Master's Degrees in Pharmaceutical Science

Through a master's degree program in pharmaceutical science, you'll learn about developing and testing new drugs, determining proper dosages and examining the chemical components of medicines. Learn more about the kinds of master's degree programs available, online options, the prerequisites for enrollment, coursework and the jobs you could pursue with a master's degree in pharmaceutical science. Schools offering Alcohol & Drug Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Master's Degree Programs Are Available in Pharmaceutical Science?

If you're seeking programs in pharmaceutical science, you can find Master of Science (M.S.) in Pharmaceutical Sciences programs; sometimes you may find relevant concentrations within M.S. in Pharmacy programs. Online programs are rare, so you'll typically have to pursue your degree on campus. If you enroll in an online program, you may have to complete brief residency requirements on campus. You may be able to focus your study in pharmacology, pharmaceutical chemistry, clinical sciences, industrial pharmacy or pharmaceutical administration.

Depending on your program, you may have thesis and non-thesis tracks of study. Each is specifically tailored to different career objectives. Choosing to earn your degree on a thesis track of study will train you for in-depth research and laboratory work; this generally means that you plan to continue on to doctoral study or enter a career that requires advanced research skills. You can earn your degree without completing a thesis if you're seeking additional knowledge of the pharmaceutical sciences or professional advancement in your career in the pharmaceutical industry, government or education. Some programs may require a comprehensive examination.

Program Options Thesis track prepares you for doctoral study or advanced research; non-thesis track offers opportunity to increase knowledge and advance existing career
Online Options Online programs rare; short on-campus residencies may be required
Admission Requirements Bachelor's degree, which may need to be in a related field
Common Courses Pharmaceutics, neuropharmacology, biostatistics, toxicology
Career Opportunities Pharmaceutical research, pharmaceutical administration

What Enrollment Requirements Should I Meet?

All master's degree programs are limited to students with bachelor's degrees. Some M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences programs will only accept students with bachelor's degrees in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, pharmacy or a related field. Regardless of what type of undergraduate major you pursue in preparation for graduate coursework, you should complete undergraduate courses in the following areas:

  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Calculus
  • Physiology
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemistry

What Will I Learn?

You'll take basic courses in pharmaceutical sciences when you begin studying for your master's degree program. The other half of your study will be divided among selected readings, seminars and pharmaceutical research. You'll learn about molecular biology, the chemical structure of pharmaceutical compounds and drug development. Course requirements and electives typically cover the following topics:

  • Neuropharmacology (the study of drugs' effects on the human nervous system)
  • Pharmaceutics (the science of drug preparation and dispensing)
  • Biostatistics
  • Experimental design
  • Toxicology (the study of poisons on the human body)
  • Research ethics
  • Immunology (the study of immune system functions)

What Can I Do With This Degree?

The purpose of a master's degree program is to prepare you for positions in pharmaceutical research, science or administration. Upon graduation, you'll be able to take on careers in public agencies or private research organizations. You may also find employment with the federal government and work in agencies such as the National Institutes of Health or the Food and Drug Administration. Completion of an M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences can also prepare you for further study in a doctoral program in pharmaceutical sciences, medicine or a related discipline.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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