Requirements for Degree Completion

Program Learning Objectives

The Program Learning Objectives for the Masters program in Pharmaceutical Sciences are available here.

Units Required

A minimum of 24 core-curriculum courses (see Course Offerings below) and 28 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 502 Principles of Therapeutic Mechanisms
  • PSCI 513 Drugs: Biologics and Specialty Pharmaceutics
  • PSCI 517 Protein Engineering and Drug Discovery
  • PSCI 557 Introduction to Tools and Techniques for Chemical Biology
  • PSCI 655 Immunopharmaceutics
  • PSCI 662 Advanced Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics
  • 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 I
  • MPTX 501 Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology II
  • 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 Molecular Biology
  • INTD 571 Biochemistry

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.

USC Course Catalogue

Schedule of Classes

For course availability for the current year see the Schedule of Classes.