 2013 the minimum time to completion is 4.66 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: 20 Aug 2013]. 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: 17 Dec 2013].

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • 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)
  • Dr. Anat Fisher: "Dr. Fisher used British Columbian health databases to compare how long patients with rheumatoid arthritis are treated with drugs from a new group: biologic anti-inflammatory drugs. She studied ways in which patient and physician characteristics and study design influenced treatment duration. Her findings contribute to the body of research on rheumatoid arthritis.." (November 2012)

Further Information

Apply now for UBC Grad School

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