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Ph.D. in Pharmacology is a 3 to 5-year long doctorate course. Minimum eligibility for pursuance of the course is the successful completion of post-graduation in Pharmacology, completed from a recognized university.

Admission to the course is based on the round of counselling conducted after the candidate’s qualification of a relevant entrance test, such as UGC-NET.

The average tuition fee charged for the course in India ranges between INR 2 and 4 Lacs, for the whole span of the course.

Such postgraduates are hired in capacities such as:

  • Analytical Chemist
  • Biomedical Scientist
  • Healthcare scientist
  • Clinical Pharmacologist
  • Clinical Research Associate
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Physician’s Associate
  • Research Scientist (Life Sciences)
  • Scientific Laboratory Technician
  • Toxicologist etc.

Popular hiring industries for such postgraduates include:

  • Drug Manufacturing Companies
  • Public Health Entities
  • Blood Service
  • Industrial Laboratories
  • Cancer Research Institutes
  • Research Departments
  • Educational Institutes
  • Environmental Pollution Control, etc.

The average annual salary offered to successful postgraduates of the course in India ranges between INR 4 and 20 Lakhs, increasing with the candidate’s experience and skillsets.

Top Colleges for Ph.D. (Pharmacology)

  • Ph.D. (Pharmacology) in Tamil Nadu
  • Ph.D. (Pharmacology) in Maharashtra
  • Ph.D. (Pharmacology) in Karnataka
  • M.Phil/Ph.D in Pharmacy in Delhi-NCR
  • M.Phil/Ph.D in Pharmacy in Maharashtra
  • M.Phil/Ph.D in Pharmacy in Chennai

Ph.D. in Pharmacology: Course Highlights

Listed below are some of the major highlights of the course.

Course LevelPost-Graduate
Duration3 to 5 years
Examination TypeSemester System
EligibilityPost-graduation in Pharmacology
Admission ProcessBased on counselling after qualification of a relevant entrance test, like UGC-NET.
Course FeeINR 2 to 4 Lakhs for 3 to 5 years
Average Starting SalaryINR 4 to 20 lacs per annum
Top Recruiting CompaniesDrug Manufacturing Companies, Public Health Entities, Blood Service, Industrial Laboratories, Cancer research institutes, Research Departments, Educational Institutes, Environmental Pollution Control, Agriculture and fisheries, Forensic Science, Hospitals, Public Health Laboratories, Cosmetic Industries, etc.
Job PositionsAnalytical Chemist, Biomedical Scientist, Healthcare Scientist, Clinical Pharmacologist, Clinical Research Associate, Forensic Scientist, Physician’s Associate, Research Scientist (Life Sciences), Scientific Laboratory Technician, Toxicologist, among others.

Ph.D. in Pharmacology: What is it About?

Pharmacology is the study of drugs and how they affect the body.

As an academic discipline, Pharmacology is the study of the effects of drugs and chemicals on living organisms.

Modern pharmacology is inherently interdisciplinary and builds on the strengths of:

  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology
  • Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology.

The course consists of approximately 3 years of full-time research.

The techniques and methods of investigation employed by pharmacologists are those used in biological and physical sciences.

Depending on individual inclination and professional training, such pharmacologists may practice profession such as:

  • Physician
  • Researcher
  • Teacher
  • Administrator

Pharmacology is the science of how drugs work. It involves:

  • evaluation of new generation antibiotics.
  • solving the problems of drug toxicity.
  • finding out how drugs can best be used in the treatment of disease in humans and animals.
  • all aspects of the action of drugs and other chemicals on living systems.
  • discovery of chemical mechanisms by which cellular and molecular functions are regulated.
  • understanding how existing drugs act.

Drugs and chemicals produce their effects only through modifications of underlying biological systems. Their actions are useful in regulating:

  • normal functions of cells and organisms.
  • abnormal processes which occur in disease.

Professional pharmacologists, possess advanced knowledge of:

  • Genomics
  • Proteomics
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Integrated Systems
  • Chemistry.

They are professionally responsible for:

  • basic research.
  • teaching in academia.
  • conducting innovative research in:
  1. pharmaceutical/ biotech industries
  2. government laboratories
  • ensuring the safety of drugs and chemicals.

Ph.D. in Pharmacology: Who should opt?

Ideal candidates for the course would possess:

  • high degree of scholarly acumen
  • Self-sufficiency
  • oral and written communication skills
  • critical, analytical, and problem-solving abilities
  • good organisational skills
  • ability to work without supervision
  • initiative
  • decision-making skills
  • time management
  • knowledge of safety
  • spirit of teamwork.

Top Institutes offering Ph.D. in Pharmacology

Listed below are some of the top institutes in India that offer the course.

Name of InstituteCity Average Fees
JAMIA HAMDARDDelhiINR 1.25 Lacs (course)
Central Drug Research InstituteLucknowINR 2 Lacs (course)
JSS Medical CollegeMysoreINR 1.04 Lacs (course)
Poona College of PharmacyPuneINR 1.55 Lacs (course)
Father Muller Medical CollegeMangaloreINR 1.34 Lacs (course)
Lovely Professional UniversityPunjabINR 2.4 Lacs (course)
Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical SciencesWardhaINR 1.50 Lacs (course)
Saveetha Dental CollegeChennaiINR 2 Lacs (course)
National Institute of AyurvedaJaipurINR 1.89 Lacs (course)
Vallabhbhai Patel Chest InstituteDelhiINR 3,05,800 (course)
G.Pulla Reddy College of PharmacyHyderabadINR 4,05,000 (course)
Al Ameen College of PharmacyBangaloreINR 1,27,000 (course)
JSS College of PharmacyMysoreINR 4,00,500 (course)
Krupanidhi College of PharmacyBangaloreINR 1.3 Lacs (course)
Chalmeda Anand Rao Institute of Medical SciencesHyderabadINR 2 Lacs (course)
K M College of PharmacyMaduraiINR 1,68,000 (course)
Ramesh Institute of Vocational And Technical EducationNoidaINR 5 Lacs (course)
VNS Institute of PharmacyBhopalINR 3,00,840 (course)
Ramanbhai Patel College of PharmacyGujaratINR 3 Lacs (course)
Chitkara College of PharmacyChandigarhINR 6 Lacs (course)

Eligibility for Ph.D. in Pharmacology

Listed below are the minimum criteria which candidates interested in pursuing the course are required to fulfil, in order to be eligible to apply for the course.

  • Post-graduation in Pharmacology/ Biology/ Pharmacy/ Biotechnology, from a recognized institute.

M.Sc. in disciplines consistent with the research areas of the department.

  • B.Tech. / M.Tech. in any branch of Engineering/ Bio Technology or other interdisciplinary areas.
  • B.Tech./ M.Tech. or equivalent degree in Pharmacology.
  • A minimum aggregate score of 55% (50% for SC/ST/OBC candidates) at the level of graduation.

Ph.D. in Pharmacology: Admission Process

In India universities have rights to set their own procedure and standards for admission to Ph.D. programs. But the set of requirements for the application are similar. These include a compulsary research proposal, detailing the proposed outline of the candidate’s Ph.D. project, and explaining the methodology one plans to employ.

Most institutes offering the course admit students based on their performance in a relevant entrance test followed by a round of Personal Interview. Admission process generally varies across institutes.

Candidates are selected based on performance in the UGC/ CSIR (JRF)/ NET/ GATE, etc. examinations, and subsequent round of Personal Interview.

Ph.D. in Pharmacology: Syllabus and Course Description

A paper-wise breakup of the course’s syllabus is tabulated here.

Paper IPaper II
General PharmacologyAutonomic Nervous System & Peripheral Nervous System
Drug absorption, distribution, metabolismNeurohumoral transmission
Drug eliminationSympathetic nervous system - sympathomimetics, sympatholytics
Routes of drug administrationParasympathetic - Cholinergics, Anticholinergics, Ganglion stimulants and blockers
Basic principles of drug actionSkeletal muscle relaxants
Adverse reactions to drugsLocal anesthetics
Factors modifying drug response-
Paper IIIPaper IV
Central Nervous SystemAutacoids
General principles - neurotransmitters, definition and common transmittersHistamine and antihistaminics
Drug therapy of various CNS disorders like epilepsy, depression, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, neuro- degeneration etc.Prostaglandins, leukotrienes, thromboxane and PAF
Pharmacotherapy of painSubstance P, bradykinin
General anaethetics
Paper VPaper VI
Cardiovascular systemGastrointestinal and Respiratory System
Drug therapy of hypertension, shock, angina, cardiac arrhythmiasEmetics and antiemetics
Renin angiotensin systemDrugs for constipation and diarrhea
DiureticsDrug treatment of peptic ulcer
Coagulants and anticoagulants, antiplatelet drugsDrug therapy of bronchial asthma
Hypo-lipidemicsPharmacotherapy of cough
Paper VII
HormonesDrug therapy of Diabetes
Reproductive hormones - testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, contraceptivesThyroid hormones
-Drugs for arthritis & gout

Ph.D. in Pharmacology: Career Prospects

Such professionals can find lucrative placement opportunities across:

  • industrial

  • commercial
  • research environments
  • research and development laboratories of pharmaceutical companies.
  • non-lab based pharmaceutical-related fields
  • clinical trials
  • manufacturing
  • regulatory affairs
  • patenting
  • sales and marketing
  • IT
  • finance
  • scientific writing.

Common employers of Pharmacology postgraduates include:

  • Civil Services
  • Department of Health (DH)
  • Intellectual Property Office (IPO)
  • National Health Service (NHS)
  • Pharmaceutical and Biotech companies
  • Academic Institutes (Universities and Colleges etc.)

Pharmacology experts send drugs through stages such as the following:

  • kinetics and dynamics studies
  • toxicology studies
  • preclinical and clinical studies, etc.

Some of the popular professional avenues open to successful postgraduates of the course are listed below with the corresponding salaries offered for the respective positions.

Job PositionJob DescriptionAverage Annual Pay Scale in INR
Research ScientistResearch Scientists work in almost every area of science imaginable. They plan and carry out experiments and investigations in a range of areas, including Geoscience, Medical Research, Meteorology, and Pharmacology.1,473,953
Clinical ScientistClinical Scientists, often also referred to as Medical Scientists, work in hospitals, laboratories, research centers, institutes, universities, and clinics. Clinical scientists work to advance knowledge in biomedical research, medicine, and the processes that drive and support living organisms, though they may also work to develop products, treatments, and medications based on this knowledge. Typical duties of Clinical Scientists include devising and carrying out research and experiments, supervising assistants and lab techs, drafting, implementing and evaluating guidelines, conducting tests, and many other duties, depending on their work environment and specific role.4,08,786
Research AssistantAnother option for Pharmacologists is a career as a Research Assistant, working in government or private laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals or facilities connected to the growing field of biotechnology. Though the job involves a high level of research and an advanced degree, there are still many jobs at the assistant or technician level open to those with undergraduate degrees.3,74,795
Chemistthey may develop products such as synthetic fibers, drugs and cosmetics. Research Chemists create and improve processes and products, such as cosmetics, electronics and drugs. The results can also be used to improve current scientific developments or to further, enhance or re-evaluate current scientific theory. Research Chemists utilize advanced lab equipment and computers to conduct their analyses.6,56,000
Clinical Laboratory TechnologistClinical Laboratory Technologists use their backgrounds in Pharmacology to conduct experiments on bacteria, viruses and microorganisms. Technologists may perform tests on levels of compounds in human blood, monitor growth of bacteria, or examine the effects of drugs on viruses. Depending on the laboratory environment they are in, these professionals may be involved in a broad range of studies or specialize in a specific field, such as Bacteriology or Virology. Clinical Laboratory Technologists may find employment in government health agencies, drug manufacturing companies, or health care facilities.4,87,745
Pharmacology ProfessorLab Research and teaching jobs can also be found at universities and medical schools. University Professors must balance their time between designing research, managing lab, and teaching. Senior Professors often have other administrative duties as well, such as acting as academic deans or department heads, designing department curricula, and sitting in academic committees. Tenure-track faculty positions at 4-year universities usually require a Ph.D. and several years of postdoctoral research experience. Lecturer positions at 4-year universities and tenure-track positions at 2-year colleges may only require a Master's degree. Faculty positions at medical schools usually require an M.D.9,64,916
Medical Research ScientistResearch Scientist positions typically require either a Master's degree or Ph.D. in subjects like Pharmacology, Chemistry, Molecular Biology or Analytical Chemistry. Independent research positions could require a Ph.D., several years' worth of experience in a postdoctoral position, and a portfolio of published research. This job involves clinical work where scientists interact with patients in a medical capacity, requiring professionals to hold a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and a State license to practice medicine. Positions bridging the gap between research and clinical medicine may require both an M.D. and a Ph.D.4,24,819
Medical Pharmacology TechnicianTechnician-level positions are available in both research and clinical laboratories. Technicians in clinical labs perform routine tests and sample analysis, communicate such results to doctors. In research laboratories, they perform simple experiments and sample preparation. Lab technicians also operate and maintain lab equipment and may manage lab inventory. The position generally requires a Bachelor's degree in Biology or a related field. Some employers accept an Associate's degree or certificate when accompanied by sufficient work experience, but advancement past a certain level of responsibility in this field is generally not possible without a 4-year degree.9,50,000
Pharmaceutical Sales RepresentativePharmaceutical Sales Representatives combine their knowledge of medical drugs and treatments with interpersonal skills to generate sales for pharmaceutical companies. Sales Representatives typically are in charge of coordinating meetings with doctors and medical staff. These professionals travel to hospitals, health care facilities, and pharmacies to present a product or treatment. Sales Representatives generally have acquired product knowledge through employer or manufacturer-sponsored training courses.1,075,000

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