The Master of Science in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery integrates aspects of contemporary medicinal chemistry and pharmacology, emphasizing topics most relevant to therapeutics design, discovery, and action.
Duration of Program
Meets F1 Visa Requirements
The Master of Science in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery offered by the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, develops students' knowledge in the design, synthesis, and mechanisms of action of novel biologically active compounds using modern biochemical, biophysical, and pharmacological approaches. The core curriculum focuses on a combination of synthetic organic chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and pharmacology courses. Through in-depth elective courses, the program offers students the opportunity to develop medicinal chemistry expertise that can be applied to a practice-oriented career in the pharmaceutical industry. Graduates of the program will also be well prepared to enter related PhD programs at the university.
The University is strategically located within the Boston-area biomedical and pharmaceutical/biotech-industry ecosystem
The MS program provides opportunities for original research experience in department labs, and the option to do a literature or laboratory-based master's thesis for credit
The interdisciplinary and comprehensive program is structured with core and elective courses using laboratory and computer-based technologies
Northeastern’s School of Pharmacy is consistently ranked first in NIH funding among all private U.S. schools of pharmacy
The program offers multiple opportunities for experiential learning through departmental and off campus internships and co-ops
Program faculty includes industry-practiced scientists in drug discovery
Those already employed in pharmaceutical/biotechnology careers can take specific courses for advanced training
Upon completion of the MS in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery program, students will be able to:
Evaluate critical topics of contemporary focus in medicinalchemistry and drug discovery, including how to:
Explain current trends in organic synthesis as applied to therapeutics invention.
Produce literature reviews encompassing retrieval, critical analysis, assessment, and written/oral presentation of current topics in drug discovery.
Synthesize novel chemical matter as potential probes/drugs, specifically how to:
Use organic-synthesis methodology and instrumentation in drug discovery.
Apply experimental techniques to design, synthesize, and profile novel drug-like chemical entities.
Maintain and use data, records, and notes/documentation according to ethical standards of research practice and academic integrity.
Identify major themes, knowledge gaps, and research problems related to drug design, profiling, and clinical application:
Conceptualize and communicate to diverse constituencies in good oral and written English the principal concepts in medicinal chemistry as applied to drug discovery/development.
Judge how social, economic, and ethical issues may impact drug discovery.
Determine shortcomings of extant pharmacotherapeutics and how they may be overcome.
Advance drug discovery and translational medicine by utilizing modern approaches in chemical synthesis:
Predict future trends in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery for synthesis of druggable chemical matter.
Apply organic chemistry to advance drug discovery and development.
Determine therapeutic areas where synthesis of new drug-like molecules is needed to satisfy unmet medical needs.
Graduates of the Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery program often work in chemistry labs synthesizing new chemical matter as potential drugs. Some graduates from the department have established careers as independent:
Industry scientists and administrators (Big Pharma, biotech)
A graduate degree or certificate from Northeastern—a top-50 university—can accelerate your career through rigorous academic coursework and hands-on professional experience in the area of your interest. Apply now—and take your career to the next level.
Admissions Details Learn more about the Bouvé College of Health Sciences admissions process, policies, and required materials.
Fall 2022: June 1, 2022
Master of Science in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery General Requirements
A grade of C- or higher is required in each course.
PHSC 5100 - Concepts in Pharmaceutical Science
PHSC 5102 - Concepts in Pharmaceutical Science 2
PHSC 5212 - Research Skills and Ethics
PHSC 6213 - Ethical Problems in Health Sciences Research
Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery
CHEM 5626 - Organic Synthesis 1
CHEM 5628 - Principles of Spectroscopy of Organic Compounds
CHEM 5672 - Organic Synthesis 2
CHEM 5676 - Bioorganic Chemistry
PHSC 5400 - Principles of Drug Design
PHSC 6222 - The Chemistry and Biology of Drugs of Abuse
PHSC 6224 - Behavioral Pharmacology and Drug Discovery
PHSC 6290 - Biophysical Methods in Drug Discovery
Complete 6 semester hours in the following subject areas:
BIOL, BIOT, CHEM, NNMD, PHSC, PMCL, PMST
Thesis credits may count toward the required elective hours.
Thesis research should be taken twice:
PHSC 6990 - Thesis
Thesis continuation may be taken if additional time is needed to complete the thesis.
PHSC 6996 - Thesis Continuation
Please note: This curriculum is for marketing purposes only and is subject to change. Official curriculum can be found within the course catalog.
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Below is a look at where some of our alumni work, the positions they hold, and the skills they bring to their organization.
Where They Work
Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research
What They Do
Medical Liaison Specialists
Pharmaceutical Product Representatives
What They're Skilled At
Pharmaceutical Industry Practice
Experimental Techniques in: Applied Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry and Human Biology
Drug Design, Delivery, Action and Therapeutic Application