Faculty doing Research

Pharmaceutical Sciences, Master of Science

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences


The Master of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences prepares graduates to contribute skills and mastery of advanced topics to the evolving needs of the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields in both educational and industry environments. Graduates of the program are trained to develop skills in critical thinking necessary for positions in research, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, academic, and government institutions. All aspects of the program are designed to train students in the interpretation basic and clinical research through critical analysis in order to foster lifelong learning.

The program is offered with two options, both leading to a degree of Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences.  There is an option involving original research with culminates with the defense of a thesis by the student. The student research is performed under the mentorship of a Faculty member with expertise in the student’s chosen area of specialization. Within the Department there are more than 30 independent research groups lead by faculty with a diverse range of expertise and research interests including pharmaceutical dosage design, drug discovery, synthesis and production, pre-clinical testing, toxicity studies, nanotechnology, pharmacogenomics, gene therapy, molecular modeling, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modeling. Some therapeutic areas of interest include cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases, and pulmonary disease.  Students are trained in an inter-disciplinary environment that provides depth and breadth of knowledge with the opportunity for collaborative research with individuals with expertise in other fields.  The second option does not require original research or a defense of a thesis (non-thesis option), however, there are opportunities for students to participate in research in a voluntary manner outside of their required course load.

The Master of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences is offered with areas of specialization in:

  • Industrial Pharmacy
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacotherapeutics and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (non-thesis)

Department Contacts

Vijaya L. Korlipara, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
St. Albert Hall Rm 301
(718) 990 5369

Woon-Kai Low, Ph.D
Graduate Program Director
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
St. Albert Hall 104C
(718) 990-8288

Sue Ford, Ph.D., DABT
Director, Toxicology Program
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
St. Albert Hall Rm305 
(718) 990-6220

List of Department Faculty 


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An overall 3.0 grade point average or better and above average grades in the sciences are required. Other requirements depend on the particular program chosen by the student.

Students are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and provide two letters of recommendation. Applicants for the double master’s program must meet the entrance requirements for St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Pharmacy.

Degree Options

Thesis Option (Plan A)
Requires 24 semester hours of course work (exclusive of prerequisites) and a thesis project for which a minimum of six semester hours of credit are required. Students that are accepted under the thesis option are permitted to take more than 24 semester hours of course work subject to approval of their mentor.

Non-thesis Option (Plan B)
Requires additional course work in lieu of the thesis (a minimum total of 33-36 semester hours of course work, exclusive of prerequisites).  Students are typically required to complete the degree program option (thesis or non-thesis) for which they have been accepted.

Degree Requirements 

Residency*One Year, completion of 6 credits per semester, for two consecutive semesters
Time Limit on CreditFive Years
Minimum Credit in Semester Hours: Thesis Option30 (24 Course work; 6 Thesis Research)
Minimum Credit in Semester Hours: Non-Thesis Option33 to 36 (Course work)
Comprehensive ExaminationRequired
Graduate Record ExaminationRequired
Academic Standing 
  • The M.S. Program requires that a student maintain an average of B (GPA = 3.0) or better and receive no more than 2 grades below a B. The GEPC reviews all files of students whose grade point average falls below 3.0 or who attain a grade below B in any course and/or demonstrate insufficient progress. 
  • One grade below "B" places the student on probation. A second grade below a "B" places the student on terminal probation. 


Each degree specialization contains specific requirements for required and elective courses. Total credit load will vary with the program of the student and if they are pursuing a thesis degree or non-thesis degree.

Courses offerings for specialization in Industrial Pharmacy (PDF)

Course offerings for specialization in Medicinal Chemistry (PDF)

Course offerings for specialization in Pharmacology (PDF)

Course offerings for specialization in Pharmacotherapeutics and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (non-thesis) (PDF)

Thesis Research

All students within a thesis option degree must complete an original laboratory investigation under the guidance of his/her research mentor.  The candidate’s research mentor must be a full-time faculty member of the PHS Dept. who holds a Ph.D or equivalent degree. The results of the research project are reported in the form of a written thesis that must be presented and defended at an oral examination before the faculty of the College.  All laboratory research must be conducted at the University.  All thesis candidates must take the appropriate PHS900 level course for a minimum of 6 research credits.


Career and Educational Opportunities

Graduates of the program are trained to respond to rapidly changing needs in a variety of fields associated with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, academic and government institutions.  Those graduates with thesis option degrees are trained to continue training at the doctorate level.


Unique Features and Qualities

Students are trained in an inter-disciplinary environment that provides depth and breadth of knowledge with the opportunity for collaborative research with individuals with expertise in other fields.  Students are exposed to a multi-disciplinary approach through the widely diverse background of their peers within the student body along with the faculty of the department. Students within the Pharmaceutical Sciences department perform their research alongside students coming from a wide array of educational and cultural backgrounds.  Applicants are considered from a variety of educational backgrounds, not just those with prior experience within the pharmaceutical sciences.