Deadline: Sunday, December 1, 2024


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.

The UCSF PSPG program is committed to increasing equity in our application process and thus will be as transparent as possible. The following categories are used by the PSPG admissions committee to evaluate and rank candidates during the application review process. The committee will review all categories and academic accomplishments in the context of diversity, equity, and inclusion for a more equitable selection process. For example, scholarly potential is evaluated in the context of the applicants’ access to resources and opportunities. Letters of recommendation are carefully interpreted given the implicit biases present when describing people from different demographic backgrounds and/or gender.

Academic preparation

  • Found in Transcript
  • Typical standard of competitive applicants in this category:
    • Science/STEM classes with rigorous coursework, or (as a proxy) rigorous institution/program

    • High GPA in STEM (last two years)

    • Relevant scientific, biological, computational or bioengineering experience that aligns with the pharmaceutical science and pharmacogenomics program research areas.

Scholarly potential

  • Found in CV/Resume, Letters of Rec, Research Statement
  • Typical standard of competitive applicants in this category:
    • Has research experience with ample evidence of a leading role e.g. papers, presentations, recommendation letters support applicants potential at succeeding in a PhD program, teaching, prizes, scholarships/grants, mentorship of junior students

Life skills

  • Found in Statement of Purpose and Letters of Rec
  • Typical standard of competitive applicants in this category:
    • Excellent self-management. Clear evidence of leadership, initiative, extracurricular accomplishment (service, engagement and/or outreach), commitment, and/or mentorship. Relevant life skills acquired from personal distance traveled and/or adversity overcome.

Program fit/match

  • Found in Statement of Purpose
  • Typical standard of competitive applicants in this category:
    • Interests closely match graduate group’s research areas; possible mentor(s) can be identified (explicitly or implicitly). Academic preparation and scholarly potential can suggest program fit.


The application for Fall 2025 is available September 1, 2024.

The deadline to apply and provide all supporting materials is December 1, 2024.

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

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 $120 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents or $140 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 (administered by ETS or the IELTS) scores to institution code 4840. Exemptions to this requirement are available. Details: minimum scores and exemptions.

Once you have been granted admission to UCSF, any transcripts you submitted in support of your application from institutions outside of the U.S. must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES), an accredited third-party credential evaluation service.

It is the student's responsibility to provide UCSF with an official WES transcript evaluation report. Your program cannot do this for you.

Deadlines: We require the WES evaluation to be submitted to UCSF by the mid-point of the first term the student is enrolled.

Submitting your evaluation: Request that WES send your completed evaluation electronically directly to UCSF. Do not send physical copies of your WES evaluation through the mail.

Translations: International transcripts that are translated into English from another language may be used only to make preliminary admission decisions. WES does not translate documents and requires precise, word-for-word translations when your academic documents are not issued in English. Be sure to allow enough time for your institution to translate and provide your documents to WES in English.

Due to funding restrictions, we’re limited in our ability to accept international students—admission is extremely competitive. We typically can accept only one international student per year. 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 they remain 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 September 2023 is set at the annual rate of $47,196. Effective October 1, 2024, the new annual stipend rate will be $50,203 through contract end of May 31, 2025. Stipend rates past that date will be determined upon negotiation of the follow on contract.

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: Sunday, December 1, 2024