Master's Degree in Pharmacology: Program and Career Information

Oct 26, 2019

A Master of Science in Pharmacology program provides instruction in theoretical pharmacology concepts and career-oriented research opportunities. Explore the program details, coursework and job outlook.

Essential Information

Master's degree programs in pharmacology prepare students to become valuable members of research teams and pursue job opportunities in a variety of settings, including government agencies, biotechnology companies, and pharmaceutical research laboratories. Key principles incorporated into the curriculum include drug absorption, drug metabolism, dosing parameters, and drug interactions.

Individuals applying for admission to a Master of Science in Pharmacology program must have a bachelor's degree with a major in science, such as biology or chemistry. Undergraduate preparation for this type of graduate degree should include calculus, general physics, biology, and chemistry. Thesis and non-thesis options are available.

Master of Science in Pharmacology

Program coursework requires both lecture and laboratory instruction to provide students with a comprehensive education. Pharmacology coursework includes the following topics:

  • Pharmacology research
  • Cell and molecular physiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Biodynamics
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Contemporary advances in pharmacology

Employment and Salary Information

Graduates with a Master of Science in Pharmacology are prepared for work as chemists or materials scientists working in the pharmaceutical industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that jobs in this field will grow by 4% during the 2018-2028 decade, which is as fast as average for all U.S. occupations ( The best opportunities are expected to be with research universities and small scientific research and development companies. The BLS also reports that in May 2018, chemists earned a median annual salary of $76,890.

Continuing Education

Graduates of a master's degree program are also prepared for continued graduate study through a Ph.D. program. A Ph.D. in pharmacology is required for a career as an independent medical research scientist or pharmacologist. This type of degree typically takes 4-5 years to compete and requires a dissertation or thesis project supported by extensive original research.

Students interested in research, chemistry and the pharmaceutical industry can earn a Master of Science in Pharmacology to work as chemists or materials scientists. To become a medical research scientist or pharmacologist, graduates may go on to earn a Ph.D.

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