College of Pharmacy

Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (MSPS)

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  • Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (MSPS)

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Here you will find information about the College of Pharmacy and the Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (MSPS). If you are interested in applying for admission to the MSPS program, visit the Prospective Students Welcome page.

Program Objectives

The major focus of the Master of Science (MS) program in Pharmaceutical Sciences is to provide students with a strong research focus, training and skills in order to prepare them for careers in academia, pharmaceutical industry, or public/private research institutions.

Program Description

A minimum of 36 semester credit hours is required for completion of the MSPS program. This includes 16 hours of didactic study and 20 hours of research credits leading towards a thesis. The program emphasizes research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences. Please see Curriculum for more information.

Program Faculty

Program faculty are part of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy. Their areas of research include Pharmacology, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacokinetics, Drug Metabolism, Physiology and Molecular Immunology. Please see Faculty for more information.

Application and Admission Requirements

Graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy, chemistry, biology or related scientific area are eligible for admission into the Masters program. Please see Requirements for Prospective Students for more information.

Financial Assistance

Financial support, which includes a stipend and full waiver of tuition, is available to qualified applicants on a limited competitive basis in the form of teaching and research assistantships. Support is for 12 months (including summers) and is limited to two years for any student. Students may also receive a travel stipend which allows for travel to national meetings.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of eight graduate level credits in which the student has earned “B” or higher grade from an equivalent program from another accredited U.S. university will be honored for students transferring into WesternU. The MSPS Program must approve all transfer credit, and the decision of the Program is final.

Graduation Requirements

For successful completion of the MS program, the faculty of the College of Pharmacy has established guidelines and requirements in addition to the courses and option requirements listed above. Minimum requirements for graduation with a MS include:

  • A minimum grade of 2.0 in each graduate courses taken in the program
  • Average of a 3.0 GPA grade in the overall coursework for the program
  • Satisfactory completion and oral defense of a written thesis and program approved coursework

Completion of the program within a minimum of two, maximum of three calendar years.


The thesis will be based on a research project that the student will work on during the MS program. The faculty advisor will help the student select a topic and mentor the student in his/her progress.

MS candidates are required to present a written report of the thesis and present it to the thesis committee for approval. The committee consists of three faculty members (faculty advisor and 2 other faculty from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the College of Pharmacy). In addition, students will be required to defend their thesis via an oral presentation of the content at the end of their program. The oral defense may also include questions based on the required course work completed by the student. The defense committee will consist of the thesis committee and an external member from within WesternU faculty whose role will be to ensure that the defense is conducted fairly. Candidates who successfully complete this portion will be conferred the MS degree by WesternU.

A fee will be charged to the student for microfilm and copies for committee members.

Faculty Advisor

Advisor roles: The faculty advisor serves as the Chair of the students’ Thesis Committee and helps the student in their choice of electives and research projects/thesis topic. Further, the advisor may also assist the student in obtaining a research assistantship if funds are available. The Chair is responsible for the satisfactory academic progress of the student, and must hold committee meetings with the student quarterly.

Selection of a faculty advisor: Students will be assigned a faculty advisor prior to admission to the program and must remain with that advisor for the duration of the degree program.