25 Best Value Schools For a Pharmacology Master's

Updated November 29, 2022

Graduate programs in pharmacology (not to be confused with programs in pharmacy) offer a unique take on interdisciplinary study. Typically designed for individuals who have an undergraduate degree in biology, chemistry, or a similar subject, pharmacology programs introduce students to the world of drug interactions, brain chemistry, and cellular physiology. In a way, these degrees ...

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Best Schools for a Master's in Pharmacology

Graduate programs in pharmacology (not to be confused with programs in pharmacy) offer a unique take on interdisciplinary study. Typically designed for individuals who have an undergraduate degree in biology, chemistry, or a similar subject, pharmacology programs introduce students to the world of drug interactions, brain chemistry, and cellular physiology. In a way, these degrees act as a bridge from academia to industry, helping students take their theoretical scientific knowledge and apply it to the field that needs it most: healthcare. Most graduates of the M.S. in Pharmacology programs either continue on to earn a Ph.D. (which allows them to teach or conduct more in-depth research), work at pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies, or for regulatory agencies like the FDA.

If you like what you've heard so far, then it's time to start thinking about where you want to go to school. Although the opportunities for master's degree students are far from endless, there are still plenty of options from which you can choose. To help narrow your focus, we created this best value pharmacology degree ranking. So how did we decide which schools to include?

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Top 25 Ranking Pharmacology Schools

  1. Indiana University

    Indiana, PA



    Leading the nation in boundary-demolishing pharmacological research, faculty teaching, and medical service and outreach, Indiana University's Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology is the model for pharmacy schools around the country, and even the world. At this top graduate program in pharmacology, students interested in cancer biology, drug abuse, and pathogen infection are able to work with world-class faculty in the classroom as well the laboratory. From behavioral pharmacology to chemotherapy and pharmacogenomics, IU incorporates the latest findings and practices into its graduate curriculum to prepare students for their theses, dissertations, and beyond.

  2. Northeastern University

    Boston, MA



    As befitting the #2 school on our list, Northeastern University's Bouv College of Health Sciences is home to world-class graduate pharmacology programs at both the master's and doctoral level. Coursework spans the entire breadth of the discipline from the first drugs and their early applications to the development of molecular biology and modern pharmaceutical practices to create experts who can utilize specialized knowledge in a variety of applications. Regular seminars and conferences featuring visiting researchers also help keep students abreast of the latest developments in pharmacological research throughout their education.

  3. Thomas Jefferson University

    Philadelphia, PA



    Available in accelerated (one and a half years) and part-time (four to six year) formats, Thomas Jefferson University's Pharmacology MS caters to a variety of students with an even greater variety of career goals. Whether you are looking for a career in research or research management, clinical testing, or toxicology review, you can find the coursework and laboratory training you need to launch your career right after graduation. TJU also offers a specialization track in Human Investigations for those undergoing post-graduate clinical training, and it serves as an excellent stepping-stone towards a PhD program as well.

  4. Ohio State University

    Wooster, OH



    With specialization options that include Clinical Research Management, Regulatory Affairs, Safety Pharmacology, and Clinical Pharmacology, the Master's of Applied Clinical and Pre-Clinical Research at Ohio State University grants students access to an unparalleled range of practical, hands-on education opportunities. By "connecting the gap" between clinical practices and laboratory research, this top master's degree in pharmacology offers students a set of skills that will translate seamlessly into a meaningful career in healthcare. From the FDA and international regulatory bodies to hospitals and university medical centers, you'll find OSU graduates in every corner of the medical industry.

  5. University of Tennessee Health Science Center

    Memphis, TN



    For students looking to augment their academic credentials before applying to medical school, the University of Tennessee-Health Science Center's Master of Science in Pharmacology is the perfect combination of rigor and convenience. In just 11 months, this accelerated and affordable graduate pharmacology program provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the discipline through coursework that spans biochemistry, scientific research, and drug therapy. In particular, classes in Integrity in Scientific Research and Modern Pharmacology Research Techniques ensure that you'll be well prepared to take the next step, whatever it may be. And with a 75% medical school admission rate for all graduates, it's clear that UT's educational model offers a well-trodden path to success.

  6. University of Michigan

    Dearborn, MI



    Among the more flexible degree programs on our list, the University of Michigan's Master of Science in Pharmacology program is designed to prepare students for everything from professional careers in industry and research positions in laboratories to advancement into medical, dental, and veterinary schools. Adding to the array of options available to students, U of M also offers its pharmacology curriculum on both part- and full-time schedules. But regardless of your career aspirations or scheduling requirements, you'll still need to work hard to keep up with the demands of this top graduate program in pharmacology. The coursework requires all students to complete either an independent laboratory research project or a rigorous survey of current pharmacological literature in order to graduate.

  7. University of Cincinnati

    Blue Ash, OH



    If a Master of Science degree in Molecular, Cellular and Biochemical Pharmacology with an Emphasis on Safety Pharmacology sounds daunting, just wait until you open a textbook! The University of Cincinnati's Pharmacology Master's Program offers a rare opportunity for students to become highly specialized experts in this particular field, all while studying at a nationally recognized research institution and top graduate pharmacology program. With $443 million in external research funding annually (approximately 80% of which goes to "biomedical research and training"), pharmacology students at Cincinnati will find no shortage of cutting-edge laboratories eager to enlist their support.

  8. University of Minnesota

    Crookston, MN



    While nobody would expect one of the best master's in pharmacology degrees in the country to be a walk in the park, it's safe to say that the University of Minnesota's MS in Pharmacology is not for the faint of heart. This accelerated, research-intensive program caters to students who already have substantial background and/or work experience in one of the pharmacology department's focus areas: Cancer and Infectious Disease; Neuropharmacology and Neurodegeneration; Cell Signaling; and Drug Addiction and Toxicity. All others should apply to a more accommodating institution.

  9. University of Arizona

    Tucson, AZ



    The University of Arizona's Medical Pharmacology M.S. Program offers a comprehensive program that prepares students for diverse research roles in academia, industry, and governmental agencies. And like many of the top graduate programs in pharmacology, Arizona's College of Medicine provides students with substantial merit- and need-based funding for their research and education. Although it is just one of 11 participants in the NIH IMSD student development program, the University of Arizona goes the extra mile with full-tuition and funding scholarships for "outstanding underrepresented minority students" in any of its numerous biomedical sciences programs, including pharmacology.

  10. MCPHS University

    Boston, MA



    With the highest graduate earning rate in New England (even above national leaders like Harvard and MIT) according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Education, it's easy to see how the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences secured one of our top pharmacology degree rankings. While salary potential isn't the only important factor in choosing a graduate school, this statistic also represents the excellent career services students can expect at MCPHS. From professional development training and career advising to an expansive alumni network of over 20,000 medical professionals, MCPHS provides pharmacology students with not only a top-notch education, but also a useful platform from which to launch their careers.

Methodology: Here's How We Rank Schools

At Best Value Schools, we help students of all ages get the best possible value for their education. When choosing the best schools and programs, we prioritize tuition rates, student debt, financial aid opportunities, graduation rates, and the availability of online programs. We source unbiased data from government and educational databases like the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 6,374 schools across the U.S. We organize that data into five weighted categories to compile our school rankings.
Metric Data Used Percentage
Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 25%
Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 35%
Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 15%
Program Offerings Number of program options 10%
Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 15%
You can read more about our comprehensive evaluation process on our methodology page.

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Factors Considered When Ranking Schools

Generally speaking, we sought to identify top pharmacology degrees that are high quality but won't leave you drowning in debt. We initially used College Navigator to acquire a list of all the colleges and universities that offer pharmacology degrees in master's degree form. To identify the select few that have mastered the high-quality, low-cost balancing act, we then looked for programs that, first and foremost, demonstrate commitment to continued growth by actively enrolling and graduating students (according to data provided by College Navigator). We also used the Thompson Reuters' "Essential Science Indicators" database to identify programs with high research output, i.e. those that boast a large citations-per-article ratio in pharmacology journals. In addition, we analyzed the schools' broader performance by evaluating their accreditation status with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology (ABCP). Note that the ABCP specifically accredits fellowship programs at universities with associated hospitals, but those schools that qualify undoubtedly have plenty of extra perks to offer master's degree students, too! Lastly, we assessed each program on its annual cost by looking at tuition rates and fees for the most recent school year (for public schools, we used an average of their in-state and out-of-state rates).

Taking all the data together, we were able to determine the 25 top pharmacology degrees for 2019. They all have something a little different to offer in terms of both price and performance, and we leave it up to you to determine which one best fits your needs!

In addition to the schools' websites, you can find the other sources we used for this ranking at the end of the article.

College Navigator
Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
American Board of Clinical Pharmacology
Thompson Reuters Essential Science Indicators

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