Home » PhD in Medicinal Chemistry – Eligibility, Admission, Syllabus, Institutes, Scope

PhD in Medicinal Chemistry – Eligibility, Admission, Syllabus, Institutes, Scope

The PhD in Medicinal Chemistry is a three-year research program in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. A master’s degree in medicinal chemistry or natural products, an M.Pharm in pharmaceutical chemistry, an M.Tech in pharmaceutical chemistry, or an M.Sc in organic chemistry is required for admission.

Medicinal chemistry is a branch of chemistry that focuses on the links between diseases, their mechanisms, and development, as well as how they can be modulated or reversed using compound chemistry. The PhD in Medicinal Chemistry program covers a broad range of activities, including studies based on research into the interactions of drugs and toxic substances with biological systems, as well as the relationship between chemical composition and dynamics and biological function.

Scholars with a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry are highly marketable and receive job offers for the most competitive positions in the field.

PhD in Medicinal Chemistry: An Overview

Level of CourseDoctorate
Course Duration 3 years
Type of Examination Thesis Submission
Eligibility CriteriaM.S Pharm. in Medicinal Chemistry/ Natural Products or M.Pharm in Pharmaceutical Chemistry or M.Tech in Pharm or and M.Sc in Organic Chemistry with minimum of 60% marks.
Process of Admission Written Entrance Test and Personal Interview
Average Fee for the Course INR 15,000 – INR 84,000
Average Annual SalaryINR 1.4 Lacs – INR 5.9 Lacs
Areas of Recruitmentpharmaceutical/ medicine/Chemical/ biotechnology industry, laboratories government research organizations and academia
Profiles of JobPostdoctoral Scientist Assistant Professor Research Scientist Medicinal/Analytical Chemist

PhD in Medicinal Chemistry Eligibility

  • A candidate should have an M.S. Pharm. in Medicinal Chemistry or Natural Products, a M.Pharm. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, a M.Tech in Pharm., or a M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry with a minimum grade of 60% or a CGPA of 6.5 on a 10-point scale to pursue research-level studies in medicinal chemistry.
  • Candidates from the reserved category will receive a CGPA relaxation of up to 6.25 on a 10-point scale, or a minimum of 55 percent in the eligibility criteria for admission to the PhD in Medicinal Chemistry program.

PhD in Medicinal Chemistry Syllabus

First Semester Second Semester
Basics of Drug ActionDrug Design
Spectral AnalysisLogic in Organic Synthesis-II
Logic in Organic Synthesis-IStructure and Function of Biomolecules
Separation TechniquesStereochemistry and Drug Action
Chemotherapy of Parasitic and Microbial InfectionsDrug Metabolism
Industrial Process and Scale up TechniquesPharmacological Screening and Assays
BiostatisticsGeneral Laboratory Experience
General Laboratory Experience

PhD in Medicinal Chemistry Admission Procedure

  • Admission to PhD programs in medicinal chemistry is based on the results of a written exam and an interview conducted by the institutions. Candidates will be interviewed based on their performance on the written test. The NIPER Joint Entrance Examination, which is held for admissions to all affiliated campuses, is one of the most important entrances in this regard.
  • The entrance exam syllabus includes one objective-type question paper with 170 questions worth 85 points on topics such as chemical sciences, biological sciences, and pharmaceutical sciences. The question paper in the concerned subject will be at the master’s level. Questions from General Pharmaceutical Sciences and General Aptitude will also be included in the paper.
  • In some institutions, eligible candidates are chosen through an interview and admission counseling or on a first-come, first-served basis.

PhD in Medicinal Chemistry: Important Documents Required

  • No objection certificate from the employer (if employed)
  • Gap certificate (if applicable)
  • Documentary proof of the date of birth
  • Mark-list of the last qualifying degree examination
  • passing/degree certificate of the last qualifying degree examination.
  • Research Proposal
  • A character certificate (from the head of the institute from which the student has obtained his qualifying degree)
  • Migration Certificate (No objection certificate from the university last attended)

Students should be aware that if the aforementioned certificates are not attached to their application, their application will not be taken into account for admission.

PhD in Medicinal Chemistry: Focus Areas

  • At the research level, a PhD in medicinal chemistry entails the development of new drugs to treat diseases, which begins with advanced knowledge of chemical substance behavior at the molecular level. Students can pursue research in interdisciplinary fields such as bio-organic and medicinal chemistry, supra-molecular and nano-chemistry, biophysical, oligonucleotide chemistry, neuro-degenerative disorders, drug design, synthetic methodology development, synthesis of bio-active small molecules, and cancer therapeutic development.
  • Scholars working on a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry collaborate with experts in the field to develop, synthesize, and test drug compounds in modern laboratories. The nature of chemical substances is explored, as well as how chemical properties affect absorption, drug kinetics, distribution, excretion, and metabolism. The goal of the research is to gain a better understanding of pharmacological actions, which will lead to better drug design.
  • A PhD in Medicinal Chemistry provides you with a degree, job opportunities, and extensive knowledge on how to change the designs of existing drugs to make them safer and more effective for treating a condition or disease.

PhD in Medicinal Chemistry: Top Academic Institutions

Name of the InstitutePlaceAverage Fees
Institute of Advanced ResearchGandhinagarINR 15,250 (per semester)
National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) HyderabadHyderabad, TelanganaINR 84,000 (per year)
National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) KolkataJadavpur, KolkataINR 84,000 (per year)
National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) AhmedabadAhmedabadINR 84,000 (per year)
National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) MohaliS.A.S. Nagar, MohaliINR 84,000 (per year)

PhD in Medicinal Chemistry: Top Foreign Institutes

Knowing what medicinal chemistry isn’t enough, and for a prospective student, being familiar with top-tier universities that offer the course is essential. The universities listed below are well-known for providing high-quality degree programs in various sub-domains of chemistry to their students.

  • Georgia State University.
  • York University
  • Cardiff University
  • The University of Auckland
  • The University of Southern California
  • The University of Strathclyde
  • Curtin University
  • University of Leeds
  • The University of New South Wales
  • Newcastle University

PhD Medicinal Chemistry: Important Skills Required

  • Determination
  • Patience
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Observation skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Attention to detail and accuracy
  • Scientific skills

PhD in Medicinal Chemistry: Jobs and Scope

In the last decade, medicinal chemistry research has made significant contributions to the field’s advancement. Government agencies, international firms, and pharmaceutical companies have all invested resources in clinical research and drug development, resulting in a significant increase in research funding. Medicinal chemistry research has also increased in India since 2005, following the proliferation of patent regulations. In both academic and industrial laboratories, a number of research groups have been formed.

Government agencies such as the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) are investing heavily in the field, indicating that there is a lot of room for growth.

Scholars with a PhD in medicinal chemistry can pursue careers in the following fields:

  • Industry (chemical, pharmaceutical, laboratory medicine, and biotechnology)
  • Research Institutions
  • Educational Institutions
  • Government-Recognized Laboratories
  • R & D and Chemical Biology divisions of government

India Scientific Services, Coromandel International, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Syngenta Biosciences, Biocon Ltd., Piramal, Lupin Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Sun Pharmaceuticals, Kinapse, Cadila Pharmaceuticals, Alembic Pharmaceuticals, and Zydus Cadila Ltd. are the top recruiters for PhD in Medicinal Chemistry scholars.

Title of Job Description of JobAverage Salary
Postdoctoral ScientistInteract directly with academic partners; plan and carry out work in both internal and external venues. To raise awareness, the findings were published in a prestigious scientific journal.INR 4.3 Lacs
Assistant ProfessorDevelop and use instructional methods in the classroom, as well as mentor students working on research projects.INR 1.8 Lacs – 4.6 Lacs
Research ScientistPerform multi-step synthesis, purification, and spectroscopic characterizations on mg to gram scales.INR 2.6 Lacs – 5.9 Lacs
Medicinal/Analytical ChemistDetermines the chemical composition of both organic and inorganic substances as a specialized scientist.INR 1.4 Lacs – 2.9 Lacs


Who are the most successful recruiters in this field?

Here are some of the top recruiters in this field:
Cipla Limited
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited
Aurobindo Pharma Limited
Cadila Healthcare Limited
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories
Intas Pharmaceuticals Limited
Lupin Limited

What is a course in medicinal chemistry?

This course is designed to investigate important disease and alignment mechanisms. Aspirants will learn about the dynamic field of chemistry, how to build various types of drugs, organic synthesis, and many other concepts in this course.

How long does it take to get a PhD in medicinal chemistry?

Individual interests and needs can be accommodated in the curriculum, and the majority of instructional coursework is completed in the first two years.

What does Medicinal Chemistry entail?

Medicinal Chemistry Research is a journal dedicated to the rapid publication of novel experimental achievements in the fields of drug design, drug discovery, and the elucidation of biologically active compound mechanisms of action.

Is medicinal chemistry challenging?

Organic and inorganic chemistry are covered in the first two years of pharmacy school, followed by medicinal chemistry in the final two years. Organic chemistry will require some extra effort, but it is not difficult.

Is it worthwhile to pursue a PhD in medicinal chemistry?

A PhD in Medicinal Chemistry not only provides you with a degree and a job opportunity, but it also provides you with a vast amount of knowledge about how to improve the design of many drugs currently on the market to make them safer and more effective for a specific condition or disease.

In India, how do I become a medicinal chemist?

Medicinal Chemists assist in the development of new and improved manufacturing processes for the mass production of new drugs. Entry-level chemist and materials scientist jobs require a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a related field. A master’s degree or a doctorate is required for research jobs.

What’s the difference between pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry?

Medicinal chemistry is a branch of chemistry concerned with the design and synthesis of small organic molecules for use as pharmaceutical agents or bio-active molecules (drugs). The science of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis is applied to the synthesized agents in pharmaceutical chemistry.

What qualities distinguish a good medicinal chemist?

They have an uncanny ability to recognize existing drugs and are often well-versed in the history of how those drugs were discovered. They know what has worked in the past and what to avoid. They are passionate about medicinal chemistry and are always eager to share their experiences with other accomplished colleagues.

Why should I pursue a career in medicinal chemistry?

Medicinal chemistry plays an important role in teaching pharmacy students critical thinking and evidence-based problem-solving skills, allowing them to make the best patient-specific therapeutic decisions possible.

What does UGC stand for?

The University Grants Commission (UGC) was established on December 28, 1953, and by an Act of Parliament in 1956, it became a statutory organisation of the Government of India for the coordination, determination, and maintenance of standards of teaching, examination, and research in university education.

What does it mean to be UGC approved?

The University Grants Commission (UGC) is the statutory body responsible for coordinating, formulating, and maintaining higher education standards in India. In order to be recognized by the UGC, the university must be inspected by a UGC-appointed expert panel.

Who is eligible to take the NET exam?

Candidates who have received at least 55 percent (without rounding off) in a Master’s Degree OR equivalent examination in Humanities (including languages), Social Science, Computer Science & Applications, Electronic Science, etc. from universities/ institutions recognized by the UGC are eligible for this exam.

What Is the Difference Between a PhD and a Doctorate?

The PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is a research degree that is one of the most common types of doctoral degrees and is awarded to graduates in a variety of fields. A PhD is included in the category of doctorates, so one is not superior to the other.

How difficult is it to obtain a PhD?

PhD students have a high dropout rate. Only 57 percent of PhD students in the United States received their degree 10 years after enrolling. In the humanities, the percentage dropped to 49%. A PhD is not intellectually difficult, contrary to popular belief, but it does require discipline and hard work.

Is medicinal chemistry and pharmacy the same thing?

The primary distinction between medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry is that medicinal chemistry is concerned with the design, optimization, and development of new chemical compounds for use as drugs, whereas pharmaceutical chemistry is concerned with the research and development of drugs.

Pharmacology or medicinal chemistry: which is superior?

We can say that Pharmaceutical Chemistry is involved in generic drug companies where you can work on process development. The field of medicinal chemistry focuses on research. It’s also a good choice for the development of New Chemical Entities (NCEs), which involves some pharmaceutical companies.

What can I do with a degree in medicinal chemistry?

Graduates work in a variety of fields, from pharmaceu ticals to business management. Assistant analyst, development chemist, research assistant, and site chemist are examples of common jobs for our graduates.

How much do medicinal chemists earn in the United Kingdom?

Early-career medicinal chemists can expect to earn between £15,900 and £24,000 per year. Salary increases as their career progresses, ranging from £25,695 to £36,000. Medicinal chemists with more experience/seniority can earn between £35,000 and £40,000 per year.

What kind of chemist is responsible for the development of pharmaceuticals?

Pharmacists are chemists who work in the pharmaceutical industry. They conduct drug research, develop new drugs, and oversee the pharmaceutical manufacturing process’ quality control.

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