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MS in Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Discovering the science behind therapeutics and their impact on health.

With this research-intensive MS in Pharmacology and Therapeutics program from Loyola University Chicago's Graduate School, you will have a solid foundation for a scientific career. During this two-year program, students will pursue broad training in the Biomedical Sciences and focused training in pharmacology, preparing them for a number of career paths such as academic or pharmaceutical research; drug development, safety, marketing, and manufacturing; or patent law.

Our Commitment To You

Graduates will possess the following knowledge, skills, and professional values to pursue a variety of career paths or continue their education and earn a medical degree or PhD in biomedical sciences.

KNOWLEDGE 

You will learn:

  • Pharmacological principles and theories including pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
  • Principles of Pharmacovigilance and Safety Pharmacology
  • Steps involved in drug discovery and development
  • Biochemical and molecular basis of cell function

SKILLS 

  • Develop a foundation of basic bench laboratory skills in addition to specialized analytical skills required for their particular research area
  • Evaluate drug actions in various systems, including efficacy and adverse effects
  • Conduct and design research experiments independently
  • Analyze data appropriately
  • Disseminate and present research findings effectively

PROFESSIONAL VALUES

  • A thorough understanding of ethical conduct in research
  • The ability to work in a team to better identify and achieve research objectives

Curriculum

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits during this two-year MS program.  In the first semester, students will join the other incoming graduate students to take the Core Curriculum in Biomedical Sciences. This approach is designed to broaden the student's understanding of Biomedical Sciences with introductory courses in Molecular Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Methods in Biomedical Sciences, and Systems Biology (Physiology). These courses are rounded out with training in ethics and statistics. In the second half of the first year and during the second year, students receive specialized training in Pharmacology.

All students must enroll in the Pharmacology Journal Club and the Pharmacology seminar each semester. Upon completing their coursework, students demonstrate their knowledge of biomedical sciences and pharmacology by completing a comprehensive exam and presenting an original, independent research project. Learn more about research and activities:

PHARMACOLOGY SEMINAR SERIES 

The Pharmacology seminar series is held bi-monthly for faculty, students, and post-doctoral researchers. Nationally-and internationally-known scientists from a range of disciplines present developments in their research. The seminars surface new ideas and increase our knowledge and awareness of research beyond Loyola. Typically, students meet with speakers after the presentation.

JOURNAL CLUB

During the fall semester, Weekly Journal club provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn from each other, while developing their communication and presentation skills. Students present a recently published article from cutting edge scientific journals. During the spring semester, students present research progress reports and participate in Journal Club style discussion of papers from upcoming seminar speakers.

RESEARCH

Students are required to complete two research rotations within the first year. Once rotations are complete, students can select their thesis advisor. Major areas of research include:

  • Signal Transduction Mechanisms
  • Neuropharmacology, Cancer Pharmacology
  • Cardiovascular Pharmacology
  • Experimental Therapeutics
  • Cell Surface Receptors

The Graduate Program Director facilitates all aspects of a student’s progress, including course and rotation selection, until the student selects their advisor. Once selected, the advisor helps the student develop a written research proposal and form a Thesis Committee. Advisors serve as the student’s primary mentor throughout the program, providing direction on the research project, guidance on how to advance through the various program requirements, and complete the program. Students complete the degree program once they gain approval of their thesis from Thesis Committee and after defending their thesis. Students complete coursework in the first three semesters and their thesis in the subsequent one to two years.

SAMPLE COURSE SCHEDULE 

Year 1

Fall:

  • BMSC 410 - Molecular Biochemistry (4 credits)
  • BMSC 412 - Cell Biology (4 credits)
  • BMSC 416 - Methods in Biological Sciences (1 credit)
  • BMSC 405 - Ethics in Biomedical Sciences (1 credit)
  • PHAR 405 - Pharmacology Journal Club (0 credits)

In addition to these courses, students complete two, six-week research rotations

Spring:

  • BMSC 402 - Statistical Methods in Biomedical Sciences (3 credits)
  • PHAR 409 - Principles of Pharmacology (3 credits)
  • BMSC 414 - Systems Biology (3 credits)
  • PHAR 499 - Research (1 credit)
  • PHAR 405 - Pharmacology Journal Club (0 credits)

Year 2

Fall:

  • Pharmacology Elective (3 credits)
  • PHAR 405 - Pharmacology Journal Club (0 credits)
  • PHAR 499 - Research (1 credit)

Spring

  • PHAR 405 - Pharmacology Journal Club (0 credits)
  • PHAR 595 - Thesis Supervision (0 credits)

Admission

Ready to apply? This is a good place to start.

DEADLINES 

We accept applications for the MS in Pharmacology and Therapeutics on a rolling basis. Early application is encouraged; we begin evaluating applications in January. The deadline for application materials is June 15.

APPLICATION PROCESS 

1. COMPLETED APPLICATION (There is no application fee.)

  • Apply online or mail application to:

    Graduate and Professional Enrollment Management
    Loyola University Chicago
    820 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1200
    Chicago, IL 60611

2. TEST SCORES

  • Applicants must submit GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical exams) from the past four years to Loyola University Chicago (see contact info above). Accepted students typically have a GRE composite score of >300 (verbal > 148). We recommend (not require) applicants also take the Subject Exam in Cell and Molecular Biology. Applicants may also submit official MCAT scores (if available).

3. OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS

  • Applicants should have a bachelor's degree (at minimum) with an emphasis on the basic sciences. Accepted students typically have a GPA ≥ 3.0. Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work are required.

4. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

  • Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation.

5. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

  • Your statement of purpose should be a brief, one page statement that explains your scientific interests, motivations for graduate study in pharmacology, and future goals.

6. INTERVIEW

  • A virtual interview is required for admission. International applicants can interview by telephone or video conference.

Students who show clear evidence of research potential will be given the highest priority for admission.

Please note: the only documents that cannot be uploaded with an application are transcripts and official test scores. Please send those documents directly to: gradapp@luc.edu.

INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS 

International applicants must have a degree equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor's degree and are required to submit the above documents and:

  • TOEFL or IELTS scores
    • Accepted students typically have a TOEFL iBT score > 90 (or written score > 600).
  • A Declaration and Certification of Finances Form
  • Evaluations of international transcripts sent by any member of NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) 

Please note: the only documents that cannot be uploaded with an application are transcripts, official test scores, and transcript evaluations. Please send those documents directly to: gradapp@luc.edu.

Questions? Contact Student Program Recruiter Anna Dauzvardis.

Request more information about our graduate programs.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The Biomedical Graduate Programs and Loyola's Financial Aid Office are committed to helping students secure the financial resources to make their education at Loyola affordable.

Faculty

Pull faculty from current page: https://ssom.luc.edu/pharmacology/people/faculty/

Outcomes

Graduates will have a broad base of knowledge in the Biomedical Sciences and a more focused understanding of Pharmacology, drug discovery and drug safety. This program prepares students for advanced training in the Biomedical Sciences and/or careers in academia, pharmaceutical or regulatory sectors, science writing, or consulting. A significant portion of graduates complete other advanced degrees (MD, PhD,, MD/PhD) to achieve their goals. Our focus: training scientists to help them reach their full potential.

With this research-intensive MS in Pharmacology and Therapeutics program from Loyola University Chicago's Graduate School, you will have a solid foundation for a scientific career. During this two-year program, students will pursue broad training in the Biomedical Sciences and focused training in pharmacology, preparing them for a number of career paths such as academic or pharmaceutical research; drug development, safety, marketing, and manufacturing; or patent law.