Post-Baccalaureate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences


The Master of Science in Pharmacology (MSP) is a two-year, 100% online degree program geared toward teaching students:

The fundamental principles of pharmacology

    • Mechanisms of drug action
    • Current topics in drug discovery
    • Strategies, techniques and critical thinking skills needed for drug research

The program is designed for working professionals who are interested in advancing in their careers or enhancing their competitiveness for admission to other degree programs.The online format of the MSP program allows for greater flexibility and ease of attendance regardless of geographical location.  Take the UCI Self-Assessment for Online Learning to see if this format is right for you.

About UCI

UCI’s Pharmacology faculty are among the best in the field, recognized both nationally and internationally for their scientific research and publications.  A number of faculty have worked in and/or founded pharmaceutical companies and hold patents relative to drug discoveries they made.UCI is ranked as the No. 9 public university in the nation, by U.S. News & World Report. The university is noted for its excellent research and graduate programs, an extensive commitment to undergraduate education, and a growing number of professional schools and programs of academic importance and social significance.


Curriculum: Courses for Master of science in pharmacology

The MSP degree program requires 39 units of coursework, including 3 units of a capstone project.  All courses in the program are required

    • MSP Learning Outcomes
    • MSP Curriculum Map
    • Sample MSP Schedule

Online Courses

    • PHARM 271   Principles of Pharmacology (3 units). Online. Principles of pharmacology: pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacogenetics, drug interactions and toxicity.
    • PHARM 272   Receptors and Drug Targets (3 units). Online.Molecular basis of drug-receptor interaction. Receptor properties including gene and protein structure, signaling mechanisms, trafficking and physiological effects: G-protein linked receptors, ligand-gated ion channels, receptor tyrosine kinases, nuclear receptors, and ligand regulated transcription factors.
    • PHARM 274   Research Techniques in Pharmacology (3 units). Online. Experimental techniques and model systems used in pharmacological research. Receptor analysis, bioassay, molecular biology, in vitro pharmacology, biochemical pharmacology, imaging, electrophysiology, in vivo pharmacology, disease models.
    • PHARM 276   Experimental Design and Data Analysis (3 units). Online. Experimental design, data analysis and interpretation. Population and sample statistics, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, nonparametric statistics, and power calculations.
    • PHARM 277   Ethics in Scientific Research (3 units). Online. Ethical conduct in research including data handling, authorship, conflict of interest, animal rights and handling of misconduct.
    • PHARM 278   Concepts in Drug Discovery (3 units).Online. Critical steps involved in discovery and optimization of a new drug. Target selection, relationship of molecular structure to pharmacological activities, screening methods, strategies to identify lead compounds, and preclinical characterization necessary for development of the drug for clinical trials.
    • PHARM 279   Special Topics in Pharmacology (3 units). Online.Topics of current interest in pharmacology; discussion of recent research publications.
    • PHARM 280   Masters Project in Pharmacology (3 units). Online. Capstone research paper on topic of interest in pharmacology.
    • PHARM 281   Neuropharmacology (3 units). Online. Autonomic and central nervous system pharmacology, including major drug classes and therapeutic uses. Mechanisms underlying chemical signaling processes in the brain and peripheral nervous system, including neurotransmitter synthesis, inactivation and receptor action.
    • PHARM 282 Behavioral Pharmacology (3 units). Online. Pharmacology of integrative function and behavior.  Drug treatment of pain. Mechanisms of reward, addiction and drugs of abuse.
    • PHARM 283  Cardiovascular Pharmacology (3 units). Online. Basic understanding of drugs used in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.  Mechanisms of action, clinical and adverse effects.
    • PHARM 284  Endocrine, Respiratory and Gastrointestinal Pharmacology (3 units). Online. Basic understanding of drugs used in endocrine, respiratory and gastrointestinal conditions, including hormone replacement, contraceptives, and drugs for diabetes, asthma, obesity, ulcer and gastric reflux. Mechanisms of drug action, clinical and adverse effects.


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UCI MSP Program


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