Master of Science in Pharmacology

The Department of Pharmacology offers thesis-based and non-thesis Master of Science degrees.  The goals of the Pharmacology Master's and Minor Programs are:

  • To establish a core knowledge in all students of the areas of pharmacology.
  • To enable students on both the course- and thesis-based Master's Program tracks to understand hypothesis-based approaches to research.  To enable thesis-track students to design and perform such research.
  • To educate, and in the case of thesis-track to train, individuals in a variety of techniques and approaches to studying pharmacology with a focus on pharmacodynamics.
  • To develop in our students a keen sens of analytical thinking and logic in the evaluation of one's own work as well as that of others.
  • To provide students with no prior research background to gain such experience, either on a per-semester basis or in the context of a thesis research project.
  • To foster in our Master's thesis students the foundations of independence in thinking and communicating.
  • To prepare Master's students for the competitive job market.

The thesis-based M.S. degree is a course and research based program, with 15-21 credits in coursework, and 9-15 credits of research for a total of 30 credits. A thesis is written and there is a defense. Research interests in the Department of Pharmacology are diverse, with special emphasis on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular pharmacology, physiology, neurovascular coupling, signal transduction, and medicinal chemistry/cancer chemotherapy.  However, thesis research can be conducted not only in Pharmacology Department labs, but also in any lab within UVM that offers pharmacology-focused research projects.  Pharmacology MS students have done their thesis work in departments as diverse as Neurological Sciences, Biochemistry, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, Psychology, Psychiatry and Medicine.

A course-only M.S. degree requires 30 credits in coursework, but does not require a thesis or thesis defense.  A set of required core courses taught by Department of Pharmacology faculty are required.  Elective courses can be chosen from a wide range of approved courses offered in departments throughout UVM.  Research experience can be gained even in the course-only track by taking Pharmacological Techniques, which involves research in a lab for one or more semesters, but does not require writing or defending a thesis.

In both tracks, students work with the program director to choose elective courses that best suit their career goals.

Tuition depends on the applicant's Vermont residency status.  Out-of-state tuition for all 30 credits is currently $51,600.  In-state tuition (for Vermont residents) is $20,490.  Additional fees (for example comprehensive fees) also apply.  Please visit for detailed information.  Please note that the Department of Pharmacology does not offer tuition scholarships, teaching/research fellowships or stipend support.

The typical time for completion of all 30 credits is 1.5-2 years for a non-thesis track Pharmacology MS degree, and 2 to 2.25 years for a research track degree.  However, either track can be spread over up to five years from the date of admission.

COST OF LIVING IN THE BURLINGTON AREA:  Cost of living expenses (beyond tuition and fees) are estimated from the State of Vermont Basic Needs Budget for the Burlington area.  For a graduate student sharing a 2-bedroom apartment with a second person, the estimate is $29,658 per year.

For More Information

If you are interested in the Pharmacology AMP, please contact the Program Coordinator, Dr. Anthony Morielli.

Requirements for AdmissionApply Now button

Admission into this program requires the following:

  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 is recommended.
  • Completion of one year of undergraduate biology, chemistry, or physics courses.
  • Completion of the Graduate College Application FormInstructions
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are not required.

Students MUST be admitted through the Graduate College before taking any courses that will be applied to the Master’s Degree requirements. Students will continue Master’s Degree coursework in the summer following their undergraduate graduation.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 30 credits and successful completion of a written comprehensive exam are required for a Master’s Degree in Pharmacology. Students enrolled in the thesis-based program must also write, present and successfully defend their research thesis.

Students must also meet the Graduate College requirements for the Master's Degree.

Students are required to pass a written comprehensive exam that will be taken during their final semester in the program.  The written examination will consist of questions based on topics relevant to the student's course of study.  The comprehensive exam should be completed by the end of the second semester of the two-year Master of Science program.  A single re-take is permitted for the comprehensive exam.Comprehensive Examination

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science

Advancement to candidacy requires satisfactory completion of the comprehensive exam.