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Translational Neuroscience and Pharmacology Master's Program

Courses » M.S. Program


The masters program in pharmacology consists of primarily coursework during the first year (see Year-by-Year Courses) and primarily laboratory research in the second year. Following the spring semester of Year 1 and before the beginning of the summer semester, the student should choose an advisor from among the Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience faculty. After discussions with the faculty advisor the student should identify an Advisory Committee. The committee should be comprised of 3 members with one member being the faculty advisor. In the spring semester of Year 2 the student should complete a masters dissertation and defend it orally.

  1. Research
    • In that the Department considers research to be the foundation of graduate education, students will be expected to familiarize themselves with ongoing research in the laboratories of the Faculty in their first year of gradate study by talking GPHM 7101 (Techniques in Pharmacology Research ) and thereby undergoing 3 laboratory rotations. These rotations are designed to assist the graduate student in the selection of a research advisor early in their graduate career. Selection of a research advisor is an extremely important process; it is the research advisor who will direct the student's masters or doctoral work and who will imbue the student with his or her own philosophical approach to scientific research.
  2. Oral and Written Communication Skills
    • To enable the student to verbally evaluate and communicate scientific research and information, he or she will engage in the following departmental activities. All students will be expected to enroll in the Departmental Seminar Program (PHM 7107) every semester, participate in all departmental seminars and journal clubs, and present a minimum of one (1) seminar and journal club presentation per year. The Faculty will serve as role models in the Seminar Program by presenting their own research periodically. They will also actively participate in the Journal Club by regularly presenting publications themselves, by assisting the student presenter with his or her presentation, and by asking provocative questions during the presentations. In both Departmental seminars and journal clubs, students will be encouraged to ask thoughtful questions of the presenters. The Faculty believe that this type of activity will help develop the student's ability to critically evaluate and discuss the content of scientific presentations.
    • All students will be encouraged to present their research findings at both regional and national scientific meetings. This type of activity will strengthen the students ability to think critically under pressure; also, it will enable the student to meet other scientists working in the student's research area.
  3. Course Work
    • The first year curriculum comprises the bulk of the M.S. program coursework. It is the belief of the Faculty that all graduate students should be exposed in their course work to as many individual faculty members and as often as is logistically possible. Courses in Pharmacology will emphasize the development of critical thought in graduate students rather than the ability to memorize facts.
  4. Orientation
    • The Department will offer an orientation to all incoming graduate students to delineate the Department's philosophy of graduate education, the research interests of the Faculty, and to address any concerns a student might have about graduate education.
  5. Annual Student Progress Report.
    • All graduate students will meet annually with the Director of Graduate Studies to discuss their own individual progress as a graduate student. Attached is a copy of that form and a description of how the Report is produced. It is understood that both objective and subjective comments will likely be made by faculty. Their general impression of a student's progress will be reflected in their comments. The Graduate Director will summarize the faculty's comments in the Graduate Director's Student Progress Report Form. That Report will be included in each student's departmental file. (Individual faculty comments will not be included in the student's file).
  6. Advisory Committee
    • The M.S. Student's Advisory Committee should be identified as early in the student's program as possible. The composition of the Advisory Committee must include at least 3 members. One of the Pharmacology Graduate Faculty included in this committee would be the mentor.
    • The function of the Advisory Committee is to assist the students and mentor in evaluating the progress of the dissertation/thesis research. Therefore, it is expected that this committee would meet with the student periodically (at least annually) throughout the student's tenure in their research project.