MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Students pursuing their MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences complete one of four specialized tracks:

Leading to novel biomaterials applications

The track in Bioprocessing & Biotechnology investigates pharmaceutical agents that are produced by living cells. The particular focus is on cells that are genetically engineered to produce foreign proteins. Areas of study include the growth of engineered cells, isolation of pharmaceutical proteins produced by the cells, and analytical techniques used to assess the identity, quality and potency of the proteins. Career pathways for graduates include bioprocess operation and development in this area of study.

  • Track head: Mr. Tim Marks, Assistant Research Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • This is an “applied science” where the scientist is always trying to produce a new product
  • Using cells to make protein therapeutics involves a three step process:
    1. Genetically-modified cells are grown
    2. A product is harvested from the cells
    3. Analytical testing is completed to verify the product is pure
  • Recommended degrees before entering the program: Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Biological Engineering, Biology or Pharmaceutical Sciences

Leading to careers in dosage form design

The track in Industrial Pharmacy/Pharmaceutics prepares students for a career in research and development, production, and/or quality control within the pharmaceutical industry. Students engage in research under the guidance of a faculty member and complete courses focusing on formulation development and drug delivery systems.

  • Track head: Dr. Al-Achi, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Recommended degree before entering the program: Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacy or a related field

Leading to quality control and process validation careers

Accurate analysis is imperative in the things we encounter daily—air we inhale, food we eat, clothes we wear, objects we use. This analysis is increasingly challenging and costly, especially the analysis of health-related products such as pharmaceuticals. The track in Pharmaceutical Analysis trains students to understand and perform appropriate analytical procedures ranging from sample preparation and analysis, to data interpretation with statistical significance and quality control.

  • Track Head: Dr. Shin, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • The goal of this track is to make sure the product is safe and “green” or environmentally friendly
  • The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most tightly regulated industries, so students who complete this track are also prepared to enter any field of product analysis which may be less regulated, such as food or cosmetics.
  • This track involves the separation of drugs to find the active and excipient ingredients in order to study them. Students also learn how drugs move through the body, allowing analysis of drugs after they have been taken.
  • Students receive a lot of hands on training. They are involved in drug development through every stage and even after its development.
  • Recommended degrees before entering the program: Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Chemistry or Pharmaceutical Sciences

Leading to positions in drug discovery

The track in Pharmacology focuses on the interaction of drugs within biological systems. Students explore how drugs work and/or find new biological targets in order to discover and develop drugs to treat human patients. Students who complete this track are prepared for careers in drug discovery and development.

  • Track Head: Dr. Breivogel, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • This track is based on and requires extensive background in cell biology, exploring how drugs interact with the body.
  • Includes biochemical, cell, isolated organ and “whole” animal work (mice and rats).
  • Recommended degrees before entering the program: Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Biology or Pharmaceutical Sciences