Skip to main content
Explore URMC

SMD Logo

menu

Pharmacology or Physiology Master’s Degree Requirements

General Requirements:

Both Plan A (research focus) and Plan B (academic/literature focus) students must complete the following:

  • All “required courses”, including four credits of seminar (PHP 502).
  • Complete 5 additional credit hours of elective course credit from the list outlined for the Ph.D. program in Section A.
  • A minimum of 30 hours of graduate credit.

In addition, Plan A students must:

  1. Prepare a dissertation based in part on original material that displays thorough acquaintance with a limited subject. This dissertation will be similar in format to a Ph.D. dissertation, but more limited in scope.
  2. Successfully complete a final oral examination that focuses on the thesis defense, but may include examination of general competency in pharmacology or physiology. Students preparing for this examination should review the description of the qualifying examination for Ph.D. candidates, as their exam will be similar in format, if not in scope.

In addition, Plan B students must:

  1. Complete a Master's Essay that presents a critical review of a topic of current pharmacologic or physiologic relevance. Minimum length of 10 pages, excluding references. Format: single-spaced, 12pt font, < 1 inch margin, figures included as appropriate. The Master’s Essay should be similar in scope and organization to a review article published in any peer-reviewed journal, including in-depth analysis and critical evaluation of the current literature in the field.
  2. Successfully complete a comprehensive oral examination in pharmacology and physiology. The Program Director will appoint an examination committee who will oversee the exam. This committee will consist of 2-3 department faculty plus the student’s advisor. The student is responsible for scheduling the oral exam at least 30 days in advance of the exam date. In addition, the student must provide the committee members with their completed Master’s Essay at least 10 business days prior to the exam. The exam will consist of an approximately 20 minute presentation by the student of their critical review, followed by questioning by the committee.

Required courses

  • IND 431 Foundations in Modern Biology I (5 credit hours, fall course)
  • IND 432 Foundations in Modern Biology II (5 credit hours, spring course)
  • PHP 403 Human Cell Physiology (4 credit hours, fall course)
  • PHP 404 Principles of Pharmacology (4 credit hours, spring course)
  • PHP 405 Effective Scientific Communication (2 credit hours, spring course)
  • IND 420 Mastering Scientific Information (0 credit hours, fall course)
  • IND 501 Ethics in Research (1 credit hour, fall course)
  • PHP 502 Seminar (1 credit hour/semester, fall/spring course, total of 4 credits required)

Elective courses

  • IND 447/PHP 447 Signal Transduction (4 credit hours, spring course)
  • IND 426 Science Communication for Diverse Audiences (2 credit hours, fall course)
  • PHP 550 Ion Channels and Disease (2 credit hours, spring course)
  • MBI 473 Immunology (3 credit hours, fall course)
  • NSC 525 Biology of Neurological Diseases (3 credit hours, spring course)
  • BST 463 Introduction to Biostatistics (4 credit hours, fall course)
  • PTH 507 Cancer Biology (3 credit hours, spring course)
  • PTH 509 Pathways to Human Disease I (4 credit hours, fall course)
  • PTH 510 Pathways to Human Disease II (4 credit hours, spring course)
  • PTH 571 Molecular Basis of Disease (3 credit hours, fall course)
  • CVS 401 Cardiovascular Biology and Disease (3 credit hours, fall course)