The Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Engineering will prepare students to respond to current, emerging and future challenges in the discovery, development and production of pharmaceutical products. The program will prepare talent and leaders who can pursue careers in industry and regulatory and nonprofit agencies, as well as academic settings that deal with drug products. Students will engage in a rigorous and cross-disciplinary educational experience that includes foundational and research-area-specific course work; be empowered with the necessary tools to formulate and answer hypotheses-driven research questions in collaboration with mentors that have special expertise; engage in professional development opportunities to effectively promote and disseminate their work; and be immersed in a research and innovation environment of excellence.

Graduates will gain the necessary skills and scientific foundation to work in a team-based environment, seek entrepreneurial solutions, and effectively communicate concepts and results. The program will prepare students to work and innovate in areas that create medicines to improve human health including the pharmaceutical industry, medical nonprofits, universities and regulatory authorities.

Student learning outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate the knowledge and understanding of core concepts and processes necessary for developing pharmaceutical drug products.
  • Students will be able to identify and solve problems in health care that are relevant to pharmaceutical engineering. 
  • Students will be able to develop entrepreneurial approaches to pharmaceutical engineering that may lead to innovation in the health care field.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to carry out independent and collaborative work.
  • Students will be able to communicate scientific knowledge and discoveries.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to teach and mentor.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to plan and execute research projects.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate that they understand and will participate in community engagement/outreach.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.