PhD in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery

This specialization offered by the Center for Drug Discovery (CDD) trains students in the design and synthesis of novel biologically active compounds and in the study of their mechanisms of action using biochemical, biophysical and pharmacological approaches. Concentrations are available in: synthetic; biochemical/ pharmacological; and biophysical medicinal chemistry. The CDD’s excellence in teaching has been recognized by the award of a Training Grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for predoctoral and postdoctoral training in development of medications. These will be targeted to treat drug abuse, addiction and other indications such as neuropathic pain, obesity, neuropsychiatric disorders (psychoses, ADHD, depression, anxiety, eating disorders) and neurodegenerative disorders.

Doctoral students receive tuition waivers and usually receive stipends for research or teaching of $25,000-$30,000/year.

Center for Drug Discovery


Pharmaceutical Science core courses 5-7 SH

PHSC 5100 Concepts in Pharmaceutical Science 2 SH
PHSC 6210 Drug Design, Evaluation and Development 2 SH
PHSC 6212 Research Skills and Ethics 1 SH  or
CHEM 5600 Research Skills and Ethics in Chemistry 3 SH  or
BIOL 6381 Ethics in Biological Research 2 SH

Medicinal Chemistry / Drug Discovery Specialization Courses 9 SH

PHSC 6222 Chemistry and Biology of Drugs of Abuse 2 SH
PHSC 6224 Behavioral Pharmacology and Drug Discovery 2 SH
PHSC 6226 Imaging in Medicine and Drug Discovery 2 SH
CHEM 5676 Bioorganic Chemistry 3 SH

General Electives 19-21 SH

Advisor consultation is required when choosing electives

Ph.D. Core – 12 SH minimum

PHSC 6300 Pharmaceutical Science Seminar 1 SH  (must be taken more than once)
PHSC 8940 Doctoral Training & Research 1 SH (Qualifying Exam Preparation)
PHSC 9681 Doctoral Proposal 2 SH
PHSC 6810 Pharmaceutical Science Colloquium 1 SH
PHSC 9990 Dissertation 3 SH  (must be taken twice)

Total number of credits 45 SH

Specialization-specific non-course requirements

Participation in Journal Club

*Students coming in with a Master’s degree must complete the 12 SH for the PhD core courses and any other courses deemed necessary by the committee members.

  • Contact Info

    Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences School of Pharmacy
    Bouvé College of Health Sciences
    Northeastern University
    140 The Fenway
    Boston, Massachusetts 02115

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