The Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University is consistently ranked as havingone of the top pharmacology graduate programs in the nation. Its focus is to prepare qualified individuals for a career in independent research. Pharmacology is the science of drug action on biological systems. It encompasses the study of targets of drug action, the mechanisms by which drugs act, the therapeutic and toxic effects of drugs, as well as the development of new therapeutic agents. As the study of pharmacology is interdisciplinary, the graduate program in pharmacology is diverse and flexible. Graduate positions in the program are fully funded providing for payment of tuition, fees, and an annual stipend for the first two years. After the first two years, students are supported by the faculty member with whom they are doing their thesis research. The average time to completion of a Ph.D. is 5.5 years.