Pharmaceutical Sciences

UMass Lowell First in Mass. to Offer M.S. and Ph.D.

The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE) recently approved new M.S. and Ph.D. Pharmaceutical Sciences program at UMass Lowell, the state’s first and only public university to offer the programs. 

Students can earn Ph.D. degrees in pharmaceutical sciences with a choice of six research specializations – clinical research, medicinal chemistry, nanopharmacology, nuclear pharmacology and imaging, pharmacogenomics or drug discovery. Both the M.S. and Ph.D. programs will begin in September 2014. 

“The graduates of this program will be well prepared to assume leadership roles in the future development of innovative methods of drug delivery and discovery,” says Dean of the College of Health Sciences Shortie McKinney. 

The BHE also approved a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) option in pharmaceutical sciences that prepares students to work in the pharmaceutical industry. Graduates of the program will have the technical and business skills necessary to assume leadership roles. Students will begin classes in September 2014. 

Growing Demand for Pharmaceutical Scientists 

UMass Lowell established the M.S. and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in response to workforce shortages in Massachusetts, particularly in the high-tech biopharmaceutical arena. The 2011 Pharmacy Commission Report predicts a 17 percent growth rate in the pharmaceutical industry through 2018. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for medical scientists is expected to grow by 36 percent from 2010 to 2020. This rate is faster than the average for all other occupations in the United States. Potential job titles for pharmaceutical science graduates include: 

  • Pharmaceutical Scientist 
  • Pharmaceutical Researcher 
  • University Professor 

State-of-the Art Research Space 

Research for the new pharmaceutical sciences program will be housed in the University’s new Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center (ETIC). It will contain nanomedicine and biopharmaceutical labs, cell culture areas and an instrument room.