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Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences

College of Pharmacy
Study System
Thesis and Courses
Total Credit Hours
55 Cr.Hrs
3-5 Years
Fall & Spring
Sharjah Main Campus
Study Mode
Full Time

Doctor of Philosophy of Pharmaceutical Sciences

The University of Sharjah is well-positioned to offer a distinguished Ph.D. program in pharmaceutical sciences with its exceptional infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities. The university has significantly invested in creating an environment that fosters cutting-edge research and academic excellence. Its advanced laboratories, equipped with the latest technologies and instruments, provide an ideal setting for conducting innovative research in Pharmaceutical Sciences. In addition, the availability of modern facilities enhances the learning experience for Ph.D. students. It enables them to conduct in-depth investigations, explore new methodologies, and contribute significantly to the field.
Furthermore, the University of Sharjah's commitment to providing a conducive research environment extends beyond physical infrastructure. It boasts a strong network of experienced and renowned faculty members who are experts in their respective fields. Additionally, the university emphasizes interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships with industry leaders, allowing Ph.D. students to engage in practical research projects and gain valuable real-world experience.
The College of Pharmacy at the University of Sharjah is proud to offer the first-of-its-kind Ph.D. program in pharmaceutical sciences with three concentrations: pharmacology, pharmaceutics, and medicinal chemistry. The college has substantially invested in creating a world-class research environment, ensuring students access to cutting-edge equipment, laboratories, and resources. These top-notch facilities enable Ph.D. candidates to conduct advanced research, perform sophisticated experiments, and analyze data using the latest methodologies and technologies. In addition, the College of Pharmacy's committed to providing Ph.D. students with comprehensive training and the necessary tools to excel in their research endeavors.
Moreover, the College of Pharmacy at the University of Sharjah has esteemed faculty members with extensive research experience in various pharmaceutical disciplines. Their mentorship and guidance play a pivotal role in shaping the research direction of Ph.D. students and promoting a culture of academic excellence. The collaborative nature of the college fosters interdisciplinary research, allowing students to explore new frontiers and develop innovative solutions to complex pharmaceutical challenges. With its exceptional infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities, the College of Pharmacy at the University of Sharjah provides a unique platform for Ph.D. students to thrive, engage in groundbreaking research, and contribute to the advancement of pharmaceutical sciences.
Program Mission
The mission of the Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate program is to offer pharmacy education of excellent quality through innovative training and cutting-edge pharmaceutical research. We aim to graduate outstanding pharmaceutical scientists who will contribute to improving human health through excellence in collaborative research for the benefit of the community.
Program Goals and Learning Outcomes
Program Goals
The program goals are:
  • Provide students with advanced knowledge and experimental skills required to conduct research in the field of pharmaceutical sciences.
  • Enhance students' ability to communicate research results effectively through oral presentations at scientific conferences and present their research outcomes in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Develop the students' ability to engage in life-long learning and exhibit professionalism with the highest ethical standards.
  • Prepare students to meet the expectations of employers in different professional sectors, including pharmaceutical industry, academia, regulatory authorities and health care providers.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon the successful completion of the program, students should be able to:
  1. Integrate pharmaceutical and biomedical knowledge and drug discovery, delivery and development. 
  2. Critically analyze scientific literature related to drugs, disease, technologies, and emerging theories in the field of pharmaceutical sciences  
  3. Design, implement, and execute autonomous and original research in pharmaceutical sciences. 
  4. Apply contemporary research topics in their area of specialization to industrial challenges 
  5. Exhibit standards of professionalism, integrity, and ethical behavior in pharmaceutical sciences research
  6. Use appropriate oral, written, and visual communication skills to defend the findings to the pharmaceutical science community. 
Completion Requirements
Before graduation, student should complete all graduation requirements that include:
  • Completing successfully all courses of the program.
  • Completing successfully the thesis and/or essays as specified in the curriculum.
  • Obtaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
Admission Requirements
Admission Requirements for Ph.D. programs
  1. The student must hold a bachelor`s degree with a minimum grade of 2.5 out of 4.0 or its equivalent in addition to a master's degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3 out of 4 or its equivalence from a university recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education in the UAE.
  2. The undergraduate degree must have been achieved by attending no less than 75% of the required period. Students with degrees obtained by distance learning will not be considered.
  3. The undergraduate degree should be in a subject that would qualify the student for the graduate major he/she wants to pursue. Students with different majors in their undergraduate degrees may be admitted upon the recommendation of the CoP after studying the prerequisite courses assigned by the college.
  4. The students should achieve the required English proficiency score. A minimum score of 550 in TOEFL (ITP), 6 in IELTS, or 1400 in an EmSAT English exam (or its equivalence) is required. A student may be admitted conditionally if he/she obtained 530 points or better on the TOEFL provided that the student must enroll in an English language course and receive a TOEFL score of 550 at the end of his first semester of study. The student will be expelled from the program if these two conditions are not met. Students whose native language is English shall be exempted from the TOFEL test score if the language of instruction in the undergraduate degree is English and the degree has been obtained from a country where English is the official language.
  5. The student should pass a “test-interview" conducted by the CoP.
  6. The student must submit a letter of approval by his/her employer if he/she is employed.
  7. Students who achieved academic excellence in their bachelor's study and have a CGPA of no less than 3.5 out of 4 may be admitted to a Ph.D. program provided that the bachelor program qualifies the student for the Ph.D. program.

Program Structure
Core Courses ​
Concentration Requirements ​
Total ​​
Credit Hours
Credit Hours
Credit Hours
Courses 7​
Thesis -
Total Credit Hours 7

Study Plan
Study Plan: Course List
1.1 Courses
      1. Core courses (11 credit hours)
      2. Concentration Courses (14 credit hours)
      3. Thesis (30 credit hours)
 1.1.1 Core Courses

Course Code Course Title​
اسم المساق
Credit Hours
1101712 Biostatistics and research methods الإحصاء الحيوي وطرق البحث
1103713 Research Experiential Orientation توجيه بحثي تجريبي
1102713 Scientific & Grant Writing الكتابة العلمية للبحوث و المنح
1103714 Entrepreneu​rship in Pharmacy ريادة الأعمال في الصيدلة
1101711 Research seminar and communication skills I ندوة بحثية ومهارات الاتصال 1
1101741 Research seminar and communication skills II ندوة بحثية ومهارات الاتصال 2
1101751 Research seminar and communication skills III ندوة بحثية ومهارات الاتصال 3
​Total Credit Hours ​ ​ 11
1.1.2 Concentrations Requirements
Drug Design and Discovery Stream

Course Code Cours​e Title
اسم المساق
Credit Hours
1101722 Bioanalysis of Biologically Active Molecules and Macromolecules التحليل البيولوجي للجزيئات الحيوية النشطة والجزيئات الكبيرة
1101723 Advanced Discovery and Biotechnology of Medicinal Natural Products الاكتشاف المتقدم والتكنولوجيا الحيوية للمنتجات الطبية الطبيعية
1101724 Proteomics Applied in Drug Design and Discovery تطبيق البروتيوميات في تصميم الأدوية واكتشافها
1101725 Recent Advances in Medicinal Chemistry التطورات الحديثة في الكيمياء الطبية
1101713 Systems Biology بيولوجيا النظم
Total Credit Hours ​ ​ 14
Pharmaceutics Stream

Course Code Course Title اسم المساق Credit Hours
1103715 Advanced Techniques in Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery تقنيات متقدمة في الصيدلانيات وتوصيل الأدوية 2
Grad Standing
1103721 Advanced Applied Pharmaceutical Microbiology علم الأحياء الدقيقة الصيدلانية التطبيقية المتقدمة 3
1501352 or equiv.
1103722 Controlled a​nd Targeted Drug Delivery توصيل الأدوية الهادف والخاضع للرقابة 3
1501263 or equiv.
1103723 Industrial Manufacturing of Tablets الصناعة الدوائية للاقراص 3
1501263 or equiv.
1103724 Advanced Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics الصيدلة الحيوية المتقدمة وحركية الدواء
Grad Standing
Total Credit Hours ​ ​ 14
Pharmacology Stream

Course Code Course Title اسم المساق Credit Hours Pre-requisite
1102711 Selected Top​ics in Pharmacology موضوعات مختارة في علم الأدوية 2
1102721 Principles of Drug Screening and Biochemical Assays in Pharmacology مبادئ فحص الأدوية والفحوصات البيوكيميائية في علم الأدوية 3
1102722 Advanced Molecular Neuropharmacology علم الادوية العصبية الجزيئي المتقدم 3
1102723 Ethnopharmacology and Therapeutics علم الأدوية العرقي والعلاج 3
1102724 Advanced Molecular Immunopharmacology علم الأدوية المناعي الجزيئي المتقدم 3
Total Credit Hours ​ ​ 14​
Study Plan: Course Distribution
Core courses
1. Biostatistics and research methods 1101712
Biostatistics offers an overview of relevant topics in biostatistical concepts. This course covers the essential tools for the data collections, analysis, visualization and interpretation in areas of biomedical sciences. Topics covered include general principles of study design; hypothesis testing, review of methods for comparison discrete and continuous data. Additionally, this course will provide tools for the analysis of large biological datasets from emerging fields such as genomics, proteomics and metabolomics.
2. Research Experiential Orientation 1103713
This course mainly aims to augment student's experience upon broad view of state-of-the-art technologies, laboratory techniques, and equipment commonly used in pharmaceutical sciences research. Student will be rotated between different laboratories to gain diverse laboratory skills to conduct research in different areas. Students will be exposed to various scientific methodologies and laboratory techniques which would help them to choose appropriate research topic and potential supervisor for their research thesis.   
3. Scientific & Grant Writing 1102713
This course focuses on the structure of good scientific writing. It provides guidance, recommendations and practical exercises for PhD students to become more effective writers and publish their research work in peer-reviewed journal. Topics include: basic principles of good scientific writing, a detailed description of the format of original research articles, literature search, literature reviews and grant proposals, practical recommendations for selecting a journal, responding to peer review comments, and writing for the general audience.
4. Entrepreneurship in Pharmacy 1103714
This team-based course will engage graduate students in understanding and applying the basics of starting or operating a business in any pharmacy discipline, including ventures based on new drugs, new delivery systems, community pharmacy, or pharmacy healthcare.  Topics include business fundamentals, intellectual property, marketing, regulatory issues and more.  
5. Research seminar and communication skills I 1101711
This course introduces students to the academic research process and includes weekly discussion of current topics in pharmacy by students and faculty members. This course also aims to develop the written, verbal, non-verbal, and communication skills of students.  During the course, students will give a presentation about a certain topic followed by a discussion in which all students are evaluated based on participation. Students should also complete a short essay assignment based on each presentation.
6.  Research seminar and communication skills II 1101741
This course introduces students to the academic research process and includes weekly discussion of current topics in pharmacy by students and faculty members. This course also aims to develop the written, verbal, non-verbal, and communication skills of students.  During the course, student will give a presentation of a recent topic in his/her field of specialization, and they will also deliver a presentation about their research proposal followed by a discussion. Students should also complete a short essay assignment about the presented topics.  
7.  Research seminar and communication skills III 1101751
This course introduces students to the academic research process and includes weekly discussion of current topics in pharmacy by students and faculty members. This course also aims to develop the written, verbal, non-verbal, and communication skills of students.  During the course, students will give a presentation of a recent topic in their field of specialization, and they will deliver a presentation about their research findings followed by a discussion. Students should also complete a short essay assignment about the presented topics.
Concentrations Requirements
Drug Design and Discovery Stream
1.  Bioanalysis of Biologically Active Molecules and Macromolecules 1101722
The course will focus on the bioanalytical methods and techniques for the analysis and detection of biomolecules and biologically active molecules including small drugs, drug metabolites, peptides, enzymes, proteins, and oligonucleotides in various biological matrices such as blood, plasma, serum, urine and extracts from tissues. 
2.  Advanced Discovery and Biotechnology of Medicinal Natural Products 1101723
This course will cover the advances in phytochemical discovery and development of natural products for therapy and pharmaceutical industry. The course will cover the pharmaceutical biotechnology techniques used to produce natural products by tissue culture, biotransformation and several synthetic biology approaches. Tissue culture techniques will include growing active cells in order to maintain genetically engineered clones that are rich in medicinal compounds and their manipulation in bioreactors for the commercial production. The course also will cover structure modifications of phytomedicines using microbial biotransformation. Synthetic biology approaches including metabolic engineering techniques will include tools used in engineering and building biosynthetic pathways of major classes of medicinal compounds and their manipulation in heterologous hosts including E. coli, yeast and fungi.
3.  Proteomics Applied in Drug Design and Discovery 1101724
Genomic, proteomic, and bioinformatics research are all part of the morden multi-step process of drug design and development, which results in the identification of new pharmacological entities with novel modes of action. In this course, students will learn current proteomics workflows including experimental design, mass spectrometry and large-scale proteome-data analysis required for a comprehensive understanding of disease mechanism, discovering the mode of action of new compounds, search of new drug targets and drug design. The main goal of this course is to train students to identify novel opportunities and potential applications for proteomics approaches in their drug development research program.
4.  Recent Advances in Medicinal Chemistry 1101725
The course will focus on the chemical aspects of recent success stories of drugs approved by the FDA or other drug regulatory authorities, as well as drug candidates that passed from preclinical to clinical studies. Failure stories of drugs withdrawn from the market in addition to drug candidates that failed in preclinical and clinical trials will be studied also from chemistry point of view. Structure-activity relationships, pharmacodynamic, and pharmacokinetic parameters behind the success or failure of the said molecules will be taught. In addition, different drug design approaches related to them will be covered. Applications of artificial intelligence and computer-based approaches in drug design and discovery will be covered as well. Moreover, diastereoselective and asymmetric synthesis methodologies of 3D molecules will be taught.
 5.  Systems Biology 1101713
The purpose of a systems biology course is to gain a comprehensive understanding of development, physiology, metabolism, and gene regulatory networks by studying simultaneously, all genes, proteins, and metabolites in an organism.
Pharmaceutics Stream
1.  Advanced Techniques in Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery 1103715
This course provides the student with the knowledge and technical skills required for preparation and evaluation of various pharmaceutical formulations and drug delivery systems. Emphasis is placed on methods used in fabrication and optimization of drug delivery systems, physicochemical characterization techniques, mechanisms of drug release, parameters to consider for determination of in vitro dug release, techniques for measuring, calculation and representation of drug release by diffusion, in vitro and in vivo assessments, functionalization of drug delivery systems for targeted delivery of drugs and methods used for evaluation of permeation across blood brain barrier.
2.  Advanced Applied Pharmaceutical Microbiology 1103721
The course covers the wide microbiological applications in pharmaceutical products. Essentials of microbiological quality assurance and quality control of pharmaceutical products including bioburden determination, pyrogen and sterility testing will be discussed. The course provides also an overview about the natural and recombinant microbial pharmaceuticals as well as the bacterial drug delivery systems. Advanced and rapid microbiological techniques used in pharmaceutical contaminants identification will be highlighted.
3.  Controlled and Targeted Drug Delivery 1103722
This course covers in-depth knowledge and recent advances in controlled, sustained, and targeted delivery of drugs, peptides, and genetic materials. This course will introduce students to pharmaceutical and therapeutic limitations of conventional medicines and applications of nanotechnology-based targeted delivery systems for improving the therapeutic outcomes and avoiding the off-target effects. A variety of targeted delivery systems will be covered with particular emphasis on methods of fabrication, formulation design, evaluation and biomedical application. Students will also be introduced to current challenges in nanomedicine, recent adaptations in nanomedicines including multi-functionalization and biomimetic delivery systems, as well as regulatory considerations for targeted delivery systems.
4.  Industrial Manufacturing of Tablets 1103723
This course provides the student with the essential information about the various stages of the drug development and new drug approval process. The course will focus on providing the students with the principles of pharmaceutical processing, such as filtration, milling, mixing, drying, and compression of pharmaceutical solids. The course also deals with the production and quality control of tablets, capsules, liquid dosage forms, semi-solid dosage forms, and sterile products. Furthermore, the course will provide the students with key information about production pilot plant scale-up techniques and various types of packaging materials.
5.  Advanced Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics 1103724
This course is designed to provide the students with advanced knowledge and hands-on training on how to perform, analyze and interpret in vivo pharmacokinetic studies using different experimental designs and statistical methods. The course will discuss pharmacokinetic modeling, compartmental and non-compartmental analysis, PK-PD modeling, non-linear PK, and data analysis using relevant software. In this course, the effect of administering nanomedicines on the biodistribution and the PK/PD association of incorporated drugs will also be discussed. Furthermore, PK/PD relationship, in vitro/in vivo correlation, population PK, allometry, bioavailability, and bioequivalence of traditional pharmaceutical dosage forms as well as novel drug delivery systems including biosimilars will be discussed.
Pharmacology Stream
1.  Selected Topics in Pharmacology 1102711
This course will focus on the molecular basis of drug action and explore how cutting-edge biotechnology and biomedical research can advance pharmacological knowledge, increasing our understanding of how drugs work. The course is designed to offer flexibility in different emphasis in a given year and to utilize students' special research interests. The following areas will be covered; genetic variability in drug action, protein structure-activity relationships, receptor-ligand interactions, signal transduction, biochemical and molecular mechanisms of recent medications for different cardiovascular, central nervous system, endocrine, and respiratory disorders.
2. Principles of Drug Screening and Biochemical Assays in Pharmacology 1102721
This course focus on the various methods of screening newly developed drugs or extracts of medicinal plants for their pharmacological activity. The course will also cover the general aspects of bio-and-chemical assays of pharmacologically active new drugs or constituents of medicinal plant extracts.
3.  Advanced Molecular Neuropharmacology 1102722
This course is designed to provide an overview of the basics and applications of neuropharmacology. The course introduces learners to an experimental evaluation of the molecular mechanisms regulating the Nervous system and their implications in both health and disease. This will be achieved by establishing an overview of the organization and structure of both the central and autonomic nervous system. The overview will be followed by an evaluation of the role of different neurotransmitters in both health and disease.  The knowledge obtained from the aforementioned modules will be incorporated into a critical evaluation and understanding of the pharmacologic basis of the manangemnt of different neurologic diseases. Furthermore, the course provides a detailed evaluation of the blood brain barrier and neuroplasticity and their roles in normal and pathological conditions. Additionally, the course will provide the student with essential understanding of the experimental models used to study different aspects of the nervous system.
4.  Ethnopharmacology and Therapeutics 1102723
The course focuses on using medicines from traditional systems, including evidence-based studies on both crude drugs and purified natural compounds. In addition, the utilization of natural products as pharmacological tools in the lead discovery of new major therapeutically active compounds will be studied, including quality control, safety assessments, and molecular pharmacology. Major ethnopharmacology-related databases will be analyzed to give insight on the possibility of increasing the success rate of drug discovery other than random bioprospecting. 
5.  Advanced Molecular Immunopharmacology1102724
This course will focus on the study of the physiological functioning of the immune system in states of both health and disease and the pharmacologic basis of modulating these functions. Topics will cover the role of innate and acquired immune responses in various immunological areas including autoimmune diseases, transplant rejection and immunotherapy and the study of the interaction between the immune system and cancer cells.