Drug Discovery and Development

Major: Drug Discovery and Development
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Semester
Minimum Required Credits: 38.0
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 26.1001
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:

About the Program

The MS in Drug Discovery and Development program provides in-depth exposure to the multiple elements involved in the discovery and development of marketed drugs. This unique program provides the rigorous scientific and technical training necessary to succeed and advance in the complex and multidisciplinary field of drug discovery. It has been designed to prepare students for a smooth transition into an enduring and productive career within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. It covers all aspects of drug discovery and development beginning with the identification of a drug target and proceeding through to clinical trials, regulatory approval and commercialization. Students will also be introduced to business aspects as well as to other areas of biotechnology and to the basic sciences of pharmacology and physiology.

The MS in Drug Discovery and Development is available to individuals who have already obtained a BS or BA degree in the biomedical sciences, life sciences, health sciences or related fields who wish to pursue an industry-focused master's-level degree or enhance their qualifications for a doctoral program in the biomedical sciences or medicine. This includes individuals who plan to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical or biotechnical industries.

This program is also intended for individuals from other disciplines who wish to have a broader base of information about drug discovery and development, those who may wish to transition into the industry, or those who are already active in the industry and seek to increase their knowledge. The curriculum has been designed with the recognition that the pharmaceutical and biotechnical industries require a diversity of experience and expertise.

Additional Information

For more information about this program, visit the College of Medicine's Biomedical Graduate Studies page.

Admission Requirements

For acceptance to the program, the applicant must have completed a four-year life science, physical science, pharmacy, or related bachelor's degree program, with a 3.0 GPA preferred. Students must fulfill all requirements for consideration as defined by the Executive Committee of the Interdisciplinary and Career-Oriented Division of the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Professional Studies.  

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Official copies of entrance test scores and official test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for applicants to the full-time program
  • References from at least three instructors or professionals
  • An application fee is required for the full-time program.
  • International applicants (non-United States citizens) must meet the same requirements for admission as students from the United States. Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate the ability to speak, write, and understand the English language by submitting an acceptable score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or IELTS.

Students applying to the program will be expected to have undergraduate experience in basic chemistry, cell biology, biochemistry, and mathematics and are encouraged to have training in inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, calculus, and biology.

Visit Drexel University's Graduate Admissions site for additional information regarding specific requirements for applying to the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Professional Studies in the College of Medicine, as well as important application dates.

Additional Information

For more information on how to apply, visit Drexel's Admissions page for Biomedical Graduate Studies.

Degree Requirements

The curriculum is designed to provide students with a with a comprehensive understanding of the entire process of drug discovery and development and its scientific foundation, while simultaneously offering multiple options to pursue specialized areas of interest.

Required Courses
IDPT 500SResponsible Conduct of Research2.0-3.0
or CR 612S Fundamentals of Compliance
NEUR 500SStatistics for Neuro/Pharm Research2.0-3.0
or IDPT 501S Biostatistics I
or CR 520S Applications of Clinical Research Biostatistics
PHRM 512SGraduate Pharmacology3.0
PHRM 525SDrug Discovery and Development I3.0
PHRM 526SDrug Discovery and Development II3.0
PHRM 527SCurrent Topics in Drug Discovery and Development1.0
PHRM 605SResearch in Drug Discovery and Development4.0
or PHRM 610S Practicum in Drug Discovery and Development
Electives *20.0-21.0
Elective Options
Cancer Biology
Emerging Trends in Medical Device Regulation
Ethical Issues in Research
Medical Device Combination Product Regulation
Sponsored Projects Finance
The History of Misconduct in Biomedical Research
Fundamentals of Academic Research Administration
Business Processes and Contemporary Concerns in Pharmaceutical R & D
World Wide Regulatory Submissions
Intro to Clinical Trials
Clinical Trial Budgeting
Applications of Clinical Research Biostatistics
Current Issues in Review Boards
Scientific Writing and Medical Literature
Clinical Data Management
Current Federal Regulatory Issues in Biomedical Research
Clinical Project Management
Patient Recruitment and Informed consent
Pharmaceutical Law
Clinical Outsourcing
Leadership Skills
International Regulatory Affairs
Compliance & Monitoring Issues
Contemporary Issues in Human Research Protection
Principles and Practice of Pharmacovigilance
Special Topics in Clinical Research
Designing the Clinical Trial
Innovative Product Development
Fundamentals of Compliance
Introduction to Clinical Pharmacology
Informatics in Pharm Res & Development
Regulatory, Scientific and Social Issues Affecting Biotech Research
Health Policy and Economics
Applications of Clinical Research Biostatistics II
Quality Assurance Audits
Strategic Planning
Biotechniques I: Molecular and Genomic Methods
Biotechniques II: Immunological Methods
Vaccines and Vaccine Development
Immunology, Immunopathology and Infectious Diseases
Fundamentals of Molecular Medicine I
Fundamentals of Molecular Medicine II
Animal Models for Biomedical Research
Graduate Neuroscience I
Cell and Molecular Pathobiology of Cancer
Graduate Physiology
Current Topics in Pharmacology & Physiology
Pharm & Phys 1st Lab Rotation
Prin of Neuropharmacology
Advanced Topics in Physiology
Advanced Topics in Pharmacology
New Frontiers in Therapy
Methods in Biomedical Research
Internship in Drug Discovery and Development
Intensive Internship in Drug Discovery and Development
Quarter Elective Course Options (must be approved by advisor)
Special Topics in Pharmacology
Readings in Strategic Management
Seminar in Organizational Behavior
Leading in Dynamic Environments: A Personal, Relational, and Strategic Approach
Introduction to Project Management
International Project Management
Total Credits38.0-41.0

Courses that are not listed above may be taken as electives only with the approval of the program director.

Sample Plan of Study

Full Time Sample Plan of Study

First Year
IDPT 500S2.0NEUR 500S2.0
PHGY 503S4.0PHRM 502S1.0
PHRM 516S1.0PHRM 526S3.0
PHRM 525S3.0PHRM 605S4.0
 10 10
Second Year
PHRM 512S3.0Electives or Thesis9.0
 9 9
Total Credits 38

Part Time Sample Plan of Study

First Year
CR 612S3.0PHRM 526S3.0
PHRM 525S3.0Elective3.0
 6 6
Second Year
CR 520S3.0PHRM 512S3.0
Elective3.0PHRM 527S1.0
 6 10
Third Year
PHRM 610S4.0Electives6.0
 7 6
Total Credits 41
  • Schedule of Classes
  • All Course Descriptions
  • Co-op
  • Academic Advising
  • Admissions
  • Tuition & Fees