Pharmacology and Physiology

Major: Pharmacology and Physiology
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Semester
Total Credit Hours: 43.0-60.0 (MS); 96.0 (PhD)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 26.1002
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:
19-1042

About the Programs

The Department of Pharmacology and Physiology offers graduate programs leading to the MS and the PhD degrees. The programs require independent research under the direction of departmental faculty members who are engaged in highly active research programs involving molecular, cellular, and behavioral approaches to experimental pharmacology and physiology in a strongly collaborative environment.

Students in both the PhD and MS programs begin their coursework with a core curriculum in biomedical sciences, and immediately start laboratory rotations. Intensive graduate level pharmacology, physiology and neuropharmacology courses round out the core programmatic courses. Specialization in ion channel physiology, smooth muscle physiology, behavioral pharmacology and signal transduction processes may involve the taking of several elective courses. Each program requires the defense of a thesis based on original research.

About the MS Program

The MS program, requiring two years of full-time study, provides a broad knowledge and technical expertise in pharmacology and physiology, allowing graduates to become partners in research in either an academic or an industrial environment. Students who wish to continue their graduate studies after the MS degree may apply to the PhD program, and their course credits may be applied to the doctoral program.

About the PhD Program

PhD candidates must pass a qualifying examination by November of their third year and they must have one accepted co-author manuscript and one submitted first-author manuscript in peer-reviewed journals during the course of the program.

Admission Requirements

Drexel University College of Medicine has a rolling admissions policy, which means that complete applications are reviewed as they are received. Applicants are therefore advised to apply early, as decisions to accept or deny admission may be made before the official deadlines.

To learn more about applying to Drexel College of Medicine programs visit the Drexel College of Medicine's Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies website.

MS/PhD Degree Requirements  

About the Curriculum

The core curriculum is a comprehensive interdisciplinary program of study for all first-year research master’s and PhD students in the Biomedical Graduate Studies programs. The goal of the core curriculum is to provide a broad foundation in biomedical sciences and serve as a framework for advanced study in more specialized areas.

Courses Repeatable for Credit

As well as taking all required courses, MS and PhD students may re-enroll in courses having the status “repeatable for credit”  (such as journal club, seminar and research courses) for the duration of their program in order to meet the total number of credits required for graduation.

For more information about scheduling and developing a plan of study, visit the College of Medicine's Pharmacology and Physiology web page.

MS Program Requirements

MS Degree Requirements: Non-Thesis Option
Required Courses
IDPT 500SResponsible Conduct of Research2.0
IDPT 501SBiostatistics I2.0
or NEUR 500S Statistics for Neuro/Pharm Research
IDPT 521SMolecular Structure and Metabolism5.0
IDPT 526SCells to Systems5.0
IDPT 850SLiterature Review Non-Thesis MS4.0
PHRM 502SCurrent Topics in Pharmacology & Physiology1.0
PHRM 507SPrin of Neuropharmacology3.0
PHRM 512SGraduate Pharmacology3.0
PHRM 516SAdvanced Topics in Physiology1.0
PHRM 517SAdvanced Topics in Pharmacology1.0
PHGY 503SGraduate Physiology4.0
Advanced Pharmacology and Physiology electives4.0
Students are required to select a minimum of three advanced electives. Students normally consult with their committee to select advanced electives.9.0
Total Credits44.0
MS Degree Requirements: Thesis Option
Required Courses
IDPT 500SResponsible Conduct of Research2.0
IDPT 501SBiostatistics I2.0
or NEUR 500S Statistics for Neuro/Pharm Research
IDPT 521SMolecular Structure and Metabolism5.0
IDPT 526SCells to Systems5.0
IDPT 600SThesis Defense9.0
PHRM 502SCurrent Topics in Pharmacology & Physiology1.0
PHRM 503SPharm & Phys 1st Lab Rotation4.0
PHRM 504SPharm & Phys 2nd Lab Rotation4.0
PHRM 507SPrin of Neuropharmacology3.0
PHRM 512SGraduate Pharmacology3.0
PHRM 516SAdvanced Topics in Physiology1.0
PHRM 517SAdvanced Topics in Pharmacology1.0
PHRM 600SPharmacology Thesis Research9.0
PHGY 503SGraduate Physiology4.0
Advanced Pharmacology and Physiology Electives
Students are required to select a minimum of two advanced electives. For more information about advanced elective options, visit the College of Medicine's Pharmacology and Physiology website.8.0
Total Credits61.0

PhD Program Requirements

PhD Degree Requirements
Required Courses
During the third year, students develop a plan for their doctoral research in conjunction with their thesis advisor. A formal, written thesis proposal is then presented to the student’s Thesis Advisory Committee. Acceptance of this proposal after oral examination by the Committee leads to the final stage of doctoral training. PhD candidates then spend the majority of their time on thesis research. After concluding their research, they must submit and publicly defend their thesis before the Thesis-Examination Committee.
IDPT 500SResponsible Conduct of Research2.0
IDPT 501SBiostatistics I2.0
or NEUR 500S Statistics for Neuro/Pharm Research
IDPT 521SMolecular Structure and Metabolism5.0
IDPT 526SCells to Systems5.0
IDPT 600SThesis Defense9.0
PHRM 502SCurrent Topics in Pharmacology & Physiology1.0
PHRM 503SPharm & Phys 1st Lab Rotation4.0
PHRM 504SPharm & Phys 2nd Lab Rotation4.0
PHRM 505SPharm & Phys 3rd Lab Rotation4.0
PHRM 507SPrin of Neuropharmacology3.0
PHRM 512SGraduate Pharmacology3.0
PHRM 516SAdvanced Topics in Physiology1.0
PHRM 600SPharmacology Thesis Research9.0
PHGY 503SGraduate Physiology4.0
Advanced Pharmacology and Physiology Electives
Students are required to select a minimum of two advanced electives. For more information about advanced elective options, visit the College of Medicine's Pharmacology and Physiology website.8.0
Additional Electives
Students are required to select additional electives to complete the minimum of 96.0 credits for graduation. Additional courses from the Biograduate Medical programs may be taken as electives. Students should check with the College of Medicine's Biomedical Graduate Studies programs.
Total Credits96.0

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