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Program Overview

About the Program

The program in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology is responsible for recruiting prospective students and for mentoring them during their first year of study.  First-year graduate students take core courses in pharmacology, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, and ethics along with elective courses and three research rotations. At the end of their first year, students can elect to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Pharmacology or Physiology.


Students entering this program should have a four-year baccalaureate degree in the basic or applied sciences, for example, Biology, Chemistry, or Biomedical Engineering. Students with degrees in other disciplines may also apply, but should have some basic training in the biological sciences, chemistry, or physics. Two to four semesters of college-level mathematics is also encouraged.

Important Dates

A complete application must be received by December 17, 11:59 PM EST for consideration for the fall semester. 


Students trained in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology have found employment in academia, industry (particularly the pharmaceutical industry), education, and government. Most take postdoctoral positions to broaden their research experiences before beginning their own independent careers. Recent graduates of the Pharmacology and Physiology degree programs have taken a variety of positions. Read what some of them are doing now.

Many of our students take advantage of the University of Rochester’s unique Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (URBEST) program, a NIH funded program that provides innovative approaches to broaden graduate and postdoctoral training, including internship opportunities and professional networking. We also have a vibrant Center for Professional Development, which provides training workshops, networking events, and informative seminars relevant to career development.

URBEST Program Center For Professional Development

A Safe, Welcoming and Supportive Environment for Graduate Study

We encourage students to investigate the academic and social climate in which they will be working. We recognize that recent allegations and an independent investigation may have raised questions about choosing the University of Rochester for your graduate studies. The University is deeply committed to providing a safe, inclusive and supportive learning environment for graduate students. We are taking steps to further strengthen that commitment.

  • The CARE network—our nationally recognized program for expressing concern about any person, incident or issue in the University community and getting support to address it—serves all graduate and post-baccalaureate students as well as University undergraduates.
  • Our Ombudsperson Program for graduate students and postdoctoral appointees adds a layer of confidential and independent support for discussing any concern and also for reporting inappropriate behavior.
  • The Office for Inclusion and Culture Development promotes diversity and is tasked with ensuring that policies and practices to support learners are clear, consistent, and communicated effectively across all medical center education programs.

Our goal is to provide a first-class research and training environment in which faculty, learners and staff are united by mutual respect and the love of science. You’ll see this in Dean Mark Taubman’s response to the independent investigator’s report and the welcome message from Richard Feldman, interim president designate for the University. Find more resources and information on this website or talk to your program representative if you have questions.