Pharmaceutical Sciences (M.S.)

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School. For the master’s degree program, with a major in pharmaceutical sciences, the following criteria must also be satisfied:

The General portion of the Graduate Record Examination is required of all applicants. There are no minimum GRE scores required for admissions; however, applicants scoring below 150 on the quantitative portion of the exam are generally not admitted.

Applicants whose native language is other than English must demonstrate proficiency in English prior to beginning the program.

In addition to the regular University application, the applicant must also submit the following:

  1. A general statement (300-400 words, typewritten) of reasons for selecting the program, including a resume, career objectives, possible research interests, and a list of faculty members that the applicant is interested in working with for their thesis.
  2. Three letters of recommendation.

If an applicant’s undergraduate preparation is considered deficient for advanced work in the pharmaceutical sciences, additional work may be required at the undergraduate level. All prerequisite credits must be earned prior to or concurrent with the first graduate credits.

The Master of Science with a major in Pharmaceutical Sciences is offered only as a Plan A master’s program requiring thirty credits, including an eight-credit thesis. 

Courses required will vary with the student's previous preparation and the area of specialization. These courses will be determined by the student's graduate advisor, with review and approval by the College Graduate Officer as formalized by the Plan of Work. In addition to individualized courses, all Master of Science students are required to complete four core interdisciplinary courses:

PSC 6800Introduction to Research2
PSC 7010Advanced Drug Action and Safety I3
PSC 7020Advanced Drug Discovery I3
PSC 7040Advanced Drug Formulation and Delivery I3

All students in the Graduate Program are required to attend Departmental Seminars (PSC 7850, each semester). Each Master's degree student must present one regular Departmental seminar on their final research project. In addition, all Master's students will register for one credit of Introduction to Seminar, PSC 7860, in the Spring/Summer semester of their first year and provide a seminar of thirty minutes in length describing a research experience during their first year. To qualify for the degree, all courses specified on the Plan of Work must be satisfactorily completed with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0. In addition, a final oral examination of the thesis is required of all candidates.

Selection of Advisor: The Graduate Officer will serve as temporary advisor to the applicant during the first semester. During this semester, the applicant will conduct three research rotations in the laboratory of selected Faculty. Students are encouraged to meet with all graduate faculty in the specialty and discuss their research interests. At the end of the first semester, all Master's students must choose an advisor and obtain his/her consent to direct the student's research. This advisor will then sign the student's program requests, Plan of Work and other necessary forms. If a student fails to find an advisor, the Graduate Officer may provide the student with an additional research rotation. Failure to find a research advisor could result in removal from the program.

Candidacy: Applicants apply to the College Graduate Officer to become degree candidates by filing a Plan of Work, approved by their advisor, prior to the completion of twelve graduate credits in the program. To qualify, applicants must exhibit satisfactory scholarship (graduate grade point average of 3.0 or above), have completed any prerequisite and/or corequisite courses specified at the time of admission and have regular admission status. Applicants who have not been advanced to candidacy by the time twelve graduate credits have been completed may be denied further registration in the program.

Academic Progress: All students are required to complete a comprehensive Capstone exam after the successful completion of all required courses. In addition, at the conclusion of the Fall and Winter semesters, progress of every student in the program will be reviewed by the departmental Graduate Program Committee. Each student is evaluated in terms of performance in course work, research progress, fulfillment of University requirements for filing a Plan of Work, and overall professional development. The evaluation at the conclusion of the winter semester includes a written assessment by the faculty advisor of the student’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as an indication of how any deficiencies will be addressed. All course work must be completed in accordance with the academic procedures of the Graduate School governing graduate scholarship and degrees and the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

A student will be placed on probation for any of the following reasons;

  1. Qualified admission status at the time of matriculation;
  2. Receipt of a grade lower than ‘B’ in any departmental course;
  3. Notification from the advisor and/or thesis committee that the student is not making adequate progress in his/her research.
  4. Inappropriate, unprofessional and unsafe conduct as determined by the Graduate Program Committee.

The student will be informed in writing, at the time of being placed on probation, of the requirements for removal from probationary status. The decision to place a student on probation rests with the Graduate Program Committee.

A student may be dismissed from the program for the following reasons:

  1. Failure to comply with requirements set by the Graduate Program committee;
  2. Receipt of two or more grades below ‘B’ in any single semester;
  3. Unauthorized leave of absence;
  4. Inability to find a research advisor;
  5. Receipt of a grade less than B while on probation.

Leave of Absence: A leave of absence is defined as an absence from the graduate program for one or more semesters and is only permitted for extenuating personal or medical reasons. Students who are granted a leave of absence may be required to do remedial work, depending on the length of absence from the program.

Students who have not registered for two or more consecutive semesters will be placed on inactive status and must obtain the permission of the Department Graduate Program Committee and the College Graduate Officer before registering again.