Person standing in the pharmacology lab

Doctorate in Pharmacology & Neuroscience

Gain a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of drugs and their effects on physiological systems through Creighton University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology & Neuroscience. This research-intensive doctoral program will prepare you for a career in research or as a leader in academia or the pharmaceutical or biotech industries.

At Creighton, you’ll have access to the specialized equipment, resources and broad expertise of a large university, but with smaller class sizes. You’ll be able to use this to your advantage by spending more time understanding and utilizing specialized laboratory equipment.

You can also expect to have regular interaction with other students in your cohort and our faculty members. By focusing on a small group of students, our faculty can cover each topic in the program in more depth, which leads to a comprehensive, well-rounded education. You’ll gain a deep knowledge of physiology, learning about the mechanisms of drugs and their impact on biological systems at the molecular and genetic levels. You’ll also develop your critical thinking skills and discuss research ethics.

Research at Creighton is mission-driven, making your work part of a larger effort to serve others and create a more just world. Our students and faculty continue to research various human diseases such as:

  • Asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease and pulmonary hypertension
  • Neurological diseases such as epilepsy, autism, and schizophrenia
  • Substance abuse, stroke and birth defects

Our faculty reflect the complex scope of modern pharmacological research as they apply methods of systems and cell physiology, neuroscience, biochemistry, genetics, and cellular and molecular biology to better understand drug action. Their research includes diverse topics such as:

  • G protein-coupled receptor signal transduction and regulation
  • Control of neurotransmitter release
  • Ion channel modulation and metabolism
  • Molecular pharmacology of excitatory neurotransmission
  • Environmental contributions to neuroplasticity and development
  • Cardiovascular and CNS drug discovery

Your research passions are our priority

Creighton’s pharmacology doctoral degree can be customized to fit your interests and career goals. You’ll work with a major advisor and dissertation committee to create a customized plan of study. Options for specialization include autonomic, cardiovascular, ocular, renal and exocrine pharmacology, immunopharmacology, neuropharmacology and toxicology.

Your professors will work closely with you—guiding your studies and acting as teachers, advisors and mentors throughout your degree and career. Many of our faculty members collaborate and work with students long after they earn their degree.

Program At A Glance

Doctorate in Pharmacology & Neuroscience

This program is offered On-Campus

Application Deadline

March 31


  • Bachelor’s degree with 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Official transcripts from all educational institutions attended
  • Previous coursework in chemistry, biology and mathematics
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • GRE score (use school code 6121)
  • Application
  • $50 application fee
Still have questions?
Reach out to a Graduate and Adult Enrollment Specialist
John Rumbaugh
John Rumbaugh


Program Goals and Curriculum

Creighton’s PhD in Pharmacology & Neuroscience prepares students for careers in research and education in the field of pharmacology. Studies are individualized—students in this program choose a concentration from numerous specialized areas of pharmacology.

To earn this doctoral degree, you must complete 90 credit hours:

  • Required Courses
    • Medical Pharmacology I
    • Medical Pharmacology II
    • Receptor and Molecular Pharmacology
    • Research Methods in Pharmacology (First Year Lab Rotati-101ons)
    • Special Topics in Pharmacology (Biostatistics)
    • Responsible Conduct of Research
    • Research Methods
    • Fundamentals of Cell and Molecular Biology
    • The Discipline of Scientific Writing and Preparation of Competitive Grant Applications
  • Seminars
    • Research Rounds in Pharmacology
    • Pharmacology Seminar
  • Independent Research
  • Comprehensive Examination

View all courses for this program

Creighton’s Pharmacology & Neuroscience faculty reflect the complex scope of modern pharmacological research as they apply methods of systems and cell physiology, neuroscience, biochemistry, genetics, and cellular and molecular biology to better understand drug action. They are involved in both teaching and research training of graduate students. Our faculty encourage a collaborative research environment that welcomes graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research staff.

Meet the department faculty

Specific Application Requirements

To be considered for admission to the PhD in Pharmacology & Neuroscience program, applicants must:

  • Complete an application & submit a $50 application fee
  • Possess a bachelor’s degree in a related field with 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Include coursework in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and mathematics (missing coursework may be made up upon approval)
  • Provide official transcripts from all educational institutions attended
  • Submit a personal statement (see application for specific requirements)
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from persons other than friends or family members
  • Provide a Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score—use code 6121 for this program

A personal interview may be requested in addition to the above requirements. The interview may be conducted in-person or virtually.

International applicants must:

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition is waived for students accepted into Creighton’s pharmacology & neuroscience doctorate program. Students also receive a stipend and health insurance coverage.

Have questions? Email or call a financial aid specialist at 402.280.2731. Want to talk to someone in person? Stop by the Office of Financial Aid in Suite 1100 in the Harper Center (602 N 20th St, Omaha, NE 68102).

Dates & Deadlines

The table below details the enrollment deadline and starting date of courses for the current academic year. If you have any questions about dates, deadlines, or application materials, please contact an enrollment specialist for personalized as3sistance.


Start Classes In

Apply By


March 31



Master of Science in Pharmacology & Neuroscience (30 credits)

  • A research-based master’s degree in pharmacology & neuroscience is available for students who do not require a PhD for their education or career goals. The master’s program shares courses with the doctorate program but has fewer requirements. Research projects are designed to reach successful completion within two years of starting the program.
  • Available on-campus only.

Master of Science in Biomedical Science (30 credits)

  • Completion of this biological science degree prepares individuals for research careers in academia, institutes, or industry. The programs employ a multi-disciplinary approach using our research, courses, and facilities to cater to the career needs and research interests of the individual student in diverse areas of study.
  • Available on-campus only.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Learn about how to fund your investment in education at the Creighton Financial Aid Office.

Funding Your Education