I. Description of Pharmacology and Toxicology Areas

Pharmacology is the science that studies drug actions on living systems.  Toxicology is the science that studies the harmful effects of xenobiotics and their detection in biological systems.  The discipline of Pharmacology/Toxicology involves studies to decipher the effects of chemical agents upon cellular and molecular mechanisms including drugs directed for prevention and treatment of major diseases and those associated with environmental toxins that critically influence biological processes.  Pharmacologists also study drug design and the use of drugs to decipher molecular features of cell function.

The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology fosters multidisciplinary training leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The department is committed in the training of graduate students to become highly regarded scientist and scholars in the area of pharmacology.


II. Brief Description of the Programs

Our programs aim to develop scientists with the knowledge to investigate disease mechanisms and to discover and develop drugs that may be useful in treating diseases. In the first two years, students develop a broad foundation in cell biology, molecular biology, physiology, statistics, basic principles of pharmacology, cell signaling, cellular and systemic actions of drugs, biostatistics, and research ethics. They also develop skills in the critical analysis of the scientific literature, oral presentation, and writing a scientific research proposal. They identify a Dissertation Advisor in their second year, pass their qualifying examination, and work on their dissertation research after defending their proposal. Students meet with their dissertation committee at least once per year and defend their dissertation in their fifth year. 


III. Goals and Objectives of the Programs

  • Goals: The goals of the MS and PhD Programs in Pharmacology are focused on the academic and research development of the student by continual improvement of the Graduate Program. In particular, the Program aims to form Pharmacologists with specific knowledge in the field, critical thinking skills, ethical values, and the ability to carry out basic science and/or clinical research, according to their level of training. 
  • Objectives: The graduate shall, upon completion of the studies of the Doctor of Philosophy with a concentration in Pharmacology, have acquired the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for excellence in the following areas:
  • In the teaching of Medical Pharmacology and Toxicology in educational and professional institutions, in and outside of Puerto Rico.
  • In scientific investigation, in academic, governmental, or private centers, possessing the skills and capabilities necessary for participating in research projects.
  • In private industry, as consultant or leader of projects related to research and development, production, manufacturing, and quality control laboratories.
  • In public service or government, as consultant, trainer, administrator, or advisor to agencies or laboratories responsible for supervising matters of health or quality control, among others.


IV. Graduate Programs

 A. Pharmacology Programs

  • PhD with Specialization in Pharmacology
    Curricular sequence of study: Sequence PhD
  • MS with Specialization in Pharmacology
    Curricular sequence of study: Sequence MS

 B. Toxicology Program

  • Currently, the PhD and MS with Specialization in Toxicology are under revision and not accepting new students.


V.  Admission Requirements


VI. Policies and Procedures Manual