Master’s in Pharmacology

Fall 2024 Admissions

Priority Application: May 15
Final Deadline: July 1

We invite you to learn more about our program and begin your application.

10 Months


30 Credits

Non-Thesis Program

Two Tracks

Choose the Didactic or Laboratory Research track to focus your studies

Our Program

Georgetown University’s MS in Pharmacology program is a one-year, non-thesis degree program that offers a foundation of rigorous coursework as well as the option to do research or tailor the curriculum with a selection of elective courses from across our biomedical departments. 

Our typical cohort of 15-20 students benefits from a small class size in our main pharmacology courses and receives personalized attention from our faculty, whether in the classroom or in the laboratory. Core courses are taught by a team of departmental faculty and researchers, many of whom also teach in the medical school. In fact, Program Director Dr. John Partridge also directs the Medical Pharmacology curriculum for first- and second-year medical students at Georgetown.

Our alumni continue on to further education (PhD, medical, and other health sciences) or take positions in the public and private sphere, such as at the NIH, FDA, pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies, and university laboratories. Of students pursuing further education, 65% are accepted either during the program or within one year of graduation, and 85% are accepted within three years.

What You’ll Learn

The curriculum consists of two components: core courses focused on pharmacology, biochemistry, and physiology, and elective credits for each student to tailor the program to their interests.

Students have two tracks for completing their elective credits: the Didactic Track and the Laboratory Research Track.

Didactic Track

The Didactic Track gives students the opportunity to tailor the degree to their individual interests through selection of elective courses to take alongside the core courses of the curriculum. In total, students will need to take 7 credits of elective coursework (generally 2 credits in the fall semester and 5 credits in the spring semester). There are a range of different courses to choose from to fulfill the elective credits, both from our department and other biomedical departments at Georgetown. Georgetown’s course schedule will have the full listing of all available courses for each semester; below are course areas where electives relevant to the MS in Pharmacology may be found. We also provide a list of recommended electives.

  • Biochemistry (BCHB)
  • Biotechnology (BIOT)
  • Bioinformatics (BINF)
  • Biostatistics (BIST)
  • Cell Biology (CBIO)
  • Clinical and Translational Research (CLTR)
  • Epidemiology (EPID)
  • Global Health (GLOH)
  • Global Infectious Diseases (GLID)
  • Microbiology (MICB)
  • Neuroscience (NSCI & INNS)
  • Physiology & Biophysics (PBIO & PHSL)
  • Systems Medicine (SYSM)
  • Tumor Biology (TBIO)

BIOT 5220: Drug Targets & Drug Design
CLTR 6700: Aspects of Drug Development
EPID 5001: Epidemiology I: Principles of Epidemiology
GLID 5001: Perspectives in Infectious Disease II
GLOH 7708: Access to Pharmaceuticals
BSPA 6589: Environmental Health & Policy
BSPA 6606: Public Policy for Scientists
MICB 6600: Concepts of Immunotherapy
NSCI 6003: Functional MRI: Theory & Practice
NSCI 6008: Topics in Neuroinflammation
PHSL 6529: Human Nutrition & Health (PHAR 6505: Advanced Topics in Nutrition)
PHAR 6504: Medicinal Plants & Pharmacognosy
PHAR 6503: Introduction to Toxicology
TBIO 6508: Cellular & Molecular Aspects of the Transformed Cell
TBIO 6523: Cancer Epigenetics
TBIO 6525: Cancer Genetics
TBIO 6536: Cancer Pharmacology
TBIO 6565: Clinical & Translational Oncology – Breast
TBIO 6569: Pancreatic & Other GI Cancers

Laboratory Research Track

The Laboratory Research Track gives students the opportunity to engage in a research project for the academic year and have expert faculty as mentors. Students interested in going into a PhD program or laboratory-based career are strongly encouraged to choose the Laboratory Research Track. In addition to their PI, students are also mentored in the lab by people with advanced laboratory skills like PhD students, postdocs, and research professors.

Near the end of the academic year, students doing the laboratory research track prepare and present a poster about their research project. This is an excellent way to learn about scientific poster presentations and gives each student the opportunity to “bring it all together” at the end.

Learn more about the Laboratory Research Track


Eligibility and application instructions for the MS in Pharmacology


Degree Plans

Find example degree plans for full-time students.

Degree Plans


Browse core and elective courses for the degree program.


Merit-Based Scholarships

Merit-based tuition scholarships are available for students enrolled in our biomedical graduate programs.


What Is Pharmacology?

Pharmacology is the study of substances that affect living systems.  It is an integrated science that applies the principles of physiology, biochemistry, chemistry, anatomy, neuroscience and genetics to understand drug actions.  The principles of pharmacology are illustrated in the two main subdivisions of the discipline: pharmacokinetics, the study of the variables that determine the concentration of the drug at its site of action, and pharmacodynamics, the study of the mechanisms by which drugs yield their biological effects.

Pharmacology is often considered a bridge between the basic sciences and clinical medicine.  Thus, in addition to the basic principles, the Pharmacology MS program provides an understanding of pharmaco-therapeutics, the use of drugs in the treatment, prevention and diagnosis of disease; toxicology, the study of the adverse effects of drugs; and an introduction to the field of pharmacogenomics, the study of the genetic factors that affect an individual’s or a population’s response to a drug.

Pharmacology is distinct from the discipline of Pharmacy. Pharmacy schools instruct students how to prepare medicines and how to formulate the dosages of medications that patients should receive so that they can recover from illness or remain healthy. Pharmacology establishes the basic principles and science behind the practice of pharmacists.

Opportunities for master’s-level pharmacologists exist in the pharmaceutical industry, government agencies, and laboratories, as well as at biotechnology companies. Masters students may also decide to apply for Ph.D. or M.D. programs, where the coursework completed in this master’s program will prove beneficial.

Career Advancement

Our students benefit from the services of the Biomedical Graduate Education career office, including one-on-one advising, skills workshops, leadership programs and more to help them take the next step in their professions.

Virtual Information Sessions

Learn about the program and application process and meet the program leadership during one of the following online information sessions.

Upcoming information sessions will be posted here.