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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. We offer 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 in the center of the MCV campus, with the School of Medicine's Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

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


Upon completion of the Graduate School application, submission of GRE and TOEFL (foreign students only) scores, transcripts and recommendation letters, application packages are sent to the School of Pharmacy for admission decisions. The following criteria are considered when determining admissions to the School’s Graduate Program:

graduate Nationally and internationally recognized scientists Award winning faculty Publications in high-quality, peer reviewed journals Tuition and competitive stipend Student scholarship with publications Multiple school based awards Top 3 in VCU invention disclosures Hypothesis driven research Student awards Recognition for excellence in scholarship, research, teaching and service Using state-of-the-art instrumentation Outstanding postgraduate career opportunities Alumni leaders worldwide in academia, industry, government (e.g., NIH and FDA), and health care

Program Structure

Ph.D., M.S. and M.P.S. students are enrolled in a specific department track. The details of didactic and scholarly requirements are available from the department handbook. Each department track is the responsibility of the department Graduate Program Director, who is appointed by the respective Department Chair. The Graduate Program Directors act on behalf of the programs and hold the responsibility and authority to represent the respective department(s) and their faculties to the School. Completing the master of pharmaceutical sciences at VCU provides students a base of fundamental knowledge in general pharmaceutical sciences and proficiency in their specialty area.

Graduate Bulletin Listing Track Website Program Director Graduate Program
Medicinal Chemistry Medicinal Chemistry Dr. Zhang MEDC
Pharmaceutics Pharmaceutics Dr. Masahiro Sakagami PCEU
Pharmacotherapy Pharmacotherapy Dr. MaryPeace McRae DPOS Graduate Program
Pharmacoeconomics and Health Outcomes Pharmacoeconomics Dr. Norman Carroll DPOS Pharmacoeconomics

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 require a research-based thesis. Instead, it focuses on the knowledge and skills needed by individuals working in the pharmaceutical industry or seeking 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.