The College of Pharmacy at the University of Florida offers a joint Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree program for qualified Doctor of Pharmacy students who are interested in accelerated graduate studies. The purpose of this program is to prepare clinically oriented pharmaceutical scientists. Through the selection of appropriate graduate level courses and attainment of research skills and experience through research clerkships, students in the Doctor of Pharmacy program can receive advanced standing in one of the graduate pharmaceutical science disciplines in
the College of Pharmacy. The joint degree program could enable students to attain both degrees within a period of approximately nine years of study from the beginning of college. This includes at least two years of pre-pharmacy studies, four years of professional education, and approximately three to four years of graduate studies.
The benefits of a joint PharmD/PhD degree program are several fold: First, the student can select 5000-6000 level graduate courses that will satisfy requirements for both programs, thus shortening the length of the program. Second, the student can develop, during his/her initial years in the College of Pharmacy, an appreciation of and an aptitude in research. Third, the student can identify a research area and a faculty advisor prior to beginning the PhD component of the program. Fourth, by tracking into the PharmD/PhD program, the student can better appreciate the importance of didactic material presented in professional courses to their area of proposed graduate study and research. A further advantage of the PharmD/PhD degree over a combination of a baccalaureate in the sciences, e.g.,
chemistry or biology, and a PhD in the pharmaceutical sciences is that the individual would have attained a much broader range of pharmaceutical knowledge and clinical experience. The net result of this should be an individual better prepared for research in the pharmaceutical sciences with a greater potential to move rapidly upward in the pharmaceutical industry, academia or governmental agency