Master's in Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Master's in Pharmaceutical Sciences (MSPS) program educates students in the scientific disciplines required for the discovery, development, and evaluation of new drugs and other pharmaceutical products.

The MSPS faculty have created the program based on their collective knowledge and experience in conjunction with input from industry executives.

The result is a curriculum with the flexibility to meet the needs of the aspiring research scientist, future physician, or working professional in the biomedical or pharmaceutical industry.

The College also offers a combined B.S./M.S. offering which integrates the two Pharmaceutical Sciences degree programs, allowing students to earn both degrees in five years instead of six.


The MSPS is a 33-credit hour program offered on both the Albany and Vermont campuses and is comprised of two tracks: pharmacology and pharmaceutics. Both tracks offer thesis and non-thesis options.

Regardless of which track they pursue, students choosing the thesis option will complete 23 credits of coursework, 8 credits of thesis research, and a 2 credit research rotation, in addition to writing and defending a thesis.

The non-thesis option entails 30 credits of coursework and a 3 credit capstone writing project.

All graduate students are expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher in order to remain in good standing and be eligible for graduation.

Current ACPHS students with a gpa of 3.0 or higher applying for direct entry into the graduate school are exempt from taking the GRE.

Core Courses

  • PSC 631 Foundations of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • PSC 672 Experimental Design and Data Analysis
  • PSC 671 Ethics in Research
  • PSC 651 Pharmaceutical Sciences Journal Club

Pharmaceutics Track

  • PSC 641 Advanced Pharmaceutics I
  • PSC 642 Advanced Pharmaceutics II 
  • PSC Pharmaceutics Elective I 
  • PSC Pharmaceutics Elective II 
  • PSC Electives
  • PSC 852 Pharmaceutics Seminar 
  • PSC 661 Research Rotation (thesis track only)
  • PSC 761 Thesis Research (thesis track only)
  • PSC Capstone Writing Project (non-thesis track only)

Pharmacology Track

  • PSC 632 Pharmacology I
  • PSC 633 Pharmacology II
  • PSC 634 Pharmacology III
  • PSC Pharmacology Elective
  • PSC Electives
  • PSC 852 Pharmacology Seminar
  • PSC 661 Research Rotation (thesis track only)
  • PSC 761 Thesis Research (thesis track only)
  • PSC Capstone Writing Project (non-thesis track only)

Thesis Requirements and Sample Projects

The thesis option trains students in basic or translational research under the supervision of a thesis advisor and committee of graduate research faculty.

The thesis path is ideal for those interested in working as research scientists or pursuing Ph.D. or M.D. degrees.

Students work side-by-side with faculty in a variety of research areas, including drug discovery and development, molecular modeling, chemical synthesis, in vitro and in vivo studies of drug mechanisms and pharmacological actions, pharmacokinetic analysis and the transport and absorption of nanopharmaceuticals.

In order better understand the type of research being done by students in the Pharmaceutical Sciences program, below is a list of recent thesis titles:

  • The Effect of Antioxidants on the response to in Vitro Ischemia/Reperfusion on contraction, free fatty acids, phospholipids, malondialdehyde and phospholipase A2 Levels of the Rabbit Urinary Bladder
  • Synergistic Antioxidant Activity: Towards the Synthesis of Carbonate Co-Drugs Derived from Tocopherol and Lipol
  • Development and Evaluation of Liquid Crystalline Phases for Topical Delivery of Paclitaxel: Influence of Monoglyceride Acyl Chain Length
  • Drug Partitioning In Surrogates of Bilayer Regions

Non-Thesis Option

The non-thesis option is geared toward those individuals who would like to accelerate their careers with a graduate degree but who are not necessarily interested in laboratory research.

Students in this track benefit from the same individualized attention and take the same core courses as thesis track students but have the opportunity to enroll in additional elective courses focused on their areas of interest.

Non-thesis track students are required to complete a capstone writing project which allows students to explore a topic of their choosing related to the pharmaceutical sciences.

As an institution with a strong focus on health and the health sciences, ACPHS has a wide range of resources available for students who want to explore the many, non-research based opportunities that exist in the pharmaceutical and health care industries such as regulatory affairs, marketing, and global health.

Admission and Application Requirements

The MSPS program welcomes applications from academically well-prepared students who have, or expect to receive, a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceutical sciences or related field or a Pharm.D. degree. 

To apply, the following is required:

  • Completion of the online application
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended, regardless if a degree was earned or not. International applicants must also submit official WES or ECE evaluations.  All US transcripts and WES or ECE evaluations must be sent directly to PharmCAS
  • Names and contact information of at least 2 professional or academic references (to be submitted on the application)
  • Personal essay outlining relevant background/experience and why you wish to attend graduate school
  • Official GRE scores sent directly to ACPHS (please note the college code is 2013)
  • Current ACPHS students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher applying for direct entry into the graduate school are exempt from taking the GRE.
  • International applicants must also submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores directly to ACPHS

The deadline to apply has been extended. Please contact Ann Bruno in the Office of Graduate Studies for applicable deadline dates and instructions.

Visit the Graduate Admissions landing page to view a complete list of admission and application requirements, including the online application.