The Pharmaceutical Sciences Division does not recruit students for a terminal master of science (MS) degree in pharmaceutical sciences, but in some cases it is appropriate for students to obtain an MS degree. For example, a student may wish to complement a degree in a related program with an MS degree in pharmaceutical sciences. PhD students in pharmaceutical sciences are not expected to earn the MS degree en route to their PhD, but the option to do so is open to all pharmaceutical sciences PhD students. If you would find value in documenting a Master of Science degree as you continue to pursue the PhD, you are encouraged to talk to (i) Chuck Lauhon, Associate Professor and SoP Director of Graduate Studies, and (ii) your PI.
I. Master of Science (MS) Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences
The MS degree can be offered to students who plan to terminate graduate study before obtaining a PhD. Students who are working toward the PhD are not required to earn the MS degree, but may elect to earn it “on the way” to the PhD with the consent of their thesis advisor (in such an instance, PhD students should complete their preliminary examination successfully before writing a master’s thesis). For students continuing in the PhD program, defense of the master’s degree does NOT fulfill the PhD program requirement of an annual progress committee meeting. Graduate students in other programs may earn an MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences if their thesis advisor is a member of the Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty or holds affiliate faculty status in the Division. Degree requirements can typically be completed in 4 ± 1 semesters.
The MS degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences constitutes recognition of significant achievement in both coursework and research. To earn the degree, the Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate student must satisfy the following requirements:
- Minimum credit and grade requirements of the Graduate School
- Formal course requirements of the Program
- Research component
II. Minimum Credit /Grade Requirements
The Graduate School requires a minimum of 16 credits to receive the MS degree (for those enrolled prior to Fall 2014).
Effective Fall 2014 the MS Pharmaceutical Sciences requirement has increased to 30 credits (16 of which must be done in residence). See Section J of the PSD Handbook.
An overall minimum GPA of 3.0 in graduate level (300 level or above, non-research) courses is also required, unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades.
School of Pharmacy policy requires that no student carry more than 7 credits with grade BC or lower in all coursework.
III. Course Requirements
The following courses are required for the MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences:
- 718-780, Principles of Pharmaceutical Sciences
- Two of the three Division Core courses (Biochem 200-630, PharmSci 718-768, or PharmSci 718-786)
- At least 1 additional graduate course in Pharmaceutical Sciences or in a field related to their research (at the discretion of the thesis advisor)
- 718-931 or 718-932, Pharmaceutical Sciences Seminar (1 credit each semester during graduate enrollment)
- 718-990, Research
- Ethics course requirement (1 credit)
Thesis advisors have the option to require additional courses beyond the minimum requirements listed above.
Although research experience is not a University requirement for the MS degree, the Pharmaceutical Sciences Program expects the MS candidate to engage in a research project of a scope appropriate to the time devoted to earning the degree. The results of the research must be described in an MS thesis. The thesis must be both presented and defended before a faculty committee consisting of at least three graduate faculty members of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Division (one of whom is the student’s thesis advisor). Although smaller in scope, the MS thesis should be written in a format similar to a doctoral thesis and consist of the following sections: Title Page, Acknowledgements, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and References. The completed thesis should be given to members of the faculty committee no less than two weeks before the oral defense date.
(Approved by the Pharmaceutical Sciences Division faculty, 5-1-2012)