The PhD program in the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy aims to prepare graduates for leadership positions in academia, industry, and government sectors.
Students develop solid research skills, enabling them to conduct quality research directed at improving the use and cost-effectiveness of pharmaceutical products, technology, and services in society. Our graduates have taken postdoctoral positions at prestigious colleges (such as Harvard and Duke, just to name a few) and found desirable positions in academia and in the pharmaceutical industry.

About Our Research

DPOP’s scientific interests are diverse and span key and innovative areas in contemporary outcomes research:

  • Communication and decision making
  • Comparative effectiveness
  • Health disparities
  • Medication utilization
  • Medication therapy management and pharmacy practice models
  • Patient-centered outcomes
  • Pharmaceutical policy analysis
  • Medication adherence and interventions


The DPOP PhD program curriculum includes 47 credit hours including 9 hours of elective coursework. The curriculum contains courses in pharmaceutical policy, pharmaceutical outcomes research methods, social and behavioral aspects of pharmaceutical use, informatics, ethics, epidemiology and epidemiologic research with healthcare databases. The program also requires nine credit hours of statistics courses.

Topic/Course Credit Hours Notes Course Type
Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research Methods 3 DPOP 870 (3) (S) Offered every other year (odd years) DPOP Course
Social and Behavioral Aspects of Pharmaceutical Use 3 DPOP 803 (3) (F) Offered every other year (odd years) DPOP Course
Epidemiologic Research Using Healthcare Databases 3 EPID 766 (3) (S) Offered every other year (odd years) Other
Pharmaceutical Policy 3 DPOP 806 (3) (F) Offered every other year (even years) DPOP Course
Proposal Writing 3 DPOP 872 (3) (F) Offered every other year (even years) DPOP Course
DPOP Seminar 4 PHRS 899 (1) (F and S) Offered every year DPOP Course
Doctoral Dissertation 6 PHRS 994 (3) (F and S) Offered every year DPOP Course
Ethics 1 PHCY 801 (F) Offered every year Other
Fundamentals of Epidemiology 3 EPID 600 (3) or EPID 710 (4) for students declaring an Epi Minor Other
Statistics 9 See recommended course tracks. These nine hours should be earned after entering the DPOP program. Case by case exceptions to the 9 credit hour requirement may be granted by the DDGS for students with prior statistics coursework. Other
Electives 9 May include research credits for participation in independent studies with faculty Other
Total 47

Ideal Candidate

We are seeking talented and motivated individuals,from diverse educational backgrounds interested in receiving formal training to pursue a career in advancing the quality of medication use and influencing pharmaceutical policy through high-impact research, education, and service that improves societal health.

Graduate Student Position

Students entering the program receive two years of didactic training in research methods, as well as an additional two to three years of closely mentored supervision while conducting research projects. Admitted students receive full tuition support, a $30,000 annual stipend, and health benefits throughout their training for up to five years. Additional opportunities for external employment in pharmacy and external research environments may be available to qualified candidates to supplement their income and gain additional experiences. Competitive fellowships and external awards may also be available to qualified applicants.

Career Opportunities for DPOP Graduates

Graduates of the DPOP PhD program have gone on to a variety of career positions in academia, research, and the pharmaceutical industry. Some of our alumni’s positions include:

Academic Faculty Appointments

  • National Taiwan University School of Pharmacy
  • University of North Carolina School of Medicine
  • Marshall University
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine
  • University of Kansas

Pharmaceutical Industry

  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Amgen
  • Astellas
  • Kaiser Permanente

Contract Research Organizations

  • Community Care of North Carolina
  • RTI Health Solutions

Other Appointments

  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Harvard University

Application Process

Admission applications are reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in late December. Applications can be submitted online with the application fee, three current letters of recommendation, transcripts, GRE test scores, and a statement of purpose.

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Delesha CarpenterDelesha Carpenter, PhD, MSPH

Assistant Professor
Division Director of Graduate Admissions
CB #7573
Chapel Hill, NC 27599