Collage of Pharmaceutical Sciences students in the lab at the Rinker Campus
School of Pharmacy

» Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Do you want to gain the skills and knowledge to combat COVID-19 and other diseases?

The Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (MSPS) is a 4-semester thesis-based program for students interested in a broad range of scientific disciplines critical to the discovery and development of new drugs and therapies that impact our global health.

Research areas include:

  • Drug Design and Discovery/Medicinal Chemistry
  • Microbiology/Immunology
  • Pharmaceutics, Drug Delivery, And Pharmacokinetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Structural Biology
  • Social and Administrative Sciences

Graduates of the program can pursue a variety of career opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry. The School of Pharmacy's location in beautiful Irvine, CA, provides unique opportunities for students to network with nearby biomedical, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies. Graduates are also positioned to work as researchers at universities, government and non-profit agencies, and at national laboratories such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

How Can I Learn More about the MS program?

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Admission & Application Information

Application Deadlines 

Fall 2020 - Term begins late August 2020

  • Priority Consideration: May 1, 2020
  • Regular Deadline: June 30, 2020
*Applications received after deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.


Spring 2021 - Term begins early January 2021

PharmGrad application portal will open in late August for 2021 admissions.

  • Priority Consideration:  November 1, 2020
  • Regular Deadline:  November 30, 2020
*Applications received after deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.


How to Apply

Our Graduate Application is available at PharmGRAD.

Application Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university or college or international university in one of the following subjects:
    • Biology
    • Biochemistry
    • Biotechnology
    • Chemistry
    • Pharmaceutical Sciences
    • Related Areas
  • Preferred applicants have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
    • Applicants with a GPA of 2.50 to 2.99 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Two letters of recommendation from a professor or employer who is familiar with your academic abilities.
    • If the last degree was awarded less than three years ago, at least one of the letters must be from a professor at the university that awarded the degree.
  • A personal statement of approximately 500-1,000 words which includes:
    • Your interest in the MSPS program at Chapman
    • Your research goals
    • Your career goals
    • Your academic and research achievements
  • A copy of official transcript from the bachelor’s degree-granting institution
  • A resume or curriculum vitae including relevant experience
  • Students with Bachelor of Science degrees in other fields will be required to take prerequisite courses in the following areas:
    • Biology with lab
    • Microbiology
    • Chemistry with lab
    • Biochemistry
    • Introduction to genetics
    • Calculus
    • Physiology with lab

Additional Information for International Students

    • Transcripts – Applicants submitting transcripts from foreign universities must submit:
      • transcripts in the native language as well as an English translation.
    • English Proficiency Exam – International applicants whose native language is not English must submit results of the CAE, TOEFL, IELTS, or PTEA.

      English proficiency minimum score requirement must be met before an application will be considered.

      Minimum Score Requirements
        • CAE = 180
        • IELTS = 6.5
        • PTEA = 53
        • TOEFL = 550 (paper–based) or 80 (internet–based).
          • Chapman University School of Pharmacy school code for TOEFL is 4047

      Applicants with low English proficiency score must retake exam to reach minimum requirement before submitting application.

      • Unofficial English Proficiency exam results submitted with application must include Student Test ID Number.
      • Student must notify test agency to allow Chapman University access official score.

    • English proficiency examination is not required from international applicants:

    • with a bachelor's degree or higher from a university in the United States or
    • in another country where English is the primary language or
    • an institution where English is the official language of instruction.

Ways to Learn More:

If you have any questions, please contact


The Master of Science degree requires completion of at least 36 credits. These include 17 credits of required courses, at least 7 credits of elective courses, minimum 6 credits of research, and 6 credits of thesis. A program of study is developed individually in consultation with the student's mentor and is designed to ensure expertise in the student’s principal field. This will present students with the opportunity, under the supervision of the program advisor, to tailor their academic program to prepare them for the career path of their choice.

Core Courses (13 credits)
PHS 601 Ethics, Regulation and the Pharmaceutical Pipeline 2
PHS 602 Drug Discovery and Development 3
PHS 623 Pharmaceutical Analysis 3
PHS 641 Seminar in Pharmaceutical Sciences I 2
PHS 702 Research Rotation 3
Elective Courses (minimum 11 credits)
PHS 611 Pharmacokinetics 3
PHS 612 Advanced Principles of Drug Action 4
PHS 614 Biologics 2
PHS 615 Pharmacogenomics and Pharmacogenetics 2
CS 621 Bioinformatics and Computational Biology I 3
PHS 621 Introduction to Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Process 3
PHS 622 Formulation and Manufacturing Laboratory 2
PHS 624 Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Process II 2
PHS 624L Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Process Lab II 1
PHS 631 Medical Diagnostics 3
PHS 632 Medical Devices 3
PHS 651 Quality System for Development and Manufacturing Drugs 3
PHS 660 Biopharmaceutical Regulation, Economics and Policy 3
PHS 661 Biomedical Market Access, Pricing and Reimbursement 3
PHS 662 Economic Evaluation of Health Care Services and Products 3
PHS 690 Internship in Pharmaceutical Sciences 3-6
PHS 736 Pharmacology of Anti-Cancer Agents 2
PHS 741 Structural Biology 3
PHS 750 Biostatistics 3
Research (minimum 6 credits)
PHS 701 Research in Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences 6
Thesis  or Non-Thesis Option (6 credits)
PHS 697 Thesis 6
PHS 698 Capstone 6

M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrates general knowledge of the elements of the pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences and detailed knowledge in his or her area of research, including current research literature, policies and procedures, and methodology pertaining to the field
  2. Advances biomedical or pharmaceutical sciences by synthesizing new ideas, designing, and conducting original research
  3. Effectively communicates scientific principles, ideas, and research results with different audiences at an appropriate level
  4. Fosters advancement of the profession and biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences by actively participating in professional activities and societies

Why Choose CUSP?

CUSP will provide students with a solid foundation in an integrated and interdisciplinary program within the pharmaceutical sciences that combines:

  • A comprehensive education and training to include strong foundational pharmaceutical sciences knowledge, ethics, and regulatory issues related to research trials from bench work to translational science
  • Leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship in drug and medical devices development through didactic course work and active-learning internships
  • Course work that broadens the trainees’ background to complement research development in future Ph.D. programs or career opportunities in the industry
  • An optional global experience that combines research, language immersion and an understanding of cultural nuances

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the difference between a pharmaceutical scientist and a pharmacist?

Pharmaceutical scientists are typically involved in the discovery/development of new drugs or development/characterization of delivery systems, absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of drugs. They spend most of their time conducting research in a laboratory or analyzing data in an office setting. Pharmacists are primarily focused on patients. They work to advance health and patient care through the appropriate use of medications.


What are the career opportunities in the pharmaceutical sciences?

Pharmaceutical scientists have been instrumental in discovering and developing innovative drugs that save thousands of lives and improve the lives of countless others. Pharmaceutical scientists can pursue a variety of career opportunities/jobs. They may be employed by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; work as researchers, scientists, and professors at universities; or work for agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), and national laboratories, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) publishes annual salary data for pharmaceutical scientists.

Source: AAPS


Does MS program require accreditation?

Chapman University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities. There are no requirements for accreditation, certification, or licensing associated with the MSPS degree.


What are the admission requirements?

  • A graduate application available at PharmGRAD.
  • A bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, biotechnology, or related areas from a regionally accredited university or college or international university with a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Two letters of recommendations from individuals familiar with your academic abilities
  • A personal statement of approximately 500-1,000 words, which includes: a) your interest in the MSPS program at Chapman; b) your research goals; c) your career goals; d) your academic and research achievements
  • An official transcript from the bachelor’s degree-granting institution
  • A resume or CV with any relevant experience

Additional Requirements for International Students

  • Transcripts – Students submitting transcripts from foreign universities must submit transcripts with official US equivalency evaluation such as a WES evaluation.
  • English Proficiency Exam – International applicants whose native language is not English must submit results of the CAE, TOEFL, IELTS, or PTEA. CAE minimum score = 180. TOEFL minimum score = 550 (paper–based) or 80 (internet–based).  IELTS score = 6.5. PTEA score = 53.
  • International applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or higher from a university in the United States or in another country where English is the primary language are not required to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTEA examination.


I do not have a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, or biotechnology, but I have a bachelor’s degree in another field. Can I still apply for this program?

If you have a different bachelor’s degree, you can take the following courses to prepare yourself for this program.

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology with lab
  • Calculus
  • Chemistry with lab
  • Intro to Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Physiology with lab


When is the application deadline? Are there multiple deadlines during the year?

Spring 2020 - Term begins early January 2020

Priority Consideration: November 1, 2019

Regular Deadline: November 30, 2019

*Applications received after deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Fall 2020 - Term begins late August 2020

Priority Consideration: May 1, 20209

Regular Deadline: June 30, 2020

*Applications received after deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.


When can I enroll in the program?

Applications are accepted for the Spring and Fall trimesters.


Can I transfer from another program into the Chapman’s MSPS program?

Transfer will be considered on a case-by-case basis if the curriculum requirements are met.


What is the cost of the program?

There are three trimesters in a year with year-round attendance. Please visit the Chapman University Tuition & Fees Information page for detailed information.  Textbooks are provided by the program for most classes. Students are responsible for their own housing and other related expenses.


Is there any financial assistance or tuition waiver plans?

Qualified MS students are eligible to receive assistance from CUSP in the form of paid research or classroom assistant positions on a space-available basis. The University’s financial aid office can provide more comprehensive information on other forms of federal, state or private funding: (714) 997-6741 or


Is the School of Pharmacy on the Chapman University Campus in Orange, CA?

No. CUSP is located on the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine, CA. The campus is 15 miles south of the Chapman Campus at 9401 Jeronimo Rd. CUSP is conveniently located 1.5 miles east of the I-5 Freeway, off of Alton Parkway, and within 2 miles of the Irvine Spectrum.


Is there student housing near the School of Pharmacy?

Currently, there is no official Chapman student housing near CUSP. However, there are several apartment complexes within a few miles of the Rinker Health Science Irvine campus. A list of local apartment complexes, housing options, and other related resources is available on the CUSP Housing page


Can I apply for the Pharm.D. program after I finish the MSPS program?

Yes, students who have completed the MSPS degree can apply for the Pharm.D. program. They must fulfill the Pharm.D admission and pre-requisite requirements like all other applicants.

Alumni Spotlights

Mahshid Amini, MSPS

Mahshid Amini, MSPS, is contributing her skills and education as a Process Development Research Associate at Amgen Biopharmaceutical Company. Mahshid's repsonsibilities include supporting drug development and research on attribute impact on biotherapeutic safety and efficacy. 

Mahshid attributes her Chapman University MSPS education with preparing her to work with a great pharmaceutical company through education and skill development that prepared her to succeed.  Mahshid feels the experience she gained from working in the lab of her supervisor, Dr. Aftab Ahmed, perpared her for a successful pharamaceutical industry career. 

Ayman Bawazeer, MSPS & Dr. Aftab Ahmed

Ayman Bawazeer, MSPS, is working in his home country of Saudi Arabia at Rabigh General Hospital, Ministry of Health. He is the Pharmacy Manager, overseeing a team of fifteen pharmacists in a hospital that serves 150 in-patients and 400 out-patients each day. 

Ayman says his Chapman education advanced his knowledge in the field of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, giving him a solid foundation in advances in research that will be the future of medicine.

Soliel Doman alumnus MSPS Graduate, FDA InternMSPS alumnus Soliel Doman is currently a Pathways Intern with U.S Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Regulatory Affairs Pacific Southwest Medical Products Laboratory. Her internship was extended and she hopes to maintain her relationship with the agency while she continues her studies with the Chapman University School of Pharmacy Pharm.D. program.

Soliel says her experiences with the FDA have been great and she looks forward to full employment after completing her studies.



MSPS Alumni Hung DoHung Do received his MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Chapman University in 2016. Hung utilizes his knowledge today as a food industry Technical Manager at a copacker manufacturing facility in Los Angeles where he oversees the entire formulation and quality control teams. Hung also credits his graduate studies and leadership experiences at Chapman with helping him cofound a food biotech startup with another Chapman alumnus.

Hung is inspired by this advice: Being a researcher is about the three “Ps” – Passion, Preparation, and Perseverance. "Be bold and experimental," Hung insists. “If you can do the hard work and be passionate about changing the world, go for it!”