Ph.D. Program

Complete your Ph.D. through a program that prioritizes research around the safe, effective and efficient use of medications.

The POP Ph.D. is divided into three specializations including:

The POP Ph.D. program also offers a Focus area in Artificial Intelligence that supports the three specialization areas.

Graduate student presenting project

Core Competencies

Below are of core competencies to be attained by all students in our program. Additional competencies are defined by each specialty.

Research Competencies

  • Theory: Describe foundation of theory of science.
  • Research design: Describe essential elements of experimental, quasi-experimental and observational research designs and use them appropriately to address research questions.
  • Principles of measurement: Develop instruments to measure research constructs and establish the reliability and validity of the instrument.
  • Inferential statistics: Apply basic and advanced parametric and non-parametric statistical methods, including multivariate statistics; determine the appropriate tests and interpret the results of statistical analyses appropriately.
  • Communication of research results: Select appropriate means to present research results to target audiences and effectively communicate those results.
  • Evaluation of research: Write critical reviews of research reports, manuscripts and proposals.
  • Principles of research ethics: Apply ethical principles in use of human subjects in research.

Disciplinary Competencies

  • Health care organization in the US: Describe issues related to organization, production, consumption, reimbursement, financing, access to and delivery of health care in the United States.
  • The medication use system: Describe the medication use system and its limitations; concepts involved in continuous quality improvement, pharmaceutical care and other systems approaches to improving drug use.
  • The drug product: Describe issues related to development, distribution, and evaluation of the drug product; describe the process of drug development; the evaluation of drug efficacy, effectiveness, safety and costs and regulatory and public policy related to drug approval and withdrawal.
  • Behavior of individuals in the medication use system: Examine patient and provider behavior within the medications use process; understand key ethical issues affecting relationships between providers and patients, and describe the role of theory in understanding the use of drugs in society.

Career Outlook

Our graduate program was created over 30 years ago to meet the continued demands of academic, private and governmental organizations to build research capacity surrounding the safe, effective and efficient use of medications. The degree provides individuals with the credentials to develop and direct clinical research units in universities, pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations and government organizations.

Successful graduates have a range of technical and disciplinary competencies in research design, measurement, inferential statistics, the communication and evaluation of research, research ethics, the drug product and healthcare delivery and the medication use system.

Epidemiologist, Office for Surveillance and Epidemiology, FDA

Christian Hampp, Ph.D., Class of 2010

“The culture in this department is one of working together towards the same goal which results in a harmonic environment. Students can dedicate their time to their projects and get the support that they need without being subjected to overburdening department politics.”

Dean, Winkle College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati

Neil MacKinnon, Ph.D., Class of 1999

“I was exposed to practical research that helped to improve the quality of safety of the medication-use system, yet was based on a solid theoretical framework.”


Leaders in Health Care

Graduates of the department are well prepared to assume a variety of leadership positions in academia, industry and government.

POP Alumni Spring 2022

Application Information

The University of Florida College of Pharmacy Department of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy offers a STEM-designated Ph.D. program in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a concentration in Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy Research (POP Ph.D.). This program has the Department of Education’s Classification of Instructional Program, or CIP, taxonomy code CIP 51.2010. This code denotes Pharmaceutical Sciences and is a STEM-designated degree program.

Successful applicants must have a competitive academic record and have demonstrated interest in research surrounding the evaluation of drugs and drug use.

Students are only admitted into the Ph.D. program in the fall. Review of applications begins December 1 and ends April 1. Decisions on first round interviews and nominations for fellowship are finalized by January 15; thus completing your application before December 1 is strongly encouraged.