Thomas Jefferson University

MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Program Length

2 years

• Fulltime or part-time course of study, students enrolling in this 34 credit MS program may select either a thesis or non-thesis track.

Program Format

Live/Online

• All courses will be offered in live/online format. Active learning using techniques such as pair share, group discussions, journal club and debates will be used throughout all courses.

Program Audience

Undergraduate

• Baccalaureate degree in pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacy, chemistry, biology or related area.

Deadline

Rolling Admission

• Students can begin the program in the Fall (September) or Spring (January) terms. Courses will be offered in a manner that allows students to graduate in as little as 2 years. Applications are considered when submitted.

Overview of Master of Science of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Graduates of the MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences will demonstrate expertise in the design and application of research methodologies to meet the needs of the evolving biomedical and pharmaceutical industries and academic laboratories. The curriculum provides instruction in all phases of the drug and biologic development process including preclinical drug discovery and development (computational design and synthesis of new molecular entities and molecular characterization), screening and formulation, analytical support for clinical trials, health care pharmacogenomics profiling, metabolite analysis, pharmacokinetic characterization and pharmacodynamics.

The program is part of the Jefferson College of Pharmacy (JCP) and offered in collaboration with Jefferson College of Life Sciences. The program may be completed on either a fulltime or part-time course of study and students enrolling in this 34 credit MS program may select either a thesis or non-thesis track.

Application Process

Read more about the application process on our apply page.

Curriculum

Throughout the curriculum, students will work with sophisticated instrumentation including  nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), mass spectroscopy (MS), liquid chromatography – mass spectroscopy (LC-MS), high performance liquid chromatography – mass spectroscopy (HPLC), PCR, electrophoresis, flow cytometery, microscopy and molecular biology techniques. Elective courses and focused research under the direction of faculty mentors will provide students with the opportunity to individualize their course of study and research experience to prepare them for diverse career opportunities in drug and biologics development.

Those selecting the thesis pathway under the mentorship of faculty will further enhance their knowledge of specific technological aspects of the drug discovery process and master skills using state-of-the-art instrumentation and analytical techniques in ongoing projects in their selected area of emphasis. These students will also benefit from developing and conducting a research project.

The program will focus on natural, synthetic and biological drug discovery and formulation, metabolism, and cell signaling as it applies to the understanding and development of pharmaceuticals for the prevention and management of diseases. In addition, the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences has state-of-the-art instrumentation that will facilitate the development of requisite skills for contemporary positions in the pharmaceutical industry and academic laboratories. Opportunities will also be available to students to learn the methodologies for development and manufacturing of biologics at the Jefferson Institute of Bioprocessing (JIB).

The MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences program content has been specifically mapped to reflect the domains and core competencies endorsed by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) 2016-2017 Research and Graduate Affairs Committee (RGAC) for graduate education in pharmaceutical sciences (American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 2017;81:S11:1-10)

Foundational Knowledge: Foundational knowledge is defined in each track within the given pharmaceutical science graduate education program. Each of the remaining five domains are applied to this area of foundational knowledge

Research: Literature Review & Critical Evaluation, Hypothesis Generation, Research & Study Design, Good Research Practices, Interpretation & Analysis, Research Ethics

Scientific Communication: Scientific Proposal Writing, Research Dissemination, Scientific Review & Response to Critiques, Oral Communication

Education: Teaching & Learning, Mentorship, Advocacy

Leadership & Management: Effective Leadership & Teamwork, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Project Management, Personal Management

Personal & Professional Development: Self-Awareness & Self-Direction, Adaptability, Self-Promotion, Professionalism, Cultural Awareness & Sensitivity

Thesis Track

Year 1

Semester

Course Name

Credits

Fall

Molecular Pharmaceutical Sciences

3

Drug Discovery

2

Biostatistical Methods of Data Analysis

3

Pharmaceutical Sciences Rotation

1

Semester Total

9

Spring

Biological Pharmaceutical Sciences

3

Research Foundation and Ethics

1

Pharmaceutical Sciences Research

3

Special Techniques in Pharmaceutical Sciences*

2

Semester Total

9

Total Credits (Year 1)

18

Summer

Pharmaceutical Sciences Research

1

Year 2

Semester

Course Name

Credits

Fall

Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Drug Development

2

Elective

2

Scientific Writing

2

Pharmaceutical Sciences Research

2

Pharmaceutical Sciences Seminar

1

 

Semester Total

9

Spring

Elective

2

Elective

2

Pharmaceutical Sciences Research

2

Semester Total

6

 

Grand Total (Program)

34

Non-Thesis Track

Year 1

Semester

Course Name

Credits

Fall

Molecular Pharmaceutical Sciences

3

Drug Discovery

2

Bio statistical Methods of Data Analysis

3

Pharmaceutical Sciences Rotation

1

Semester Total

9

Spring

Biological Pharmaceutical Sciences

3

Research Foundation and Ethics

1

Pharmaceutical Sciences Practicum

3

Special Techniques in Pharm. Sc.

2

Semester Total

9

Total Credits (Year 1)

18

Summer

Pharmaceutical Sciences Practicum

1

Year 2

Semester

Course Name

Credits

Fall

Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Drug Development

2

Elective

2

Scientific Writing

2

Pharmaceutical Sciences Practicum

2

Pharmaceutical Sciences Seminar

1

 

Semester Total

9

Spring

Elective

2

Elective

2

Pharmaceutical Sciences Practicum

2

Semester Total

6

 

Grand Total (Program)

34

Courses

Molecular Pharm. Sciences (3 credits)

The course is designed to develop a fundamental knowledge base of pharmaceutical drug dosage forms and drug delivery systems. The course will emphasize the fundamental concepts of physiochemical properties of drugs that are critical for their therapeutic effects. The course will also address in depth the formulation process including novel technologies for preparing dispensable medicines. Concepts of medicinal chemistry and computational chemistry will be emphasized as they apply throughout the course.

Biological Pharm. Sciences (3 credits)

The course will cover the fundamental concepts of drug-receptor interactions, signal transduction pathways and molecular biology as they relate to several diseases. The course will relate these principles to the pharmacology of the drugs. The course will encompass discussion of primary literature.

Drug Discovery (2 credits)

This course focuses on understanding the process that leads to discovering new drugs. The course covers an understanding of FDA and introduction to various pre-clinical and clinical studies and steps for the FDA approval process. The class will cover an understanding of the drugs that are in different phases of drug development process for many diseases. The course will be an in depth study of the current concepts and literature on specific areas in drug discovery.

Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Drug Development (2 credits)

This course focuses on understanding the technologies that required for the development, production, and manufacture of biological drugs. This class will introduce students to the molecular principles, methods and advanced developmental techniques utilized in the production of therapeutic proteins, hormones, antibodies, and DNA based vaccines. Pharmaceutical delivery methods with an emphasis on controlled release formulations will also be focused in this course. The roles of economic considerations, regulatory issues and the approval of biopharmaceuticals will also be incorporated throughout the course as applicable.

Research Foundation and Ethics (1 credit)

The course introduces students to ethics of laboratory research. There will be lecture and active case discussions. The course will cover responsible conduct of research. The course will also provide basic principles and methods of hypothesis generation, designing objectives and project development.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Seminar (1 credits)

Seminar course will involve critical evaluation and discussion of research and current literature in Pharmaceutical Sciences. The student will assess, develop, and present an individual presentation focusing on a specific Pharmaceutical Sciences topic chosen in consultation with the Course Coordinator. The goal of this course is to develop and enhance students’ competency in delivering seminars on research topics in Pharmaceutical Sciences. 

Pharmaceutical Sciences Rotation (1 credits)

The course will provide opportunity for students to spend time in three laboratories during the semester. The rotations will include reading publications of the lab and understanding the research in each laboratory to help the students in learning various directions of research to identify laboratories where they would carry out the thesis research in their program.

Special Techniques in Pharmaceutical Sciences (2 credits)

The course prepares students to understand and develop expertise in the methodologies used in the laboratory.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Research (6 credits)

Students will learn to apply their knowledge to a scientific problem. The students will develop hypothesis, objectives and plan experiments to address the scientific problem. The students will search primary literature for understanding the area of research and methods. The course will involve written and oral communications as well as problem solve methodology. The scholarly work could be published and presented at scientific meetings. The students will develop a deep understanding of the equipment for research and problem solving. All compliance requirements including safety are followed by the students enrolled in this research course.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Seminar (1 credits)

Seminar course will involve critical evaluation and discussion of research and current literature in Pharmaceutical Sciences. The student will assess, develop, and present an individual presentation focusing on a specific Pharmaceutical Sciences topic chosen in consultation with the Course Coordinator. The goal of this course is to develop and enhance students’ competency in delivering seminars on research topics in Pharmaceutical Sciences. 

Pharmaceutical Sciences Practicum (6 credits)


Students will learn to apply their knowledge to a scientific problem. The students will develop hypothesis, objectives and plan experiments to address the scientific problem. The students will search primary literature for understanding the area of research and methods. The course will involve written and oral communications as well as problem solve methodology. The students will develop a deep understanding of the equipment for research and problem solving. All compliance requirements including safety are followed by the students enrolled in this research course.

Jefferson College of Life Sciences will offer following courses:

GC660 Bio statistical Methods of Data Analysis (3 credits)

This introductory course covers the basics of descriptive and inferential statistics. Students will learn about the role of sampling and probability in statistical decisions. Applications include confidence intervals and hypothesis testing about population means and proportions, and Chi-square.

GC720 Scientific writing (2 credits)


This course concentrates on the process of writing the dissertation/thesis or research paper and on the effective presentation of scientific information. Students will learn to write the sections of a research paper or thesis and will develop skills with various pieces of productivity software such as word processors, spreadsheets and statistical packages. Students will learn how to create sophisticated documents to improve communication of scientific information. The course emphasizes a reader-oriented approach to writing, critical analysis of good biomedical writing, and strong presentation of data and ideas.

Program Outcomes

  • Prepare graduates for pharmaceutical positions in Academia and Industry
  • Provide Scientific and pharmaceutical based knowledge necessary for employment in Academia and Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Impact pharmaceutical drug development through innovation and research

Program Audience

  • Prepare graduates for pharmaceutical positions in Academia and Industry
  • Provide Scientific and pharmaceutical based knowledge necessary for employment in Academia and Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Impact pharmaceutical drug development through innovation and research

Admission Requirements

Program Audience and Admission Requirements

Applicants must have completed (or will complete before matriculation) a Baccalaureate degree in pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacy, chemistry, biology or related area

  • Minimum overall 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale

Additionally, the following courses are recommended to have been completed with a C or better:

  • General Chemistry with lab
  • Organic Chemistry with lab
  • Calculus
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology

Contact Us:

Program Contacts

Alok Bhushan, PhD
Professor & Chair
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
215-503-5039
Alok.Bhushan@jefferson.edu

Kristin Lord
Administrative Assistant
215-503-9000
Kristin.Lord@jefferson.edu

Graduate Admissions

enroll@jefferson.edu
215-951-2800