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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:

  • Academic performance (VCU has a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0)
  • Research experience (undergraduate or work-related)
  • Quality of letters of recommendation and personal statements
  • Excellence in coursework and prerequisite courses
  • Advanced degrees
  • TOEFL scores (note that 250/300, 600/677 or 100/120 is the minimum VCU required score)
  • Candidate interviews
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


Pharmaceutical Sciences

Ph.D. and M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences

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.

M.P.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences

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.


Pharmaceutical Engineering

Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Engineering

Housed in the Center for Pharmaceutical Engineering and Sciences at VCU, the Ph.D. in pharmaceutical engineering is the first of its kind in the nation. The pharmaceutical engineering Ph.D. program will prepare students to respond to current, emerging and future challenges in the discovery, development and production of pharmaceutical products. Students will engage in a rigorous and cross-disciplinary educational experience that includes foundational and research-area-specific coursework; be empowered with the necessary tools to formulate and answer hypotheses-driven research questions in collaboration with mentors who have special expertise; engage in professional development opportunities to effectively promote and disseminate their work; and be immersed in a research and innovation environment of excellence.

M.S. in Pharmaceutical Engineering

VCU currently does not offer an M.S. degree in pharmaceutical engineering. However, students should consider applying to the M.S. in pharmaceutical sciences and work under the guidance of one of the pharmaceutical engineering program PIs in that program.