The Master of Science in Pharmacology program embodies the principles and mechanisms of drug action in biological systems and the principles at the basis of their therapeutic activity.
Duration of Program
Meets F1 Visa Requirements
The Master of Science in Pharmacology, offered by the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, provides students with a comprehensive knowledge of both the theoretical and applied aspects of pharmacology at all levels of biological organization, from the molecular to the living organism. Through coursework, seminars, conferences, and off-campus internship experiences, students gain exposure to both classical and recent approaches that have led to the development of current theories of drug action and principles supporting drug discovery. Emphasis is placed on understanding how drug action elicits a therapeutic outcome and the safety and efficacy consequences associated with pharmacotherapeutics. 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.
Northeastern’s School of Pharmacy is consistently ranked first in the NIH funding among all private U.S. schools of pharmacy.
The program offers opportunities for experiential learning through university and off-campus co-ops and internships.
Faculty includes industry-practiced scientists in drug discovery and researchers in diverse areas of pharmacology.
Those already employed in pharmacology positions can take specific courses for advanced training.
Graduates of the program go on to work as researchers, mainly in labs, in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Some graduates from the department have established careers as:
Industry scientists and administrators (Big Pharma, biotech)
Clinical laboratory staff
Academic biomedical researchers
Science teaching faculty
Medical liaison specialists
Pharmaceutical product representatives
Upon completion of the MS in Pharmacology program, students will be able to:
Evaluate critical topics of contemporary focus in pharmacology, including:
Explain current trends in pharmacology as applied to drug action, use, delivery, and toxicology
Integrate cross-disciplinary knowledge about drugs and their actions in living systems
Produce literature reviews encompassing retrieval, critical analysis, assessment, and written/oral presentation of current topics in pharmacology
Execute laboratory experiments in pharmacology that advance our understanding of drugs and their effects by:
Using methodology and instrumentation in pharmacology research for drug profiling
Applying experimental techniques to improve pharmacological knowledge
Maintaining and using data, records, and notes/documentation according to ethical standards of research practice and academic integrity
Identify major themes, knowledge gaps, and research problems regarding drug action, profiling, and therapeutic application to:
Conceptualize and communicate to diverse constituencies in good oral and written English principal concepts in pharmacology
Judge how social, economic, and ethical issues may impact drug use and therapeutic application
Recognize unsatisfied medical needs where additional pharmacological information could make a positive therapeutic impact
Advance drug discovery and translational medicine by employing pharmacology principles, specifically:
Apply practical understanding of the process of drug discovery and development
Recognize applications of pharmacology for improving healthcare outcomes
Apply pharmacology to increase drug discovery and development success
Predict areas where additional information on drug action and properties is needed to improve patient care
"I chose to attend Northeastern because it would give me the opportunity to participate in coursework that spans the breadth of the whole pharmaceutical sciences discipline, allowing me to determine which specialized aspect of the program intrigued me the most. Northeastern also boasts world-class research being conducted right on campus, giving me the chance to participate in cutting-edge discoveries and gain experience that other universities cannot offer."
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.
Pharmacology 1 (PMCL 6260) and Receptor Pharmacology (PMCL 6262) are only offered in even-numbered years in spring semester (example: spring 2020).
Pharmacology 2 (PMCL 6261) is only offered in odd-numbered years in spring semester (example: spring 2021). Pharmacology 1 does not have to be taken before Pharmacology 2.
Students who opt to complete 4-credit Pharmaceutical Sciences Laboratory (PHSC 7010) in the core requirements may complete the degree with 11 elective credits; all other students must complete 13 elective credits.
Thesis Continuation (PHSC 6996) can be taken if additional time is needed to complete the thesis.
Please note: This curriculum is for marketing purposes only and is subject to change. Official curriculum can be found within the course catalog.
Northeastern's signature experience-powered learning model has been at the heart of the university for more than a century. It combines world-class academics with professional practice, allowing you to acquire relevant, real-world skills you can immediately put into action in your current workplace. This makes a Northeastern education a dynamic, transformative experience, giving you countless opportunities to grow as a professional and person.
Our faculty represents a wide cross-section of professional practices and fields ranging from finance to education to biomedical science to management to the U.S. military. They serve as mentors and advisors and collaborate alongside students to solve the most pressing global challenges facing established and emerging markets.
By enrolling in Northeastern, you gain access to a network of more than 255,000 alumni and 3,350+ employer partners, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and global nongovernmental organizations. Our current students and faculty across strategically located regional locations further foster a lifelong, global community of learning and mentoring.
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