Overview of the Graduate Programs

The Graduate Programs in Pharmacology at Loyola University Chicago are designed to provide essential training to individuals who intend to pursue careers in biomedical   research or other pharmacology-related vocations. Pharmacology is an endeavor that spans academic laboratories, the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnical, and manufacturing  industries, and government regulatory agencies, with an overall goal of discovering, developing, and producing therapeutics to reduce the morbidity and mortality of human  and animal disease.


The careers in the field of Pharmacology are quite diverse, ranging from basic science research to industry (Pharmaceutical and Biotechnical), to regulatory. This means  that our graduates have options, but at the same time, presents a challenge to train our students. Our graduates have gone on to become leaders in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, government agencies, patent law, continuing medical education and many other disciplines.


To ensure success in the sciences, students must learn the skills needed for the development and execution of a sound research plan. To achieve success in industry and regulatory careers, they must also develop an understanding of work in drug development, drug safety, regulatory sciences, and how these are applied. We have developed and organized a series of graduate programs to achieve these goals. At the center of all this is the flexibility to meet the needs of individual students.


Our M.D./Ph.D., Ph.D. and M.S. programs are centered in the sciences. They provide a solid base of knowledge in pharmacology, including the creative design of experiments that rigorously test scientifically valid hypotheses. We encourage innovation and insist on meticulous execution. Students learn to critically evaluate scientific data, apply appropriate statistical tests, and draw appropriate conclusions. A particular emphasis is placed on the application of basic scientific principles and knowledge to address clinically relevant research questions. Students from these programs most often choose careers in academic sciences, biomedical education, the pharmaceutical industry, government agencies, and related disciplines.


Our M.S./MBA program is oriented towards early access to careers in the Pharmaceutical industries and regulatory agencies. The same rigorous scientific training is supplemented by coursework and lab work in the areas of drug discovery, drug development, safety, and regulatory pharmacology. Graduates from this program have been very successful in obtaining jobs in these sectors, usually within weeks-to-months of graduation.


Finally, our Pharmacovigilance programs represent the latest, and still developing component of our graduate programs. The graduate certificate program requires only 12 credit hours and can be completed in one year. Graduates from this program have been successful obtaining jobs in safety pharmacology and pharmacovigilance, several even before certificate completion. We also offer, in collaboration with the business school, a one-semester professional pharmacovigilance course.

Just as all of these programs incorporate a solid basis in understanding and training of the science, they also emphasize communication and presentation skills. One must be able to communicate science in any career in order to achieve. An advanced course in Teaching Pharmacology provides an opportunity for students to develop presentation skills that will serve them well in any future career.


As a Jesuit institution of higher learning, we have an emphasis upon ethics and responsibility, including responsible and ethical behavior, honesty in reporting research results, acknowledgement of the contributions of collaborators, and employment of accepted standards for use of experimental animals and human subjects. These are essential to the ethical advancement and application of human medical knowledge.


Finally, as Graduate Program Director, I represent the summation of the experience and expertise of the faculty that teach and perform research in the Department. We have a dedication to both and are excited when our students have success and reach landmarks in their careers! Our students have contributed to the development and improvement of therapeutics for cancer, heart disease, hematology, drug and alcohol abuse, and neurodegenerative diseases. We look forward to assisting you in your adventure should you join us as a Pharmacologist!