The School of Pharmacy’s goal is to provide the highest quality graduate education and research training in the pharmaceutical sciences. The graduate faculty consists of internationally recognized scientists and the School consistently ranks in the top 20 percent of NIH funding among Pharmacy Programs in the US.

The VCU School of Pharmacy was founded in 1898, conferred its first Ph.D. degree in the 1950s, and offers the only Ph.D. curriculum in Pharmaceutical Sciences in Virginia. The School has over 50 full-time faculty in Pharmaceutics Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacy Administration, and Pharmacotherapy. The School offers the following graduate degrees: Master of Science (M.S.), Masters of Pharmaceutical Sciences (M.P.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). The School is housed in the Blackwell Smith Building, with the School of Medicine's Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and is located in the center of the MCV campus.

The Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program is coordinated through the office of the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, Dr. Aron H. Lichtman.

Writing Resources

Dr. Lemont Kier is an emeritus professor of medicinal chemistry, a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity and a visiting professor at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He has developed several new approaches to the design of new drugs over the past four decades. His recent research includes the use of cellular automata models to study dynamic, complex systems. He has published over 300 research articles and has authored seven books. He has recently joined the Office of Research and Graduate Studies to assist students with their writing.

Please contact Dr. Kier to schedule a meeting or stop by his office (Smith, room 407) to see if he is available.

Our Program

  • Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science
  • Pharmacoeconomics and Health Outcomes
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutics

Graduate Curriculum

The Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program endeavors to provide the highest quality teaching and research at the Masters of Pharmaceutical Science (MPS), Masters of Science (MS), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) levels.

PSGP Student Learning Objectives:

  1. Knowledge of research in pharmaceutical sciences: The candidate should demonstrate a general knowledge of the elements of the pharmaceutical sciences and a detailed knowledge of his/her area of research, including an appropriate familiarity with the research literature, policies and procedures, and methodology pertaining to their field.
  2. Design experiments in pharmaceutical sciences: The candidate should demonstrate an appropriate level of skill in the design of experimental protocols and the technical conduct of experimentation related to his/her research.
  3. Demonstrate appropriate communication skills: The candidate should demonstrate that an appropriate level of oral, written, and visual communication skills have been acquired.
  4. Identify problems in pharmaceutical sciences: The candidate should demonstrate an appropriate level of skill in the identification of meaningful problems in the pharmaceutical sciences and the design of and implementation of appropriate problem-solving methods.

All School of Pharmacy graduate students must fulfill curricular requirements of the School of Pharmacy core curriculum and the core curriculum required by their respective tracks.

Course number | Course title | Number of hours

PSCI 607Introduction to Pharmaceutical Sciences–I1
OVPR601 or OVPR602 or equivalent Scientific Integrity 1Scientific Integrity1
BIOS 543Biostatistics3
PSCI 614Research Techniques1
PSCI 690Research Seminar1

M.P.S. PROGRAM - The major difference between the M.S. degree in pharmaceutical sciences and the master of pharmaceutical sciences is that the M.P.S program does not focus on research; instead, it focuses on the knowledge and skills needed by those who work in the pharmaceutical industry or who wish to pursue additional professional or graduate studies in related areas. All students enrolled in the M.P.S. program are required to prepare a written review of the literature suitable for publication in a journal specified by the student’s advisor or to complete an equivalent project. Students typically spend one to two semesters performing literature research and writing their review. An oral defense includes a public presentation of the review and a committee examination of the literature review and course work. The student must earn a minimum of 30 credit hours, exclusive of literature research credits.