Pharmacology is often confused with pharmacy, but is its own, separate discipline within the health sciences. Pharmacologists study the affects of drugs on biological system and how bodies respond to these drugs. They are interested in therapeutics (drugs that minimize disease) and toxicology (adverse effects of drugs or other chemical agents). This field has two major branches:

  • Pharmacokinetics: The absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs.
  • Pharmacodynamics: The molecular, biochemical, and physiological effects of drugs.

Pharmacology is on the cutting edge of modern medical research with major breakthroughs in areas of personalized medicine, gene therapy, regenerative pharmacology, computational drug development, and nanotechnology-based disease research. It integrates many disciplines and provides a diverse array of career opportunities in academic, industrial, governmental, and legal organizations. Pharmacologists often specialize to become pharmaceutical scientists, but may also pursue careers in regulatory affairs or as a medical science liaison.

Student Resources

Professional Associations and Accreditation

Entrance Exam

Many graduate programs in pharmacology require the GRE as an entrance exam. If interested in a specific program, inquire with that program about entrance exam requirements. Learn more about the GRE here.

Selected Regional Programs

Important Note:

Consult the admissions/application web pages of the professional programs for information on required pre-requisite courses and admissions tests, application procedures, and application deadlines. Some professional/graduate programs will not accept AP or CLEP credits, online courses, or correspondence courses for the core science and math pre-requisite requirements. Many programs also require that all pre-requisite coursework be completed within a certain period of time, e.g., within 5 years prior to application. Policies vary by school and program. Be sure you know the requirements