PharmD/MS Degree Program at the School of Pharmacy

The MS program is a new degree program that offers a joint degree with the existing 3-year PharmD curriculum. A one-year research-focused curriculum will be added following the three-year PharmD program for a total of four years of education.  Thus, students will be enrolled in two separate degree programs with some overlap of courses.  The MS degree emphasis is designed to be a hands-on application of scientific principles and methods to conduct original research. The purpose of the PharmD/MS program is to address a national need to train pharmacy clinicians the craft of research.

With its research focus in pharmaceutical sciences, the PharmD/MS degree offers distinct new opportunities. There is an increasing demand for research-trained pharmacists as clinical and translational (bench-to-bedside) studies have become a greater focus of national and international research activities.  Furthermore, the pharmacy profession is diversifying, leading to a growth in nontraditional career opportunities. The PharmD/MS joint degree program offers training to prepare students for these career paths since the purpose of the program is to train clinician-researchers in skills to help them discover and disseminate new knowledge in the biomedical sciences and to promote active participation in research, health-science, and education communities. The MS degree provides training in research methods/design, data analysis, problem solving, and research communication that complements the clinical training students receive as part of the PharmD degree. Therefore, participating students will have a competitive advantage for pharmacy-focused employment that requires research experience and nontraditional pharmacy career options. The long-range vision for the PharmD/MS program is to graduate pharmacists who contribute new knowledge that will improve pharmaceutical care and patient health.

Program Outline

Degree requirements include successful completion of core didactic and experiential courses taken in the initial two years of the PharmD curriculum, one year of advanced pharmacy practice experiences, one year of student research, supplementary elective coursework, and the compilation of research findings into a thesis, defense with an oral presentation, and an oral examination by a thesis committee. Pharmaceutical science is used here as an ‘umbrella’ term that includes a variety of interdisciplinary specialties that contribute directly or indirectly to drug discovery and development or the understanding and use of medications. Students would have the opportunity to specialize in the following areas: Drug Discovery, Pharmacology, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacokinetics, Drug Metabolism, Medicinal Chemistry, Toxicology, and Cancer Biology. Each student will work closely with one faculty advisor throughout the research portion of the program.

Students are required to complete 46 total credits (30 new credits + 16 currently offered in the PharmD program) in order for successful completion of the MS degree. The 46 credits are distributed as follows: 13 didactic course credits, 25 research/seminar credits, 6 experiential credits (APPEs), and 2 thesis credits.

Admissions Requirements

The same admissions requirements as the PharmD program with additional requirements for the MS section of the program.

  • Shared
    • Minimum GPA
    • Prerequisite coursework
  • Unique to MS joint program
    • BS/BA degree
    • Resume/CV
    • One page essay which conveys research interests and professional aspirations

MS/PharmD Joint Degree Application Form