MS in Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology
Graduates of the USC School of Pharmacy’s multidisciplinary master’s degree programs are highly sought after by leading institutions in academia, industry and government. The Master of Science in Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology program emphasizes research in molecular and neuro-pharmacology, receptor pharmacology, and biochemical and oxidant toxicology.
Candidates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in pharmacy, chemistry, biology or other related disciplines are invited to apply. Applicants must have demonstrated proficiency in verbal and written English and in fundamental scientific areas such as organic and physical chemistry, biochemistry, biology, mathematics, statistics and computer science.
Applications for admission are reviewed by the Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Admissions Committee of the School of Pharmacy and are evaluated primarily on the basis of academic excellence.
Admission Criteria The Admissions Committee will consider applications based on the following factors:
1. Overall Grade Point Average (GPA)
A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required. Special attention is given to the grades achieved in science courses relevant to the program (e.g., chemistry, biology, biochemistry, pharmacology and mathematics).
2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Score
GRE scores of 153 Quantitative and 144 Verbal (new exam) or a combined Verbal and Quantitative GRE score of 1000 (old exam) are required.
3. Letters of Recommendation
Three letters from faculty knowledgeable about the student’s ability and capability are required. These letters should provide a thorough assessment of the student’s experience in laboratory research, ability to communicate in verbal and written English, motivation and creativity, and other qualities in the student’s academic performance.
4. TOEFL Scores for International Applicants
A minimum TOEFL (computer based) score of 213 is required. An IELTS score of 6.5 is competitive, with no less than 6 on each band score; an IBT minimum score of 90, with at least 20 in each section, is required.
Students accepted into the USC School of Pharmacy Master of Science program are not eligible for institutional financial aid. Students are not permitted to be paid for working in a lab while enrolled in research or thesis units. During the summer, faculty advisors may provide a stipend, arranged on an individual basis.
The application deadline for the fall semester is January 1. Applicants selected by the admission committee will be notified of acceptance shortly thereafter. Admissions decisions will continue to be made until the class is filled.
Requirements for Degree Completion
A minimum of 24 core-curriculum courses (see Course Offerings below) and 32 total units are required for graduation, including 594A and 594B (MS thesis). The core curriculum emphasizes drug discovery, drug delivery and molecular pharmacology.
Research can be initiated at any point in the program. Students selecting the non-research master’s track may elect and are encouraged to carry out research in their program.
Students may choose between two tracks to complete the Master of Science degree. First, the non-research Master’s track requires that the student conduct a detailed, extensive literature review in an area determined by the student in conjunction with a thesis advisor faculty member. Second, the research track requires that the student carry out a research project during the second year of the program.
On either track, students must submit a thesis to complete their degree requirements, either covering the scientific area selected in the non-research track, or describing their research project and results in the research track. The thesis should be 50-100 pages on average.
Graduate students are expected to possess knowledge in various areas of pharmaceutical sciences. The following are graduate courses offered by the program (some courses are not offered every year):
- PSCI 599 Pharmacogenomics
- PSCI 599 Proteomics
- PSCI 651 Advanced Pharmaceutical Chemistry
- PSCI 652L Structure-Activity Relationship & Drug Design
- PSCI 653L Spectrometry in Biomedicine
- PSCI 654L Computing Applications in Pharmaceutical Sciences
- PSCI 655 Immunopharmaceutics
- PSCI 662 Advanced Pharmacokinetics
- PSCI 663 Dosage Form Design & Evaluation
- PSCI 664 Drug Discovery and Design
- PSCI 665 Drug Transport and Delivery
- PSCI 666 Molecular Structural Biology
- PSCI 667 Intracellular Drug Delivery and Targeting
- PSCI 671 Drug Metabolism (Morphology)
The following are graduate courses offered in Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology:
- MPTX 500 Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology
- MPTX 501 Toxicology of Oxidants and Free Radicals
- MPTX 601 Methods in Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology
- MPTX 602 Sciences, Research and Ethics
The following are graduate courses offered for the Health Sciences Campus as “campus-wide” general courses:
- INTD 531 Cell Biology
- INTD 561 Biochemistry
- INTD 571 Molecular Genetics
- PHBI 562 Systems and Integrative Physiology
USC Course Catalogue
For Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSCI) and Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology (MPTX) courses, see School of Pharmacy.
For Interdepartmental (INTD) and Physiology and Biophysics (PHBI) courses, see Keck School of Medicine.
Schedule of Classes
For course availability for the current year see the Schedule of Classes.
For more information, please contact the School of Pharmacy Graduate Affairs Office at (323) 442-1474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.