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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Program in Pharmacology

Majors Overview April 26, 2015

Get information about master’s degree programs for those interested in becoming pharmacology professionals and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Degree Programs in Pharmacology

Students enrolled in the Master of Science (M.S.) in Pharmacology degree program are instructed in theoretical pharmacology concepts and provided with career-oriented research opportunities. The coursework incorporates key principles such as drug interactions, dosing parameters, drug metabolism, and drug absorption.

Both contemporary and historical approaches are explored by aspiring material scientists and chemists aiming to resolve pharmacological problems. Schools offer both non-thesis and thesis options. Students are expected to have prior knowledge of the sciences. Students aspiring to become university professors or independent researchers may want to earn related doctoral degrees.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to the Master of Science (M.S.) in Pharmacology program to hold a bachelor’s degree with a major in science, such as chemistry or biology. Students are expected to have completed undergraduate courses such as chemistry, biology, general physics, and calculus.


Program coursework combines classroom lectures and laboratory experiences in providing students with a comprehensive education. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Cell and molecular physiology
•Pharmacology research
•Contemporary advances in pharmacology

Career Choices

Armed with a Master of Science (M.S.) in Pharmacology, graduates can seek jobs as chemists or material scientists in the pharmaceutical industry.

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, slower-than-average growth rate of six percent have been predicted for jobs in this field, mainly with development companies, small scientific companies, and research universities (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, chemists brought in an average annual wage of $73,060 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates of a master’s degree program may opt for continuing education via a Ph.D. program, such as a Ph.D. in Pharmacology, which could lead to a career as a pharmacologist or independent medical research scientist. Students take four to five years to complete this type of degree that may include a thesis project or dissertation based on extensive original research.

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