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Master's Degree (MS) in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Prepare for Tomorrow with One of Four Specialty Tracks in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Toxicology


The multidisciplinary field of pharmaceutical sciences has seen rapid advances that are critical to the discovery and development of drugs for chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes, and emerging threats such as new pathogens and drug resistance. Such conceptual and methodological progress can be difficult to keep up with, even for those already working in the field at the bachelor's level.


To position students for career advancement in this rapidly evolving field, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is excited to offer a new degree program, the Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Starting in fall of 2019, you will have the opportunity to train in the latest advances in pharmaceutical sciences, with approaches and techniques necessary for the development of new drugs, from small molecules and peptides to nucleic acid-based drugs and large, biotechnology-derived molecules.

Why a Master's in Pharmaceutical Sciences?

Adding the MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences to your toolkit will make you more marketable in the field and increase your prospects for employment or promotion. In fact, through 2026, job opportunities in pharmaceutical sciences in the United States and Colorado are expected to increase by 11.4% and 16.5%, respectively – significantly higher than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Flexibility to Tailor to Your Specialty

While completing a 10-credit hour core curriculum, including Fundamentals in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Applied Statistics, and Ethical Issues, you can tailor your training program with 20 to 26 credit hours of work in one of four specialty tracks based on your career interests:

​Clinical Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics - Explore factors that influence the concentration of drug at the site(s) of action and examine drug effects and mechanisms of action. This expertise is in high demand in the pharmaceutical industry and clinical research organizations.

Drug Discovery - Learn how the integration of medicinal chemistry with systems approaches, computational and high throughput screening, and bioinformatics has transformed how new drug candidates are identified and advanced. This expertise will position you for jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, academia and government.

Molecular and Systems Toxicology - Learn how the application of systems approaches and the integration of -omics technologies are combined to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the toxic effects of drugs and other xenobiotics. This expertise is sought after by employers in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, biotechnology and government. Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Drug Delivery - Study the development of protein drugs, vaccines and nucleotide-based drugs. This expertise is valuable to the pharmaceutical industry and in start-up biotechnology companies.



In any of the four tracks, you can choose from elective courses offered in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, elsewhere on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, or with research collaborators at other CU campuses. Degree requirements also offer you the option of completing either a one-semester literature- or research-based capstone project, or a full-year laboratory research-based thesis project.

Is This Program Right For Me?

Our program is an excellent post-graduate option if you are one of the following:

  • Looking to advance your career in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry, or academic research, but are time-limited from pursuing a Ph.D.
  • Have a general science background but want to learn how drugs are discovered, developed, and brought to market.
  • Interested in establishing a strong foundation for a career in the health professions, including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy or veterinary medicine.
  • Interested in exploring a Ph.D. program in pharmaceutical sciences or molecular toxicology.

Why The Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences?

Located on the Anschutz Medical Campus, our faculty members are nationally and internationally-recognized in each of the areas that encompass the pharmaceutical sciences. In each of the last five years, we have been ranked among the top 6 of more than 140 pharmacy schools in the nation for NIH-funded research. Additionally, the school is home to the Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, the Center for Translational Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacogenomics, and the Colorado Center for Nanomedicine and Nanosafety​. Together, these centers contribute to a wealth of expertise in pharmaceutical sciences.


How To Apply

Applications for all master's and doctoral programs are submitted electronically through the Graduate School of the University of Colorado Denver. After signing up for an account, select 'Master's' under the 'Academic Interests' menu and scroll down to 'Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences' and select "MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences.'

Application requirements are:
  • a completed Graduate School application
  • a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) in biology, chemistry, or a related field from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • a written statement expressing interest or demonstrated experience, if applicable, in the field of pharmaceutical sciences and the applicant's intended specialty track (i.e., clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, drug discovery, molecular and systems toxicology, or pharmaceutical biotechnology and drug delivery)
  • two references from persons familiar with the applicant's prior academic performance, potential, character, and suitability for graduate study (using a standardized template provided to prospective students)
  • the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required
  • the TOEFL is required of applicants for whom English is not their first language
Applications will not be reviewed until all required materials have been received. The application deadline for Fall 2019 admission is April 1, 2019.


Questions? Need More Information?

Feel free to directly contact Dr. David Kroll, Director of Master's Degree  Programs, at (303) 724-4626, or by email to david.kroll@ucdenver.edu​

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