Graduate program info & how to apply

Graduate program information How to apply Admission FAQs/Key requirements

Graduate Program Information


  • A multidisciplinary department providing expertise in drug discovery, development and evaluation.
  • Dedicated to pursuing scholarship that creates new knowledge, learning that disseminates and preserves knowledge, and engagement that exchanges knowledge.
  • One of the most research active departments at Wayne State University.
  • We have distinguished faculty with innovative research programs, such as brain diseases, cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, infectious diseases, liver diseases, etc. Our faculty has high-impact publications as well as prestigious and competitive awards/grants from National Institutes of Health (NIH) & other agencies. Our faculty has made significant discoveries in various diseases and contributed to the fighting of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Graduate program

  • We admit PhD & Master of Science (MS) students only, but not professional students (e.g., PharmD).
  • Almost all PhD students graduated in our department in 4-5 years, and MS students in 2 years.
  • It is a RESEARCH-based program. Students must successfully complete coursework and defend a research-based thesis/dissertation to be awarded a degree.
  • Students must complete 3 rotations in the 1st semester before they select a lab. At the end of the rotation, both students and faculty rank their preferences (i.e., rank 1-3). The Graduate Director matches the preferences of the faculty and student. No student is guaranteed to work with a specific Faculty member before the completion of the 3 rotations.

Future careers

  • Academic (e.g., professor/educator)
  • Industrial (e.g., research & development scientist
  • Professional (e.g., public health, editor, writer)
  • Other (e.g., FDA)

Financial support

  • Financial assistance, in the form of Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA), is provided to students admitted into the PhD program with exceptions (e.g., students with their own funding source).  If you are awarded the GRA, our Department will email you a letter clearly stating that. This letter will be different from the admission letter from the Graduate School. If your assistantship performance and academic progress are satisfactory during the year, we will provide you with an additional year(s) of GRA.

  • GRAs include a stipend (currently $29,000/year before candidacy and $30,000/year after becoming a PhD candidate generally in year 3), medical/dental/vision care insurance, and a scholarship covering up to 10 graduate credits of tuition for each semester of your appointment during Fall and Winter, and up to 2 graduate credits for Spring/Summer.

  • MS students are not provided financial support. Please click the survey link below under "How to apply" (Step #2) for more information regarding the tuition/fees, living expenses, and employment for MS students as well as the transfer from the MS to our PhD program.

Student peer mentor

  • Each new student will have a student peer mentor to help with the 1st 1 year of the graduate program.
  • Student peer mentors will be students who have been in the program for >1 years.

Important webpages for MS and PhD students

How to apply

Admission FAQs/Key requirements

  • Application deadlines & status: Applications accepted twice/year: Fall & Spring/Summer (S/S) 
    • US citizens/permanent residents/applicants already in US/applicants already have visa to enter US: 8/18 for Fall (decision by 8/25), 4/18 for S/S (decision by 4/25)
    • Other applicants: 6/18 for Fall (decision by 6/25), 2/18 for S/S (decision by 2/25)
    • We may make admission decisions before the deadline listed above, and please apply ASAP.
    • Application status: Check the status or submitted materials by logging into your WSU application account. Contact Debra Perrett (313-577-7943, if having issues checking status, submitting/replacing materials, forgetting login credentials, or having questions about application process.
    • You will be contacted if your application is approved by the deadline listed above. If you don't receive an approval notice by the decision deadline, it means your application is denied, and you are encouraged to apply for a later term. Please do not contact Pharmaceutical Sciences regarding the application status.
  • Application fee:  No application fee for our MS and PhD programs for both S/S and Fall terms in 2024.
  • Application success rate: Generally, less than 20% of completed PhD applications with GPA≥3.0 are admitted, while more than 70% of completed MS applications with GPA≥2.75 are admitted.
  • CV/Resume: Applicants must include a CV/resume.
  • Degree requirement: All applicants should have an undergraduate or MS degree in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math related areas (e.g., life, pharmacy, medicine, nursing, chemical, biological, or physical sciences, etc.). MS degree or professional degree in pharmacy is not required.
  • Financial support: See Financial Support under Graduate Program Information.
  • General statement: Applicants must include a general statement (300-400 words, typewritten) of the reasons for selecting the program, career objectives and possible research interests.
  • GPA: PhD applicants must have an overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above (on a scale of 1 to 4). MS applicants must have an overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or above. Additional work beyond the baccalaureate may be grounds for an exemption.
  • GRE: Not required.
  • Joined degree with MBA: We don't have joined degree with MBA.
  • Letters of recommendation: three are required. Log into your application status page to enter your reference's information. The reference will receive a link to upload their recommendation. If you have difficulty entering your reference's information, please contact Debra Perrett, Data Analyst, Graduate Admissions, (313) 577-7943,
  • Potential faculty members: Applicants should select potential faculty members that the applicant is interested in working with for their thesis/dissertation when completing Step #2 (listed in the "How to Apply" section). Please don't contact them for admission questions (e.g., admission requirements, application status, etc.).
  • Prior research experience: For MS, not required at all. For PhD, preferred but not required.
  • Submit transcript(s): To begin the application, upload unofficial copies of academic transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions from which you earned a bachelor's degree or higher. If you are admitted, you must submit an official transcript of completed bachelor's degree.

Information specific to international students

Additional questions specific to our Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate program

If after reading the information and visiting the links above, you still have specific questions about our Graduate Program of Pharmaceutical Sciences, please email your questions to