Deadline: Tuesday, December 1, 2022

Join our optional Information Session, Date TBD
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The Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics Graduate Program at UCSF provides a welcoming environment for a wide range of diversity in its student population, including students with disabilities. Typically, qualified applicants will have diverse backgrounds with an undergraduate degree in the biological sciences, genetics, chemistry, bioinformatics, pharmacology, engineering and pharmacy. We encourage applicants with a strong quantitative background and an interest in translation to the pharmaceutical sciences to apply. Read more about our six research areas.

Invitation to interview based on:

  • Academic preparation:
    • Relevant coursework and grades achieved in the context of the institution in order to assess suitability for our core curriculum.
  • Recommendations:
    • At least 3 professional or academic referees provide both letters and ratings of: capacity for independent thinking, motivation for graduate research, research potential and research skills, judgment (ability to analyze a problem, common sense, decisiveness), interpersonal interactions, maturity, overall [top X%].
  • Research experience:
    • Quantity and quality of research experience (or other relevant experiences) are evaluated for program preparation and fit.
  • Personal statement.
    • Information about personal qualities including perseverance, leadership and community involvement, long term goals, ability to collaborate, realistic self-appraisal, ability and confidence to meet challenges, bringing a diverse perspective, and commitment to science and to completing a PhD are assessed.

Admission is based on qualities assessed during interview, such as:

  • Commitment:
    • Enthusiastic about research, interests are a strong fit for PSPG, demonstrates commitment to completing the program
  • Diversity:
    • Brings unique perspectives and experiences to the PSPG program, enhancing UCSF diversity
  • Critical Thinking:
    • Can think critically about their own work and the work of others. Has come up with a research question or hypothesis and/or shown problem-solving skills.
  • Curiosity and Ability to Learn:
    • Enjoys learning and applying knowledge, asks good questions during the interview, has sufficient foundation to succeed in the core curriculum.
  • Drive


The application for Fall 2023 is available September 1, 2022.

The deadline to apply and provide all supporting materials is December 1, 2022.

The Admissions Committee reviews all applications and extends invitations to interview.

2023 Interview Dates are TBD.

Final admission decisions will be made by March 2023.

Application requirements

Prospective students can apply to only one graduate program at UCSF, with the exception of the Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering, whose application is administered through the University of California, Berkeley.

The minimum requirement for application is a bachelor’s degree.

Submit the following information through the UCSF Graduate Division application:

  1. General and demographic information
  2. 3 letters of recommendation (preferably from recommenders who are familiar with your research experience)
  3. Personal Statements
  4. Upload transcripts (instructions can be found on the application)

A non-refundable fee of $105 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents or $125 for international applicants is required to finalize your application.
Need-based fee waivers are available for domestic applicants. Please follow fee waiver instructions within the application.

General GRE

We no longer require or accept GRE scores.

International applicants

In addition to the information listed above, international applicants must submit TOEFL scores to institution code 4840. Exemptions to this requirement are available. Details: minimum scores and exemptions.

Due to funding restrictions, we’re limited in our ability to accept international students—admission is extremely competitive. Only two international students have been accepted into the program in the last 10 years. Please take this into consideration when applying to the program.

Student funding

All students admitted to the Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics Graduate Program are supported by funding that covers tuition and fees, as well as a stipend for living expenses.

UCSF commits this support for the entire period of a graduate student's PhD training, as long as he or she remains in good standing. Typically it takes five to six years to earn a PhD degree.

Of particular importance to students is the annual stipend they receive for living expenses, which is part of this total.

The graduate student stipend for 2022–2023 is $44,000.

UCSF gathers support for graduate student funding in the basic sciences from the following sources, with the majority coming from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through faculty grants and training grants.

  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics Training Grant

All matriculated students are encouraged to apply for pre-doctoral fellowships.

Sources of PhD student support

  • Faculty grants
  • Federal training grants (NIH)
  • UCSF Graduate Division funds
  • UCSF Chancellor's Office funds
  • Internal fellowships
  • External fellowships
  • Endowment gifts for program support and scholarship
  • UCSF School of Pharmacy/School of Medicine funds

Student Disability Services (SDS)

UCSF is committed to ensuring access to graduate education for all students. Early communication with the relevant administrators is critical to a successful partnership in arranging accommodations. SDS is the appropriate and confidential office for seeking accommodations, and will coordinate communications and procedures with you and the graduate faculty and programs. Please visit Information for Prospective Students and Graduate Division Accommodations Process for more information.

Student Success at UCSF

Success in graduate school requires care and attention to all aspects of your life: health and wellness, community, career development, personal and professional relationships, and security and safety. UCSF is committed to providing a full range of resources and services to help you succeed. Learn more about these resources by visiting our Student Success website.

Deadline: Monday, December 1, 2022