Pharmaceutical Engineering Graduate Degree Programs

Students who are interested in pharmaceutical engineering may want to consider enrolling in a graduate program in this field to further develop their skills and to increase their job prospects. Pharmaceutical engineering focuses on the creation, evaluation, and improvement of pharmaceutical drugs as well as the processes and systems by which they are manufactured. Below, we will discuss graduate programs in pharmaceutical engineering in greater detail so students can decide whether or not they wish to pursue this path.

Graduate Programs in Pharmaceutical Engineering

At the graduate level, students can enroll in programs for graduate certificates in pharmaceutical engineering, master's degrees, or doctoral degrees. When making a selection from these options, students will likely want to consider which type of career they are interested in, as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) will qualify you for more advanced positions than a certificate would. At the master's level, these programs are generally offered as a Master of Pharmaceutical Engineering or as a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Engineering. Students may have the option of completing a master's thesis in these programs. Below, we will look at five different courses that are common parts of the curriculum for graduate programs in pharmaceutical engineering.

Introduction/Fundamentals of Pharmaceutical Engineering

Graduate programs in pharmaceutical engineering often require that students begin the curriculum with one or more programs that exposes them to the principles of the field. Students will learn about the pharmaceutical industry in general and the standard process by which drugs are developed. They will also cover Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements, the global pharmaceutical market, and the cost associated with creating new drugs, among other topics.

Drug Delivery

In this course, students will learn how different drugs are meant to be delivered or administered to the human body, as well as the ways in which they affect the human body. Students will study the biological mechanisms and routes used in drug deliver, absorption rates, and metabolism. Other topics that may be covered in this course include the principle of molecular transport in polymeric material and diffusion across liquid membranes and polymers.

Pharmaceutical Regulations

This course will provide students with a detailed look at how the government, specifically the FDA, regulates drugs in the pharmaceutical industry. Students will study the history and development of regulations, including how these regulations were developed and have changed over time. In addition, this course will focus on ways in which the pharmaceutical industry tries to comply with these regulations.

Engineering Statistics

This course focuses on different statistical methods and how they can be used and applied in the field of engineering. Topics that may be covered in this course include probability, quality engineering, experimental design, building models, descriptive statistics, and significance tests. This class will likely require that students uses a statistical modeling software.


Graduate programs in pharmaceutical engineering often require that students take a course in transport, which focuses on how energy is transported and transferred in biological processes. Students can expect to learn about topics like molecular momentum, mass transport, and different physical mechanisms that exist in energy transport.

General Admission Requirements for Graduate Programs in Pharmaceutical Engineering

Admission requirements for graduate programs in pharmaceutical engineering will likely vary by program and school. However, prospective applicants will typically need to have at least some background in science, engineering, and math courses during their undergraduate career. Some programs may require that students who do not have adequate preparation take additional prerequisite courses before beginning the core curriculum. Students will generally need to complete an application form, submit their undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume. These programs also generally require that students submit results from the GRE.

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