MSc Program

The Department of Pharmaceutics offers an entry-level M.S. degree on a restricted case-by-case basis.

Entry into the program is granted only with prior sponsorship by a Pharmaceutics faculty member and approval of the faculty. The program of course work is divided into three components: (1) prerequisites which define the level of entry into the program; (2) an abbreviated core program which is analogous to the major; and (3) seminars and literature review.


  • Differential Calculus (MATH 124; 5 cr) Fundamental Concepts in Medicinal Chemistry (MEDCH 400; 3 cr)

Core Program:

The M.S. degree entails an accrual of 36 credits, of which 18 must be graded (9 of the graded credit must be from graduate courses of 500 level or above). In addition, 27 credits must be derived from courses that do not include independent study, seminar, journal club and thesis study.

Of the 27 required course credits, 20 are derived from the following “core” courses that are intended to give the student the minimum knowledge base in the field of pharmaceutical sciences.

  • PCHOL 510-13, General Pharmacology (2 cr each/8 cr total)
  • PCEUT 506, Pharmacokinetic Principles (6 cr)

One of the following advanced pharmacokinetics classes, depending on its relevance to the student’s thesis work and in consultation with the student’s advisor:

  • PCEUT 501, Advanced Pharmacokinetics (5 cr)
  • PCEUT 502, Pharmacokinetics of Drug Metabolism (4 cr)
  • PCEUT 503, Drug Transport and Delivery (5 cr)
  • PCEUT 600, 700 (variable credits)

The above core courses are considered essential for all students in the M.S. program. It is unlikely that any of these courses would be waived, except for students entering with previous graduate-level course work in the required areas. In addition, all students must attend the following training sessions, preferably in the first academic year: Chemical Safety, Biological Safety, and Bioethics training.

Radiation Safety and Animal Care may also be required at some point, if relevant to the student’s thesis research.

Seminars and Literature Review

  • PCEUT 520: Seminar (1 cr/quarter; 3 qtr/year until graduation)  M.S. students are not required to make a presentation, but they may take the opportunity to present for the experience
  • PCEUT 583: Journal club (1 cr/quarter; 3 qtr/year until graduation) M.S. students are expected to make 2 presentations each year (beginning at the start of their 2nd year, until graduation


PCEUT 600, 700 (variable credits)Entry-level M.S. students will have selected an advisor by mutual agreement before starting the program. Terminal track M.S. students will have selected a thesis advisor at the end of spring quarter in their first academic year (See Appendix A1 for details).

Students must begin their laboratory research by summer quarter of their first academic year in the lab of their advisor. Due to the course work and research demands of the program, most students may find that after-class and off-hours are the best and most productive time for their laboratory research. (See Appendix A1b for details)

Entry-level M.S. students will sign up for PCEUT 600 (lab research, variable credit) during their first year in the program and PCEUT 700 thereafter until the defense of their thesis, in order to meet the research requirements of the program and the Graduate School. Terminal-track M.S. students will enroll in PCEUT 700 for research credit (variable number) until the defense of their thesis.

Master’s Thesis

M.S. students are required to submit a Master’s thesis. The content of the thesis should be a research summary of his/her laboratory project. Under special circumstances and with the consent of the advisory committee, a comprehensive review of a relevant area of pharmaceutical research may be permitted. Each student should work closely with his/her major advisor in order to identify and develop the content of the Master’s thesis and the composition of the supervisory committee (see Appendix C).


Students admitted into the M.S. program can formally apply to Ph.D. program only after successful completion of the first year in the M.S. degree program. The application will be reviewed competitively with other Ph.D. applicants. The M.S. student is not eligible to participate in cumulative exams until he/she is formally enrolled in the Ph.D. program.