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 units in coursework (see Course Offerings below) and 28 total units are required for graduation. All students participate in 12 units or core course curriculum (PSCI 501-503) plus one 4Students in the thesis track take 4 of the units in 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 research track requires that the student carry out a research project during their program. As noted above, research towards the thesis can be begun at any point, though typically this begins during the first semester. The thesis should be about 50 pages.

Second, the non-research, non-thesis Master’s track requires that the student complete 28 units of coursework. Several options regarding the nature and scope of coursework are available.

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 501, Drugs: Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion

PSCI 502, Drugs: Principles of Therapeutic Mechanisms

PSCI 503, Drugs: Principles of Research Methodology

MPTX 510, The Other Side of Drugs

PSCI 513, Drugs: Biologics and Specialty Pharmaceutics

PSCI 515, Drugs: Pharmacogenetics

PSCI 517, Protein Engineering and Drug Discovery

MPTX 520, Drugs in the Media

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 Cell Signaling

MPTX 501,  Toxicology of Oxidants and Free Radicals

MPTX 602,  Sciences, Research and Ethics

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.