Research Emphasis Area

The College of Pharmacy has various ways for students to participate in research (below). Most students engaged in research enter one of the Research Emphasis Tracks.

  • Working on a specific project with a faculty mentor 
  • Enrolling in a Directed Study course to provide dedicated time to learn research skills
  • Applying and receiving a Melendy or CTSI summer research award 
  • Entering one of the Research Emphasis tracks to focus elective credits in a given content area (details below)

About the Research Emphasis

The goal of the Research Emphasis is to provide pharmacy students with a means to explore and develop research skills through activities in the classroom, interaction with active research faculty, and the completion of a research project. The Research Emphasis is an umbrella program with multiple tracks.

Currently, there are three tracks available:  Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry, and Social and Administrative Pharmacy, which align with College graduate programs.  Students who successfully complete the Research Emphasis will receive special recognition during graduation and a designation on their official academic transcript.

Required Core Courses

Below are the core required core courses that comprise the Research Emphasis regardless of track. All pharmacy students who are interested in research are encouraged to take the Introduction to Pharmacy Research course (PHAR 6906). Any student can take PHAR 6906 regardless of their intent to enter the Research Emphasis.

Coursework Description Credits 
PHAR 6906 - Introduction to Pharmacy Research This course will provide an overview of principles to research in particular research topic areas. It will also provide a forum for scientists involved in research in particular topic areas to discuss their research, environment and careers with students. 1
PHAR 6xxx - College Seminar Seminars are given by faculty, staff, or graduate students with topics covering issues in the research topic area. Students can select any department seminar as a way to explore which specific emphasis/topic area they will pursue for the research emphasis. 1
PHAR 6782 - Evidence Based Practice The Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) course has been designed to facilitate acquisition and application of evidence based practice knowledge and skills. Evidence based practice involves the use of the best available evidence, clinical expertise, and patients’ values to make complex pharmacy-related decisions. 1.8
PHAR 7431 - Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (Fulfills one APPE Elective requirement) Students will participate in a research-focused elective rotation, working with their chosen research mentor team to select a research experience that will build upon concepts addressed within the emphasis track. 4-5
  Total credits 7.8-8.8

Research Emphasis Tracks

Experimental & Clinical Pharmacology

The Application Process

The clinical pharmacology research emphasis may not be able to accommodate all interested students due to resource limitations. Students interested in pursuing this emphasis area are required to apply through a competitive process, submitting an application by November 30 of their PDII year. A complete application for the Research Emphasis - Experimental & Clinical Pharmacology Track should be sent to grad-ECP@umn.edu and include the following:

  • Letter of intent that includes a statement of why you are interested in the Research Emphasis along with your goals
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  • Permission for the admissions committee to review the student’s undergraduate and professional/graduate academic transcript
  • Possible interview with at least one committee member

Director

Angela Birnbaum, PhD
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
birnb002@umn.edu
612-624-3158

Mentorship / Coursework

Those pursuing a Research Emphasis will be assigned to a mentorship team that will help students choose additional courses and a research advisor that aligns with their interests and goals. Students will choose a research topic in experimental, translational, or clinical pharmacology and work with an advisor(s) in the Clinical Pharmacology Research Emphasis program. 

A total of 7.8-8.8 core credits and 8 elective credits are required to complete the emphasis for a total of 15.8-16.8 credits. Students need to select at least 8 credits of elective courses, which must be taken A/F. Below is a list of the currently approved list of electives, however, this list is subject to change as new courses are offered or modified. The list of electives from which students may select, with guidance from their mentor, will be approved annually by the faculty. Note, not all classes are taught every semester.

ECP Track Elective Courses Credits
ECP 5220 - PHAR 5220 - Regulatory Issues in Drug Research 2 /Fall
ECP 5620 - PHAR 5620 - Drug metabolism and Disposition 3 /Spring odd years
ECP 6124 - PHAR 6224 - Pharmacogenomics 2 /Spring
ECP 8100 - PHAR 6160 - Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology Seminar 1* /Fall & Spring
ECP 8230 - PHAR 5230 - Principles in Clinical Pharmacology Research 3/2 /Fall
ECP 8900 - Advanced Topics in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology 1 /Fall & Spring
ECP 8982 - Inter-institutional Journal Club in Translational Research 1 /Fall
ECP 8983 - Scientific Communications in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology 1 /Spring
ECP 8992 - Directed Readings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology  Varied/Fall & Spring
ECP 8993 - Directed Study in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology  Varied/Fall & Spring

*A maximum of 2 seminar credits (in any discipline) can be counted toward the research emphasis requirements.

Medicinal Chemistry

The Application Process

Acceptance to the Medicinal Chemistry Research Emphasis Area is permissible at any time, however, it is recommended that students enter the program before the end of the PD1 year. There is no formal application process. Interested students should meet with medicinal chemistry faculty to discuss research opportunities and potential coursework requirements. When a faculty advisor and student reach a mutual agreement to commit to the research emphasis program, a written agreement will be drafted that includes a description of the research project to be completed, a coursework plan, and a statement of the applicant's objectives for completing the Research Emphasis designation in medicinal chemistry. The application materials will be forwarded to the Director of Graduate Studies of Medicinal Chemistry for review.  The faculty mentor shall be responsible for advising the student and ensuring that the research emphasis area requirements are met. Following completion of the plan and all requirements, the faculty member will notify the Director of Graduate Studies that the Research Emphasis designation should be awarded upon graduation and included on the student’s official transcript.

Program Coordinator

Barry Finzel, PhD
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Medicinal Chemistry
finze007@umn.edu 
612-626-5979

Coursework

A total of 7.8-8.8 core credits and 8 elective credits are required to complete the emphasis for a total of 15.8-16.8 credits. Students need to select at least 8 credits of elective courses, which must be taken A/F. Below is a list of the currently approved list of electives, however, this list is subject to change as new courses are offered or modified. The list of electives from which students may select, with guidance from their mentor, will be approved annually by the faculty. Note, not all classes are taught every semester.  

MEDC Track Elective Courses Credits
MedC 8001: Principles of Medicinal Chemistry 3 /Fall
MedC 8050: Physical and Mechanistic Org Chem 2/Fall
MedC 8753: Molecular Targets of Drug Discovery 3/Spring
MedC 8461: Design of Cancer Immunotherapeutics 3/Spring
MedC 8435: Bioassays 1/Spring
MedC 8070: Chem & Bio Infectious Disease 3/Fall
MedC 8100 - PHAR 6150: Medicinal Chemistry Seminar 1* /Fall & Spring
Phar 6908: Drugs of Abuse 2 /Spring
Phar 6293: Directed Research I 1-3
Phar 6293: Directed Research II 1-3
Phar 6293: Directed Research III 1-3

*At least one MedChem seminar credit is required (counted via the core or elective course options). A maximum of 2 seminar credits can be counted toward the research emphasis requirements.

Social & Administrative Pharmacy

The Application Process

There is no formal application process and students may choose to pursue the Social and Administrative Pharmacy Research Emphasis track at any time. Interested students should contact the director to express interest and discuss research and coursework opportunities. Those pursuing a Research Emphasis will be assigned to a mentor who will help students choose additional courses and a research advisor who will align with their interests and goals. Students who successfully complete the Research Emphasis will receive special recognition during graduation and a designation on their official academic transcript.

Director

Jon C. Schommer, MS, PhD, RPh
Professor and SAPh Graduate Faculty Member
schom010@umn.edu
612-626-9915

Coursework

A total of 7.8-8.8 core credits and 8 elective credits are required to complete the emphasis for a total of 15.8-16.8 credits. Students need to select at least 8 credits of elective courses, which must be taken A/F. Below is a list of the currently approved list of electives, however, this list is subject to change as new courses are offered or modified. The list of electives from which students may select, with guidance from their mentor, will be approved annually by the faculty. Note, not all classes are taught every semester.

SAPh Track Elective Courses Credits
SAPh 5100 – PHAR 5100 - Pro-Seminar 1*                 
SAPh 8054 – Advanced Studies in Pharmaceutical Care 3
SAPh 8200 – Research Problems 1-3
SAPh 8235 – Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy 3
SAPh 8255 – Pharmaceutical Marketing 3
SAPh 8420 – Social & Behavioral Aspects of Pharmacy Practice 3
SAPh 8610 – PHAR 5610 - Pharmacoepidemiology 3
SAPh 8700 – Hospital Pharmacy Administration 3
SAPh 8702 – Hospital Pharmacy Survey 1
SAPh 8810 – Social Psychology in Pharmacy 3
SAPh 8840 - Social Measurement in Pharmacy 3

*A maximum of 2 seminar credits (in any discipline) can be counted toward the research emphasis requirements.